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{{song|writer=Piero Umiliani|composer=|lyricist=|date=[[1968]]|source=''Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso''<br>(''Sweden, Heaven and Hell'')|publisher=Edward B. Marks Music Company}}
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{{song|image=Mahna.jpg|writer=Piero Umiliani|composer=|lyricist=|date=[[1968]]|source=''Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso''<br>(''Sweden, Heaven and Hell'')|publisher=Edward B. Marks Music Company}}
[[Image:Mahna.jpg|thumb|300px]]
 
 
"'''Mahna Mahna'''," originally titled "Mah-Na Mah-Na," was written by composer Piero Umiliani for an [[Italy|Italian]] documentary about life in [[Sweden]], titled ''Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso'' (''Sweden, Heaven and Hell''). It is a nonsense song that achieved widespread fame as a classic Muppet sketch.
 
"'''Mahna Mahna'''," originally titled "Mah-Na Mah-Na," was written by composer Piero Umiliani for an [[Italy|Italian]] documentary about life in [[Sweden]], titled ''Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso'' (''Sweden, Heaven and Hell''). It is a nonsense song that achieved widespread fame as a classic Muppet sketch.
   
Although it was first performed in a [[The Jim Henson Company|Henson]] production on ''[[Sesame Street]]'' by [[Bip Bippadotta]] and two [[Anything Muppet]] girls, the most well-known Muppet rendition of the song debuted on ''[[The Ed Sullivan Show]]'' in [[1969]], where it was performed by [[Mahna Mahna (character)|Mahna Mahna]] and his back-up singers, [[the Snowths]]. This version of the skit was restaged many times on a number of variety shows before being featured as the opening number in [[Episode 101: Juliet Prowse|the premiere episode]] of ''[[The Muppet Show]]''.
+
Although it was first performed in a [[The Jim Henson Company|Henson]] production on ''[[Sesame Street]]'' by the character who would become [[Bip Bippadotta]] and two [[Anything Muppet]] girls, the most famous Muppet rendition of the song debuted on ''[[The Ed Sullivan Show]]'' in [[1969]], where it was performed by [[Mahna Mahna (character)|Mahna Mahna]] and his back-up singers, [[the Snowths]]. This version of the skit was restaged many times on a number of variety shows before being featured as the opening number in [[Episode 101: Juliet Prowse|the premiere episode]] of ''[[The Muppet Show]]''.
   
 
Regardless of who is singing, the basics of the performance remain the same: a central character starts out conforming to the structure of the song, but falls into improvisational scat passages whenever possible. Although the back-up singers attempt to bring order back to the number, their effort is ultimately futile.
 
Regardless of who is singing, the basics of the performance remain the same: a central character starts out conforming to the structure of the song, but falls into improvisational scat passages whenever possible. Although the back-up singers attempt to bring order back to the number, their effort is ultimately futile.
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''[[The Muppets (2011)|The Muppets]]'' ends with a montage of celebrities performing the classic number with the Snowths. The ''Muppet Show'' recording can be heard playing in a car in [[The Muppets Official Trailer|the official movie trailer]].
 
''[[The Muppets (2011)|The Muppets]]'' ends with a montage of celebrities performing the classic number with the Snowths. The ''Muppet Show'' recording can be heard playing in a car in [[The Muppets Official Trailer|the official movie trailer]].
+
{{br}}
 
==Performances==
 
==Performances==
 
{|border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="8"
 
