Bill Barretta

William Paul Barretta (born June 19, 1964) is an American puppeteer, actor, producer and director, who is best known for providing the puppetry and voice of characters such as Pepe the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, Big Mean Carl, and Bobo the Bear. He also inherited the roles of Rowlf the Dog, The Swedish Chef, Mahna Mahna, and Dr. Teeth after the death of Muppet creator Jim Henson.

Bill Barretta
Bill Barretta and Pepe.jpg
Barretta with Pepe the King Prawn in 2015
Born
William Paul Barretta

(1964-06-19) June 19, 1964 (age 57)
Occupation
  • Puppeteer
  • actor
  • producer
  • director
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Cristina Campbell
Children1
FamilyGene Barretta (brother)

Early lifeEdit

Barretta was born William Paul Barretta in Yardley, Pennsylvania on June 19, 1964. He is the younger brother of the children's book author and illustrator Gene Barretta.[citation needed]

Barretta attended St. Mary's Hall-Doane Academy in Burlington, New Jersey, eventually becoming a carpenter. He met Brian Henson while they were working at Sesame Place.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

Barretta has been performing with The Muppets since 1991, when he puppeteered the body of Sinclair family patriarch, Earl Sinclair on Dinosaurs. He later developed several new characters on Muppets Tonight, including Pepe the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, Big Mean Carl, and Bobo the Bear.

Barretta has taken over several of Jim Henson's roles, such as Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Mahna Mahna, and Swedish Chef, and briefly took over Jerry Nelson's role of Lew Zealand. His film debut as a principal puppeteer was in 1996's Muppet Treasure Island as Clueless Morgan.

Barretta has produced two of the Muppets' television films, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005). Barretta also provided additional voices on Kim Possible. He performed in Muppets Most Wanted, where he also served as a co-producer.[2] Barretta also served as an executive producer on the ABC series, The Muppets.[3] In 2021, Barretta will produce the special Muppets Haunted Mansion.[4]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Film credits
Year Film Role Notes
1995 Murder in the First Man on the Street Live-action role
1995 Born to Be Wild Gorilla Team Live-action role
1995 Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Bear Puppeteer/voice
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Clueless Morgan, Blind Pew (puppetry; hands), Swedish Chef, Jacques Roach, Mudwell the Mudbunny (singing) Puppeteer/voice
1999 Muppets from Space Pepe the Prawn, Bobo the Bear, Johnny Fiama, Bubba the Rat, The Swedish Chef, Rowlf the Dog, Cosmic Fish #2 Puppeteer/voice
1999 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Additional Muppet performer Puppeteer
2002 Kermit's Swamp Years Croaker, Horace D'Fly, Roy the Frog, Turtle #2 Puppeteer/voice; Direct-to-video
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Pepe the King Prawn, Johnny Fiama, Bobo the Bear, Rowlf the Dog, Swedish Chef, Lew Zealand, Howard Tubman, additional characters Puppeteer/voice; TV movie
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Pepe the Prawn, Dr. Teeth, Johnny Fiama, Swedish Chef, Lew Zealand, Bubba the Rat, additional characters Puppeteer/voice; TV movie
2010 When Families Grieve Louie Puppeteer/voice; TV movie
2011 The Muppets Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the Prawn, Bobo, Swedish Chef Puppeteer/voice
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the King Prawn, The Swedish Chef, Big Mean Carl, Bobo the Bear, Carlo Flamingo, Leprechaun Security Guard, Baby Boss Puppeteer/voice
2018 The Happytime Murders[5] Phil Phillips, Junkyard, Boar Puppeteer/voice

TelevisionEdit

Television credits
Year(s) Television Role Notes
1991–1994 Dinosaurs Earl Sinclair (in-suit performer), Nick (in-suit performer), Rabid Caveman, various characters Performer
1994 Jim Henson's Animal Show Armstrong the Chicken Hawk, Vernon the Grizzly, Baby Bear, Dullard the Aardvark, Jared the Tiger, Lazlo the Hyena, Randall the Zebra, Timothy the Owl, Vernon the Grizzly 7 episodes; Puppeteer/voice
1996–1998 Muppets Tonight Bobo the Bear, Johnny Fiama, Pepe the Prawn, Rowlf the Dog, Big Mean Carl, Clueless Morgan, Howard Tubman, David Hoggselhoff, Zippity Zap, Snookie Blyer, Ernst Stavros Gropuer, additional characters Puppeteer/voice
1996 The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss Uncle Berklummer 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice
2001 Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story Thunderdell TV-mini series; live-action role, 2 episodes
2002–2007 Kim Possible Jackie the Jackal, Jilly from Jersey, Motor Ed's 'Main Bro' Voice role
2007 Tinseltown Bobby TV series short; Puppeteer/voice
Also director
2006 Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King Savage Commando TV mini-series; Live-action role
2011 Saturday Night Live Rowlf the Dog 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice
2012 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Dr. Teeth 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice
2014 Piper's Picks TV Swedish Chef 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice
2015–2016 The Muppets Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the King Prawn, Swedish Chef, Bobo the Bear, Big Mean Carl, Mahna Mahna, Howard Tubman, additional characters Puppeteer/voice
Also director; 1 episode
2015 Muppet Moments Rowlf the Dog, Bobo the Bear, Pepe the King Prawn TV series short; Puppeteer/voice
Also director
2017–2020 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lonny DuFrane/Mr. Frumpus 3 episodes; Actor/Puppeteer
2018 Muppet Babies Dr. Teeth 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice
2019 Drop the Mic Pepe the King Prawn 2 episodes; Puppeteer/voice
2020 Muppets Now Pepe the King Prawn, The Swedish Chef, Howard Tubman, Big Mean Carl, Dr. Teeth, Bobo the Bear, Bubba the Rat Also director and executive producer

Video gamesEdit

Video games
Year(s) Title Role Notes
2000 Muppet Race Mania Pepe the King Prawn, Rowlf the Dog, Bobo the Bear, Johnny Fiama, Swedish Chef Voice role
2000 Muppet Monster Adventure Pepe the King Prawn, Swedish Chef Voice role
2003 Muppets Party Cruise Pepe the King Prawn, Rowlf the Dog, Bobo the Bear, Johnny Fiama, Swedish Chef Voice role

InternetEdit

Internet credits
Year(s) Show Role Notes
2014 Nerdy Nummies Swedish Chef 1 episode; Puppeteer/voice

EventsEdit

Event credits
Year Event Role Notes
2017 The Muppets Take the Bowl Pepe the King Prawn, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Bobo, Mahna Mahna Puppeteer/voice, live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 8–10
2018 The Muppets Take the O2 Pepe the King Prawn, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Bobo, Mahna Mahna Puppeteer/voice, live show at the O2, July 13–14

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ratting Out". Muppet Central. 1999. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
  2. ^ "Muppets Most Wanted: Press Kit" (PDF). The Walt Disney Studios. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 15, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2015). "ABC Orders Shondaland and Jenna Bans Dramas, 'Muppets' Revival, More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Muppets Haunted Mansion".
  5. ^ Hipes, Patrick (September 13, 2017). "Elizabeth Banks Joins Gang for 'The Happytime Murders'". Deadline. Retrieved September 14, 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Performer of Rowlf the Dog
1996 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of The Swedish Chef
1996 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Dr. Teeth
2005 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Mahna Mahna
2005 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Pepe the King Prawn
1996 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Bobo the Bear
1996 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Carl the Big Mean
1996 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Lew Zealand
2002 – 2005
Succeeded by