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The Complete History of Mahna Mahna and his alter ego Bip Bipadotta

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by scarecroe, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    So did the Genie of the Toothpaste actually appear on an episode of Sesame Street? And please, if you can, answer my questions from my previous post. And many happy felicitations on this, my belated birthday wishes to you! For yours is only one day before my own mom's birthday. So live it up cause it only comes once a year, but un-birthdays on the other hand are a Jamboree every day!
  2. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    The Genie of the Toothpaste Tube looks like the original brown haired guy who sang Mahna Mahna. The Mahna Mahna that I claim to be the real one is fuscia toned fleece and orange hair (favoring more like the Juliet Prowse TMS ep). The ones that look like that on SS I would claim to be Mahna Mahna in some form or fashion.

    I just wonder what the deal is with the continuity of the character, why he changed so much?

  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    As for the Birthday thing, are you talking to me, or to someone else, since It is my Unbirthday too (mine was the 27th!)

    The Genie DID appear on the show, as it says in the Sesame Unpaved book.

    Cookie was brushing his teeth behind the brick wall (why, I dunno), and a Genie appears as he squeezes it. The Genie (looks the same) gives Cookie 3 wishes. Cookie wants Cookies, but he wants to drive them home in a big truck. Making things short, Cookie uses all his wishes, because the Geine louses up the size of the truck, giving him 2 toys and an actual pick up truck... since he has no cookies, he eats the truck...

    The Genie reappered in the Aladdin skit (seen on tough pigs) and also last season as David Allen Grier plaied Aladin, and the Genie whent for a holiday.
  4. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Yep, Scott, that's the guy I'm talking about. Didn't know that was an actual sketch on the show, though. Thanks, guys!

    Every other version of this character seems to make sense, except for that one creepy guy from Sesame Street. He's just way out of left field.

    In other words, three (or more) of these Mahna Mahnas belong together, one of these Mahna Mahnas is not the same.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Drtooth, yes, I was indeed refering to your birthday on April 27, of this year in my previous post when I was effusively wishing you a Happy Birthday! So, the Genie of the Toothpaste did appear in a Sesame Street segment similar to the story in the 1-2-3 Storybook. Thanks, though I still haven't seen the episode with DAG.
    Now then, please answer these few questions.
    1 Did the Oinker Sisters who appeared as backup singers for Bip Bippadotta in the song "Everybody's Song" look different from the Oinker Sisters who sang "I've Got a New Way to Walk"?
    2 If so, please provide textual descriptions of both sets of Oinker Sisters so as to establish how both sets were or are different from each other.
    Thanks for your helpa nd have a good day.
  6. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Thanks, man!!! I didn't really have much of a party.. my parents took me to dinner... that was about it.

    anyway, the Oinker Sisters appearing in Everybody's song is a little fuzzy... they appeared as Pig muppets (like real pigs, not pink AM's like the three little pigs) and they are even on all fours, as they do now. What I want to say is that they had black bouffoant hairstyles (like a beehive style.. piled up) and in New way to walk, they appeared in 80's style clothing, spikey hair, sort of like that. I can't provide a vivid description (sorry) because I am quite Hazy on this. I do know on Elmo's World and "Sing" with Nathan Lane they appeared with black beehive hairdos and in green dresses... pardon my hazy memory!
  8. MuppetDude

    MuppetDude Active Member

    Yep. I assume that the Androoze Sisters are different than the Oinker Sisters. The Androoze Sisters that sing "Everybody's Song" are the same basic pig puppets used on the SS (flesh-tone with four hooves) and differ from the Oinker Sisters in that they have no clothing but have curly perms and silver bows in their hair. They both do sound like they have the same voices.

    1. One appears to be the biggest and has curly black hair.
    2. Another one is thinner and slightly bulgier eyes (with eyelids) and has blond curly hair.
    3. The third has dark brown curly hair.

    The Oinker Sisters are dressed like punk rockers, the lead singer with pink hair (and a mole!), another with orange, and the third with yellow. They refined them over time to fit in with other songs (as in the "Boogie Woogie Piggies" song, where they dressed as "farmgirls"). Nowadays, though, they wear green dresses and black "foam" hair (foam carved in the shape of hair), one with a beehive 'do. I don't know how to describe the others.

    I hope that this helps you with your list. :) Have a great day.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Drtooth and MuppetDude, thanks for your valued assistance. So Drtooth, and any other forum member who'd care to comment on this, in your professional opinions does MuppetDude's descriptions of both sets of characters hold true? If so, does this merit sufficient cause to keep the Oinker Sisters and the Ambrooze Sisters listed as two separate and distinct entires in my master Muppet Listings? And if so, then is the name correct spelled or writen on the record label as "Ambrooze" or "Androoze" Sisters? Please answer these questions ASAP because inquiring minds want to know! Thanks for your help with this matter and have a good dday.
  10. mikealan

    mikealan New Member


    I have the famous original Sesame Street Mahna Mahna version from 1969 on tape. It's on the episode where the SS cast gets ready for the rainstorm. I know that the pirate-like Mahna Mahna's name is really Mahna Mahna. He changes into the early Bip Boppidata with eyes that sings "Fat Cat" and now changes into the one with sunglasses.
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Recently, I emailed the Jim Henson Company regarding our Mondo Mahna Confusion:

    Just a note that I REALLY wish that Palisades could make an action figure of Mahna Mahna and the 2 Snowths!!