{|border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="8"
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| [[Image:SSoriginalmahna.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| [[Image:SSoriginalmahna.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| '''''[[Sesame Street]]'' {{first|0014}}'''<br>
 
| '''''[[Sesame Street]]'' {{first|0014}}'''<br>
The earliest version of the skit was first performed on [[Episode 0014|episode 0014]] of ''[[Sesame Street]]'' by [[Bip Bippadotta]], backed by two [[Anything Muppets|Anything Muppet]] girls. Whereas the Snowths sing "do doo, do doo doo" in the Muppet version, the back-up singers on the ''Sesame Street'' version sing "pa tee, pa tee pee." This version begins with the two girls (performed by Frank Oz and [[Loretta Long]]) wanting to sing a song, before Bip Bippadotta appears saying "Mahna Mahna".
+
The earliest version of the skit was first performed on [[episode 0014]] of ''[[Sesame Street]]'' by [[Bip Bippadotta]], backed by two [[Anything Muppets|Anything Muppet]] girls. Whereas the Snowths sing "do doo, do doo doo" in the Muppet version, the back-up singers on the ''Sesame Street'' version sing "pa tee, pa tee pee." This version begins with the two girls (performed by Frank Oz and [[Loretta Long]]) wanting to sing a song, before Bip Bippadotta appears saying "Mahna Mahna".
   
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Image:PDVD_068.JPG|250px|center]]
+
| [[Image:PDVD 068.JPG|250px|center]]
 
| '''''[[The Ed Sullivan Show]]'' (1969)'''<br>
 
| '''''[[The Ed Sullivan Show]]'' (1969)'''<br>
 
Performed live on November 30, 1969, this is the first time the song is performed by [[Mahna Mahna (character)|Mahna Mahna]] and [[the Snowths]].
 
Performed live on November 30, 1969, this is the first time the song is performed by [[Mahna Mahna (character)|Mahna Mahna]] and [[the Snowths]].
   
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Image:noimage.png|100px|center]]
+
| [[Image:Mahna Mahna Dick Cavett Show 1971.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| '''''[[The Dick Cavett Show]]'' (1971)'''<br>
 
| '''''[[The Dick Cavett Show]]'' (1971)'''<br>
Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths.<ref>[http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2010/11/25/11251971/ Jim Henson's Red Book] 11/25/1971</ref>
+
Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths.
   
 
|-
 
|-
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| [[Image:muppetsahoy-mahnamahna.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| [[Image:muppetsahoy-mahnamahna.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| '''[[Muppets Ahoy!]] (2006)'''<br>
 
| '''[[Muppets Ahoy!]] (2006)'''<br>
The Muppets sang the song in the ''Muppets Ahoy!'' stage show. [[Drew Massey]] performed Mahna Mahna to a pre-recorded track of [[Jim Henson|Jim Henson's]] vocals while [[Victor Yerrid]] and [[Brett O'Quinn]] performed the Snowths. New video footage of Mahna Mahna around the Disney Wonder crusie ship was taped and shown on a video monitor as well.
+
The Muppets sang the song in the ''Muppets Ahoy!'' stage show. [[Drew Massey]] performed Mahna Mahna to a pre-recorded track of [[Jim Henson|Jim Henson's]] vocals while [[Victor Yerrid]] and [[Brett O'Quinn]] performed the Snowths. New video footage of Mahna Mahna around the Disney Wonder cruise ship was taped and shown on a video monitor as well.
   
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Image:Mahna_facebook_app.jpg|250px|center]]
+
| [[Image:Mahna facebook app.jpg|250px|center]]
 
| '''[[Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna]] (2011)'''<br>
 
| '''[[Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna]] (2011)'''<br>
 
In October 2011, the official Facebook page for The Muppets launched an app that enables you to insert yourself into a "[[Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna]]". Clips of contributor-recorded segments are edited into new footage of Mahna Mahna and the Snowths to create an ongoing volley of the nonsense lyrics from the song. Included amongst viewer contributions are clips of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, [[Rowlf the Dog]], [[the Swedish Chef]], [[Big Mean Carl]], [[Pepe the King Prawn]], [[Jason Segel]], [[Kristen Schaal]], [[Alan Arkin]], [[Mickey Rooney]], [[Sarah Silverman]], [[Bret McKenzie]], [[Rashida Jones]] [[Ken Jeong]], [[Carrie Underwood]] and [[Brad Paisley]], [[Leslie Feist]] and fan-made videos using their own puppets (including several [[The Muppet Whatnot Workshop|Muppet Whatnot Workshop puppets]]).
 
