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Meeting Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson. (A Day I'll Never forget)

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by KingR76, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    Let me set the scene, the last few weeks have been nutty here financially, have had no internet access and was only able to access my emails on a cheap mobile, I'd gone to the local library and looked on here and found out that the Muppets would be on the Chris Moyles show, I thanked Yoda that I knew about this and thought, "How am I going to get to London." so managed to borrow £20 from a Friend and on Friday I went up to London.

    The weather was nice and I held my excitement in good stead.

    After an hour or so Eric turned up and I must say that he was rather surprised when I A. Recognised him and B. Asked for his Autograph. To be fair some people just do a quick ineligble signature thats reminiscent of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Mr. Jacobson asked my name and not just got a personalised Autograph but he put:

    "Kissy Kissy, Miss Piggy" :)

    Shortly after this Steve turned up in his transport and like Eric before him he was rather surprised when I A. Recognised him. He was really Lovely and wanted very much to oblige but was rapidly ushered in by his p.a.s and other Disney staff (some of which were pulling in interestingly large waterproof containers large oblong carrycases that to the untrained eye would make someone think that something... Or SOMEONE was inside it could have been the Axe that the late Jimi Hendrix last performed with due to the care it was shown, but this wasnt some guitar, it was obvious who was inside the three different cases) I'd got my little radio out so I could hear the occupants of aforementioned containers on the Radio and found myself smiling at Kermit and Fozzies cameraderie with Chris Moyles... And then, to save the best for last Miss Piggy chose to grace the airwaves in the only way she knows how.

    I had the feeling that Steve had been doing Kermit quite a lot as his voice seemed in need of tlc.

    There were one or two other people outside with me but they didnt know what Steve or Eric looked like and actually expected Steve and Eric to walk in with Kermit and Miss Piggy on their arms - the only other person who seemed to be a big a Muppet Fan as I was the dj Chris Moyles himself, we had a little chat when he came out for breaks about "Whatnots" and said to the others that the Performers wouldnt come out with the Muppets due to how valuable they are and he looked at me and said "You know exactly what I mean."

    The paparazzi had turned up and took their positions and they also had no idea who they were looking for, I couldnt help but think "Good grief."

    And then Steve appeared and he recognised me instantly from before and asked what he would like me to Sign (I had Muppet Show Series 1 - NTSC Boxset so its the Kermit cover with his collar) Fraggle Rock complete boxset and Of Muppets and Men (Book) I chose to ask him to sign the first season, he then signed for a few other people and obliged without hesitation when someone said "Can you do Kermit?" and he said something as Kermit, after signing for the others he returned to me and signed Fraggle Rock boxset and then Of Muppets and Men at that point I took out my camera and he posed for a picture (even now this pangs me to say it you'll see why in a minute)

    Around this time

    By this time most of the paparazzi and the others had gone to Erics car to get Photos or Autographs.

    I said "Bye" to Steve (a REALLY nice Guy) and we hugged, it wasnt just a guy/guy hug, no, it was something much more than that, it was a hug of gratitude, of admiration, of appreciation and of him doing a brilliant job at keeping Kermit alive and keeping the Spirit of Jim Henson alive (most would think I was a sentimental old fool if they heard me saying this but I meant it) we had one last hand shake.

    On the way back to the station with my precious Treasures signed and Memories that will never leave me I took my iphone out to check what I'd taken that of Steve and I posing... And thats when it happened.... The file somehow got deleted - I cannot tell you how I felt and for the last few days I have beaten myself up over it.

    When I got back home I put Kermit on my arm and spoke to him and how upset I was at losing this picture and found myself rather comforted talking to him.

    I hope that I'll get the chance to meet Steve again as hes so Lovely.
  2. Cindy

    Cindy Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, what a neat encounter. So glad you got to hang around and meet them both. Sorry about your picture, though. :(
  3. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

  4. KermieBaby47

    KermieBaby47 Well-Known Member

    What a beautiful story! I am very envious of you right now, even with the lost picture (my guess is: it didn't get "stored" or "saved" right away, so was automatically deleted, happens on my Grammas phone - and my old one - all the time). I'm sure if we EVER figure out where to send fan mail, Mr. Whitmire would be happy to oblige you with an autographed photo, and possibly a heads-up for the next time he and Kermit are in your neck of the woods.

    Again, great story! Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers,
  5. Kermieuk

    Kermieuk Well-Known Member

    Great story. I was wandering if many fans turned up outside radio one. Steve is amazing, I met him in 2006 and he was thrilled that muppet fans had made the effort to go see him.... And kermit!!

    So so sorry you lost your pics, but on a positive you always have the story, memories and the signed treasures!!

  6. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Wow King! That sounds amazing!! The fact that you got to meet them in person! I'm sorry about your picture..But look at it this way, Steve remembered you, and you'll remember him! And now that this story is on here, the whole community will remember! ..And I'm sure Steve and Eric read Muppet Central as well;)
  7. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    OMG if i could see any puppeteer that would be amazing even a retired one like frank oz or jerry nelson
  8. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    KingR76, you simultaneously have my envy and my sympathy. I'm really sorry about your picture but, conversely, I think you're truly blessed to have met and gotten autographs from Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobsen, who both sounded like complete and total gentlemen.

