Do doo be-do-do
Mahna Mahna, two words that are generally going to get a response from anyone who grew up with The Muppet Show. The song, sung by the crazy Mahna Mahna fellow with possessed orange eyebrows is the type of song that will stay in your head for days on end.
Mahna Mahna made his debut on The Ed Sullivan Show (aired on 30th of November, 1969) as part of a Muppets special. His back-up singers Snowths, a pair of bright pink Muppets who rather look like bizarre cows accompanied Mahna Mahna. The Snowths sing the response of Doo’s to the green furry guy singing his own name.
After The Ed Sullivan Show the trio appeared on Sesame Street and then the epsoide that most us will remember first seeing the song. It appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976, as part of episode 17 of the first series starring Juliet Prowse as the guest. (It's #1 on the season 1 box set, just confuse the issue.) The memorable section is Kermit holding the phone up to the Snowths as Mahna Mahna sings on the other end.
It then made another appearance in a different form as the Phenomena song preformed by Kermit the Frog with Sandra Bullock in Muppets Tonight aired in 1996.
Jim Henson or any of the Muppet writers did not pen Mahna Mahna, it was penned by one Peter Umilioni or Piero Umiliani, and was originally titled Ma-Na-Ma-Na. Now the really interesting bit is where it was first recorded, part of a sound track for the Swedish film, Svezia, inferno e paradiso or Sweden: Heaven and Hell. This was a documentary that featured lesbian nightclubs, wife swapping, porno movies and biker gangs among other things. According to his daughter, Jim Henson was aware of the song's origins but as to how he came to hear the sound track of a soft core documentary banned in its own country remains unclear. Oddly it is the composer’s best known work and he named his boat Ma na mah na.
Other appearances of Mahna Mahna include; the ringtone for the therapist in the US sit com, Committed, it is sung in the UK series of The Office, in The Benny Hill Show and in a diet Dr Pepper commercial.
Tem42 informs us that: I have a rather groovy cover of this song done by Cake, from a For the Kids album (many artists singing kids songs.)
Not bad for a nonsense song for a Swedish film that went on to be sung by a furry Muppet.
The track, itself.
fuzzy and blue for the box set information
To buy the soundtracks.
This is a nodermeet challenge thrown down by Spiregrain.