The Muppets: Matt Vogel debuts as Kermit The Frog

by Wade Massey September 1, 2017, 2:15
The Muppets: Matt Vogel debuts as Kermit The Frog

Kermit the Frog is a longstanding pop culture institution, which is how something as seemingly innocuous as the voice of a puppet changing can cause such rigmarole on the internet.

Entertainment Weekly said a representative for Disney confirmed that this video, the "Muppet Thought of the Week", represents Vogel's debut as Kermit, making him only the third person ever to voice the beloved Muppet. However, the march of progress continues unabated, and eventually we were going to see the new Kermit puppeteer in action.

The direction of the character was apparently not in line with original creator, Jim Henson's, vision for Kermit. Steve Whitmire, who had voiced the popular green Muppet for 26 years, was ousted from the role recently. Jim Henson's family stated that "unacceptable business conduct" was the reason for Whitmire's dismissal and, in a personal blog post, Whitmire said he was "devastated" by the abrupt news.

"The Muppets Studio thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and The Muppets franchise".

The old Kermit the Frog is no more. Vogel manages to capture Kermit's wisdom as well as his smaller messages about how to live your life.

As I am sure you can imagine, I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio's executives to say they were recasting. Vogel's tone is softer than Whitmire's, but he sounds just as friendly. Across The Muppets projects and Sesame Street, Vogel has also played Big Bird, Count von Count, '80s Robot and Camilla the Chicken. In the post, Whitmire talked about how he approached playing Kermit, saying: "My hope was to install it directly into their hearts and minds so that they could, in turn, be inspired to do the same for the next generation of performers instead of the characters becoming stale copies of their former selves".

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