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Dr. Teeth

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Performer:
Jim Henson • (1975-1990)
Bill Barretta • (2005-present)
Drteeth2
Design Team:
Jim Henson and Michael K. Frith • (designers)
Don Sahlin • (builder)
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Wonderama teeth
Dr Teeth Jim
Dr. Teeth sitting
Dr Teeth Muppets Not Included
Cameo in "Muppets Not Included"
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Jim Henson performing Dr. Teeth in the 1990 special The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
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Original Dr. Teeth sketches
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Dr. Teeth at the Smithsonian
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Dr. Teeth with Vicki on The Jim Henson Hour
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Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem performing in The Muppet Christmas Carol
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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 plays the keyboard and is also lead singer of the band. He first appeared in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence in 1975, and had a prominent role in Muppet productions until Henson's death in 1990.

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.

Dr. Teeth had been less involved in Muppet productions due to Jim Henson's death. Since then, he was performed by John Kennedy in various projects until 2005, when the role was assumed by Bill Barretta.

He has also 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" and The Muppets.

Trivia

  • 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 creative vocabulary is a direct nod to Dr. John.
  • While Dr. Teeth usually has live hands, his hands were originally rod hands in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence. The rod arms would occasionally be used on The Muppet Show. Also, the live hands version has five fingers on each hand, while the rod arm version has four on each hand.
  • According to the inside cover for Rock Music with the Muppets, Dr. Teeth has his name because he's never had a cavity.

Casting History

Primary Performers

Other Performers

Filmography

Book appearances

Merchandise

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