Muppet Wiki
Advertisement
Muppet Wiki
38,880
pages
Dr Teeth pink.jpg
PERFORMER Jim Henson 1975-1990
  Bill Barretta 2005-present
  β†’CASTING HISTORY...
DEBUT 1975
DESIGN Jim Henson,
B.K. Taylor,
Michael K. Frith designers
  Don Sahlin builder

Ttswjc jh dt July25th1975.jpg
Drteeth2.jpg
Wonderama teeth.jpg
Dr Teeth Jim.jpg

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.

Character.drteeth.jpg

Dr. Teeth at the Smithsonian.

Dr. Teeth with Vicki on The Jim Henson Hour.

Rmwtm v2.jpg
DSC4505-Dr-Teeth.jpg
DrTeeth-FortuneTellerCrystalBall.jpg

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 during the March 18, 1975 broadcast of The Tonight Show in promotion of The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence which aired the following night.

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 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).

Notes

  • Dr. Teeth's look was inspired by jazz keyboardist Dr. John. Henson's original sketch for the character appears 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.
  • 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.[4]

Casting History

Primary Performers

Other Performers

Filmography

Book appearances

Video game appearances

Merchandise

Sources

Advertisement