In October 2011, the official Facebook page for The Muppets launched an app that enables you to insert yourself into a "[[Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna]]". Clips of contributor-recorded segments are edited into new footage of Mahna Mahna and the Snowths to create an ongoing volley of the nonsense lyrics from the song. Included amongst viewer contributions are clips of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, [[Rowlf the Dog]], [[the Swedish Chef]], [[Big Mean Carl]], [[Pepe the King Prawn]], [[Jason Segel]], [[Kristen Schaal]], [[Alan Arkin]], [[Mickey Rooney]], [[Sarah Silverman]], [[Bret McKenzie]], [[Rashida Jones]] [[Ken Jeong]], [[Carrie Underwood]] and [[Brad Paisley]], [[Leslie Feist]] and fan-made videos using their own puppets (including several [[The Muppet Whatnot Workshop|Muppet Whatnot Workshop puppets]]).
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| [[Image:TheMuppets-AmyAdams-MahnaMahna-(2012).jpg|250px|center]][[Image:TheMuppets-JasonSegel-MahnaMahna-(2012).jpg|250px|center]]
 
| [[Image:TheMuppets-AmyAdams-MahnaMahna-(2012).jpg|250px|center]][[Image:TheMuppets-JasonSegel-MahnaMahna-(2012).jpg|250px|center]]
 
| '''''[[The Muppets (2011)|The Muppets]]'' (2011)'''<br>
 
| '''''[[The Muppets (2011)|The Muppets]]'' (2011)'''<br>
The film features a montage of celebrities - including [[Amy Adams]] as [[Mary (The Muppets)|Mary]], [[Jason Segel]] as [[Gary (The Muppets)|Gary]], [[Selena Gomez]], [[Alan Arkin]], [[Jim Parsons]], [[Kristen Schaal]], [[Rashida Jones]], [[Sarah Silverman]], [[Feist]], [[Emily Blunt]], [[James Carville]], [[Judd Hirsch]], [[Mickey Rooney]], [[Rico Rodriguez]], [[John Krasinski]], and [[Neil Patrick Harris]] - performing the song with the Snowths over the credits.
+
The film features a montage of celebrities - including [[Amy Adams]] as [[Mary (The Muppets)|Mary]], [[Jason Segel]] as [[Gary (The Muppets)|Gary]], [[Chris Cooper]] as [[Tex Richman]], [[Selena Gomez]], [[Alan Arkin]], [[Jim Parsons]], [[Kristen Schaal]], [[Rashida Jones]] as [[Veronica]], [[Sarah Silverman]], [[Feist]], [[Emily Blunt]], [[James Carville]], [[Judd Hirsch]], [[Mickey Rooney]], [[Rico Rodriguez]], [[John Krasinski]], and [[Neil Patrick Harris]] - performing the song with the Snowths over the credits.
   
 
|-
 
|-
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| '''[[Jim Henson's Musical World]] (2012)'''<br>
 
| '''[[Jim Henson's Musical World]] (2012)'''<br>
 
Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths during a medley of Muppet songs.
 
Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths during a medley of Muppet songs.
  +
  +
|-
  +
| [[Image:Sesamstrasse-40Jahre-Mah-Na-Mah-Na-(2012).jpg|250px|center]]
  +
| '''[[Sesamstrasse#The Elmo Era: 2012-present|Sesamstrasse]] (2012)''' {{firststrasse|2672}}<br>
  +
Performed by the characters of ''Sesamstrasse'' ([[Wolle]], [[Pferd]], [[Grover|Grobi]], [[International Ernie#germany5|Ernie]], [[International Bert#germany4|Bert]], [[International Elmo#germany2|Elmo]], [[Günni]], [[Finchen]], [[Cookie Monster|Krümelmonster]], [[Wolf (Eine Möhre für Zwei)|the green Wolf]], two [[Chickens]] and a number [[40]]) and [[Germany|German]] celebrities with ties to the show ([[Julia Stinshoff]], [[Otto Waalkes]], [[Annette Frier]] and [[Gustav Peter Wöhler]]). {{youtube|l53NMKKET7o}}
   
 
|}
 
|}
   
 
==Releases==
 
==Releases==
[[file:AS 0290.jpg|right|200px]]
+
[[Image:AS 0290.jpg|right|300px]]
 
