Animal is the wild drummer on The Muppet Show, performing with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Animal is a crazed percussionist with three styles of music -- loud, louder, and deafening. He speaks in a guttural shout, often repeating a few simple phrases, such as "BEAT DRUMS! BEAT DRUMS!" or "WO-MAN!" In relatively calmer moods, he is capable of more coherent conversation, but these instances are infrequent.
Animal first appeared in the 1975 pilot, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, chained up in a basement cell when he wasn't onstage performing with the Electric Mayhem. He later became a main character on The Muppet Show, and his unrestrained style has made him popular with young people for decades.
Frank Oz says that he had his character down to five words: Sex, sleep, food, drums and pain. Occasionally, two of those essentials, food and drums, are interchangeable. In The Muppet Movie, Dr. Teeth had to remind Animal to beat, and not eat, his drums. In The Muppet Show episode 110, when asked by Kermit if he preferred drumming to food, Animal replied that drums are food.
Animal's wild attitude can be compared to Cookie Monster. In A Muppet Family Christmas, after observing Cookie Monster eating all of Janice's cookies in his signature manner, Animal comments, "That my kind of fella!"
Animal's family life is generally non-existent, and outside of the band, the Muppet Show troupe, and women in general, he has no other relationships. A significant exception is depicted in the book The Case of the Missing Mother, which reveals the existence of Animal's mother, LaVerne. LaVerne is also a drummer, and it's implied that percussion skills are a family trait.
It is a popular legend that Animal was inspired by Keith Moon, the wild drummer of the Who.  Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is also sometimes cited as the inspiration for Animal.  However, there is no evidence in the original sketches for the character that suggest that