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Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Sep 1, 2009.
Mmmm, wasn't Steve at D23... unfortunately.
But, as Steve himself says, it's behind us.
Long before I registered and looked through the whole "Steve is gone" debacle, I remember seeing someone claim that is wasen't his voice at the Expo. I can't remember who it was, or what thread, but I remember reading that, so I'm saying that it was indeed his voice.
To be frank, I was there, I saw all of it, not just the short clip from the media. It sounded like Steve. Steve was obviously not there live, but it was not Artie's voice.
Regardless, I do not appreciate your rude tone. ("i don't even know where you got that from")
I already said that I was not trying to cause problems, so I don't know why you felt the need to get snarky
Its over. Perhaps this thread should just be closed.
I think the Kermit voice track was pre-recorded at the D23. Wasn't that the consensus and why the meet and greet was Fozzie, Gonzo and Pepe, but no Kermit?
Yes, Steve was never on hand at D23. He was doing something else, whatever it was.
The official explanation was that Kermit was in New York. So who knows why Steve wasen't at the meet and greet. Perhaps he just couldn't make it. But I do think that it was his voice at the performance. From all that I heard, it sounded like him.
But anyway, the debacle is over.
On another note, I was at the meet and greet and loved it, by the time I got to the front, Gonzo and Fozzie had gone on break, but it was fun meeting Pepe.
Yeah the Muppets rarely sing live ... they certainly weren't live at the Rockefeller tree lighting either (i think that was both mimed AND edited in from an earlier pre-recording) so i can imagine the recording for D23 was done in studio long before the whole switcherooni stuff ever happened.
I always thought it was Steves voice at D23, only one person here ever speculated it wasn't.
The Youtube clips are dead. This one works, although you will have to suffer through all of America's Got Talent to get to the Muppet bits: http://www.wisevid.com/play?v=2tzvtq5u6t-c
This guy sounds NOTHING like Mr. Henson, nor Mr. Whitmire. I can understand the difficulties of taking on such an iconic character, and the stress this performer must have been under. But honestly, it was such a poor representation of Kermit the Frog that I think it would have been better to leave him out of the show entirely. It's like Issac Hayes voicing Mickey Mouse. It just doesn't work. And, as mentioned several times by other members, the puppetry is very, very poor. Kermit looks like he's combating pre-mortem Rigor Mortis.
But Eric Jacobson has really grown on me as Piggy. I thought at first that no one could replace Frank Oz. In the beginning, Jacobson sounded like a bad impressionist, inserting too many 'moi's, his voice was to deep, etc. But now, even Piggy's mannerisms are starting to look like Oz's. Impressive.
And, of course, the chickens were amazing.
Hmmmm. I find it a little strange that this thread got bumped up recently after being dead for a while. I know we closed the 'Kismet the Toad' discussion and I'm not trying to stir up trouble, but while we're talking about this, there is something that I've been curious about. In Muppet Wiki it said that John Kennedy voiced in 'Disney Cruise Lines.' Was that during the time Steve was away? Anyone know what's up with that?
That was me...newbie error, I was surfing around the 'related posts' area at the bottom of a current post.
I'd just attended a lecture in which Steve intimated that there had been some recasting issues with Disney, so I was curious and poked around the forum for background. The video for AGT linked to in this thread has since been removed and I couldn't find it anywhere else; the MTV Video Awards link was still active and based on that only I objected to the level of vitriol displayed against Artie. So I opened my trap. Sorry!
I see. It's alright. You don't need to apologize. In fact, I have been curious about that John Kennedy (Disney Cruise Lines) thing but I didn't want to post anything on that because we sort of got over that topic, but since this thread was updated it sort of gave me a chance. Though no one really answered my question there. Lol.
Thanks for that info. That might sort of 'splain what went on last September with Artie's Kermit and mabye Kennedy as Kermit at DCL as well. Still I don't know why Disney would want to recast Kermit after Steve has been doing so well for nearly 20 years. It is something to think about. But it's up to the mods on whether or not we want to keep this thread going.
I think this thread popped up again because, on the MuppetCast, Steve confirmed that it was Disney's experiment with a replacement Kermit performer and not his availability that resulted in the two Steve-less Kermit appearances. The matter has been resolved and he's stated that it's Disney's choice and there are no hard feelings about it. They tried it and it didn't work. So, it's the official confirmation that kind of started things here, but now that we know there's probably little need for this discussion unless it happens again. But it probably won’t.
Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing that up.
I don't actually fault Disney for trying it. Muppeteers aren't immortal; emergencies, and unforeseen circumstances and sometimes tragedies occur, thus Disney would be fools not to prepare for the worst and have emergency plans in place should anything happen to one of their key players. Even if fans are kept in the dark, they need to be searching and training understudies so a sudden tragedy doesn't grind all the Muppets plans to a grinding halt for years.
