A new teaser video for the Disney+ series Muppets Now was released earlier today, and though it did make fans more excited about the show’s debut later this month, longtime followers of The Muppets franchise noticed that there’s something off about Kermit the Frog’s voice.
Kermit was originally voiced by The Muppets creator Jim Henson, who lent his pipes to the franchise’s main protagonist from 1955 until his death in 1990. Veteran Muppet performer Steve Whitmire replaced Henson as Kermit’s voice following his death and remained as the character’s principal performer until he was fired by The Muppets Studio in 2016 due to long-term creative disagreements and prolonged labor union negotiations that delayed his involvement in Muppet-related productions. Since 2017, Matt Vogel has taken over as Kermit’s voice.
Though Vogel has been voicing Kermit for the past three years, a lot of Muppets fans are still not familiar with his voice, as most of his past performances as the character were only in live shows at major arenas. This explains why several fans were shocked and puzzled at once when they heard Vogel’s Kermit in the teaser for the first time.
What’s up with kermits voice. That ain’t Kermit
— cassie met agent simmons (@englacas) July 15, 2020
What’s wrong with Kermit’s voice?
— Michael (@LazySportsTakes) July 15, 2020
— Matt Melendrez (@mdm4ever) July 15, 2020
Kermit’s voice is really off. Like he’s not even trying to sound right. He’s the focal point of the show. His voice is an important part of the character. #kermit
— Santo (@Viva_Del_Santo) July 16, 2020
The new guy just doesn’t quite hit the mark, it’s too, normal? Doesn’t really get close to Henson or Whitmire
— Simon Powell (@SI_powell) July 15, 2020
Bring back Steve Whitmire, Kermit doesn’t sound even close to Kermit anymore
— Simon Powell (@SI_powell) July 15, 2020
Steve Whitmire’s replacement on Kermit doesn’t sound right. https://t.co/cQOf5XkIxn
— Stuart Ian Burns is still (@feelinglistless) July 15, 2020
A number of fans think Vogel’s Kermit sounds way too low and deep compared to Henson and Whitmire’s versions.
Kermit now sounds like Barney the Dinosaur!
— Playtime, all the Time! (@TimePlaytime) July 15, 2020
Sorry but that is not the proper Kermie. The voice is way too low. Disappointing. ? Scooter is wrong as well.
— Clean and Tidy (@AndTidy) July 15, 2020
Does anyone else think Kermit’s voice sounds too deep in this? Makes me miss Steve Whitmire.
— Nick Sorenson (@Nick0086) July 15, 2020
For some people, Kermit’s new voice isn’t big of a deal. They, however, admitted that it’s going to take a while to get used to Vogel’s version of the character.
I am really looking forward to the new Muppets stuff on Disney+. It is the reason I’m going to subscribe. That being said it is going to take me a while to get used to the new Kermit voice. The fact that I’ve been around for three Kermit voices makes me feel old.
— Troublin’ Times Todd™ (@RowkerTheJoker) July 15, 2020
The new Kermit voice will take getting used to, but I am so excited for the Muppets to return!
— Jon Mortensen (@JonFromBuckland) July 15, 2020
Nothing will ever match Jim Henson’s portrayal of Kermit the Frog, but that’s because it was the original.
A character is not just a voice.
As long as the portrayal still feels like the Kermit the Frog we all love that’s what’s important.
— Muppet History (@HistoryMuppet) July 15, 2020
Directed by Kirk Thatcher, Muppets Now is an improvised situation comedy based on the beloved The Muppets franchise. Its six-episode season 1 will revolve around Scooter, who is given the task of delivering and uploading the new Muppets streaming TV series. He’s running late to get the show going, so he will need to overcome any obstacles in his way. From zany experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker to lifestyle tips from the fabulous Miss Piggy, each episode is packed with hilarious segments, hosted by the Muppets showcasing what they do best.
Muppets Now premieres on Disney+ on July 31st.
Who is the voice of Kermit the Frog?
