Steve Whitmire has left the Muppets, Matt Vogel to continue as Kermit

Muppet Master

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I wonder about that too. I was watching MCC last night as a tribute and it seems like Steve's :smile: was pretty dead on there, but in Steve's most recent appearances as :smile:, I've noticed the raspiness in his voice. I worry about that because Disney has let go of Paul Winchell as Tigger because they thought his voice has gotten to raspy to properly portray the character, but I don't know. Just a theory. A GAME THEORY! Lol. Just trying to lighten the mood here.
can you link me to his most recent appearances?
 

minor muppetz

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This is a shock, even though his characters have barely been in anything new all year.

It's interesting that the news announcement was supposed to be exclusive to Tough Pigs and The Muppet Mindset, I first saw the news at Muppet Wiki - looking in the recent changes section, where I saw something about it noted in the edit summary. I wonder what the process was like for Disney wanting TP and the MM to announce it first.

After half a year of Steve being absent from a lot of things (and I've seen people remark that Dave and Bill have been absent a lot this year, have they done anything new recently, besides Waldorf appearing in a commercial?), it was great to see him as Kermit in a recent online video about the first day of summer. After hearing this news of Matt Vogel taking over, I wondered if maybe that was him and it went undetected by fans (though I've barely seen any online discussion of that online video). I wonder how long ago that was shot.

I hope Steve Whitmire will do an interview with one of the big Muppet fan sites or podcasts soon, though a more mainstream interview would be great as well. Although he's retired, I hope he will continue to be involved with non-fiction stuff about the Muppets, like interviews, exhibits, documentaries, audio commentaries (though I don't expect any new Muppet DVD or Blu-ray releases in the near future). I'd like to know how long he's been retired for.

One of my first thoughts was about how Vogel also performs Robin, and some people have been saying that Peter Linz will be taking over that role.

Beaker will likely be the easiest to recast, I'd like to think Rizzo will be recast, but then again, he has been underused in the past few years, outside of the 2015 series. And Dave Goelz revealed in 2014 that Steve had finally figured out who Lips is, so sad that he's retired so soon after that, though there has been plenty of opportunities where Lips could have spoken but didn't. I wonder if anybody will do fan art of The Newsman announcing his performers departure (which I have contemplated for The Muppet Mindset's "fan week", but am unsure. And no, I won't be mad if anybody else takes the idea after reading this).

It's interesting that Steve decided to retire so soon after The Muppets was canceled. I wonder if he would have held off on retiring if it had been renewed. At Tough Pigs, a few people have pointed out some parralells between Kermit's recasts. I saw one person point out that Jim and Frank were a team for 27 years before Jim died and now Stevehas performed Kermit for 27 years, and somebody else pointed out that Steve performed a frog with a voice similar to Kermit in 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan and Matt performed Constantine in 2014's Muppets Most Wanted, but I've also thought of something similar: Jim Henson performed Kermit in two main Muppet shows and died a year after the second, Steve Whitmire performed Kermit in two main Muppet shows and retired a year after the second (or at least his retirement was announced a year later).

Recently, after thinking about how Steve had been absent from so many small productions and how Peter Linz performed Statler in a commercial, I decided to rewatch the opening for last year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, where Kermit didn't really get any of his own dialogue. I wondered if he wasn't there, but then I noticed some of his characters were heard. Beaker could clearly be heard and I think another character (probably Rizzo) could be heard singing with the others, even if it's not a solo line. I wonder if Steve did those lines (whether live or just pre-recorded) or if somebody else did the voices (it'd be hard to notice with them singing with others).
 

muppetperson

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Okay, you know what? I agree with @dwayne1115.

Something about this whole thing stinks of dead fish.

If it were a simple case of Steve deciding to move on with his life, Disney would not be acting the way they are now. Several news outlets have reported that whoever they talked to from The Muppets Studio declined to give a reason for Steve's departure. If Steve decided to retire, surely the Studio would have openly supported his decision and released some sort of statement thanking him for his years of dedication and wishing him luck for the future.

I know Steve is a very private guy, but like Jarrod Fairclough said on Twitter yesterday, Steve is as much of a fan of us as we are of him. Where's the statement from Steve? If there's no controversy surrounding his departure, where's the quick video or something to that degree confirming that he has retired and that he supports Matt? Is he waiting for the news to blow over first?

I may be coming off as a selfish and demanding fan, but you have to admit, I am right to be suspicious of the whole thing. Hopefully, we get the answers soon.
Could either be controversy OR maybe Steve may have ill health that he doesn't want to upset his fans.
 

Daffyfan4ever

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can you link me to his most recent appearances?
That's a good question. Maybe you should check out the ABC website. I think they still have videos of "The Muppets" up there. There was also that recent "Pigs in Space" You Tube video where Kermit made an appearance. Can't remember the link to that one though.
 

scooterfan360

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Oh, they televised that? I would have watched if I had known.



Nah. I'm curious about that too. It might be good to have some ideas as to why he left. But you never know. Sometimes rumors can be a little too deep and dark, so you sort of have to see both sides of things.



I know what you mean. After all, we have heard before that Harry Shearer was leaving "The Simpsons" and that ended up not happening. So it could be the same case here, but that's just wishful thinking.
yes they did, but it was brief, and no info on why he left. BTW, i think CBS news, may have a clip of it on their website .
 

ErinAardvark

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My dad called to tell me the news. He saw something on NBC about it, and he knows Steve Whitmire is one of my favorite Muppeteers. I only have one word for this. Waaaaahhhhhhhh!
 

JimAndFrank

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Good news guys, we can rule out ill-health in regards to Steve's departure from the Muppets! Mike Quinn said all was good on Facebook. He even hinted that this isn't the last we'll see of Steve. He'll be back out in the world doing something, just not with the Muppets.

Mike also mentioned that Steve's reason for leaving should stay between him and Disney. So, make of that what you will.
 

Mo Frackle

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Anyone remember that Disney Cruise interactive game with the Muppets from some years back? There was at least one (maybe a few more) off-camera moments with someone other than Steve doing Kermit's voice. Not saying it is or isn't Matt. Skip to 12:18.

 
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