Home Up Gypsy Jazz JazzTours 2009 Dinner Jazz Jazz Festivals Jazz Artistry JazzInstruments Masterclasses Le Jazz Femme

Chiltern Hundreds Area

Gone! But Not Forgotten!
The Greatest Band that never lived - (or breathed)

Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem- Which am us!
We am, is, are and be they whom as are known as the Electric Mayhem!

The Electric Mayhem is the name of a band that appeared on The Muppet Show, they have appeared in various Muppet movies and TV specials, and have also recorded album tracks. Dr. Teeth was designed by Jim Henson after seeing Dr John in New Orleans.
Animal was jointly designed by Jim and Bonnie Erickson - the latter also designed 'Zoot' after seeing Gato Barbieri play at the Blue Note Club. 
Floyd and Janice were designed by Michael K Firth

The band line-up consisted of Dr. Teeth (band leader and piano), Janice (guitar), Sgt. Floyd Pepper (bass),  Zoot (Sax)  and Animal (Drums). In season five, Lips joined the band (Trumpet). Animal, Floyd, Zoot and Janice also played in the Muppet Show pit band, performing the opening and closing themes and underscoring most of the Muppet Show performances.  Rowlf the Dog was the pit pianist, however.  "This is a narrative of very heavy-duty proportions*

Dr. Teeth is the keyboard player and gravel voiced leader of the band. He has a gold tooth he claims he fashioned by melting down his gold records, a scruffy beard, a fur vest, a striped shirt, and a floppy purple top hat. A running gag on the show due to the mechanics of working a puppet's arms from below, often a two-man job was Teeth's arms stretching to ridiculous lengths while playing his instrument. Jim Henson based the character, which he designed and voiced, on the New Orleans musician Dr John.
Boy, it'll be so fine and laid-back and mellow and profitable."
Verse:-Ohhh yeah! Whooo!
Everybody's lover, everybody's brother, I wanna be your lifetime friend.
Crazy as a rocket, nothin in my pocket, I keep it at the rainbow's end.
I never think of money, I think of milk 'n honey, grinnin' like a Cheshire cat.
I focus on the pleasure, somethin' I can treasure, can you picture that?
Can you picture that?

Verse:- Let me take your picture, add it to the mixture, there it is I got you now!
Really nothin' to it, anyone can do it, it's easy and we all know how.
Now begins the changin', mental re-arrangin', nothing's really where it's at,

is a Rhythm/Lead Guitar player. She wears a brown hat with a turquoise gem and a feather. This fickle flower girl has entertained crushes on both Zoot and Floyd Pepper.
She also acts in sketches periodically, particularly as an inept, wisecracking nurse in a recurring parody of medical dramas. She speaks in a "valley" sing-song voice. Janice was performed and voiced by Richard Hunt until his death in 1992.  Eren Ozker voiced her during the first season of The Muppet Show. Her name is an homage to Janice Joplin.
 "Oh, wow, like I'm Janice on lead guitar, for shurely"

Sgt. Floyd Pepper plays Bass Guitar A laid back hippy type with a pink body and long reddish-orange hair, he usually wore a green army cap, or sometimes, while in the pit, a slightly fancier cap of stiffer, glittery material, and a red uniform with epaulets and ornate gold braid on the buttons. His name is a reference to both Pink Floyd and the Beatles album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
His jacket is a clear visual reference to the album
He is performed and voiced by Jerry Nelson.
"I'm Floyd, I blow bass."

Zoot is a green, balding, blue-haired Saxophone player with dark glasses and a high-crowned blue felt hat, and was generally a laid back fellow of few words. (Oddly enough, Zoot spoke much more in the first season, where he was often seen dancing with Janice in the "At The Dance" sketches.)

Perhaps his best lines came when he was inspecting an unacceptable Music Chart -
Conductor - "OK Zoot its time for your solo - have you looked over the music"
Zoot:            "Yeah -  you expect me to play this Man ? "
Conductor:  "- what else would you do with it?"
Zoot:            "If I had a match -  I could put it out of its misery!
Conductor - "Trust me Zoot - this is a great little number -"
Zoot::-          "Yeah - and what if I refuse to play it?"
Conductor:  "What if I get a new sax player?"
Zoot::           "What if you and I get right down to it and do this little beauty - Heh."
Conductor : "Good thought         - yeah"
Zoots apology to his art:   "Forgive me Charlie Parker where ever you are!"

