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

terrimonster

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The blindly anti Steve/Pro Disney crowd, tiny as they may be, can't seem to make up their mind.

> Steve performed Kermit as mean spirited, angry and bitter on the new tv show
> Steve had no creative or writing input

So...wouldn't Steve's portrayal of Kermit fall back to writing staff and Disney execs? ...
No. As others have noted, it's not all about what is said, but more about how it's said. "These pretzels are making me thirsty" can be said many different ways (Google it for anyone not familiar with it). If this is limited to the series (which Disney and the Hensons say it is not), Steve still made decisions in how to perform the lines he was given.

But I think back to all of the appearances I've seen from Steve as Kermit. That's where he says he was able to shine, but I find that these often had Kermit in some of the characterizations the Hensons mention. And too often I just didn't find him funny. Even appearances where his lines were scripted and should have been funny there were times I just thought something was off about the performance/timing and it wasn't as funny as it could have been.

Not that I'm blindly anything, particularly anti-Steve, or solidly pro-Disney. I think the preponderance of evidence so far suggests that there was probably legitimate cause to fire Steve, but also believe that he did what he thought was in the best interest of the character.
 

Greenhoodie

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So...wouldn't Steve's portrayal of Kermit fall back to writing staff and Disney execs?
You kind of just answered your own question when you refer to it as "Steve's portrayal". Writing only takes people so far. 50 ways to leave your lover, you know? Or love your leaver as Dr. Bob would say.

No. As others have noted, it's not all about what is said, but more about how it's said. "These pretzels are making me thirsty" can be said many different ways (Google it for anyone not familiar with it). If this is limited to the series (which Disney and the Hensons say it is not), Steve still made decisions in how to perform the lines he was given.

But I think back to all of the appearances I've seen from Steve as Kermit. That's where he says he was able to shine, but I find that these often had Kermit in some of the characterizations the Hensons mention. And too often I just didn't find him funny. Even appearances where his lines were scripted and should have been funny there were times I just thought something was off about the performance/timing and it wasn't as funny as it could have been.

Not that I'm blindly anything, particularly anti-Steve, or solidly pro-Disney. I think the preponderance of evidence so far suggests that there was probably legitimate cause to fire Steve, but also believe that he did what he thought was in the best interest of the character.
This is all pretty spot on. I thought Steve's Kermit could be a bit more harsh in his jokes during some live spots. I also found him to be a bit awkward and like you said, just not all that funny. He relied on a lot of amphibian schtick and had quite a few jokes in general just land with a thud. Like you said, in written series and specials, there were often times where his reading of the line killed a punchline through a not quite right emotion or not speaking with enough confidence or conviction.
 

DarthGonzo

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You kind of just answered your own question when you refer to it as "Steve's portrayal". Writing only takes people so far. 50 ways to leave your lover, you know? Or love your leaver as Dr. Bob would say.



This is all pretty spot on. I thought Steve's Kermit could be a bit more harsh in his jokes during some live spots. I also found him to be a bit awkward and like you said, just not all that funny. He relied on a lot of amphibian schtick and had quite a few jokes in general just land with a thud. Like you said, in written series and specials, there were often times where his reading of the line killed a punchline through a not quite right emotion or not speaking with enough confidence or conviction.
Yeah watching Steve's Kermit in live appearances was often painful. Yes, the amphibian schtick was a well he went back to way too many times.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

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Yeah watching Steve's Kermit in live appearances was often painful. Yes, the amphibian schtick was a well he went back to way too many times.
The amphibian thing never bothered me. People who aren't obsessed with the Muppets like we are usually haven't seen most interviews with them. So, if the joke worked the first time, it would make sense to reuse it in another appearance, because it would be new to the audience. It's kind of like how Caroll Spinney uses the same lines for Oscar and Big Bird in almost all of their appearances. You know the ones (I like being miserable because that makes me happy...etc.", or more recently Big Bird responding to the question if he pays attention to Twitter/ Tweets, he replies "Of course I tweet, i'm a bird, it's how we talk") and almost every time, he gets a laugh. However, I guess in Steve's case, sometimes he gets a laugh, sometimes not so much.
 

Oscarfan

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That's also the fault of the writers; they always get the questions ahead of time and prepare funny answers for the characters.
 

MrBloogarFoobly

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Kermit isn't funny as an individual character. He never was. Look at the interviews with Henson as Kermit, and they were generally awkward, too. Kermit is funniest when he's playing off another character.

As for the assumption that it is all off the cuff, that's not true, either: they usually have scripted lines from writers they rely on in public appearances. The best illustration of Whitmire's Kermit, I would think, is in those unscripted MovieFone segments they did as a promotion for the recent films.
 

Daffyfan4ever

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One thing I've always noticed was that Steve's Kermit voice always seemed to be pretty hoarse when he was in live appearances on talk shows, but he sounded much better in material that was taped, presumably because Steve has had more time to rehearse.
 

Muppet Master

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All he did for MFS was loop his characters' voices.
Yes, but if he took part in that movie, where Fozzie was unbearably stupid and his biggest joke was picking his nose, I don't get him complaining about the new stuff. And frankly, the 2015 muppet show did Fozzie right. Not overly stupid, just a well-meaning bear who sometimes gets into trouble because of it.
 

DarthGonzo

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Yes, but if he took part in that movie, where Fozzie was unbearably stupid and his biggest joke was picking his nose, I don't get him complaining about the new stuff. And frankly, the 2015 muppet show did Fozzie right. Not overly stupid, just a well-meaning bear who sometimes gets into trouble because of it.
Really? I thought Fozzie was the absolute worst thing about the show.

And it's weird to see people fault Oz for having an opinion on the newer films even though he participated in Muppets From Space. I'm sure stepping away from the Muppets after Jim's death was very hard for him to do, considering how much of his life was spent with the characters and how much of that was probably out of respect for his departed collaborator, boss and closest friend. I'm sure he probably thought the script for MFS was garbage, but the movie still featured HIS characters and I'm sure a small part of him still wanted to carry on, even if by that point all he was doing was looping dialogue.

People need to put themselves in Oz's shoes. His involvement in MFS doesn't invalidate his opinion on the later Muppet films.
 
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