Mahna Mahna Revisited   music.png
October 26, 2006

Felt like early morning, but maybe it was after nap-time ... creeping out of my room, hair fuzzy and full of static electricity, carefully pulling the knob to turn the crappy (even for the time) old tv on. Sesame Street.

I am cracking up at this silly little Muppet monster who is getting so incredibly carried away with the song.

Years later, the skit is re-done for The Muppet Show and every time I bring it up, people insist that it first premiered on The Muppet Show.

Thanks the to magic of Teh Internets (tm), the argument has been resolved.

The original ... 1969 version ... long before the advent of The Muppet Show ... Sesame Street's Mahna Mahna:

I think I loved this because little mr. Mahna Mahna was doing his own thing despite the looks the little pigtails and cute dresses girls were shooting him. Such was my life in kindergarten as well. Whether it was the fact that I simply had a very strong personality and sense of self or if it was that ADHD ability (curse?) to do my own thing because I'm amusing myself ... this skit cracked me up every time. When he wanders out of frame and back, he's subverting everything a performance is supposed to be ... but he's having FUN.

But what I really loved the most was the fact that he was helping the girls out ... they needed one more person to sing the song ... they couldn't do it by themselves. And he was happy to help out ... but on his own terms. They may not have liked his silly riffs. They were terribly unhappy about his popping up from below and his wandering far far off behind them ... but he certainly helped them "make" the song. On his terms. That was a great lesson for me as an already very independent child. You can help others and do what you're supposed to do ... without losing your own style and sense of self.

Not all of my teachers were glad I'd learned that lesson and I know my mom really hated that I'd learned that lesson. But if there's one thing I have always tried to pass on to the students I used to teach and the kids (and adults!) that I meet today ... is that you can "subvert" the requirements of whatever system you're working within and develop your own style. And that style is every bit as important as the "official" way of doing things.

For good measure ... here's the later, more polished skit from The Muppet Show. It's good and it's certainly the one that people seem to remember the most ... but I think for me, the original on this will always speak the loudest despite the fact that it's really just an "early draft" of a skit. There's a raw and uncomplicated power to the message for me. Then again, maybe what that skit first meant to me is simply colouring it. comments/what.gif

Posted by Red Monkey at October 26, 2006 11:27 PM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Red said:

oh thank you ender, I needed to trigger some good memories and this does the trick! I love the muppets, now and then all good for a giggle and a lesson.

October 27, 2006 9:43 AM


Jeffrey said:

That was great, and I remember the old version too. I remember watching sesame street everyday when I was a kid hoping and waiting for that song to come on. How fun.

November 5, 2006 11:02 AM
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