===Audio===
 
===Audio===
 
;''The Muppet Show'' version
 
;''The Muppet Show'' version
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*''[[The Favorite Songs from Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street and Others]]''
 
*''[[The Favorite Songs from Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street and Others]]''
   
===Video releases===
+
===Video===
 
;''The Ed Sullivan Show'' version
 
;''The Ed Sullivan Show'' version
 
*''[[Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show]]'' (2003)
 
*''[[Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show]]'' (2003)
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;''Sesame Street'' version
 
;''Sesame Street'' version
 
*''[[Shalom Sesame]]: [[Show 7: Sing Around the Seasons]]'' (1990, brief portion of the song only)
 
*''[[Shalom Sesame]]: [[Show 7: Sing Around the Seasons]]'' (1990, brief portion of the song only)
===Inclusion in specials & compilations===
+
  +
===Specials & Compilations===
 
;''Sesame Street'' version
 
;''Sesame Street'' version
 
*''[[Sesame Street Unpaved (documentary)|Sesame Street Unpaved]]''
 
*''[[Sesame Street Unpaved (documentary)|Sesame Street Unpaved]]''
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*''[[The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson]]''
 
*''[[The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson]]''
 
*''[[The Muppet Revue]]''
 
*''[[The Muppet Revue]]''
  +
 
===Publications===
 
===Publications===
 
;''The Muppet Show'' version
 
;''The Muppet Show'' version
  +
*''[[The Muppet Show Book]]'' (1978)
 
*''[[Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets (sheet music book)|Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets]]'' (1986)
 
*''[[Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets (sheet music book)|Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets]]'' (1986)
*[[The Muppets (sheet music book)|''The Muppets'' sheet music book]] (2011)
+
*''[[The Muppets (sheet music book)|''The Muppets'' sheet music book]]'' (2011)
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
[[file:Mansow.jpg|thumb|300px]]
+
[[File:Mansow.jpg|thumb|300px]]
   
 
* The characters on ''[[Mystery Science Theater 3000]]'' broke out into the song during their commentary on ''Jungle Goddess''.
 
* The characters on ''[[Mystery Science Theater 3000]]'' broke out into the song during their commentary on ''Jungle Goddess''.
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* Issue #2 of ''[[The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson]]'' features Mahna Mahna and the Snowths at Machu Picchu, singing the name of the Incan ruin to the tune of "Mahna Mahna."
 
* Issue #2 of ''[[The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson]]'' features Mahna Mahna and the Snowths at Machu Picchu, singing the name of the Incan ruin to the tune of "Mahna Mahna."
   
==Sources==
+
* A ''[[Sesamstrasse]]'' film feature girls on a rock climbing wall is underscored by Cake's cover on the ''For the Kids'' album.
<references />
 
   
 
{{wikipedia|Mah Nà Mah Nà}}
 
{{wikipedia|Mah Nà Mah Nà}}

Latest revision as of 17:43, June 6, 2014

Mahna
Written by Piero Umiliani
Date 1968
Source Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso
(Sweden, Heaven and Hell)
Publisher Edward B. Marks Music Company

"Mahna Mahna," originally titled "Mah-Na Mah-Na," was written by composer Piero Umiliani for an Italian documentary about life in Sweden, titled Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden, Heaven and Hell). It is a nonsense song that achieved widespread fame as a classic Muppet sketch.

Although it was first performed in a Henson production on Sesame Street by the character who would become Bip Bippadotta and two Anything Muppet girls, the most famous Muppet rendition of the song debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, where it was performed by Mahna Mahna and his back-up singers, the Snowths. This version of the skit was restaged many times on a number of variety shows before being featured as the opening number in the premiere episode of The Muppet Show.

