That's just one of the things I learned while reading the latest of Nintendo's "Iwata Asks" interviews, which focuses on Shigeru Miyamoto's comments on the development of New Super Mario Bros. Wii but also includes tons of tidbits about earlier games featuring the world's most famous plumber.
For instance, after revealing that Donkey Kong started off as a Popeye game, Miyamoto mentions that Mario's original name was "Mr. Video" (not Jumpman)--and that someone at Nintendo of America suggested what has since become the most recognizable name in the gaming world.
Miyamoto also chats about why the character wears a hat, overalls and white gloves and sports a mustache--and why series staples like turtles and pipes popped up in the original Mario Bros.
Many more secrets are revealed in the full interview, so head on over to us.wii.com and check it out when you have a few minutes to spare. (Other "Iwata Asks" interviews--including one where Miyamoto talks about the development of Wii Fit Plus--can be found there, too.)