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Favorite Kermit Voice Actor? Jim Henson or Steve Whitmire?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by MuppetFan12, Oct 26, 2012.


Favorite Kermit Voice Actor?

  1. Jim Henson

    33 vote(s)
  2. Steve Whitmire

    11 vote(s)

  1. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Okay I'm gonna knit pick here just a bit but it's not spelled "Rolf" it's "Rowlf." Not trying to be rude but it really irk's me when names aren't spelled right. :o
  2. BooberGypsy

    BooberGypsy Active Member

    Yeah I know it's Rowlf but I have a phone that keeps correcting it...
    CaseytheMuppet likes this.
  3. cjd874

    cjd874 Well-Known Member

    Here's what I like about both of them:
    I tip my hat to Steve Whitmire because he had the huge responsibility of taking over after Jim. Steve's singing voice is outstanding, and his Kermit sounds much cheerier. He really does the voice acting well, too. Jim didn't have to alter his voice much when performing Kermit, but Steve does, and he is great as the current performer of KTF.
    Jim's Kermit was more versatile, capable of moving viewers to tears ("Bein' Green" or the scene in The Muppet Movie 1979 where Kermit chats with himself under the stars) and making us laugh out loud (routines with Miss Piggy, Grover, Fozzie, Cookie Monster, Floyd, Scooter, & others). Jim's Kermit had the ability to create memorable scenes with any character he interacted with, especially because Jim had a great rapport with the other Muppeteers.
    So by a slight margin, I prefer Jim Henson's Kermit, even though I was born a few years after Jim's death.
  4. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    This is a loaded question because I enjoy both Kermit performers.

    Jim Henson originated Kermit and performed him for 35 years, however the frog didn't become a household name until Sesame Street and Hey Cinderella. That means Jim's Kermit was most visible for about 21 years.

    Steve Whitmire took over Kermit 22 years ago. Both representations are now on equal-footing as far as the frog's visibility is concerned. Steve's frog is also the Kermit that the current generation of young people grew up knowing.

    Nothing beats the original. I prefer Jim's Kermit because he had a special way of balancing a keen wit with his laid-back nature. He was much more likely to speak his mind while Steve's Kermit seeks to please an audience by telling them what they want to hear. He also has a little more energy. Incidentally, I have noticed Kermit's sound becomes deeper and more Jim-like as Steve gets tired. Of course both interpretations experience a meltdown when his patience is tested, particularly by Piggy.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  5. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I just wanna make clear by me saying I think one tends to do things better then the other that I am not disrespecting either one. I both regard them HIGHLY! I think Jim's Kermit was better at flying off the handle where as I don't think that is Steve's strength. I mean I know we've seen Steve's Kermit get mad at times although nowadays it seems even lesser but still when it HAS happened it just doesn't have that same whit to it that Jim was able to bring to it. Jim just had it.

    I have to slightly disagree with saying Steve's Kermit tells the audience what they wanna hear because I remember Steve's Kermit telling an interviewer how he doesn't try to always listen to what the fans want he just wants to do things that he wants to do and be himself. Now granted I know Steve was in character but in someways I'd also like to think that was also Steve himself saying that as well.

    However all in all I love Kermit and that's good enough for me. :)
    HeyButtahfly likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's exactly how to put it. It's hard to chose between the one who originated and created the role to the one continuing the role. That puts the spotlight on Steve, I think. That's not quite fair, since... let's face it, either Kermit was to get a new performer or the character died with Jim. When it comes to characters being recast, they're always in the Catch 22 of "I want so and so back" and "That doesn't sound like the So and so I know and love."

    And I still object to the term "voice" when talking about a puppeted character. That's like saying Harrison Ford is the voice of Hans Solo to me. Every time a Muppet performer is mentioned by the media, it's ALWAYS "The voice of so and so." That annoyed me to no end when they reported the passing of Jerry Nelson. Sure, he was the voice of the characters near the end, but he was always a puppeteer before that.
    jgidley likes this.
  7. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    This isn't even a question. Kermit is part of Jim Henson's spirit. As good of a job as Whitmire has done, he's only a medium, channeling that part of Henson's soul (cheesy as that sounds.)
  8. MuppetGuy75

    MuppetGuy75 Well-Known Member

    I don't even have to think about this question! Jim Henson is and will always be Kermit to me. Steve does an amazing job and I'm glad he's able to continue the magic that Jim made with Kermit. Although voices are slightly different from one another, Steve has been able to create the same cute/funny appearance and looks that Kermit has always had. But as so many of you have said, Jim WAS Kermit... in so many ways.

