Penn Badgley reveals starring role in 1999 Pokemon TCG training video

Penn Badgley in front of Pokemon cards

You’s Penn Badgley revealed his leading part in a Pokemon TCG training video in the 1990s, in addition to a brief Mario role.

Netflix’s You star Penn Badgley disclosed that one of his first jobs in the acting industry was for a 1999 Pokemon TCG training video. Badgley also made a voice-acting cameo in Mario Tennis 64 as Alex – the singles and doubles champion of the Island Open tournament.

Pokemon TCG first arrived in the United States in 1998, two years after its Japanese release date. Consequently, The Pokemon Company produced VHS tapes that taught viewers how to play the trading card game, considering that YouTube tutorial videos did not exist.

Article continues after ad

Penn Badgley taught adults how to play Pokemon

Pokemon Center exclusive codesThe Pokemon Company

At 13 years old, Badgley portrayed a teenage teacher named Jimmy who attempted to instruct parents on how to play Pokemon TCG. However, the adults only expressed interest in trading the cards and kept interrupting the class with inquiries and bragging about their extensive collections.

Their vexing questions included the value of trading a Vileplume for a Nidoqueen and whether it was worth it to start collecting the foil Pokemon cards. Jimmy finally gave up on teaching the parents the rules of TCG and allowed them to begin trading with each other.

Article continues after ad

In an interview with Capital FM, Badgley addressed his long-lost appearance in the 30-minute training video. “I think in America, at least [the Pokemon Company] realized that nobody was learning how to play the game, and they were only trading,” Badgley said. “That probably had something to do with, let’s be honest, they wanted more money.”

In addition to Pokemon, Badgley discussed his role as Alex in Mario Golf 64 and Mario Tennis 64. Despite his appearance, his parents only rented Castlevania and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for him on the Nintendo 64. Therefore, Badgley has never played either Mario title he briefly appeared in.

Article continues after ad

Since the beginning of Pokemon TCG, the trading card has introduced online applications for trainer battles. In January 2023, The Pokemon Company confirmed Crown Zenith would act as TCG Online’s last expansion.

The support for TCG Online ended on March 1 with the transition to TCG Live. However, Versus Ladder reward tracks will still update until Online’s complete shutdown. The disappointing news came only a month before the release of the first Scarlet & Violet expansion.

Article continues after ad

Related Topics