Hi-Ho! The new voice of Kermit the Frog speaks

Posted on: August 30th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) — Matt Vogel has made his debut as the new body and voice behind Muppet Kermit the Frog.

The Sesame Street veteran replaced longtime puppeteer and voiceover artist Steve Whitmire, who played Kermit for more than 25 years. He succeeded the Muppets’ creator, Jim Henson, who was the original voice of Kermit. Henson died in 1990.

Apparently, it isn’t easy being green: Whitmire’s split with the Muppets brand — which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney — was reportedly ugly, with the company and even Brian Henson, Jim’s son, complaining of alleged unprofessional behavior on Whitmire’s part. Whitmire denied the accusations, but allowed he was opinionated about the character.

Vogel’s first performance as Kermit is a Muppets Thought of the Week segment that just debuted on YouTube. 

Those who grew up with the original Kermit and The Muppet Show might notice how much closer Vogel’s take on the green guy is to Jim Henson’s, as compared to Whitmore’s. 

Brian Henson recently told The Hollywood Reporter, “[There were] a lot of complexities to Kermit that have been kind of falling away, and I do believe Matt Vogel can access that energy really well…And I believe that in protecting Kermit going forward, Matt will do a really wonderful job.”

He added, “I think the fans should not be so scared of change. Steve did Kermit for a very long time — I would say for far too long. And the character was no longer being serviced by Steve performing Kermit.”

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