    Otherwise, this email is about the missed continuity of the character Mahna Mahna, who also was known as Bip Bipadotta on Sesame Street sometimes.

    Why all the changes?

    To see what I mean, Scott, Scarecroe, at MuppetCentral.com has compiled the following photos in the MC forums. Can you check that out to see what I mean?

    Is it just that Mahna Mahna is an anything Muppet who is thrown together when needed, or what?

    Kevin L Williams
    Fozzie Bear from Muppetcentral.com"

    Our confusion on the difference in Mahna Mahna and his variations have been responded to based on an email I sent to JHC. Karen Falk has delivered the following email response to me/us in detail, and it will also bring to light tons of other questions about why more Muppet Show characters didn't appear on Sesame Street:
    "Dear Kevin,

    Thanks for asking about a real Muppet favorite, Mahna Mahna. Jim originally designed the character with the empty eyes and used him with the song "Mahna Mahna" on the Ed Sullivan Show in November of 1969. (See the book JIM HENSON'S DESIGNS & DOODLES, page 78.) He performed the song on Sesame
    Street around the same time with the same voice - but as you saw on Scarecroe's post, with a different puppet.

    There has always been a real effort to differentiate between the Sesame Street characters (educational, not-for-profit) and the rest of the Muppet characters (used for commercial projects) - except for Kermit. Jim used the empty-eyed Mahna Mahna on Sullivan, The Muppet Show, etc. and used other versions of the character for Sesame Street (that would be why the Sesame
    version also had a different name. Jim felt that he did not want his Sesame puppets used for commercial purposes as that would be irresponsible to the kids who watched the show - also, it was important to keep the copyrights separate). The puppets get rebuilt from time to time, with improved mechanisms, etc., so the look changed a bit over the years.

    Our art dept. has been looking at Mahna Mahna and Snowth materials recently with an eye toward action figures, so you may see them yet!

    Hope that helps!

    Karen Falk
    The Jim Henson Company"

    The differences were because The Muppets are a commercial property while Sesame Street is educational and not for profit.

    That answers a LOT of the reason why Fozzie or Miss Piggy never showed up on SS, huh?
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, I do not have the album. But I guess Androoze Sisters, as in a parody of the Andrews sisters, whom the characters originally were to be...I guess...
  13. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    Hey Kevin, thanks for posting Karen's email. That helps out!
  14. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    I forget how hands-on the folks at JHC are, and how personal they are, and was suprised to get a real email that was that descriptive.

    Of course, your offering of all the different visuals and research that you have done helped tons, too, I'm sure.

    The folks at Disney never offered personal responses in my whole life, nothing that wasn't a form letter with my name and address stuck to it.

    God Bless them Henson folk.

  15. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    I've written to the Henson company several times (I think I became the company pest for a litte while :D ) and they always replied back with a real answer. It may have been short, but they always answered back personally.
  16. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    That's awesome! Thanks for writing, Kevin. I wouldn't have had the guts myself -- I would figure the Henson folk would just roll their eyes at us. But that was a really impressive response! Henson people rock! :D

    OK, so they used a different puppet because of the copyright issues. (Guess Rowlf was a one-time exception.) And Bip Boppita is just a similarly designed/voiced Muppet, not the same Muppet with mysterious appearing/disappearing eyes. Cool. I think I got it now.

    Ironically, there was once a magazine cover for Parents' Magazine and Better Homemaking (p. 145 in The Works) that featured a child with Kermit, Ernie, Bert...and Mahna Mahna.

    Oog, my head hurts. ;)
  17. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    There's probably a few circumstances where the characters can slip through the loop-holes and get from one area of JHC into another by some other means.

    My next question is, then, that if he wanted to keep Mahna seperate from SS, then why not just do a completely DIFFERENT character with the same voice?

    Hello?! Wembly and Rizzo anyone? Bip didn't have to look like Mahna.

    Weird, ain't it?
  18. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    You'll notice that the Sesame/Muppet crossovers happened much more frequently while Jim was alive (for obvious reasons). Since his death though, rarely have Sesame and Muppet characters mixed outside of Kermit.

    Would either of you guys (Scott or Kevin) like to compile this info for a Rarely Seen Muppets article on Mahna Mahna? I think it would be a great addition on the site. Fill it with lots of details and we can add comparison photos and the like with quotes from Karen's e-mail response. Please let me know if one of you is interested.
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I'm game to co-conspire if he is!! After all, the only thing I've got to offer up is very limited writing skills and an email from Karen, he's got the pictures and dated resources (I guess) for the shows from which the shots all came.

  20. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    Well, I was actually going to do such a feature for BSL. If we can somehow pool our forces and mirror it at MC and BSL, I'd be all for it!

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