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PERFORMER Jim Henson 1969-1977
  Bill Barretta 2005-present
DEBUT 1969
DESIGN Jim Henson designer
  Don Sahlin builder

Mahna Mahna sketch, from late 1960s.


Mahna Mahna drives through Hollywood in a video insert for The Muppet Show Live.


Promotional photo for the Jim Henson's Fantastic World touring exhibit.


Mahna Mahna in 2009.


Mahna Mahna, popping up in the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video.

Mahna Mahna is a purple Muppet with wild, orange hair and a furry, green tunic who is most famous for performing the nonsense song "Mah Na Mah Na" 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 "Mah Na Mah Na" for the first time. In a later appearance on the variety show, he played a drummer filling in for a violinist in a string quartet performing Beethoven's "Minuet in G Major." The scripts for that appearance refer to him as "Harry".[1]

After reprising "Mah Na Mah Na" on several other variety shows, Mahna Mahna was featured in the very first episode of The Muppet Show, performing his signature song as opening number, dancing with Wanda in At the Dance, and popping up between Statler and 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 Theatre. (In episode 122, he is the last spectator leaving the room when the entire audience goes away during Fozzie's comedy act.) However, he joined the chorus of Muppet Show main characters in the final number of Rudolf Nureyev in episode 213. He was also a ukulele player in "It's a Small World" in episode 317.

After a long absence, Mahna Mahna appeared at The Muppet Show Live at MuppetFest. Here, he was puppeteered by Bill Barretta lip-syncing to Jim Henson's vocals; at one point, the character left the theater to go to a fast food restaurant. Barretta assumed 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 appearance, the puppet had brighter colors and softer features than previous incarnations. Mahna Mahna, alongside the Snowths, made cameos in the Muppet viral video for "Bohemian Rhapsody," and have reprised "Mah Na Mah Na" in their appearances on Good Morning America, The Muppets, and the concert Jim Henson's Musical World.

Palisades Toys released a mini figure of Mahna Mahna, and also had plans for an action figure. In 2012, Funko released a vinyl figure of Mahna Mahna. In summer of 2017, Diamond Select Toys included Mahna Mahna in an action figure set with Rowlf the Dog and Crazy Harry.

Bip Bippadotta[]

"Mah Na Mah Na" was also performed on the first season of Sesame Street by an Anything Muppet, identified on most album releases by the same name as the song (retaining the original spelling). The character is credited as "Bip Bippadotta" on the album Every Body's Record. Although the character would evolve to look more like Mahna Mahna over the years, the characters have generally been considered completely separate entities. Where Mahna Mahna tends to solely communicate in grunts and scatting, for example, Bip Bippadotta has a number of songs where the character speaks standard English.




Mahna Mahna as referenced on the 2018 Muppet Babies series

Book appearances[]

See also[]