Pee-wee Herman and Jambi say "Mecka-lecka Hi Mecka-hiney Ho" in "Jambese" (first video, found in Mecka-lecka Hi Mecka-hiney Ho; Scene from The Pee-wee Herman Show (1981), and President Reagan says something similar but supposedly in Arabic in the Season 12, 1986 Saturday Night Live skit President Reagan, Mastermind (second video).

Are these normal, every day expressions in arabic, or made-up words, and especially if the latter, who has borrowed from whom?

  • There's no pee-wee-herman nor pee-wee-herman-show tag – uhoh Jun 7 '19 at 4:34
  • @unoh you can create tags after you get 300 rep(AFAIR), and this is about SNL not pee wee herman isn't it? – Vishwa Jun 7 '19 at 4:41
  • @Vishwa I clearly don't have 300 reputation, thus my comment will serve to suggest that others consider it. The only thing I know is that there are similar-sounding words in these two clips. I don't know the language, origin, or anything else, so my question as asked presents both sources on an equal footing. If you know something further, please consider posting an answer! – uhoh Jun 7 '19 at 4:46
  • 1
    You'll get there and farther more I hope :) I'll add pee-wee-herman tag for you then. sadly I can't give a proper answer for your this question, but I'm sure someone will. – Vishwa Jun 7 '19 at 4:48

Phil Hartman played Reagan in the sketch. He also appeared on, and wrote for Pee Wee's Playhouse which is the origin of the "Mecka-lecka-hi mecka-heinie-ho" phrase. It's likely that this was Phil just making a call-back or homage to his past work.


"Mecka-lecka-hi mecka-heinie-ho" was just a gibberish line Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) made up. President Reagan was known to be a bit of a Pop Culture fan, and of course a former actor. He was also made fun of quite a bit by the SNL cast. In this skit, the actor (is that Phil Hartman??) is making fun of Reagan's lack of knowledge of International languages, but also referencing Pee Wee's Jambese character.

  • While I was hoping for a more profound connection, I had a hunch it could be this simple. Thanks! – uhoh Jun 26 '19 at 22:37

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