Animal is a wild and primitive humanoid Muppet who loves to play the drums. He serves as the drummer for the Muppets' resident rock and roll band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
A crazed percussionist, Animal has three styles of music -- loud, louder and deafening. He speaks in a guttural shout, often repeating a few simple phrases, such as "BEAT DRUMS! BEAT DRUMS!" or "WO-MAN!" or "DRUM DRUM!" In relatively calmer moods, he is capable of more coherent conversation, but these instances are infrequent.
Animal first appeared in the 1975 pilot, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, chained up in a basement cell when he wasn't onstage performing with the Electric Mayhem. He later became a main character on The Muppet Show and his unrestrained style has made him popular with young people for decades.
Animal's family life is generally non-existent, and outside of the band, the Muppet Show troupe and women in general, he has no other relationships. A significant exception is depicted in the book The Case of the Missing Mother, which reveals the existence of Animal's mother, LaVerne. LaVerne is also a drummer and it's implied that percussion skills are a family trait.
Three of the other members of the Electric Mayhem were created by Muppet designer Michael K. Frith and the sketches reproduced in the 1981 book Of Muppets and Men show that they were based on famous musicians. Dr. Teeth is a cross between Dr. John and Elton John; Sgt. Floyd Pepper is based on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album and the original concept for Janice was a skinny, long-haired male character based on Mick Jagger. Animal, on the other hand, was designed by Jim Henson and the rough sketch (also seen in Of Muppets and Men) doesn't appear to be related to any real musician.
However, it's not surprising that Animal is often compared with famous drummers -- as Buddy Rich said in his Muppet Show episode, "All drummers are animals." Animal himself considers Rich one of his musical influences, along with Gene Krupa, Keith Moon of The Who and Ginger Baker of Cream and Blind Faith.
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