‘The Masked Singer’: How Raccoon Was Inspired by Steven Tyler — and His Dog
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 3 of The Masked Singer, “Group A Wildcard Round – Enter the Wildcards!”]
No one can deny how much fun Raccoon clearly has onstage on The Masked Singer in Season 5. And that includes the celebrity underneath the cute mask.
“I still make myself laugh when I think about it,” actor Danny Trejo, who was unmasked in the March 24 episode, tells TV Insider.
In the third episode of Season 5, Group A takes the stage again, and Raccoon’s performance of “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash may be entertaining — he even sings to panelist Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg at one point — but it’s not enough to keep him in the running. Continuing on are Robopine, Seashell, Russian Dolls, and the first Wildcard — new masked celebrities who have the chance to win a spot in one of the two groups — Orca.
Trejo opens up about the inspiration behind saying yes to the Raccoon and the Fox hit.
Tell me about the call for you to do The Masked Singer. What factored into you saying yes?
Danny Trejo: When they approached us, they showed me a picture of the raccoon. I have a schnauzer named John Wesley Hardin, and he was named after the meanest cowboy in the West. He looks exactly like that Raccoon: the same color, the same eyes. I started laughing. I had to do it.
Then when you put on a costume like that, you step into a completely different world. You’re no longer a badass or a movie star. You’re just this costume. The costume is the lead. I had so much fun. You can be so free. I’ve had makeup on, but it’s still me. It was just like being a raccoon. You get crazy.
That costume was so cute.
That was it. You just said it. Everybody says the Raccoon is so cute. [Laughs] I don’t get called cute so often.
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You’ve appeared in music videos but you haven’t done any singing professionally before.
I have a record label and some great singers, but I’ve never — Actually, my first acting job was in the first grade when I was the siren in the school play. “Get out the way! Get out the way! That’s what Mr. Siren says!” [Laughs]
Is that why you seemed to lean into the fun of the performances more? You looked and sounded like you were having a blast.
I was. You’re fooling everybody. It’s like working with the Muppets. Kermit was there [and unmasked as the Snail in the premiere], but I didn’t know it was Kermit. When you’re working with the Muppets, you actually start talking to these puppets. Kermit and I had conversations.
Why did you sing to Jenny in your second performance?
I love Jenny McCarthy. She works a lot with special needs children and I raised a special needs kid — he wasn’t mine, but I raised him — and right now I’m so proud of him. He applied for a lot of different colleges, got accepted to five of them. All schools are falling real short of special needs children. Jenny McCarthy shines a light on that. You need a big star. My kids’ mom is now an attorney for special needs children. She’s doing awesome.
Are there any songs you wanted to do and didn’t get the chance to?
“Folsom Prison” is one of my favorite songs. I love Johnny Cash — that’s why we did “Ring of Fire.” “Wild Thing,” I just always liked that song. I’d seen Steven Tyler do an episode of Two and a Half Men and he was bothering Charlie Sheen screaming and I just said, “That’s the way I’ll do it.” I started screaming and it worked.
The panelists didn’t guess you.
I thought, “Here it comes. Oh, here it comes.” They picked everybody I’d worked with — Gary Busey, Jon Voight. I was laughing inside that suit. I was hoping I didn’t give it away. It was so much fun. And the costume makers are amazing. I don’t know how they do it. I liked the Raccoon and I could move, I could do anything I wanted. I could’ve done the splits if I do the splits.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox