June and Ward
|June and Ward|
|First appearance||"Mario of the Apes"|
June and Ward are a gorilla couple who reside in Jungleland. Despite being apes, June and Ward are quite civilized, are fully clothed and live in a well furnished house, which happens to be located in the branches of a tree. Although they have no true children of their own, they are shown to have an unseen pet named Pooch. They also have a copy of the book Naked Ape in their living room. June and Ward are spoofs of June and Ward Cleaver from the 1950's television sitcom Leave It to Beaver.
June and Ward have been living peacefully in their Jungleland house, when an Albatoss carrying Mario flies by and drops him onto their front porch. The impact of the fall causes Mario to lose his memory. June and Ward, not knowing any better, choose to raise Mario as their own son, and rename him Marzan. June and Ward teach Mario the ways of the jungle, including how to pop bananas out of their peels, and how to swing from vines.
Later that day, June calls Mario home for dinner, although he is fairly due to certain circumstances beyond his control. Wanting to restore Mario back to normal, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad follow Mario to June and Ward's house, where they try explaining to them that Mario is actually their friend, and not an ape.
Their conversation is soon interrupted by Shyguys, whom King Koopa ordered to cut down June and Ward's entire tree. Mario is able to stop them using the jungle survival skills that June and Ward passed down to him. Luigi eventually restores Mario's memory using a meatball sandwich, which Mario rescues by swinging from some vines. When Ward praises Marzan, Princess Toadstool fears that Mario has not fully recovered, but Luigi assures her that Mario had always gone ape for meatballs.