The problem though was (a) the way Disney handled it...code of silence mixed with sudden shock, leaving fans to worry about Steve and automatically have their hackles raised and claws sharpened (b) trying it with not only their top dog character (or "top frog" if you will) but also doing it with someone who simply was not ready for primetime (though perhaps someday he may very well be). The way it was executed, this was an experiment that was destined for failure.
But all in all, despite some bad p.r. (though some corporate beancounters will say any publicity is "good publicity" even if negative...though Toyota would probably currently disagree!) and a really rocky road - all is good, if not better in the end since Disney now knows how disastrous it can be and Steve's place as Kermit is pretty much set in stone now until he can no longer do it. I know this thread had been stormy, it did get ugly for a bit, but i really applaud the moderators for not taking the easy way out and leaving the thread open. The impassioned debates that took place here ultimately helped Disney see the errors in its ways, and drove the fans to take proactive action via Postcards for Steve, flooding Disney with feedback, spreading the word on blogs and articles. Frogs may sadly be an endangered species right now but one very important froggy baby has had his life (and heart and soul) greatly expanded.
I understand why Disney tried that. The top puppeteers probably require a higher fee than younger hungry ones of great talent too. However, I think they soon discovered how it weakens their investment in the Muppets to have these fillers. I'm all for new performers with new characters as long as our classic ones are still headlining too and with their soul performers (until the torch is passed).
That's what I'm HOPING was the problem. After all, Disney lost the voice of Mickey Mouse not too long before, and I wonder if they had anyone else in mind, or they didn't even expect it, causing them to panic, and cause this situation.
I really don't like the sound of recasting puppeteers who want to work cheaper. Disney has had a solid foot in the ground when it came to to their characters, only recasting because of death or retirement or unavailability, or not having to pay huge celebrities to voice themselves in cheaper Weekday cartoons... not to mention the Robin Williams Genie fiasco. Again, Warner Bros has such an inconsistency with their Looney Tunes characters, leaving any available voice actor to play various roles. it's not uncommon to hear Jeff Glen Bennet at Sylvester one time, Joe Alasky another, or someone else entirely another time. And I really think it cheapens what they have. I remember hearing that June Foray had to re-audition for Granny for Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries (I can't remember is someone posted that here or someone else)... and the only reason she still plays Granny is that she got really angry and told them off. You go, Girl.
Whatever reason, I'm glad that it failed. If it was a nervous reaction to Wayne Alwine's sudden passing or some sort of bargaining chip to get actors to work for less or whatever only stands as an ugly smirch on what has otherwise been a long line of good stuff coming our way.
Okay, maybe a bit off-topic here, but that's something I never knew. I knew June was getting up there in years and a recast for Granny might be necessary someday, but I never knew it was because of that. Makes one wonder if Steve had those feelings about somebody else playing Kermit.
I'm also wondering about the characters who don't have official peformers (ex: Floyd, Scooter, Robin, etc.) I know it was said in LTS that Rudman was officially Scooter & Janice, but personally I think they could do better. Still I see what Disney was thinking. I guess they want to concentrate more on the major characters and seeing what can happen in case of emergencies. I can sort of see both sides ot the argument her.
Floyd, Robin, and all of Jerry Nelson's Muppet characters have been taken over by Matt Vogel, who is doing an incredible job.
Rudman was chosen as Scooter and Janice because his voice is not only near-perfect, but because he was a very close friend of Richard Hunt's and the Muppet performers thought he would be a good fit.
It's a LOOOOONG story, and I can't remember all the details, but from what I can recall, they wanted to go with a Bea Benaderet sound-a-like, even though she rarely played Granny in a Sylverster and Tweety cartoon. June was NOT happy, and I couldn't blame her. Rest assured, this happened in 96, and she was still in great form. After telling the producers off, somehow they decided to give her the role anyway... and great thing too. I just love hearing June Foray, in her sweet little ol' lady voice say (during Mardi Gras) "Here you gpo, Hector... I've got some beads for you! The things I had to do to get these!"
To take it a step further, Matt got the roles, not only under Jerry's blessing, but he was suggested by the man himself. Now that's what I want to hear with a recast. Suggested by the performers themselves, with their blessing.
Yeah. I heard about that. In fact in Jerry's interview, he mentioned that Matt is now doing the puppeteering for the Count, so I'm guessing he'd be next in line there for whenever Jerry retires from the role.
Important; Please read
Just to give an update, in this podcast from MuppetCast, Steve is interviewed and is questioned about what happened with America's Got Talent;
Steve Whitmire is brief about it, but in response to the America's Got Talent appearance;
He basically says that he was available to do the show, he was there when it happened. He says that it was an experiment to try something on the part of the Walt Disney Company, and that he didn't think that it was a good idea.
He says that it happened, and "its behind us". He says that no one is mad at each other. He feels that its not fair to say anymore, because there are politics involved and they are all moving ahead.
All in all, Steve seems very positive and hopeful for the future. Its a very interesting interview, and I encourage everyone who reads this to listen to all of it if they haven't already.
..Oops! Sorry, I didn't notice that Frogboy already mentioned it..
Oh well, I gave the link, so give it a listen!
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