1 The Muppet Mindset: Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Dr. Teeth

Feb 9, 2011

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Dr. Teeth

Today's Weekly Muppet Wednesday spotlight is written by Michael Wermuth, Jr. and Ryan Dosier.

DR. TEETH
 
Performed by...
Jim Henson (1975-1990)
Bill Barretta (2005-present)
John Kennedy (1999, 2003)

First appearance...
The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence (1975)

Most recent appearance...

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role...
Keyboard player and leader of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

Memorable quote...
"Golden teeth and golden tones, welcome to my presence."

WHO IS DR. TEETH?
Dr. Teeth is the leader of the in-house rock and roll band for The Muppet Show, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. He has a golden tooth and usually dresses in clothes with many flamboyant colors. Dr. Teeth’s main instrument is the electric keyboard, though he has also played the piano.

Being the member of the Electric Mayhem performed by Jim Henson, Dr. Teeth was rarely seen in backstage sketches on The Muppet Show. Because of this, Dr. Teeth was used in other ways including numerous solo performances in UK spots on the show, including ever-popular classics such as "Money" and "Cheesecake."

Dr. Teeth has also appeared in every Muppet movie and most of the Muppet specials. In The Muppet Movie he led The Electric Mayhem and aided Kermit and Fozzie by painting their Studebaker so Doc Hopper wouldn't recognize them on their cross country journey. He was a resident of the Happiness Hotel in The Great Muppet Caper, joined Kermit in his Broadway dreams in The Muppets Take Manhattan, and played at Fozziwig's party and on the Hispaniola in The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, respectively.

Since the death of Jim Henson in 1990, Dr. Teeth was mostly silent. He was performed in various small appearances by John Kennedy, including a vocal role in Muppet Party Cruise and Muppets From Space. However, in 2005, Bill Barretta officially took over the role with The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Dr. Teeth's biggest role in recent years was recording two new songs on The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas album, performing "Run, Run Rudolph" on Christmas at Rockefeller Center in 2009, and rocking out in "Bohemain Rhapsody."

DR. TEETH SONGS
  • Love Ya to Death
  • Money
  • Tenderly
  • Lazy Bones
  • Cheesecake
  • That Old Black Magic
  • Mack the Knife
  • Poison Ivy
  • You Can’t Take No for an Answer
  • Zat You, Santa Claus?
  • Run, Run, Rudolph
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED DR. TEETH?
Dr. Teeth is needed to lead The Electric Mayhem. They would presumably be lost without his wisdom and guidance--and sense of direction. Besides, without Dr. Teeth they couldn't be "Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem." The band needs a member who can play keyboard instruments, and Dr. Teeth sure does know how to play. And besides, Dr. Teeth is one of the grooviest Muppets ever with his golden tooth and flashy attire (or his flashy tooth and golden attire).

The good doctor adds a much-needed vocal greatness to the Muppets and their musical repertoire. His gravelly, throaty tone is one that many Muppet fans--and music fans--can appreciate. Dr. Teeth's vast library of songs and performances is wonderful and taking a day to just listen to Electric Mayhem music will leave you feeling, as Dr. Teeth would say, absotively possilutely righteous!

In short, Dr. Teeth adds a much-needed groove boost to the Muppets and Muppet projects. As the leader of The Electric Mayhem he really is the embodiment of all things hip, groovy, and outta sight, man.







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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