Lucas Ervin – As we get closer and closer to the release of The Muppets, it’s time we bring out the greatest band to ever hit the Muppet Theater: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! Dr. Teeth on keyboard, Floyd Pepper on bass, Janice on lead guitar, Zoot on saxophone, and Animal banging the drums. They rocked The Muppet Show for five straight years, destroying the stage, or providing musical accompaniment for celebrities like Elton John, Paul Simon, and many others. They were raucous, rambunctious, and they continue to rock. So, without further ado, here’s the Electric Mayhem!
44. Love Ya To Death – This song, sung by Dr. Teeth, was written by Joe Raposo, who wrote many songs on Sesame Street. That’s part of what makes it so cool, because it’s a major contrast to his other songs. The Electric Mayhem sang this song in the Sex & Violence pilor. Here we see the band rockin’ it hard, despite explosions taking place all around them, with Animal yelling at the end, “I LIKE THAT!” This was just a small taste of the insanity that they would bring to the show’s five-year run…
43. Money – As most of you know, Dr. Teeth has “live” hands so that he could play the piano and keyboard like nobody’s business. Jim Henson was a huge fan of jazz, and you could tell how much fun he had performing this particular character, since he was an homage to those swinging Louisiana jazz players he enjoyed so much growing up. With his pink hat, blue sunglasses that moved up and down like eyelids, and shiny gold tooth, the leader of the band also had a smile so infectious that, before you knew it, you were grinning along with him. In the clip we see Dr. Teeth performing his first solo where he sings “Money.”
42. New York State of Mind – Floyd Pepper sang more songs than any other member of the Electric Mayhem. Floyd has a unique “beatnik” walk and attitude that Jerry Nelson gave him. When he isn’t blowing bass alongside his girlfriend Janice, you can find Floyd hanging out backstage, where he was seen threatening Kermit with quitting because of the theme song and getting duped into babysitting Piggy’s dog, Foo-Foo. Floyd is a fantastic singer who performed a number of great songs on The Muppet Show including the clip, “New York State of Mind,” which Floyd sang in the second season.
41. Rockin Robin – Inspired by the singer Janis Joplin, Janice plays lead guitar and is the “main squeeze” of Floyd Pepper. Richard Hunt provided Janice with her signature voice and attitude after taking over the character when Erin Ozker left. Richard gave Janice her well-known catch phrases, such as “Fer sure” and “Rully.” She also had a gig as Nurse Janice on the recurring sketch, “Veterinarian’s Hospital.” Janice is notable because she is one of the few female Muppets on The Muppet Show. Janice is a pretty unique gal who brought us several memorable moments, including the clip, her great rendition of the song “Rockin’ Robin.”
40. Sax and Violence – I know a lot of people who form bands, and they typically have the same accompaniment; lead guitar, bass, and drums. But it’s because of Zoot that I always thought bands would sound even better if they had a saxophone player in the mix. Although Zoot barely speaks, he communicates miles through his music. Considering how soft-spoken he is, it’s ironic that Zoot is the only character in the band that is still being performed by his original performer, Dave Goelz. Perhaps Zoot’s most notable role was playing that last, flat note at the end of ever episode of The Muppet Show. In the clip we see Zoot perform “Sax and Violence” with Mahna Mahna in season one.
39. Animal vs. Buddy Rich – Since Animal doesn’t mince words, I don’t think I will either. Instead, I’m going to use a quote from Frank Oz that I think sums up the resident drummer pretty well: “Animal is a character that can be summed up in five words: women, sleep, food, drums and pain. You don’t mess with Animal. He eats glass, man.” With that being said, check out the clip of Animal staking it all in a drumming duel with Buddy Rich.
38. Barnyard Boogie – In the fifth season of The Muppet Show we got to see the Electric Mayhem with a new member in their band, a trumpet player named Lips, who was created to be performed by Steve Whitmire as a way for all six of the main performers be in the group. This is–most likely–the only time you will ever see the Electric Mayhem playing a song that is even remotely country. With Dr. Teeth on the piano, Floyd on bass, Janice on guitar, Animal on drums, Zoot on the sax and Lips, it truly is the perfect song to show off the swinging talent that is known as the Electric Mayhem.