In The Great Muppet Caper, when the gang is planning to stop a group of crooks from robbing a museum, and trying to get their supplies together unsuccessfully.

Fozzie mentions a particular item ("wax lips")
Zoot says, "Man, I just had 'em!"
"Did you leave 'em in your other pants?" someone else asks.
Zoot comes back: "I don't have no other pants!"

Zoot's claim to fame was playing the final off key note to the end theme of the show, then looking into his saxophone with a bewildered expression, checks his music and gives a satisfied nod and looks around at the other musicians and gives the same nod. Curiously, the note played is the lowest note on the Baritone Saxophone, and most of Zoot's other playing has the sound of a Tenor, while his instrument appears to be an Alto

His name comes from "Zoot Suite", a large-shouldered, tapered-waist gaudy garment popular in the 1940's. It is alternately possible that his name comes from Zoot Sims, a great jazz tenor saxophone player.  Zoot's appearance was based on Latin tenor Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri.  Zoot is performed and voiced by Dave Goelz.

'Zoot' Sims was a Saxophonist  with the Woody Herman Band and was one of the the Four Brothers set.

Animal is the Drummer.
He has also appeared on the Muppets Tonight show, as well as the Muppet Babies  cartoon and all the Muppet movies. He may have been "inspired" by the antics of 
Keith Moon of The Who.
During performances, Animal is usually chained to the drum set, as his musical outbursts are extremely violent.
He opts to wear American Football shoulder pads instead of a shirt (when he is not in his maroon band uniform). 
He usually speaks in grunts and monosyllables, and has a violent temper. Animal bowls overhand.
He has been depicted as a literal skirt-chaser (chanting "Woo-maaaan!" after her).
He also chases cars. Animal is performed and voiced by Frank Oz while his drumming is performed by Ronnie Verrell

Animal / Verrell Drum Battle - Vs - Buddy Rich

Animal / Verrell with Rita Moreno Singing - Fever
What Rita says in Spanish -
"Listen Buddy. All I wanna tell you is that you shouldn't do that. It's not nice, you understand? Look at me when I'm talking to you. This is my number, and if you bother me any more I'm gonna hit you so hard, it's gonna leave you stupid. Cool it. 
A regular schtick is that when someone says a figure of speech to him, then Animal turns to the audience, his eyes go wide and then he goes berserk taking it literally. For instance, Jim Nabors once gave the traditional theatrical good luck wish to Animal, "Break a leg," and Animal decided to indulge him by trying to break Nabors' leg.  In the movie Muppets from Space, Animal meets his match in the form of a security guard played by Kathy Griffin - after chasing her down a hallway with his "Woo-man" call, she later returns with him, with Animal acting submissive and sheepish, and lets him go (after reminding him to call her and blowing him a kiss.)

Who is the greatest drummer in history?

The peacemaker in such a situation is the person wise enough to suggest that such an accolade could only belong to the character of Animal on the Muppet Show, whose beastly drumming style seems an amalgam of Buddy Rich's tom-tom solos, Muhammed Ali's punching skills and the unloading of a lumber truck. Real people are standing behind these puppets, even the musical ones, a fact that some Muppetheads way not want to admit but a fact that establishes Ronnie Verrell as the greatest drummer ever.

Ronnie Verrell, after all, was Animal and every drum beat the furry beast played came directly from the sticks held in Verrell's hands.

Lips, a hip spaced out dude, joined Electric Mayhem for several numbers in the latter episodes of the series, playing the trumpet. Marked by his yellow afro and goatee, and a permanent high.   Lips was never considered by fans to 'really' be a part of the band. His appearances on the Muppet Show were few and far between, and when he did appear in the episodes or the later movies, never did anything that drew audience attention to him.  Probably inspired by Dizzy Gillespie and Oran 'Hot Lips' Page


The Electric Mayhem Band was a creation by Jim Henson, Bonnie Erickson and Michael K Frith.

Dedicated to the memory and the creative genius of Jim Henson 

Send mail to jazzmaster@jazzeddie.f2s.com with questions or comments about the design only of this web site.
Last modified: 18/02/2012