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Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Sep 1, 2009.
Well we can always do some snooping around. Hold tight and let me see what I can find out.
More Muppets Please
I'm just glad that Disney cares enough about the Muppets (and the Muppet fans) to keep putting them out there.
Let's hope that this is just the first of many more fun, funny, and high profile television appearances.
More Muppets please!
I haven't seen nor heard the "new Kermit" so I only hope that this was a one time thing.
I don't normally make much effort to watch Muppet guest appearnces on shows I don't normally watch, but I watched this appearance last night (and was online during the show, not paying any attention until Kermit and Piggy were on).
Personally, I thought that Kermit sounded more like Jim Henson's Kermit. It made me think that Whitmire was finally closer to Kermit's original voice. But who knows? Maybe Disney has hired an official understudy for Kermit, like how Big Bird has an understudy. And at Muppetfest it wasn't announced in advance that Miss Piggy wouldn't be performed by Frank Oz in the pre-taped footage. Maybe they chose not to announce it here (but then again, Statler and Waldorf were announced to make an appearance).
I doubt that Steve Whitmire would just suddenly quit the Muppets like this. And I don't think he's greedy enough to demand too much money (he did say in the Tough Pigs interview that all of the performers work freelance, even at Disney).
The more I think about this, the more I want to know WHY more than WHO. Whoever it was, was the wrong person. But WHY was he wrong? I don't know why they didn't either cancel or adjust the performance, as they would have if a human guest had fallen ill. Certainly a small explanation that Kermit had either Swine Flu, or a Frog in his Throat and that they had brought in Gonzo, or Beaker, or another Chicken to stand in for him would have sufficed.
And on the "He sounded more like Jim" issue...Have you tried listening to it with your eyes shut? Because if you haven't, then do. He sounds like Jim's Kermit for a fraction of a second...and then he can't even pronounce any of the words properly. It sounds more like, "Oobug ooga me hurt." And when he handed that CD over...well, it was like a squeak and a "Gaarrhg" and that was it! How frustrating! Don't be fooled!
If Kylie Manogue had fallen ill, she just wouldn't have appeared! She wouldn't have sent Danni!
Well, I just finished watching the video of last night's appearence.. and I have acouple things to say. One is, I agree with Minor Muppetz and the rest of you, who said that they thought it sourt've sounded like Jim Henson's Kermit. Personally, I do like both Steve's and Jim's Kermit.. but to tell you the truth, since I was born the year Jim died(in 1990), I like Jim's Kermit is a tad bit better than Steve's. The second is.. First of all, I read on Muppet Wiki this morning, that they plainly said that.. "Steve Whitmire wasn't the performer of Kermit, on last night's episode." I do give credit for trying, to whoever subbed for Steve last night.. but he really doesn't compare to either Steve's or Jim's Kermit(atleast for right now). To me, and this just my opinion, and I don't mean it to be mean in anyway.. but it sounded like Tony Clifton doing Jim Henson doing Kermit. And or a mix between Tony Clifton/Kermit. I hope I haven't made anyone dislike or hate me because of what I've said, but I just thought it was only fair for my opinion to be heard aswell. But on a good note, I think that whoever performed Kermit last night.. with alittle practice, can sub for , just as well as Matt Vogel can sub for . But whatever you do, please don't be mad at the Jim Henson Co. .. I'm sure they had a good reason for doing what they did.
Don't think anyone's going to hate you for that, JoeyMup! I'm with you 100%. It really did sound like an impressionist attempting Jim's Kermit, but sadly, this only lasted for about ten seconds and then it turned into random glugging noises...
Some of the responses here bother me to no end. Some of you people are actually proposing that this new guy (identified at Tough Pigs as Artie Esposito) should just completely usurp Steve Whitmire for the part of Kermit. That is the most ridiculous, uncalled for, unbelievable proposal I have ever heard. You honestly mean to tell me that you think that Steve Whitmire, a man who has worked with the Muppets for over thirty years, a man who was thrust Kermit after his idol, his mentor, his friend Jim Henson died, a man who ressurrected the frog from the ashes and has continued to perform him to his highest degree for NINTEEN YEARS should be made to give up HIS CHARACTER to some no-name puppeteer that's had a few background parts on a few shows?
Steve Whitmire is Kermit the Frog. You may not agree with every single stinkin' word that comes out of his mouth as Kermit, but like it or not, he is Kermit. He HAS BEEN Kermit for NINETEEN YEARS. He will continue to be Kermit until he CAN'T anymore. JIM HENSON knew Steve Whitmire. Jim saw Steve's talent and Jim (I think) had a hand in choosing Steve as Kermit. Frank Oz has said that, "Steve loved Jim and Jim loved Steve, taking on Kermit was not easy for Steve." Steve Whitmire has worked his *** off to be Kermit the Frog for the past NINETEEN YEARS and asking him to change that is unthinkable. The thought of bringing in an entirely new performer for Kermit the Frog after Steve Whitmire has performed him for NINETEEN YEARS is laughable, is inconcievable, is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Some of you say this fake-Kermit sounds more like Jim Henson? Again, I laugh. For one line, MAYBE, fake-frog sounds like Jim. But for the rest of it he sounded like a bad Scooter voice, a whispering ogre, or a bar-entertainer Kermit impersonator. After NINETEEN YEARS of Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog, there is no question that Steve Whitmire IS THIS CHARACTER. From the voice, to the mannerisms, to the head/hand shape--EVERYTHING ABOUT KERMIT IS STEVE WHITMIRE.