Regardless of who is singing, the basics of the performance remain the same: a central character starts out conforming to the structure of the song, but falls into improvisational scat passages whenever possible. Although the back-up singers attempt to bring order back to the number, their effort is ultimately futile.

The number became popular enough that it was spoofed by the Muppets themselves in a sketch on Muppets Tonight, in which Kermit the Frog complained to his psychiatrist that the Snowths would appear every time he said the word "phenomena."

The Muppets ends with a montage of celebrities performing the classic number with the Snowths. The Muppet Show recording can be heard playing in a car in the official movie trailer.

PerformancesEdit

Picture Description
SSoriginalmahna
Sesame Street (First: Episode 0014)

The earliest version of the skit was first performed on episode 0014 of Sesame Street by Bip Bippadotta, backed by two Anything Muppet girls. Whereas the Snowths sing "do doo, do doo doo" in the Muppet version, the back-up singers on the Sesame Street version sing "pa tee, pa tee pee." This version begins with the two girls (performed by Frank Oz and Loretta Long) wanting to sing a song, before Bip Bippadotta appears saying "Mahna Mahna".

PDVD 068
The Ed Sullivan Show (1969)

Performed live on November 30, 1969, this is the first time the song is performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths.

Mahna Mahna Dick Cavett Show 1971
The Dick Cavett Show (1971)

Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths.

MahnaMahnaColoredBackground
This Is Tom Jones (1971)

Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths.

PureGoldie1
Pure Goldie (1971)

Ruth Buzzi, Johnny Carson and Goldie Hawn performed the song when they all turned into Muppets.

Mahnamahna
The Muppet Show (episode 101)

Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths as the opening number. As the song draws to a close, Mahna Mahna leaves the stage and exits the Muppet Theater. Soon after he has disappeared, the phone rings backstage. Kermit answers the call and brings the received on stage, telling the Snowths "It's for you," at which point Mahna Mahna has the last word, "Mahna Mahna!"

Samamerica
Muppet*Vision 3D (1991)

An instrumental version of the song is heard in the queue areas and is played in the theater during show transitions.

300px-Phenomena
Muppets Tonight (episode 107)

The "Mahna Mahna" sketch was parodied in "The Psychiatrist's Office" sketch in episode 107 of Muppets Tonight. Every time Kermit said the word "phenomena," the Snowths would appear and sing their trademark "do doo do do doo." As the sketch progressed, guest star Sandra Bullock began performing the song, taking on some of the mannerisms of the Mahna Mahna character, most notably by trying to dominate the song with a manic scat until she was calmed down by others.

TMS-live-mahna
The Muppet Show Live (2001)

"Mahna Mahna" opened The Muppet Show Live at Muppetfest in 2001. Bill Barretta performed Mahna Mahna to a pre-recorded track of Jim Henson's vocals. New video footage of Mahna Mahna riding in a limo was taped and shown on a video monitor at the event.

Noimage
The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon (2002)

Kermit the Frog performed the song with the Snowths for the 2002 Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

PWMSMahnaMahnaSong
Play with Me Sesame (2002)

Grover and Prairie Dawn sing along to the vintage Sesame Street clip and add some of their own words.

Sweetumsexplainsitall-landscape
Barnes & Noble Lincoln Center (2003)

Sweetums performed the song live during a promotional appearance featuring Kermit the Frog and Steve Whitmire at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble in New York.

Bandanana
CanTeen commercial (2005)

An advertisement featuring "Mahna Mahna" was filmed for a New Zealand cancer charity called CanTeen. In the ad, Mahna Mahna was both puppeteered and voiced by Bill Barretta, and the lyrics were changed from "Mahna Mahna" to "Bandanana" to promote CanTeen's "Bandanna Week."

