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Dr. Teeth

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Dr. Teeth is the leader and keyboard player in the Muppet rock and roll band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. He is a mix of Elton John and Dr. John.


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 became less involved in Muppet productions after 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 and The Great Muppet Caper to his much smaller, often non-speaking roles in The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. He has since been given more prominent speaking parts in The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted.

Casting History


  • 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.
  • He is the only Muppet who has teeth.


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