I honestly couldn't believe the things I was reading in this thread. People insinuating that the performer of fake-Kermit should completely overthrow Steve for Kermit. I'm saying this now and I'm never going to regret it: That is disgusting. Anyone who does not trust Steve Whitmire to handle Kermit the Frog should not call themselves a Muppet fan. Anyone who thinks that after NINETEEN YEARS of unprecedented hard work Steve should be replaced by some unknown, lousy puppeteering, Kermit impersonator should not call themselves a Muppet fan.
Steve Whitmire is Kermit the Frog. All others are just impersonators. Including Artie Esposito. Anyone who is not Steve Whitmire that slips on the puppet of Kermit the Frog is an impersonator.
I'm embararssed for Steve because of that lousy performance from Kermit last night. Miss Piggy, Eric Jacobson, and the Muppets in general should be proud of the appearance. But Artie Esposito (or whoever was performing the fake-Kermit) America's Got Talent should be embarrassed that the show was billed to feature Kermit the Frog, and instead featured a piece of green felt be waggled around and grunting.
Steve Whitmire is Kermit the Frog, and I will fight for whatever I must to keep it that way.
I couldn't have put it better myself
That did not in anyway sound more like Jim Henson's Kermit. There was a slight Jim quality to the voice, but not his Kermit voice. Also, I don't care what the voice sounds like if the puppetry is bad, which it was. It was SOOOO bad. Plus the guy can't sing.
I'm not a huge fan of Steve's Kermit, though I am a huge fan of Steve's, but Steve at least performs the character. In Muppet Christmas Carol Kermit was spot on and made me think Kermit was here to stay. This guy was soooo bad....so very bad. If he had been the one to take over Kermit from Jim Henson, the frog would have never made a come back.
Yes, he tried, but he failed. I couldn't even understand a lot of what he said. It was just a bad garbled Kermit impression. Could it get better? Yes. Is there potential in a few, very few, places? Yes. Should he have been out there performing as Kermit on national TV? No.
These were my exact thoughts, and I'm surprised at the negative reaction to the voice. I do feel the puppetry was stiff, and the personality/fluidity was weak, but that will improve with time. I'd be surprised if this change was anything more then a one shot deal, but I'd be interested to see this performer develop, especially if he continues to perform as the frog.
Unfortunately, because of the negativity and circularity of the comments... This thread is being closed. Thanks for understanding.
Man... I'm always fascinated how divided and passionate as fans we all are. It is a good thing, a very, very good thing. But I'm always so surprised how spread across the board we all are!
Ed closed this thread with the concern that some of the heated discussions would inevitable go down a negative path. However, after careful thought, we’re re-opening the discussion with the belief in each of you that no matter what you thought about the performance last night that we can discuss the pros and cons in a healthy manner.
As a reminder from the forum rules…
“While it's fine and appropriate to critique their work on a particular Henson production (whether you liked it or not), please be respectful of a performer's personal life at all times. Muppeteers personal lives need to be kept just that, personal.”
Let’s get back to discussing the performance last night and what it might mean for the future of the Muppets.
lol... it's been nearly 20 years and you guys are just NOW complaining? Wow
The only possible reason Steve couldn't perform besides the "being sick" excuse, would probably be him doing the Fraggle Rock movie.
I agree with the majority really that although the Muppets appearance as a whole wasn't bad and was great to see them on such a high profile show (again) that it was a seriously wrong move to have anyone else do Kermit than Steve ... however we don't the whys or the details behind all this so maybe it wasnt that simple a decision, but we have never seen a stand in (to my knowledge in the past) for the MAIN frog so it should have been avoidable. Usually in the case of sickness people can pull out, with clauses in the contracts etc - maybe Disney felt it was too good an opportunity to miss and it would not have been recognisable as a big Muppet performance enough without Kermit.
No offence to the performer (and Artie has been a valued member and one of us .. if it was him) but obviously it wasn't up to the standard of a seasoned veteran like Steve, and perhaps such a high profile show during prime time was not the best place to debut .. although again, we don't know the background behind this, maybe it was so last minute it was unavoidable or maybe there has been some practice somewhere. I know some people will not have noticed amongst the mainstream public but from looking at the Youtubes, it does seem that there were people who did notice something was off so perhaps at least its some comfort that the public (or at least some) do actually still remember what Kermit should sound like.
It does show to Disney the damage having multiple performers of different experience levels can do to the brand, though i guess they will be distracted by Americas Got Talents ratings.
I think it sounded rushed. I dont think it was a performer problem. I think whom ever was doing it would have done it better if they werent rushed. Something probably changed and they were rushed.
Id rather have BAD muppet voices then no muppets at all.
I have read that somebody at Tough Pigs heard from a secret source who the performer was (I keep forgetting the name of that performer). I don't know when he learned who it was, but judging by some of the negative comments, I wonder if Disney would be willing to reveal the performers identity now. After all, GelflingWaldo once said that the people at Disney currently want to keep the identity of the performer who performed Robin's voice in Letters to Santa a secret for now. A recast that very few complained about, and for a character that's not as major as Kermit or Piggy.
I'm going to be honest.
It was AWFUL. I felt like I was watching a bad youtube video of someone doing a cheap Kermit impersonation. Shame on Disney for letting this happen. And if the speculation I have heard about Steve is true, I am done with the Muppets.
Separate names with a comma.