I’ve heard some tragic songs, but no musical number has ever incited as many emotions in me as You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors. When I hear this song a flood of painful memories come back to me…. spending most of my adolescence in braces, having my wisdom teeth pulled (on prom night and having to go looking like a chipmunk with a mouthful of acorns) and the worst, my orthodontist dropping a running drill on my lip….let’s just say that You’ll be a Dentist from the Little Shop of Horrors strikes quite a chord in me.
Unlike in this song, my dentists have always been the more sinister, silent type. Personally, I would much prefer Steve Martin’s maniacally violent character in Little Shop of Horrors. I feel like his character possesses a more comprehensible level of sheer insanity, whereas my dentists have just had an eerie intangible creepiness. The song even gives some insight into how he turned out this way, such as recounting his childhood spent terrorizing animals and showing him in his shrine full of mommy issues. To be fair though, I bet he did indeed make his mother proud by taking the dentist route rather than turning into a serial killer.
I really enjoyed how the song develops. Upon hearing the opening with the funky little synth line, I thought that Elvis was going to give us a song about cruising around the country picking up girls on a chopper. Instead, the Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors gave me about 2 minutes of a sadistic, yet hilarious, Steve Martin. The majestic and inspirational part of the song that follows the perky synth line gives everything an incredibly upbeat tone, despite the brutality going on throughout the whole thing.
While the entirety of the song was hilarious, my favorite part was definitely when the camera shifts to inside the mouth of the man who is getting drilled. Even though the sound of the drill brought back memories of the horrifying smell of tooth dust and an unbearable sensation in my mouth, watching the writhing tongue made it all worth it. In a close second place was the back and forth “AWWW” between the dentist and his gurgling victim. Although I considered these two bits the highlights, I had no problem watching The Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors several times over, and I feel like I got something out of it each time. If you have seen it before and doubt its re-watch value, give it one more try, but this time, pay attention to how he parks his motorcycle this time –I bet you didn’t catch that one before!
You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors is great because it capitalizes on a deep rooted fear that is present in almost anyone who has ever had a cavity. It is a song of sharp contrast; with violent lyrics and actions, but insanely upbeat lyrics and melodies. However, above all else, it is a hilarious number that pretty much anyone with a sense of humor will love. Even my girlfriend liked it, and she hates donuts, puppies, babies and musicals. Don’t let my favorable review of You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors make you think it didn’t scare me though – I’ll definitely brush extra well tonight.