The Little Mermaid Live! aired on ABC on Tuesday, November 5, intercutting the original animated feature film with live musical performances by a star-studded cast. In a comical moment for the special, John Stamos made an appearance as Chef Louis.
This was not Stamos’s first time performing as Chef Louis. He originally appeared live in the role for The Little Mermaid musical at The Hollywood Bowl. According to Playbill, it didn’t take much for Stamos to feel in-character to portray the eccentric Chef Louise; he said “I put on that mustache and something came over me. I had a sense of bravado with the character that I didn’t have before,” later adding ““What’s great playing this character is that he can flip at any moment; one second he loves the fish, the next he’s going to murder them. He’s like a Sweeney Todd character in that way.”
He certainly played up Chef Louis’s volatile nature, moving from one chef station to the next, tossing and chopping and deboning fish as he sang about how he was going to cook them into a meal.
In the animated version of the musical number “Les Poissons” in the original movie, Chef Louis spies Sebastian in his kitchen and tries to turn him into a meal. For the live performance, Shaggy, who played Sebastian, was nowhere to be found. Instead, Stamos was joined on stage by dancing sous chefs and young performers in full crab costumes. At one point in the musical number, audience members in the rows closest to the stage waved red crab claws in the air to the beat of the music.
The funniest moment of the quirky musical number was an improvised slip-up by John Stamos himself. After he struck his final pose, which included a puff of flour hitting him in the face, he said “I knew I should have been Prince Albert.” He meant to say “Prince Eric,” who is actually a character in the movie.
Before the live special, Stamos alluded to his role and how its a big departure from the heartthrob roles he played earlier in his career. He told Extra “Yeah. I wonder what happened to, you know, Prince Eric?… I did [Chef Louis] at the Hollywood Bowl. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it… A couple hours before, I said to my assistant, ‘Go get me a big mustache, give me a beret and some guyliner’… It’s just gotten deeper and deeper, and he’s insane. I’m just playing him completely nuts.”
Ahead of the show’s premiere, Stamos talked to E! on the red carpet about his role as Chef Louis. Here’s what he had to say: