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

Greenhoodie

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Everyone keeps blaming the writers for how Kermit has been for the past 20 some-odd years. But I can't be the only one who got aggravated at the way Whitmere performed Kermit on live appearances on talk shows and other engagements, right? That stupid "this is my frozen frog face" joke repeated ad nausium got on my nerves.

And Henson's Kermit's appeal is that deep down, he really was a bit of an ***hole. He treated Piggy badly on many occasions and really let her have it without backing down, he would slam Fozzie and Gonzo very subtlety in ways neither of them were savvy enough to understand, and there was always a tinge of "this is beneath me but whatever it's a gig" in his voice whenever he appeared on Sesame Street. Jim had a way of making Kermit so darn funny that didn't come from writers. It came from Jim and how in tune he was with his own creation.

I never felt that from Whitmere's Kermit, no matter what production he was in or which writers handled him. His Kermit was very different. He was a bit of a too-friendly wuss who was quick to get frustrated but also quick to back down in fear of upsetting anyone. That's part of both the writing and the performance. Whitmere's performance of Kermit telling Piggy off in MMW is so different from how Jim would do it, and it's not about how it was written, but it about how toothless his anger and exasperation would be. Whitmere's Kermit was a depressed wimp. Jim's Kermit knew he was the center of the universe, and a small part of him got off on it.

That stuff you can't credit or blame writers for. It's totally about how Whitmere and Henson interpreted the character.
Wholeheartedly agree. Steve's Kermit simply lacked the punch of Jim's, because, quite frankly, Steve lacked the punch of Jim. The guy has never been in the same comedy league as the rest of the troupe.
 

Greenhoodie

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An avalanche of absolute lies cascading down on Steve Whitmire from every which way. He needs our prayers more than ever. I feel Steve is trying to take the moral high ground, but he has the most powerful company in the world and people with grudges attacking him, and he needs our support. They want Steve to go quietly in the night, as they inject a torrent of innuendo and lies and erase his very memory. It is heartbreaking and painful to be at this moment, but true courage takes speaking out and standing for what you believe. And I believe Steve will be vindicated no matter what happens next.
You have literally no way of knowing if anything being said are lies. You just blindly believe it because you think of Steve as a hero. I have plenty of empathy for the guy and feel bad for him to an extent, but I've found many of his blog posts to be very disingenuous and self-serving. I personally feel that he is leaving out details and manipulating fans. The recent post repeated talking about Debbie McClellan seems to want to make sure people know who is in charge and trying to paint a pretty picture that may not even exist. The truth is likely somewhere in between.

The Muppets are bigger than one guy. He seems to have to have forgotten that. They survived losing Jim Henson FFS. They'll certainly survive losing Steve Whitmire. Outside of maybe Rizzo, which of his characters aren't easily recast? Foofoo? Beaker? He was the fourth guy to play Statler if you consider that Jerry actually played him first and third. Almost all of the current characters he was performing weren't characters that he originated, and were only recently getting used again. They will be fine. If you need proof, watch Sesame Street.
 

Greenhoodie

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Frank Oz: “The Muppets should be saying “Screw Disney”.”

It's very likely that Disney would have sacked Frank as well, if he were still with the Muppets.
To be fair, when The Muppets 2011 film came out he said that the characters were too sweet. When the new TV show came out, he said that they had lost their purity. I get what he was saying, but still, it's a bit contradictory.
 

Greenhoodie

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So is everyone suddenly hating Muppets 2011? It's weird that initially muppet productions receive critical acclaim on this site, but as time goes on, everyone starts to hate them. Same thing happened with VMX. I thought 'Pictures in my head' was a great song.
I think it's one of those things where people are just happy to see the characters and the nostalgia carries it through. They also had the characters back in the theatre as themselves again.

I've heard the same from many people. In repeat watches the Muppets 2011 doesn't hold up as well. It feels more and more like Jason Segal Saves the Muppets, a movie where the characters are actually supporting players in their own movie. Muppets Most Wanted was much better in my opinion.
 

Greenhoodie

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I'm actually starting to wonder if there are things going on behind the scenes that are holding the video back. Maybe they've had some second thoughts about letting Steve go and are in negotiations with him? And no, this isn't wishful thinking - while I'd certainly welcome Steve back, I'm also ready to embrace Matt's Kermit. And unless his Kermit looks/sounds "off" to the point of casual viewers noticing (which I highly doubt), I can't imagine the video causing any more backlash than there already is.
I highly doubt it. The more likely scenario is that Steve's seemingly endless, one-sided press tour last week brought a lot of negative attention to the whole situation, as well as completely throwing Matt under the bus in his People interview. Matt, who, by the way, made the grave mistake in Steve's mind of accepting the role, but in reality is doing what is best for the character, moving forward. That is true of any of the guys who auditioned for it. They're likely giving the scandal of it time to die down and give some air before throwing Matt's Kermit to the wolves that are angry fan communities. We'll see it as soon as the guy shuts up for a moment or two.
 

CBPuppets

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Wholeheartedly agree. Steve's Kermit simply lacked the punch of Jim's, because, quite frankly, Steve lacked the punch of Jim. The guy has never been in the same comedy league as the rest of the troupe.
Now when I think about it, I remember a quote from Lew Grade. "That's the entertainment business, you have to have appeal you have to have a I hunch. You can't simply go by words when you read the script. You can't go by the words of the script's say, you have to visualize what can happen."
 

Sylinde Bren

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To be fair, when The Muppets 2011 film came out he said that the characters were too sweet. When the new TV show came out, he said that they had lost their purity. I get what he was saying, but still, it's a bit contradictory.
Perhaps. It's a fine line, one that Jerry Juhl and a rare few like him walk very well. That's why I think it would have been so amazing if Steve Whitmire, instead of being dismissed, would have been hired on as a creative consultant/producer as he was told he would be. He knows the characters as they truly are, as well as the very exact formula to create Muppet gold.
 

D'Snowth

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Now when I think about it, I remember a quote from Lew Grade. "That's the entertainment business, you have to have appeal you have to have a I hunch. You can't simply go by words when you read the script. You can't go by the words of the script's say, you have to visualize what can happen."
And this is yet another reason why Sid & Marty Krofft was able to get more done than Jim: they knew how to sell a show; they didn't bother to write treatments, outlines, drafts, scripts, etc. Instead, they created "bibles" full of conceptual artwork of the characters and settings, and the whole premise of the show was spelled out as you turned the pages. This is why people need to actually see what it is they're taking a chance on, particularly when it's something "out there" and different.

That's why I think it would have been so amazing if Steve Whitmire, instead of being dismissed, would have been hired on as a creative consultant/producer as he was told he would be.
Was he actually told that he would be? The way I read it, there was a consideration that he may have been promoted to such position, but even that isn't a guarantee that he actually would have been; seems like that position went to Bill instead.
 
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