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.
William Paul Barretta
June 19, 1964
|Family||Gene Barretta (brother)|
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. Barretta also served as an executive producer on the ABC series, The Muppets. In 2021, Barretta will produce the special Muppets Haunted Mansion.
|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||Phil Phillips, Junkyard, Boar||Puppeteer/voice|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|2014||Nerdy Nummies||Swedish Chef||1 episode; Puppeteer/voice|
|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|
- "Ratting Out". Muppet Central. 1999. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
- "Muppets Most Wanted: Press Kit" (PDF). The Walt Disney Studios. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 15, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2015). "ABC Orders Shondaland and Jenna Bans Dramas, 'Muppets' Revival, More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Muppets Haunted Mansion".
- Hipes, Patrick (September 13, 2017). "Elizabeth Banks Joins Gang for 'The Happytime Murders'". Deadline. Retrieved September 14, 2017.