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May 6th, 2004

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04:58 am - Your trivia for the day
The catchy-as-all-hell "Mahna Mahna", best-known as the song sung by "Mahna Mahna and the Snowths" on the Muppet Show, was written by Italian film composer Piero Umiliani for the 1968 Swedish softcore porno documentary "Sweden: Heaven or Hell." Umiliani called his song "Mah Na Mah Na" and even named a boat after it. Jim Henson chose to use the song in the Muppet Show because he liked it so much; the Henson company nowadays recognizes the song's origins but it's unclear as to exactly how Henson found the song in the first place (gee, ya don't suppose for one moment, do you...)

Link provided goes to a Google cache since the site is a Geocities site and I refreshed it twice while reading which means that one more view will knock it out of sight for at least three and a half days

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 02:51 am (UTC)
I own not only the Muppet Show version but also the Sesame Street version of "Mahna Mahna" on CD so now I guess I need to track down "Sweden Heaven or Hell" to complete the set.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
Cake also did a cover.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 11:49 am (UTC)
It's also on Hot Butter's, er, self-titled album. Which is the best cheesy synth shit you'll ever hear. I'm talking perfect game show music there. The "Mah Na Mah Na" track kicks my ass. Every time I hear it I launch into an announcer voice and say stuff like HE'S A CARPENTER FROM SAN BERNARDINO, SHE'S A HOUSEWIFE FROM VAN NUYS, SAY HELLO TO JERRY MASTERSON AND SANDRA HU!

Then the cat looks at me funny and I cough self-consciously and go outside to play.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 03:59 am (UTC)
Well, there goes another sliver of my childhood innocence.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC)
I always thought they were saying "phenomenon". Oh well...
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
Sometimes they are. There was a skit where they did, for sure.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 11:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, there was a running joke on the episode of "Muppets Tonight" with Sandra Bullock. She played a scientist in a skit, and they sang it every time she said "phenomenon."

I kinda liked "Muppets Tonight."
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2004 11:25 am (UTC)
In SoCal fandom, the song has become one of the standard topic changeers, for when the conversation has dead-ended or gone too There, or whatever. Someone just starts it, and generally, everyone joins in. It's what you do when you've nothing else to say, basically.

As far as I know, this was started by Tadao Tomomatsu, aka Mr. Shake-Hands Man from Banzai TV. (US version)

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