    It's amazing that they could be so kind to so many fans as they head into the latest round of what must be the craziest media tour - and one of their most hectic experiences in general - that they've taken in their entire lives.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I must admit that I would probably hug Steve Whitmire if I ever have the good fortune to meet him. He has been front and centre (ironically, while being mostly hidden) in preserving the Muppet legacy over the past 22 years and I can't quantify how grateful I am for this.
  9. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    It was an encounter I'll never forget :) The loss of that picture is something I still havent gotten over.
  10. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    It would have been nice if there were true Genuine Fans so would have been nice to have seen you there :)
  11. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    If I was anyone else but me I know I'd be very envious of me. Let me say that Steve has a Warmth that I've only encountered once before and that was when I met Mr. Oz, Frank was so kind and accomodating towards me and the fact that the three Muppeteers I've met Frank, Steve and Eric have been so kind shows to me just how honest to goodness they were/still are and the wholesomeness that remains.

    I'd love to be able to Write to Mr. Whitmire and tell him this, even now I remember how he reciprocated when I hugged him :) Hopefully him and Kermit will be back here some time soon.

    You're very welcome. :)
  12. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    That might be a bad idea. Here's me if I see Steve and Eric.


  13. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    Thank you :)

    I was the very first Fan outside, in fact I turned up just before Chris Moyles turned up, I was joined by another person who had no idea what Steve or Eric looked like when they turned up and then two other people, the rest of the people who turned up were paps, papping Fearne Cotton (she remained expressionless as they were going about their job) but as soon as Fearne saw us (obviously not paps) she smiled and said "Good morning." to us.

    Was surprised there weren't more Fans outside Radio 1 :)

    Can only concur about Steve, he's filled with such an awesome Magick - I appreciate it, it took me quite some time to stop giving myself a hard time over it.

    The story, the memories and the signed Treasures are wonderful and something I will forever hold on to :)
  14. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    It was beyond amazing, Mr. Whitmire was so Lovely, I could say this until the cows came home but it still wouldnt be enough, the picture is something that will be at the back of my mind for a long time to come.

    Yep, when Steve came out, he came over to me first :) and it was nice to have that amazing recognition from him. This post has made me happy, and I'm hoping that if Steve and Eric do read this they'll know that meeting them was a true and memorable pleasure :)
  15. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    I met Mr. Oz last year he was so lovely and kind and appreciated that I was a Fan :)
  16. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    Many thanks and believe me I hold the same level of ambivalence towards myself as well, I can only reiterate what I've said before that Mr. Whitmire and Mr. Jacobson were very Lovely and accommodating, heres from what I can recollect the moment I met Eric.

    *Eric gets out of the Transport.*

    Me: Eric, hi :)

    *Eric seems very surprised that I know who he is and is even more surprised when I ask him for his Autograph*

    The fact that they were so kind holds testament to the characters that the World over instantly recognises, those of Love and Happiness.

    Hugging him felt nothing short of the most natural thing I could have done, a quick wave of the hand with a "Thanks Steve." would surely not have done justice, hugging Steve was not just hugging Kermit, but Steve but most of all (in my own way) hugging Jim Henson and the legacy he's left behind.
    miss kermie likes this.
  17. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzie weren't on their arms :) They were brought in in specical heavy duty carry cases. But I think they'd have loved to have seen your input :)
  18. panmanthe2nd

    panmanthe2nd Well-Known Member

    Wow! I would have loved to have been there. It sound's like it was great.
  19. KingR76

    KingR76 Well-Known Member

    As I mentioned in "Miss Piggy will be on the Red Carpet for the Baftas today." people would be yelling out the names of those strutting the Red Carpet in all their majestic Hollywood glory hoping to get hallowed Autographs, Photos etc and I knew that Miss Piggy was going to be on the Red Carpet interviewing which is why I braved the almost below zero temperatures to camp out overnight.

    Miss Piggy had already been Filmed arriving on the Red Carpet and shortly afterwards she was carried (covered up) by a pr up the Red Carpet closely followed by Eric...

    Its obvious that as a Muppet Fan I knew exactly who Eric was because out of EVERYONE behind the barriers containing upwards of two thousand people only I yelled out:


    He came over and we had a really good nice chat (normally meeting someone is about five seconds an Autograph, a Photo (if lucky) and then off to the next person, with Eric we had around a three minute chat, he remembered me from when we first met as mentioned in the first post in this thread, I asked how Steve was and graciously signed "Its a very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie." I'd told him about how I'd posted on here about meeting him and Steve, he also mentioned how he'd seen this thread so it is true - the Muppeteers actually do check out Muppet Central!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also I mentioned how great the "The Muppets" was, I saw it when it was released here on Friday, and said how it made me smile, laugh and (when Kermit and Miss Piggy sing Rainbow Connection) cry also said how I found the scenes showing nods to Jim very lovely indeed - to be honest it was nice seeing Jim Henson on screen :)

    I asked him if he would kindly say something in character as Miss Piggy but it was understandable he didnt want me to film him doing it (because he wasn't performing Miss Piggy at the time) he was lovely for stopping and chatting but I kid you not its no exaggeration that I was the only person who as a Muppet Fan knew what Eric looked like.

    Eric. Thank you for stopping and spending the time you spent with myself and my Friends - as I've mentioned the real reason I did the Baftas this year (subjecting myself to utter uk coldness ;) was to see Miss Piggy on the Red Carpet) thank you again, it was the highlight of this years Baftas :)
    Walter and Cindy like this.
  20. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Wow King, That's amazing! and to think that the muppeteers really do read muppetcentral!!

    "If you're reading this right now, Hi Mr.Jacobson and thank you for being awesome!!!"

    But anways, Congradulations on having an awesome time at the BAFTA's!

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