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Dr Teeth pink
PERFORMER Jim Henson 1975-1990
  Bill Barretta 2005-present
DEBUT 1975
DESIGN Jim Henson,
B.K. Taylor,
Michael K. Frith designers
  Don Sahlin builder
Ttswjc jh dt July25th1975
Wonderama teeth
Dr Teeth Jim
Dr Teeth Muppets Not Included

Cameo on the original Muppet Babies ("Muppets Not Included")...


...and on the reboot ("Muppet Rock").

Dr teeth jim

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


Dr. Teeth at the Smithsonian.


Dr. Teeth with Vicki on The Jim Henson Hour.

Rmwtm v2

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 debut on the talk show circuit ahead of his appearance on The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence; one on the March 18, 1975 broadcast of The Tonight Show and another for The Mike Douglas Show, taped on February 5th.

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. 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,[1] 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 and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. He has since had more prominent speaking parts in The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted (with more scenes in the extended cut).


  • According to the inside cover for Rock Music with the Muppets, Dr. Teeth has his name because he's never had a cavity.
  • In an interview prior to the release of Muppets Now, Walter claims that Dr. Teeth is a beekeeper in his spare time.[2]
  • Different explanations have been given for the origin of his gold tooth. On talk shows, he claimed it was made from his gold records, melted, putting his money where his mouth is.[3] In an episode of The Muppets, he says that he got it from a voodoo princess named Tianna in Tupelo, MS.[4] In The Muppets Mayhem, it is revealed that it is actually a gold cap, made from his Great Granddaddy's solid gold floss case.

Design and Development[]

The character who would become Dr. Teeth was first drawn around 1973[5] by Bob Taylor. The look of "The Boogie Man" was inspired by jazz keyboardist Dr. John. Taylor later recalled:

β€œThe original character was dressed in a long robe with a head turban, and I proposed hula-hoops being attached under the garment so that he would undulate as he walked across the stage. Jim wanted another take on it, but he liked the character and shocked me by saying, "You know, Muppets don't have teeth!" I didn't realize that, and immediately blurted, "I can change that!" But Jim said, "No, it’s interesting, I'd like to see if we can do that"... and so Dr. Teeth was born -- the first Muppet with teeth! The accompanying drawing (quite primitive) was one of the early stages of his costuming. I didn't think about things like the hat being too big (causing shadows on television), or the arms being too fat to reach the piano keys, etc.[6]”

Jim Henson did a further sketch of the character in 1974 (reproduced in the book Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles). Michael Frith then made a more refined, color sketch of the character, with the heading "Leon 'Doctor' Eltonjohn Dontshoot (the Piano Player)" -- adding the influence of Elton John (and possibly Leon Russell) to the character. Dr. Teeth's voice and creative vocabulary is a direct nod to Dr. John.

Casting History[]

Primary Performers

Other Performers


Book appearances[]

Video game appearances[]