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The Muppets: Originals vs Recasts

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Pig's Laundry, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Just curious to see which performers you guys prefer for each character.

    For the most part, I like Frank Oz's versions of his characters more than Eric Jacobson's. Frank just gave them so much life, and he really understood the characters so well which made his performances and his ad libbing so great. That being said, I think I actually prefer Eric's Fozzie. I dunno if it's just because of what i'm used to but, Eric's Fozzie seems to have a wider emotional range, he just seems more believable to me.

    Now, don't freak out, but as a few have said before, I actually prefer Ryan Dillon's Elmo to Kevin's. I mean, I love Kevin's version of the guy, but he really only seemed to have one emotion most of the time. He was almost always happy, he rarely got frustrated (unless Zoe brought out that pet rock) and that's about it. I think since Ryan took over the role, he seems to have grown up a little. And he has a wider range of emotions now. He's allowed to get jealous, frustrated or angry;he actually feels like a real character now.
  2. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Probably Eric, Steve, and Kevin.
  3. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I actually meant, do you prefer the original performer of a specific character or the current performer of that character. For example, do you prefer Steve's version of Kermit or Jim's version of Kermit? That's the point of the thread.
  4. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    I prefer Steve's Beaker than Richard's. Mostly because Steve brought a new side into Beaker and Richard just made him a one joke character.
    MikaelaMuppet and Duke Remington like this.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    The "purist" in me would have to go with original performers almost everytime, but I can say for certain that when it comes to Kermit and Ernie, I like both Jim and Steve's performances equally, because both brought some of themselves to each of the characters so it's not as though Steve was trying to do a straight-up imitation of Jim with the characters. I can also say, as I have been, that Eric as Oscar is such a seamless transition that unless you're just a hardcore Muppet Freak like we are, I doubt anybody else could actually tell a difference.

    I'm not saying I dislike any of the recasts, as I have gotten used them, but like I said, it took me a few years to get used to them, particularly Eric doing Frank's characters (and David doing Cookie), but now I'm so used to them that it seems almost odd to go back and listen to Frank doing his characters.

    I think for certain, one I can say I have more of a preference for is Caroll's Big Bird over Matt. Matt's a top-notch performer, very talented and very versatile, and while I can appreciate what he's been able to do as far as carrying on Big Bird's legacy, but in spite of having a great vocal range, Big Bird's voice doesn't seem to be one of his strengths.
    newsmanfan, MikaelaMuppet and gavry3 like this.
  6. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    You would think that since i've been obsessed with Big Bird ever since I was a baby, i'd have a harder time adjusting to Matt, but I actually don't mind him at all. I'm completely amazed by his performance. He's somehow gotten all of Caroll's subtle little movements, that you barely even notice when your watching the show, but they're super important. Matt's performance reminds me of when Caroll was younger and had that child-like energy. Matt seems to completely understand the attitude of the character. As for his voice, I think his voice is pretty close. Big Bird's voice is not an easy one to imitate at all, so the fact that it's anywhere in the right range is miraculous in itself.
    MikaelaMuppet and Duke Remington like this.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean, for a while, Caroll was considering Noel MacNeal to be his Big Bird understudy, and while I'm sure Noel could certainly pull off a physically demanding character like Big Bird (considering he was Bear, after all), apparently he just couldn't get the voice just right. Then again, Noel's natural voice is rather distinct anyway, so I guess I could imagine how trying to imitate Big Bird may not have sounded quite right. Matt's Big Bird voice kind of reminds me of when Caroll was transitioning it from the original country bumpkin voice to his present voice, so yeah, I can agree that it's at least in the right range. Like I said, not just Big Bird, but Oscar's isn't easy either, which makes the fact that Eric can do it so flawless even more mindblowing.
  8. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    One that took me a pretty long time to get used to was David Rudman's Janice and Scooter, but especially the latter. I remember when Letters to Santa
    first came out, I was dumbfounded when I first heard him. Literally the first thing that came out of my mouth was "Why the heck does Scooter sound like Baby Bear!". It took until about the 2011 movie for me to get used to them, but I guess it's because they had more to do in that.
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  9. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Jim's Kermit and Ernie sounded deeper and vaguely mature while Steve gives them a lively feel, I like both but I still would prefer Jim's.

    Rudman's Scooter is similar to what Steve did to Kermit, it gave Hunt's character a peppy feel.
  10. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    Another aspect to the performance aside from the voice is the actual puppeteering and body language. I think all of the new crew do a great job of capturing those little tics that the characters have. Whether it be Floyd's strut, Janice's head tilt when she talks, Uncle Deadly gliding into a scene or Scooter's arm gesture - not sure what to call it. You all know what I mean. ;-) But all of them are able to capture the physicality of the characters.
  11. Princeton

    Princeton Well-Known Member

    You sure you wanna open this can of worms?...Here we go.
    Steve: So like most of us, my first exposure to Steve's Kermit was MCC and since I was only four years old when that film came out, i couldn't ell the difference. And because so much time went by before I realized Steve replaced Jim, they both gelled in my mind as Kermit's voice. I don't like Steve's Beaker or Statler (but then again I didn't like Jerry's Statler either).
    Eric: I know Eric has been performing Frank's characters for 15+ years but I will always loathe his performances of them. He makes absolutely no attempt to make Piggy sound female and it's so troubling. His overall performance of Fozzie is a little shaky but when he really shines as Fozzie is when doing interviews on talk shows. It's so clear that he really boned up on Fozzie's personality upon being cast. If Eric has a best performance, it's probably Sam but since Sam's nothing but a Muppet Mitt Romney, who cares?
    Bill: As a whole, his performances of Jim's Characters have been pretty solid. The one slight moan was the decision to not have Rowlf speak until the first James Bobin film. I really feel like they shot themselves in the foot by casting Bill as Bobo and establishing him as a character first because by the time Bill performed Rowlf for the first time, you realize Bobo and Rowlf have the exact same voice. So now we're back to square one in terms of Rowlf's appearances being limited because you can't have Bobo and Rowlf be in the same scene.
    David: In my mind, there are two perfect recasts and David's Cookie is one of them. As far as Richard's characters go, they're not pitch perfect representations but they do Richard proud.
    Matt: I've said it before and I'll say it a million more times if I have to: Matt's performances of Jerry's characters sound exactly like Dave (and frankly so does Constantine, but I highly doubt they're bringing him back again so it doesn't really matter). So for all the difference it makes, give Jerry's characters to Dave because not counting Chip, Dave has the lowest workload in terms of characters. Now remember when I said that there were two perfect recasts? The other is Matt's Sweetums. In the Muppets TV series, for the longest time I thought they dubbed in Richard's voice.

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