Mah Na Mah Na, Bass Trombone with Brass Band. Piero Umiliani arr. Peter Ratnik.
"Mah Nà Mah Nà" is a popular song by Italian composer Piero Umiliani. It originally appeared in the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Svezia, inferno e paradiso). It was a minor radio hit in the U.S. and in Britain, but became better known internationally for its use by The Muppets and on The Benny Hill Show.
"Mah Nà Mah Nà" first gained popularity in English-speaking countries from its use in the recurring cold open blackout sketch for the 1969–1970 season of The Red Skelton Show first airing in October 1969.
Sesame Street producer Joan Ganz Cooney heard the track on the radio and decided it would be a perfect addition to the show. It was first performed by Jim Henson (Kermit the Frog, et al.), Frank Oz (Miss Piggy, et al.) and Loretta Long (Susan) on the fourteenth episode of the show, broadcast on November 27, 1969. The following Sunday, Henson and his Muppets performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show. Seven years later the song was part of the premiere episode of The Muppet Show in 1976.
Starting in 1971, The Benny Hill Show – in its second incarnation now at Thames Television where it launched in 1969 in colour – implemented "Mah Nà Mah Nà" as part of a comic background music medley that would run during their often filmed slapstick sketches. The medley became a Benny Hill Show tradition for the rest of its run.
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