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Why is Steve Whitmire the voice of Kermit?

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by TidusEstar, May 24, 2005.

  1. TidusEstar

    TidusEstar Active Member

    He sounds great now, almost like Jim Henson but why was he chosen orginally for the voice of Kermit? Was he his understudy?
  2. That Announcer

    That Announcer Well-Known Member

    While I am not really sure, you might want to surf on over to the "Interviews" section in "Articles" and check out the Steve Whitmire interview there.
  3. jeffkjoe

    jeffkjoe Well-Known Member

    Interesting to note:

    Jim Henson died in 1990, and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Kermit was Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992 and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Ernie was Sesame Street New Year's Eve in 1993.

    Must have been a tough 2 years to get a replacement.
  4. muppet_dk

    muppet_dk Well-Known Member

    The first time Steve did kermit was in 1990 in "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson"
  5. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    Really? Someone always told me it was Brian Henson.
  6. Rattus P Rattus

    Rattus P Rattus Active Member

    probably because he was the youngest Muppeteer and he wouldn't die of old age while he was playing Kermit.
  7. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    That's what a lot of people think but it was most certainly Steve.

    Steve was actually going to become an alternate for Kermit I believe. I believe JIm and Steve had a conversation about it. While Jim didn't plan on giving up Kermit anytime soon, he was planning on taking on a lot of stuff. Had the time come when Jim couldn't perform Kermit at one time or another, Steve mostly likely would have become his alternate. It just so happened that Steve was forced into the role prematurly and none of us were eased into it. I think the reason we didn't see Steve as Kermit until 93 was because we just didn't have any productions until then. The compnay just lost it's owner and creative mind. Plus they had to recover from a failed Disney deal.

    I think Steve was spot on with Kermit in MCC. The character and even voice and puppet work were all great. Since then I feel as if Steve has gotten a bit laxed with Kermit's facial expressions.
  8. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    What was Steve's first line as Kermit? Is it the "I knew you guys could do a tribute for Jim" after "Just one Person...?"
  9. lowercasegods

    lowercasegods Well-Known Member

    In an interview I read with Steve, he said that Jim mentioned to him that he'd always regretted that Steve hadn't been given a more prominent regular character on the show (meaning that Jim didn't feel that Rizzo was of the same caliber as Fozzie or Scooter), and wanted to meet with Steve to discuss fixing the situation. The meeting never occured due to Jim's passing, but soon after that, Steve was given Kermit to perform. Steve said (and I'm paraphrasing) he'd never dreamed that this was the regular character Jim had in mind for him.

    I know that in the beginning, many people naturally assumed that Brian Henson had taken over Kermit after Jim's passing. Around that same time, veteran voice actor Mel Blanc died, and he had announced two years earlier during the production of Who Framed Roger Rabbit that his son Noel would take over the voicing duties of Bugs Bunny after Mel passed on. This led to the assumption that every son of a famous voice actor or puppeteer would take the reins from his deceased father. Ironically, Noel Blanc didn't end up voicing Bugs Bunny ever, and a succession of voice actors have done the jobs ever since.

    I believe Brian felt he couldn't perform Kermit because of the powerful bond the character had to his father, so giving Kermit to Steve was not only the best choice, but probably a necessity.
  10. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    yeah. "What a great song. I knew you guys could do the tribute for Jim."
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I thought so.

    And it really is a touching line....
  12. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Just One Person has ALWAYS made me tear up!! Always, and not just because of that tribute show.
  13. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    It was really touching to see Kermit show up at the end. The way they were talking about Kermit in the special it was if we would not see him or hear him again. When he showed up at the end it was like Kermit saying everything will be ok.

    I'm not sure why it too longer to get Steve as Ernie on Sesame Street. Perhaps because Steve was not on Sesame Street before that. There also wasn't much of a need right away because they have a huge archive of Bert and Ernie sketches.
  14. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Do you have it? i can send you an Mp3 if you don't, Kev.
  15. Aaron

    Aaron Well-Known Member

    do you mind sending one to me ol buddy ol pal apbuitron@yahoo.com
  16. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking maybe Kermit wasn't the main host for Muppet's Tonight, was because Kermit was still trying to get his personality back during that time. So he made small appearances on each show.

    Also, some people on here were saying that Steve spazzes out too much with Kermit. But I remember Jim doing a great job making Kermit angry and spazzing out many times. And I was at first worried if Steve wouldn't be able to make those famous Kermit spazz attacks like Jim's done. But it looks like he can. :)
  17. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    But Kermit spazz's out a litle too often now. He gets flustered really easily. He was always the calm one until ti got really nuts. Now he reminds me of Nigel from MT.
  18. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    I don't think that's true. I believe Noel did voice Bugs once or twice on "Tiny Tunes" or something like that. Sorry for getting off topic, but I just thought I'd point that out.
  19. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    (Sorry about repeating posts again. I haven't really read through all the messages here yet, so I'd just like to put in my two cents)

    Yeah, Steve was great at having Kermit spazz, specifically in "Muppet Treasure Island:" "WHO HIRED THIS CREW??!!!"

    And of course there was the time Kermit really lost it in the Christmas movie.
  20. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    Noel Blanc did Bugs Bunny once in a Tiny Tunes X-mas special for some reason. On the regular Tiny Tunes show Bugs and all of the characters were played by Jeff something. I forgot the whole name. He then quit or was fired for some weird reason. Since then the character got split up a bit with a few different people switching. I'm not really sure why WB didn't honor Mel Blanc's choice for a replacement. I guess after all those years it just didn't matter to them. He was just a voice artist to them.

    I kind of wish Jim Henson had lined up soe replacements for himself but since his death was so sudden he really had no time or reason to. He probably would still be doing Kermit and only now thinking of who could take over for him.

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