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Question about Mahna Mahna/Bip Bippadotta

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Ellygator, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Ellygator

    Ellygator Member

    Is anyone else thrown off by Bip Bibadotta's name change to Mahna Mahna? I noticed this recently in the funkopop thread. I don't get why his name was officially changed to the name of that song. Yes that is his most famous skit, but he's also been in a bunch of others. And he was one of the first original muppets when jim henson first started puppetry on tv, before the muppet show or sesame street were even a concept. Does anyone know when or why it happened?

  2. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    His name didn't actually get changed...they are two different characters. Mahna Mahna is the Muppet version, Bip Bipadotta is the Sesame Street version. The puppets have some differences. Another thing is that Bip Bipadotta talks, whereas Mahna Mahna doesn't seem to.
  3. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    The Sesame Street version originally doesn't have a name. The writers named him Bip Bipadotta to avoid confusion from Mahna Mahna.
  4. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    That's true, the Mahna Mahna guy must be a reference to the song, "Mahna, Mahna" and the Bip Bipadotta was from Sesame Street. The Mahna Mahna character is around tioday, but he is performed by Bill Baretta, but the Bip Bipdotta, not so much longer on Sesame Street anymore right after Jim's passing.
    catherine likes this.
  5. catherine

    catherine Well-Known Member

    I guess they have to have different names, otherwise we'de get mixed up.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Mahna Mahna talked in "The String Quartet" sketch on The Ed Sullivan Show. I wish he would have been given more non-Mahna Mahna dialogue over the years.

    They named the Sesame Street version to avoid confusion between the two, but I think they did a poor job of it. I don't think either character was ever referred to by name on-screen (would the average fan instantly know that Mahna Mahna's name is that because that's the song he sings?). The only time Bip Bipadotta's name had been shown was in the album credits for Everybody's Record. And from what I've heard, Everybody's Song appeared in the record first and then appeared on the show later (so if somebody hadn't seen the number they might think it's a generic Jim Henson voice) and the album packaging doesn't include any photos of the character. And many sources seem to call the Sesame Street version "Ma nah ma nah" (credits for albums that have the Mahna Mahna song, sesamestreet.org).
  7. catherine

    catherine Well-Known Member

    of course it is
  8. Ellygator

    Ellygator Member

    But my understanding is he is the same character, just an evolution of the puppet like every other character, even Kermit. The sesame street character has a bunch of other songs (opposites, fat cat sat hat, some and none, etc) and the muppet show version just has different eyes but is essentially the same guy. I don't see the point.
  9. brkndwnbus

    brkndwnbus Well-Known Member

    Here's some articles that might help:


  10. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I started typing up a long detailed reply but my system is being PAINFULLY slow tonight and keeps freezing up so rather than spend what at this rate would probably be hours to finish it, i'll post it when the system's not being such a headache...large "Muppet History" post putting everything in context will be coming soon.
  11. Bliffenstimmers

    Bliffenstimmers Well-Known Member

    I always figured Bip was just a nickname. People can say they're different just because their design and name is different, but to me there's no real difference.
  12. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

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