The Muppets’ time with Disney shows lately might have been a bit up and down, but The Muppets Mayhem looks like it wants to live up to some of the zaniness of the franchise’s most classic show — with a little help from the Electric Mayhem themselves.
Though there were only the human characters and showrunners there for the panel, NYCC con-goers did receive a pre-recorded visit from starring Muppets Dr. Teeth and Monster. Attendees then watched a short clip from the upcoming show, as the Electric Mayhem band live up to their name and invade the home of sisters Hannah (Saara Chaudry) and Nora (Lily Singh), while bandleader Dr. Teeth (Bill Barretta) somehow slipped into the backyard to sink lazily into the sibling’s hot tub.
The human actors noted the vast effort needed to perform using the Muppets on camera. A simple scene where all the felt characters jump into a car together turns into an exercise where something like 30 people are contorted in all directions to get all the muppets to move. Writer and co-producer Adam Goldberg said he had asked Barretta “how does a muppet get into a hot tub?” To which the muppet operator apparently replied “I get into a wetsuit and go under the water… I don’t want to do this.”
Goldberg said that the show would try and stick to real life as the characters try and navigate the rough and rolling terrain of the music industry, though there will still be some 4th wall breaks. The producer even let it slip that everyone’s favourite blue-haired saxophonist Zoot will somehow fool the classic comedy duo Cheech & Chong.
During the panel talk, Barretta, a man with a storied career working in the Jim Henson company, talked about how he first got to know the famed Muppets and Sesame Street creator as a technician before he moved on to being a muppet operator, securing a spot inside the show Dinosaurs as one of the operators for the father Earl, and creating beloved characters like Pepe the King Prawn and Bobo the Bear. The man who portrays Electric Mayhem band leader Dr. Teeth had been campaigning for full Electric Mayhem show, and he said Disney had put him a room with Goldberg and fellow co-producer and writer Jeff Yorkes.
The showrunners also mentioned that singer-songwriter Linda Perry did original music for the show, and that they would indeed, eventually, release a full Electric Mayhem album.
The 10-episode series will premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2023.
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