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Mah Nà Mah Nà evolution

Jason Kottke's recent query about the best order in which to indoctrinate one's child into the cult of Star Wars (by order of release, of course, though the best answer is, "Show him Episodes 4 and 5 together and let him know that 'They find Han - he was ok.' Leave it at that. Let him experience the later disappointments as we did - all grown up.") brought to mind my recent attempts to use the Web to entertain my baby. Until this past weekend, the most successful trick had been using Flickr photo slide shows.  So by now I believe we've seen a good portion of the 47,146 images in the Fire Truck slide show.

But then I remembered a video clip I had downloaded to my machine long ago, inspired by some bit of childhood nostalgia and now Mah Nà Mah Nà (or, in my house, "Meeya meeya! Doo doo! Meeya meeya! Doo doo!) reigns supreme. So much so that my boy has learned for the first time how to click the mouse button to get the song to play again (and again and again).

The version I'd always known was this:


But apparently the Muppet version has roots in German Sesame Street from 1969.

It's funny how even with puppets the lips don't match when it's dubbed.

There's also a prime time version from 1969 that's a little closer to the one I know and love.

A behind-the-scenes clip I found shows how the video was made with three different video layers. More work than I would have guessed.

Though I didn't know it until I'd done some research, Sandra Bullock's impersonation of the wild orange haired guy was only one of man celebrity version of the song.

That wild orange haired guy is Bip Bipadotta. His other hits include:

If anyone has links to better versions let me know, I'll switch 'em out.

Of course, once I started digging it was just a matter of time before I pulled up the Wikipedia page.  The song was first done by Piero Umiliani. I believe this is his 1968 original. But it also appeared on the soundtrack of a softcore porn movie called Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (Sweden, Heaven and Hell) also in 1968. There's an audio only version of that here that's very good - arguably better than the original.

I also learned that there's a Muppet wiki which has a page devoted to the song.

Lastly, among the more popular cover versions of the song is a relatively recent version by Cake. IFilm has the clip from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or else I was also able to find the MP3 hosted on this blog.