It is a strange but wonderful thing, to talk to a Muppet — an experience I can now say I’ve had, thanks to Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. As seen in the video interview above, the stars of The Muppets Mayhem were generous enough to answer a few questions via Zoom about their life prior to making the new Disney+ musical comedy series, confirming that you should never take Animal to an all-you-can-eat buffet, and reflecting on the magical time they’ve had performing on the road over the years.
In the series, it’s mentioned that the Mayhem were at Woodstock, but they have no memory of performing there. In fact, as they reveal to Consequence, the only festival they actually remember performing at during their long career is Outside Lands… which makes a lot of sense, given that The Muppets Mayhem owes a lot to the annual San Francisco fest: While The Electric Mayhem first began rocking in 1975 as the house band for The Muppet Show, in 2016 The Electric Mayhem made an unprecedented appearance at Outside Lands.
“I was amazed that people actually came to listen to us — 30,000 people showed up and I thought, well, maybe there’s something to the band,” veteran Muppets performer and executive producer Bill Barretta, the voice and hand behind Dr. Teeth, tells Consequence. “And so I started thinking, maybe we should take this show on tour, go to different festivals. And then I started thinking, maybe there’s a TV show about that.”
Barretta pitched that idea to Muppet Studios, and there was interest — but a changing of the executive guard meant it didn’t happen right away, and when he repitched the idea, he found out that eventual executive producers Jeff Yorkes and Adam F. Goldberg were also proposing their own concept for an Electric Mayhem series.
Yorkes’ background is in editing, and Goldberg credits him specifically with “helping showrunners sell shows by making sizzle reels. He did that for The Goldbergs, he did it for Cobra Kai, and he did it on his own where he sent me the Mayhem trailer.”
Why did Yorkes cut together a spec trailer to sell the idea of an Electric Mayhem series? As a former Henson intern, his answer’s simple: “I love the Mayhem. They were my favorite. They were their own subset of weirdos that just didn’t care, just did their thing — they just liked rock. I’m a big music fan, and I was just like, they don’t have an album. That’s crazy to me. So that’s sort of where the idea [for the show] came from — selfishly, I just wanted The Electric Mayhem to have an album.”