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PERFORMER Jim Henson 1975-1990
  Bill Barretta 2005-present
  CASTING HISTORY...
DEBUT 1975
DESIGN Jim Henson,
B.K. Taylor,
Michael K. Frith designers
  Don Sahlin builder

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Cameo in "Muppets Not Included."

Jim Henson performing Dr. Teeth in the 1990 special The Muppets at Walt Disney World.

Original Dr. Teeth sketches by Michael Frith.

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Dr. Teeth at the Smithsonian.

Dr. Teeth with Vicki on The Jim Henson Hour.

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Dr. Teeth is the leader of the Electric Mayhem, the house band on The Muppet Show. Originally performed by Jim Henson, Dr. Teeth is the group's lead singer and keyboardist. He made his first appearance in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence in 1975.

Dr. Teeth is green-skinned and red-haired with, as his name suggests, a large grinning mouth of teeth, including one gold tooth on his upper jaw (which either he got from a voodoo princess named Tianna in Tupelo, MS[1] or is made from his gold records, melted, putting his money where his mouth is).[2] He wears a scruffy beard, a fur vest, a striped shirt, and a floppy purple top hat, though during the 1980s he switched to wearing a black leather vest. He has very long arms so additional puppeteers are required to guide them; this design enabled Henson to work the Teeth puppet while another performer acted as Teeth's "hands" in order to play the keyboard.

For a time after Jim Henson's death in 1990, Dr. Teeth seldom appeared or was used in silent cameos, with speaking appearances initially rare. John Kennedy, who was a Dr. Teeth costume performer for the Disney World live show Here Come the Muppets,[3] provided the character's voice for the next Disney stage show, Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses. Kennedy would continue to perform Dr. Teeth until 2005, when the role was assumed by Bill Barretta.

The good doctor has appeared in all of the Muppet movies, from his prominent roles in The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan, to his much smaller, often non-speaking roles in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. He has since had more prominent speaking parts in the OK Go music video for "The Muppet Show Theme", The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted (with more scenes in the extended cut).

Notes

Casting History

Primary Performers

Other Performers

Filmography

Book appearances

Video game appearances

Merchandise

Sources

  1. The Muppets episode "Going, Going, Gonzo"
  2. "3/18/1975 – ‘In LA Carson Show – Dr. Teeth – talk with Dave Lazer’", Jim Henson's Red Book, 18 March 2013. The line was written by Norman Stiles for The Mike Douglas Show.
  3. "EP#13: John Kennedy/"Double-Stick Tape"/Not Puppets (Bill Barretta)", Below The Frame with Matt Vogel, October 21, 2020.
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