Kermit the Frog has been voiced by several actors since 1955. But the three most popular Kermit the Frog voice actors are the previously mentioned Jim Henson, Steve Whitmire, and Matt Vogel.
Kermit voice actors
As mentioned above, the original Kermit the Frog’s voice was from Henson. Henson first lent his pipes to the character in 1955 in his TV series Sam and Friends. Henson’s version of Kermit the Frog’s voice has often been described as intelligent-sounding with a little bit of naughtiness.
Henson’s last known performance as Kermit was for an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1990 to promote the TV special The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Henson passed away 12 days after that appearance.
After Henson’s death, his wife Jane and son Brian had selected Whitmire to be the new voice of the beloved character. Kermit the Frog’s voice and personality during Whitmire’s tenure were widely described as more wholesome, lighthearted, and Pollyanna-ish than Henson’s. Whitmire remained Kermit the Frog’s principal performer until October 2016.
Vogel officially became Kermit the Frog’s voice in July 2017. He first voiced Kermit in a Muppet Thought of the Week YouTube video and remains to be the current principal performer of the character.
In addition to Henson, Whitmire, and Vogel, the following actors have also lent their pipes to Kermit the Frog on a few occasions: John Kennedy, Artie Esposito, Frank Welker, Brian Cummings, Wally Wingert, and Matt Danner.
Who is the voice of Miss Piggy
Like Kermit the Frog’s voice, Miss Piggy’s voice has also been provided by a number of different actors. Frank Oz voiced Miss Piggy from 1976 to 2002 and was succeeded by Eric Jacobson as the Muppet’s main performer.
During Oz’s tenure as Miss Piggy, Richard Hunt occasionally performed the character during the first season of The Muppet Show. Miss Piggy was also performed by Jerry Nelson for a brief appearance in Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and by Fran Brill in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, both in 1974.
Additionally, Victor Yerrid briefly performed Miss Piggy in Muppets Ahoy!, a 2006 stage show for the Disney Cruise Line. The character was also voiced by Laurie O’Brien in Muppet Babies, Hal Rayle in the short-lived spinoff series, Little Muppet Monsters, and by Melanie Harrison in the 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.
How old is Kermit?
Kermit the Frog is currently 67-year-old.
When was Kermit the Frog created?
The character first appeared in the live-action/puppet sketch comedy Sam and Friends, which first aired on WRC-TV on May 9th, 1955.
The original Kermit the Frog puppet was created by Jim Henson and was made from Henson’s mother’s old spring coat and a pair of Jim’s blue jeans.
Kermit the Frog Right Where I Belong
Kermit the Frog has performed several original songs since the Muppets franchise began and one of his most memorable songs to date is Right Where I Belong. He performed the song at the end of the 1984 movie The Muppets Take Manhattan.
Many earlier scenes in the film featured Kermit the Frog getting interrupted when he’s about to sing it. But he ultimately performed the song after he had been karate chopped by Miss Piggy, who he insulted with pig jokes while still suffering from amnesia.
You can watch the performance in the video below:
Kermit the Frog memes
In recent years, Kermit the Frog has become the subject of various internet memes. When asked at Topps DigiCon 2022 how he feels about being the face of several memes, the Muppet said, “It’s not that easy being meme…that’s a Fozzie joke…it’s just something that happens, and uh, one day you’re just sitting there sippin’ tea, the next minute, you’re all over social media. Then again, there are worse ways to be all over social media, so, uh, I’ll take it.”
Below are some of the popular examples of Kermit the Frog memes:
Who made the Muppets?
Jim Henson, whose real name is James Maury Henson, was the creator of the Muppets, an ensemble cast of puppet characters known for an absurdist, burlesque, and self-referential style of variety-sketch comedy. Created in 1955, the Muppets are the focus of a media franchise, now owned by The Walt Disney Company, that encompasses TV, film, music, and other media. Henson coined the term Muppets as a meld of marionettes and puppets.
How many Muppets are there?
According to a 2020 story by The Hollywood Reporter, there are an estimated 3,300 individual Muppets characters in existence, across all Disney and Jim Henson Co. properties.