Muppetsahoy-mahnamahna
Muppets Ahoy! (2006)

The Muppets sang the song in the Muppets Ahoy! stage show. Drew Massey performed Mahna Mahna to a pre-recorded track of Jim Henson's vocals while Victor Yerrid and Brett O'Quinn performed the Snowths. New video footage of Mahna Mahna around the Disney Wonder cruise ship was taped and shown on a video monitor as well.

Mahna facebook app
Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna (2011)

In October 2011, the official Facebook page for The Muppets launched an app that enables you to insert yourself into a "Never-Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna". Clips of contributor-recorded segments are edited into new footage of Mahna Mahna and the Snowths to create an ongoing volley of the nonsense lyrics from the song. Included amongst viewer contributions are clips of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Rowlf the Dog, the Swedish Chef, Big Mean Carl, Pepe the King Prawn, Jason Segel, Kristen Schaal, Alan Arkin, Mickey Rooney, Sarah Silverman, Bret McKenzie, Rashida Jones Ken Jeong, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, Leslie Feist and fan-made videos using their own puppets (including several Muppet Whatnot Workshop puppets).

OrangeShow
Orange commercial (2011)

When Miss Piggy says "phenomena" the two Snowths appear to sing their trademark "do doo do do doo." The rest of the Muppets erupt in singing "Mahna Mahna" (replacing the phrase with "phenomena") and closing out the commercial much to Kermit's dismay.

MahnaMahna-GMA
Good Morning America (2011)

Mahna Mahna and the Snowths perform the song. After the first verse, the Snowths drop out and are replaced by Kermit and Piggy, Gonzo and Camilla then all of them.

TheMuppets-AmyAdams-MahnaMahna-(2012)
TheMuppets-JasonSegel-MahnaMahna-(2012)
The Muppets (2011)

The film features a montage of celebrities - including Amy Adams as Mary, Jason Segel as Gary, Chris Cooper as Tex Richman, Selena Gomez, Alan Arkin, Jim Parsons, Kristen Schaal, Rashida Jones as Veronica, Sarah Silverman, Feist, Emily Blunt, James Carville, Judd Hirsch, Mickey Rooney, Rico Rodriguez, John Krasinski, and Neil Patrick Harris - performing the song with the Snowths over the credits.

Mm-jhmw
Jim Henson's Musical World (2012)

Performed by Mahna Mahna and the Snowths during a medley of Muppet songs.

Sesamstrasse-40Jahre-Mah-Na-Mah-Na-(2012)
Sesamstrasse (2012) (First: Folge 2672)

Performed by the characters of Sesamstrasse (Wolle, Pferd, Grobi, Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Günni, Finchen, Krümelmonster, the green Wolf, two Chickens and a number 40) and German celebrities with ties to the show (Julia Stinshoff, Otto Waalkes, Annette Frier and Gustav Peter Wöhler). (YouTube)

ReleasesEdit

AS 0290

AudioEdit

The Muppet Show version
Sesame Street version
Cover versions

VideoEdit

The Ed Sullivan Show version
The Muppet Show version
Sesame Street version

Specials & CompilationsEdit

Sesame Street version
The Muppet Show version

PublicationsEdit

The Muppet Show version

ReferencesEdit

Mansow
  • The cover of the song performed by Cake, which was recorded as the opening track of the 2002 For the Kids album whose sales proceeds went to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, also appears on the band's 2007 album B-Sides and Rarities.
  • A line in "Weird Al" Yankovic's 2003 song "Couch Potato" mentions "The Muppet Show where they go 'Mahna Mahna!'"
  • The song was sung in the style of the Muppets by Gareth, David and Ben in the first episode of the second series of BBC's The Office. After they finish singing the tune, David sighs "ah, Muppets".
  • Issue #2 of The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson features Mahna Mahna and the Snowths at Machu Picchu, singing the name of the Incan ruin to the tune of "Mahna Mahna."
  • A Sesamstrasse film feature girls on a rock climbing wall is underscored by Cake's cover on the For the Kids album.
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