Mahna Mahna

When was the last time you saw the Muppets perform “Mahna mahna”?


  1. #1 Janne
    July 25, 2008

    Too long, obviously. Much better than I remember it.

    But then the conscientious YouTube surfer needs to ask themselves: “Have I really seen enough of M.A. Numminen sing Wittgenstein?”

  2. #2 Marmaduke
    July 25, 2008

    Daily…my son loves it. Unlike me, though, he likes the first version better:

  3. #3 scicurious
    July 25, 2008

    I love that song! Though it does make me sad how the pink regime oppresses his scatting attempts.

  4. #4 Martin R
    July 25, 2008

    I get the impression that the guy’s not entirely straight in the head, and so isn’t sure if he’s hallucinating the looks of the two chorus girls.

  5. #5 Harald Cederlund
    July 25, 2008

    I stumbled across the Mahna Mahna earlier this year – it was the solution to one of the questions in Swedens most difficult (or at least least sane) quiz “klurendrejeriet“. Interestingly ,the orignial version apparently appeared in the Italian movie “Svezia, inferno e paradiso“.

  6. #6 Pär
    July 25, 2008

    Check out “funnyman” Don Costello doing “Mahna Mahna”. Not very funny. Very surreal.

  7. #7 Kevin
    July 25, 2008

    I love when scat man looks in her mouth.

  8. #8 Martin R
    July 25, 2008

    OMG, that’s on a level with the annual lip-synch show at my kids’ school! Now I’m embarrassed!

  9. #9 Rhea Miller
    July 25, 2008

    hahahahahahahaha, YAY!!

    And for World of Warcraft / other various online videogamers…the WoW version:


  10. #10 Desmond
    July 25, 2008

    Great – Didn’t realise how much we miss the muppets.Would they thrive in today’s “sour” world? Yes – archaeology CAN be fun!

  11. #11 Ted H.
    July 26, 2008

    The graphic dates it as 1969, but I remember this from the ‘Muppet Show’ around 1980. It is possible that they performed it several times, but this had the laugh track and everything.

    I second that, Desmond. Made me realize how much I missed the muppets as well.

  12. #12 Mikael
    July 27, 2008

    Did you know that this song comes from the soundtrack of the infamous Italian documentary “Sweden – Heaven and Hell” (which I have to shamefully admit I haven’t seen yet)?

  13. #13 Christina
    July 27, 2008

    Funny you should ask… Actually it was the day before you posted this entry.
    I once made the cross-Atlantic treck via Frankfurt. Two young men sat in the seats in front of me, and I quickly realized that their sense of humor was just as dry and warped as mine. We became fast friends. We’ve visited each other on a few occasions since, met girlfriends and boyfriends, attended weddings and babtisms. When my oldes one was my only one, one of these guys came to visit. I played a video of the then toddler, and Mana-mana was on it. My friend had never seen the video before. After that, I had to replay the damn video ever day fr his whole stay, and now, over a decade later, all out e-mails and phone conversations beging with “Mana-Mana!”. It just one of those things that make me smile even when I’m in a pissy mood, all on account of that. And it’s just a funny clip.

  14. #14 OriGuy
    July 28, 2008

    The YouTube page says that this appeared on a “popular prime time variety show” in 1969. From scanning IMDB, I’m guessing this was The Ed Sullivan Show, aka “Toast of the Town”, on which the Muppets appeared 23 times. The date at the beginning matches the entry for show 23.10.

  15. #15 Tim Abbott
    July 29, 2008

    The Benny Hill Show routinely used an instrumental version of Mahna Mahna for its chase sequences…

  16. #16 Martin R
    July 29, 2008

    Nooo! The tunes are similar, but not identical. Love them chase scenes. In fact, I aspire to be the Benny Hill of science blogging.

  17. #17 Tim Abbott
    July 30, 2008

    I am not a Doctor of Hillology, but I believe the mahna mahan instrumental was used, not in the closing credits and chase, but as part of a recurring medley in Benny Hill shows. And how is it that you have not yet mentioned the Swedish connection?

    The song has its roots in Piero Umiliani’s soundtrack for the Italian softcore pornograhy movie Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden, Heaven and Hell) (1968). Or so I’ve heard.

  18. #18 Shelley Poplak
    January 26, 2009

    I find these Muppet versions more hilarious because they are more ambiguous than I expected – on first ‘reading’ the chorus seems unspontaneous and rigid in their reaction to the skat artist whose trying to explore new horizons, and then on second thoughts HE comes across as crazed and theirs seems the sane reaction.

    But here’s an archeological discovery:
    A French friend sent me this link – apparently the original song was “Mais non, mais non”!

  19. #19 Martin R
    February 16, 2009

    Good lord, Shelley, that’s awesome!

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