It’s easy to forget about the people behind the puppets, but Steve Whitmire performed with The Muppets beginning in 1979’s The Muppet Movie, eventually taking over the role of Kermit the Frog in 1990 following the death of the legendary Jim Henson. Considering his long history with the Muppets, it was particularly troubling that he had a very public and ugly falling out with Disney and the Jim Henson Company, resulting in him being fired from the role in July. It was announced that Matt Vogel, who has worked with the Muppets since 1996, would be taking on the role.
In the latest “Muppet Thought Of The Week,” fans got their first look (and listen) at Matt Vogel’s Kermit. In a charming bit about dreams and where they can take you, it was pretty clear that Vogel’s Kermit will retain his signature high-voiced optimism. It is sad to see the end of an era in Whitmire’s exit, but as long as the sunniness of the character remains, it’s a natural progression.
While the Muppets have gone through some bumps lately, but in an increasingly cynical world, we need them more than ever. As long as there’s someone to introduce a new generation of kids to the magic of “Rainbow Connection,” things will always have a silver lining.