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Mahna Mahna
November 23, 2011 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Mahna Mahna -- the signature Muppets tune you all know and love? It came from the soundtrack of an Italian soft porn film about Swedish lesbians.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (61 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ha!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:58 PM on November 23, 2011


As does all my favorite music, actually.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:00 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Previously.

(Once again Metafilter scoops Slate, this time by 9 years.)
posted by chavenet at 3:03 PM on November 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is there a statute of limitations on double posts?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:06 PM on November 23, 2011


A song call Mahna Mahna deserves a double. As does a song called Mais Non, Mais Non.
posted by chavenet at 3:10 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


A song call Mahna Mahna deserves a double. As does a song called Mais Non, Mais Non.

And, I daresay, Mony Mony.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:20 PM on November 23, 2011


The first time I heard the Muppets Mahna Mahna, it was being used as the soundtrack for porn. How apropos.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:22 PM on November 23, 2011


Yeah, but the original post points off to dead Geocities links. Maybe Slate wil last longer.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:25 PM on November 23, 2011


And here I thought they were saying "Menominee."
posted by Floydd at 3:25 PM on November 23, 2011


Abbottabad
posted by Anything at 3:29 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Phenomenon.

doo doo de doo do.
posted by eriko at 3:30 PM on November 23, 2011 [19 favorites]


ohgawd, please make it stop!
first Kermit's "uncanny valley voice", now this?
this was hands down my favorite part of Sesame Street
my innocence, robbed it has been by this :P
posted by liza at 3:42 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


1960s/70s European soft-porn is a treasure trove of fantastic music; those who like the Mahna Mahna song may care to look up the soundtrack of a German soft-porn series titled Die Schulmadchen Report ("The Schoolgirl Report"). The soundtrack was by lounge-jazz composer Gert Wilden, veered between acid-rock and lounge, with bits of oompah, in a fantastically psychedelic way, and was rereleased some years ago.
posted by acb at 3:45 PM on November 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Statler: That song of theirs is actually kind of catchy!
Waldorf: Not as catchy as gonorrhea!
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 3:46 PM on November 23, 2011 [32 favorites]


Unlike what the Slate article states, I'm fairly sure the character's name was Bip Bippadotta.

Also:
Henson, a bearded bohemian with no experience in children’s programming, was something of an odd choice

Really? A man who made his living making and performing puppets, an odd choice for children's programming? If anything I'd think it was typecasting.
posted by JHarris at 3:49 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, curses, I read further along and found out they renamed the character. Carry on.
posted by JHarris at 3:50 PM on November 23, 2011


Puh.
Orn.

Porn.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Double name tunes previously.*

*typically for YT, some links now dead
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:53 PM on November 23, 2011


Okay, okay, final report:

The Muppet Wiki page I lined above makes it clear that the Slate article has the character names reversed. The Muppet with the dark hair who appeared on Ed Sullivan is Mahna Mahna. The other one, the one most recognized I think as performing the song, is Bip, who also did other songs.
posted by JHarris at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2011


1960s/70s European soft-porn is a treasure trove of fantastic music; those who like the Mahna Mahna song may care to look up the soundtrack of a German soft-porn series titled Die Schulmadchen Report ("The Schoolgirl Report"). The soundtrack was by lounge-jazz composer Gert Wilden, veered between acid-rock and lounge, with bits of oompah, in a fantastically psychedelic way, and was rereleased some years ago.

Yep. Totally great. [NSFW]
posted by chavenet at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


You don't even want to know where "You and I and George" came from.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I first heard that on the radio when it was a fluke hit back what? Maybe 1970? Haven't listened the links yet, but it is stuck right the hell in my head. I have been walking around whistling it, humming it, singing it. I just picked up my guitar and tried to figured where the chord changes were. This is an evil fucking thing you have done Chocolate Pickle.
posted by timsteil at 4:08 PM on November 23, 2011


Phenomenon.

doo doo de doo do.


so I'm not the only one that does this!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:13 PM on November 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Vampyros Lesbos soundtrack is also pretty good.
posted by box at 4:14 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My mind is boggling at the idea that this kind of production actually spent its budget on composers and original scores.

Did they not have music libraries for this back then?
Were the music libraries just spectacularly useless?
posted by -harlequin- at 4:17 PM on November 23, 2011


I assume "The Song of the Count" was from a porn movie, too?
posted by prinado at 4:19 PM on November 23, 2011


Oh boy. Cannot unsee. This is my son's favorite song.
posted by zarq at 5:04 PM on November 23, 2011


so I'm not the only one that does this!

Indeed not, the joke dates back at least as far as a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, Gamera vs. Gaos I think.
posted by JHarris at 5:07 PM on November 23, 2011


Puh.
Orn.

Porn.


That's The Electric Company, heathen!

(It was actually better than Sesame Street, but still.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:07 PM on November 23, 2011


My mind is boggling at the idea that this kind of production actually spent its budget on composers and original scores.

Porn pre-video was a pretty serious art form (relatively) and was often used as a stepping stone for more "mainstream" work. European softcore? Doubly so.

My dad's set work in porn launched him into music videos and movie poster work (and got his porn flicks shown at midnight a la ROCKY HORROR). My mom's costume work in porn (yes, they had that) got her a TV studio wardrobe job on soap operas and sitcoms. They worked in TV and music videos throughout the '80s, but the most creative freedom they ever had was on porn. (In fact, Mitch Froom did the soundtrack for one of my dad's films.) It was like the minor leagues for the film industry -- at least until the one-two punch of Camcorders and AIDS.

I've sat through all of SWEDEN: HEAVEN AND HELL, however, just because of the soundtrack. It's about all the film has going for it.
posted by Gucky at 5:23 PM on November 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Just in general, though, Piero Umiliani did some great stuff back then. Very relevant to today's Stereolab Postal Service IDMy indie music landscape.
posted by rhizome at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2011


I must buy that soundtrack immediately for it is awesome!
posted by winna at 5:38 PM on November 23, 2011


Amazing cover version by K-Taro
Can't seem to find a YT link, sorry. Find this, though. It's seriously amazing.
posted by mintcake! at 5:47 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


@ -harlequin-, I think a lot of 70's porn music was from libraries. I was doing some research into the old Spiderman cartoon music and a LOT of the second season music showed up in Swedish Erotica. It's the KPM music library I think...
posted by Dhertiiboi at 5:59 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was doing some research into the old Spiderman cartoon music and a LOT of the second season music showed up in Swedish Erotica.

Well that explains away a lot of the shame and confusion I was feeling after watching Cartoon Network the other night. Thanks!
posted by PlusDistance at 6:17 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


BORK! BORK! BORK!

I'll see myself out . . .
posted by jason's_planet at 6:25 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a statute of limitations on double posts?

Usually about four or five years, carry on.
posted by jessamyn at 6:25 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


mahna mahna
posted by effugas at 6:31 PM on November 23, 2011


doot doooo doodoodoo
posted by Sys Rq at 6:37 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Phenomenon.
>
> doo doo de doo do.

Those of you fortunate enough not to have had your brains fried by academic study of centuries- or millennia-old literature may not be aware that there's a technical term for a word that only occurs once in a given text or body of texts.

It's very, very difficult to sit through my fellow PhD students' presentations with a straight face when someone mentions "hapax legomenon" and for the love of GOD I can barely restrain myself from singing "doot DOO doo doo doo" in the middle of the seminar room.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:55 PM on November 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Mons mons mons mons
posted by nathancaswell at 6:57 PM on November 23, 2011


mahna mahna
.
posted by effugas at 7:03 PM on November 23, 2011




That's The Electric Company, heathen!


also Sesame Street!
posted by little cow make small moo at 7:16 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


.... someone mentions "hapax legomenon" and for the love of GOD I can barely restrain myself ....

God dammit, Mr. Bad Example. I loved that term. It sounded so cool, and I loved the concept it represented. And now it's sullied, dirty, forever yoked to "doot DOO doo doo doo".
posted by benito.strauss at 7:30 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I believe this also came up in an episode of QI some time back, so slate is doubly scooped.


The Vampyros Lesbos soundtrack is also pretty good.
posted by box at 4:14 PM on November 23 [1 favorite +] [!]


Ah yes, naked, sun-bathing vampires.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:35 PM on November 23, 2011


Phenomenon.

doo doo de doo do.


I actually thought it was "Phenomena... " until a few years ago when I found it for my kid on YouTube.
posted by looli at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The other one, the one most recognized I think as performing the song, is Bip, who also did other songs.

Including this one, my favorite.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like this version.
posted by mike3k at 9:37 PM on November 23, 2011


Phenomenon
posted by mike3k at 9:40 PM on November 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Mahna mahna is my ring tone. Cheers me and all bystanders right up!
posted by Harald74 at 11:08 PM on November 23, 2011


That song gets around. We sang it on a Hash run in Kuwait just before Ramadan that involved stopping at various places along the route to drink alcohol (which is illegal there) and sing it as "haramadan." (Haram = forbidden in Arabic.)
posted by ambient2 at 11:56 PM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Between The Office and Jam, I have been cured of the cringe inducing ennui that over exposure to Mahna Mahna has caused me in the past and can now enjoy it once again.
posted by asok at 2:27 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved that term. [...] And now it's sullied, dirty, forever yoked to "doot DOO doo doo doo".

MY WORK HERE IS DONE.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:31 AM on November 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's very, very difficult to sit through my fellow PhD students' presentations with a straight face when someone mentions "hapax legomenon" and for the love of GOD I can barely restrain myself from singing "doot DOO doo doo doo" in the middle of the seminar room.

Of course the seminar, like the porn, would benefit greatly from muppets popping out to sing the response.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:58 AM on November 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: Benny Hill (Video; starts at about 2:10)
posted by kurumi at 10:50 AM on November 24, 2011


Thanks Metafilter, but my childhood memories of the song have already been destroyed by this version.
posted by adso at 4:15 PM on November 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another song with Bip (posted by user BipBippadotta no less): Some and None
posted by JHarris at 5:13 PM on November 24, 2011


And in The Office!
posted by Sutekh at 2:02 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks Metafilter, but my childhood memories of the song have already been destroyed by this version.

Wait, why is this tagged Takeshi Kitano? Did he direct it?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:49 PM on November 25, 2011


So when do we get to talk about how much fun The Muppets was?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:12 PM on November 25, 2011


And now it's sullied, dirty, forever yoked to "doot DOO doo doo doo".

Hey now. Some of us are pure, clean and liberated!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 5:42 PM on November 27, 2011


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