    God Bless Jim Henson
    cjd874 likes this.
  9. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    And in a lot of ways Kermit is WAS also Jim. :):jim:
  10. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Jim, Steve is a great Kermit but there's a difference. Steve's Kermit is more energetic while Jim's Kermit evolved to be more mature and very adult human like which really gaves me the impression that Kermit is human. Kermit also had more of an anger management problem which I really miss about Kermit because Steve didn't really have Kermit being ticked off too much except for It's a very merry Muppet Christmas Movie. But personally it can't compare say the episode where Kermit fires Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show. Same goes with Miss Piggy, I much prefer Frank Oz's instead of Eric Jacobson's. Eric is also a great replacement but I found Frank to be funnier with his characters, for example Frank mentioned that Piggy was a character of pain. She pretended that she was a big star and which she isn't talented, she's overweight, Kermit doesn't love her, and he's a pig, the world is against her and her covering her pain is the joke. Frank disscribes his characters with great detail and I like that, it gives me a more 3D took inside what made the character.

    I usually don't talk too much about Classic Muppets vs Current Muppets, as much as I just love to rant about it. lol I understand that there's fans here that like the current stuff more then I so I tend to not talk too much about it here. Unless there's a thread like this of course. lol
    Plaid Fraggle and CensoredAlso like this.
  11. Auberoun

    Auberoun Well-Known Member

    I really hate having to answer questions like this. My gut response is Jim, since he was the one that performed Kermit that I was most familiar with, and he passed when I was in High School. But, Steve has done a great job, and I feel sorry that he is only receiving 25% of the vote so far. I feel that Jim did what I call Kermit's "exasperated voice" better. That is to say, when his voice cracks while yelling, like he is going thru puberty again or something. Steve doesn't do that quite as often or as good as Jim did. Best example of the voice I can think of is when Kermit fires Piggy in Episode 502 of TMS.
  12. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Maybe if Steve ate more hamburgers, we'd go from being only a medium to an extralarge.
  13. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    *Ba dum CHH!*
  14. Plaid Fraggle

    Plaid Fraggle Well-Known Member

    I wonder if Steve would even be hurt if someone said they like Jim's Kermit better. I think he knows better than most that Kermit is a part of Jim. If I was him, I can only imagine that I would perform him as an act of honor, personal challenge, and of course enjoyment! Just like if someone new performed one of Steve's characters, say, Wembley Fraggle. Of COURSE the character would be different then, and just about everyone would vote that Steve's Wembley was the "true" Wembley--I'm pretty confident in saying that.

    I like both Kermits a lot for who they are. And even in Jim's time, Kermit evolved and changed like any character, or any person for that matter :)
    Auberoun likes this.
  15. Auberoun

    Auberoun Well-Known Member

    I think this sums it up nicely.
    I recall reading an interview with Steve about a month after he took over Kermit. He relates how a package arrived via courrier, and he had to sign for it. Upon opening it, he found it was puppet case with Kermit inside, along with a letter requesting that he perform Kermit from now on. He said that he was moved to tears, and set Kermit down in a chair in the room, and couldn't go back into that room for 3 days. He had doubts wether he could fill Jim's shoes or not, but decided to give it a shot. (I am glad he did, since one of my favorite post Jim Kermits is MCC.) So, I feel bad that he only has 25% of the vote, but I think he realizes that most of the fans just like Kermit, regardless of who is performing him.
  16. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Oh I can't choose, this is SO unfair!!!
  17. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Well, For me, I know that since I'm thirteen, I was born after Jim's death so I grew up with Steve's kermit. But when I really started getting into the Muppets and looking back on the older films, I could easily spot the difference in voice. But you know, I truly think that even though they're Kermits are a little bit different, the overall character is still there. And I think Steve is an outstanding performer as well as person. My point being, though he may not be Jim, he has the spirit of Jim in him.
  18. Auberoun

    Auberoun Well-Known Member

    I would avoid putting your age in your post. (Forum rules for your protection.) There are a lot of weirdos (and I don't mean the good kind) out there. I would edit it to say you were born after Jim's death and leave it at that.

    I absolutely agree with you that Jim's spirit has rubbed off on Steve. I think that can be attributed to the fact that Steve began working with Jim and a "younger" age than the other Muppet performers, so he was very impressionable, and open to what people had to teach him about life and Muppets. :)
  19. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Oh no! Clearly I wasn't thinking! I am so sorry, wish I could take that back! I seriously didn't mean to put my age down and break the rules! Sorry, and thanks for reminding me! :o
  20. Auberoun

    Auberoun Well-Known Member

    No worries, you can ask a mod to edit the post for you. Back to OP, I do give Steve a LOT of credit, I just prefer Jim...

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