Mahna Mahna is a purple Muppet with wild, orange hair and a furry, green tunic who is most famous for performing the nonsense song "Mahna Mahna" with the Snowths. His vocabulary is essentially limited to saying his own name and scatting.
Mahna Mahna made his debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969 where he sang "Mahna Mahna" for the first time. In a later appearance on the variety show he played a drummer filling in for a violinist in a a string quartet performing Beethoven's "Minuet in G Major". The scripts for that appearance refer to him as "Harry".
After reprising "Mahna Mahna" on several other variety shows, Mahna Mahna was featured in the 1st episode of The Muppet Show, performing his signature song as opening number, dancing with Wanda in At the Dance, and popping up between Statler & Waldorf in their box. Also, in the pilot version of the episode, he made an additional appearance, surprising guest star Juliet Prowse after her conversation with Kermit backstage. Although he was also featured prominently in episode 102, appearing again in At the Dance and "Sax and Violence", most of Mahna Mahna's future appearances on the show would be in the background or in the audience of the Muppet Theater.
Mahna Mahna was puppeteered by Bill Barretta to a vocal track by Jim Henson at The Muppet Show Live at MuppetFest; at one point, the character left the theater to go to a fast food restaurant. Barretta reprised the role, providing both puppetry and voice for Mahna Mahna in his first original speaking role since Henson's death, in the 2005 "Bandanana" commercial for the Australian charity CanTeen. In this most recent appearance, the puppet has brighter colors and softer features than previous incarnations. Recently, Mahna Mahna, alongside the Snowths, made cameo appearances in the virmup video of Bohemian Rhapsody.
"Mahna Mahna" was also performed on the 1st season of Sesame Street by an Anything Muppet, originally identified on albums as "Mahna-Mahna." He would later come to be called Bip Bippadotta. Although the character would evolve to look more like Mahna Mahna over the years, the characters have generally been considered completely separate entities.
- Jim Henson: The Ed Sullivan Show (1969) - The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986)
- Bill Barretta: Muppets Tonight (1997) - present
- The Ed Sullivan Show ("Mahna Mahna", "Minuet in G Major")
- The Dick Cavett Show
- This Is Tom Jones
- Pure Goldie
- The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence
- The Muppet Show
- "The Muppet Show Theme" (Seasons 2 - 5)
- episode 101 ("Mahna Mahna," At the Dance with Wanda)
- episode 102 (At the Dance with Miss Mousey, "Sax and Violence")
- episode 114 (Audience)
- episode 115 (Audience)
- episode 119 (Audience)
- episode 122 (Audience)
- episode 208
- episode 213 (Backstage)
- episode 308
- episode 312
- episode 317 ("America", "It's a Small World")
- The Muppet Movie ("The Rainbow Connection" Finale)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (Wedding Finale)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- Muppets Tonight
- episode 201
- The Muppet Show Live
- CanTeen "Bandanana" commercial
- The Muppet Show Theme Music Video
- The Muppets
- Orange commercial
- Good Morning America