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The now famous, Mahna Mahna was created specifically for this appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. He was designed as a symbol of free expression, a concept that was quite popular in the 1960's. The original song "Ma-Na-Ma-Na" was written by Italian artist Peter Umilioni.
Two cow-like creatures, the Snowths (a blend of the words 'snout' and 'mouth'), sing "Doo Doo Dee Doo-Doo". As the song continues, Mahna Mahna upstages the Snowths by excitedly repeating his name. A couple things to look for in this original rendition, Mahna Mahna winks quite a bit throughout this piece which adds to the humor. He also looks directly into the nose of each of the Snowths as he sings Mahna Mahna.
Mahna Mahna would also air on Sesame Street in 1969 and the first episode of the Muppet Show starring Juliet Prowse. A parody of Mahna Mahna was on the 1996 Sandra Bullock episode of Muppets Tonight. Mahna Mahna was also performed live in December 2001 at the Muppet Show Live during MuppetFest.