"Golden teeth and golden tones, welcome to my presence."
I miss Dr. Teeth. Granted, there is quite a bit I miss from the glory days of the Muppets, when Jim Henson and Richard Hunt were still alive and Frank Oz was not chasing other projects -- but I don't intend to turn this into a complaint piece about where the Muppets are today. In fact, I still love them, even if they aren't quite what they used to be; even if a rather soul-less Disney hasn't quite figured out how to deal with a property which primarily exists on the strength of heart and soul. But that's not the point. The point is, I sincerely miss the Electric Mayhem, particularly their charismatic and verbose leader, Dr. Teeth.
I was only eight years old when Jim Henson died, and although I was a bit young to fully connect the dots on what this would mean for the Muppets, I was old enough to understand it meant something terrible for Kermit the Frog. The thought of Kermit sitting on Jim's coffin at the funeral holding a little sign which read "I lost my voice" is a sad, sad thought indeed. Then, incredibly, Steve Whitmire stepped into the void and brought Kermit back to life. As a kid, this mostly meant the Muppets were going to continue, and Kermit remained more or less as I'd remembered him. As an adult, I can certainly notice small differences in Jim's Kermit opposed to Steve's Kermit, but Kermit continued, and continued in good hands. Whitmire had been with the Muppets for so long, he fully understood the style and magic that is the Muppets. Was he a replacement for Jim? Of course not, nobody could possibly fill the shoes of such a man, and Steve Whitmire would be the first to admit it. But he did a better job than anyone else could, and therefore allowed the Muppets to continue.