The Muppets Mayhem may not come out until next year, but its promotional campaign has already begun. In fact, all of the show, its creators and most of its stars were the subject of an entire panel at New York Comic Con this weekend. At the panel, there were ton of new details revealed about the show. However, by the end there were still a ton of questions still left unanswered.
Fortunately, our Editor-in-Chief Dempsey Pillot was given the privilege to attend an exclusive roundtable afterwards with all of panel’s talent. There, he and several other journalists were able to ask some more pointed questions about series.
Speaking with series co-creator and star Bill Barretta, it became very apparent that this show is about more than just Dr. Teeth and his band. Although very little is known about the characters so far, the actor teased that in addition to acquainting the audience with them, the show will also take them through their own individual arcs.
He said, “At some point, in the arc of their stories, [they all] go through a transition of some kind. I can’t tell you if they end up liking the transition or not liking the transition, but they still retain who they are, even though they may learn something new about themselves.”
While he couldn’t go into any more detail, he did tease that social media will be play an important role in the show, but that the only person in the band to have a phone is Lips. “There’s a reason for that too,” he confirmed. “They’re not really all into this social media world, but it was fun trying to bring these kind of old school characters in and the human characters…having to explain it all.”
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Barretta also spoke about what it was like to play the character again, despite a history of him being a background Muppet. He said that fans should expect to see a new and unexpected side to Dr. Teeth, modeled after himself. Speaking candidly Barretta explained that he’s a very emotional person. Although he occasionally gets laughed at by his colleagues, the writers saw it as an opportunity to inject that bit of personality into Dr. Teeth.
“They wrote a scene for Dr. Teeth where he gets emotional,” he said. “So we get to see an emotional moment for him, which I really love.” That’s not all though. Barretta also explained that fans would get answers about the character’s origins.
“There’s some backstory – things that come out,” he said. “We look at each character and find specific things about each of them and ask questions [like]: Where did that come from? Where did Dr. Teeth’s gold tooth come from? Why is he called the doctor?”
More than anything, Barretta expressed his excitement for audience members to witness the character’s eccentricity turned up to 100. The same Muppet who, as we find out, always feels the need to jump into a nearby hot tub doesn’t exactly consider himself the band’s leader. As Barretta elegantly explains, “There is no front man. They’re all front men.”
In regards to the actual musical component of the show, Barretta re-confirmed what was said at the NYCC panel: the show will consist of original and cover songs. But he made it clear that fans shouldn’t expect to hear Justin Bieber, Drake, or any other contemporary artists in the series. “[Electric Mayhem] is a 70s rock band,” he said. “So there may be a great hit song that people go, ‘Oh, let’s do that. Because it’s really popular and young people love it.’ And then you go and record it [and] it just doesn’t work…We had to be very specific about what songs we were going to cover, so that they work.”
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While it might still be too early to discuss a potential second season, that didn’t stop Barretta from expanding on co-creators Adam F. Goldberg and Jeff Yorkes’ hopes to do a road trip.
He said, “I think it’d be a lot of fun to see them travel and go around the world. In my mind, if it could continue, I think it would be a European tour, and then it be the South American tour. I just think it’d be fun to see them on the road. We’ve never really seen them on the road. And there’s so much fun even just [traveling] in the United States.”
“There’s so many great places where they could go perform, or in a small town,” he added. “I just always loved that idea that you think they’re going to be playing somewhere, but they ended up where you don’t expect, you know? I would love to see it continue in that way, if we could.”
The Muppets Mayhem premieres on Disney+ sometime next year.
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