YouTube / rapr1
YouTube / rapr1

The Original "Mahna Mahna"

YouTube / rapr1
YouTube / rapr1

It's a fair bet that you've heard "Mahna Mahna" from The Muppet Show. If you're of a certain age, just mentioning "Mahna Mahna" starts the tune in your head, and you're off to the races! (Doo-doo-dee-doo-doo, doo-doo-dee-doo!!) But while most of us think of the song as the opening number on the original Muppet Show, its first Muppet rendition came on an early episode of Sesame Street, performed by a trio of then-nameless "anything Muppets" just messing around. Check this out, and note how the backing vocals go "bah-dee-pee-tee-pee" rather than "doo-doo-doo":

The song got more play on The Ed Sullivan Show later in 1969, now with the characteristic Snowth singers. By now, the male singer is a character named Bip Bippadotta and has flaming orange hair:

Versions then appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, This is Tom Jones, and Pure Goldie before its most famous turn on The Muppet Show in 1977 as the first sketch ever aired on the show. This is the version I know best, and it defines The Muppet Show for me:

But let's rewind once more -- the original song was written by Piero Umiliani for an Italian film about...wait for it...sex in Sweden! What?! The film Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (translated: Sweden, Heaven and Hell) first used the song in 1968, making that its first appearance ever (albeit with no Muppets). In those days, it went by "Mah Nà Mah Nà" and served as the score to this scene involving a sauna (don't worry, everyone remains clothed):

And that, my friends, is the original, original "Mahna Mahna." In 2011, the Muppets released it as a single and it's been stuck in my head ever since.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
arrow
Pop Culture
The Muppets are Getting a Reboot (Again)
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

The Muppets have entertained audiences from television sets and movie screens. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports the beloved characters are coming to your computer. Jim Henson's classic characters are being rebooted for Disney's new streaming service.

This isn't the first time Disney has attempted to repackage The Muppets for TV since acquiring the property in 2004. In 2015, a mockumentary-style show, simply titled The Muppets, premiered on ABC, but it was canceled after one season in light of underwhelming reviews. Disney is also producing a CGI update of the animated series Muppet Babies this March. Unlike that show, this upcoming series will star the original adult characters.

Disney has yet to announce a premiere date or even a premise for the new streaming show. Audiences can expect to see it sometime after the Netflix competitor launches in fall of 2019.

The Muppets will be accompanied by streaming versions of other classic Disney properties. Series based on Monsters Inc. (2001) and The Mighty Ducks (1992) as well as film reboots of The Parent Trap (1998) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) are all expected to appear exclusively on the streaming service.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
The Jim Henson Company
arrow
entertainment
The Dark Crystal Is Coming Back to Theaters
The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz dared to venture into somewhat gloomier territory with the release of The Dark Crystal. Though the film, which centers on two Gelflings (a sort of creepy elf-like creature) attempting to save their species and restore peace to the world, wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, it has developed a large cult following in the more than 35 years since its release—even among those kids it scared the hell out of back in the day. Now, as Netflix preps its prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, for release later this year, Nerdist reports that the original film will make its way back into theaters next month.

As part of Fathom Events’s ongoing effort to breathe big-screen life back into classic films with limited releases across the country, The Dark Crystal will be playing in more than 500 theaters nationwide on February 25 and February 28. In addition to the original film, the screenings will also feature a brand-new introduction courtesy of Lisa Henson, Jim’s daughter and current president/CEO of The Jim Henson Company, who will talk about the making of the film and how it fit within her father's creative legacy.

To find out whether The Dark Crystal will be coming back to a theater near you, log onto Fathom’s web page for the movie and type in your ZIP code; tickets are on sale now.

[h/t: Nerdist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios