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

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by GonzoMan, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. LipsGF4Life

    LipsGF4Life Well-Known Member

    Don't say that!! Someone WILL perform the best trumpet player in history!
  2. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Well-Known Member

    BAM! My sentiments exactly.
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  3. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Man, this is just heartbreaking to hear. I don't know why Disney fired Steve and what's going on, but Steve's statement was just so touching.
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  4. Nasubionna

    Nasubionna Well-Known Member

    I agree with much of this. This news is stunning and beyond disappointing. I still like many things about Disney, but I agree that they have not handled the Muppets well and at this point I haven't felt very interested in or connected with any new Muppets material in years. For the time being, at least, Muppets are sadly off of my radar, except for my enjoyment of their older stuff. So sad.
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  5. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Well-Known Member

    Is it possible someone can FINALLY remove all the pinned threads for every "The Muppets" episode? This thread should really be at the top of the forum.
  6. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Another theory I heard from somewhere else that I can see being a very strong possibility: Steve lives in Georgia while most of the other Muppeteers live in either New York or California.

    And the top brass probably got fed up over the fact that Steve had a much longer commute to those places and suggested that Steve move from Atlanta to Los Angeles to make himself even more readily available, but it seems to me that Steve didn't wish to move away from Atlanta.
  7. LipsGF4Life

    LipsGF4Life Well-Known Member

    Im just upset and worried about Lips
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  8. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    If that were an issue, they would have dismissed Steve years ago.
  9. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I doubt that. They must've tried to make it work many, many, many, many, MANY times already and it is just now that they came to a point that it really wasn't practical and that it was time to give up on the whole thing.
  10. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    A company like Disney wouldn't have him commute for this long, and then abruptly decide that it's not worth the effort.. not a wise business choice; they would've axed him sooner, or not at all; at least, that's what I think, you could be right, who knows?

    Has Steve ever butted heads with Disney prior? I'm seeing people mention it elsewhere, but I don't recall issues between Whitmire and any of the higher-ups. This definitely seems like Disney wanting to become more controlling with the franchise, something I didn't think was possible, honestly.. it always seems like within "The Muppets" (the show I mean) that the performers were given a strict script, with little room for improv, which is where I feel they shine their brightest, is playing off of each other.
  11. LaRanaRene

    LaRanaRene Well-Known Member

    That could be one of the issues Steve referred to; "I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call."
    Duke Remington likes this.
  12. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    From what I've heard, Steve can get fairly passionate when Disney does something that is completely out of line. There was a minor incident involving Disney deciding to recruit 'alternate performers' right after they bought the Muppets, which Steve heavily protested and only backed off once the program was scrapped. I'm not aware of any incidents after that, but it seemed that both parties cooled off after that.
  13. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    Is that where Artie Esposito as Kermit originated, or was he just a backup from the start? I actually found something featuring him performing Kermit just today (, was uploaded in February) and was wondering how Artie got involved.
    LipsGF4Life and JimAndFrank like this.
  14. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    That's it!
  15. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. That's what I was talking about before, but considering that incident happened eight years ago, it doesn't sound right that it would be an issue now.
  16. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Disney is a multi-billion dollar corporation. How much can a plane ticket cost for them every once and awhile?
    Pig's Laundry and Rugratskid like this.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Again, I seem to recall back when Prawnie was still running the Mindset, and still on speaking terms with most of us, that he said Steve was really nervous and apprehensive about how the 2011 movie turned out.

    The 2011 seemed to have a lot of mixed emotions surrounding it even before it came out: Frank Oz didn't feel the script was very respectful to the characters or their interactions, and some people (myself included) was skeptical of the usually R-rated Jason Segel handling the script himself . . . even when the movie did come out, it got a lot of mixed reviews, with some feeling it spent too much time on "hero worshipping" the Muppets and less on the actual story or the characters and their humor.

    It sounds, to me, like Steve has always been uneasy about Disney's handling of the Muppets, as many of us have, but again, it seems to me that perhaps Disney is just not wanting to put up with him any longer.
    gavry3 and Mo Frackle like this.
  18. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    There was also the From the Balcony series, which only featured the regular performers for the first eight episodes. The rest were primarily done with Drew Massey and Victor Yerrid. And then there was this, which Steve did at leastone show for.

    Artie did a few minor TV appearances and the D23 Expo in '09.

    So yeah, it's very possible that Disney decided to try all of this again - have understudies for live events, and kill the character consistency in the process.
  19. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Again, companies like Disney tend to make their decisions based on a corporate approach, while not necessarily giving a care about the art of the whole thing. Sesame Workshop's new staff mostly came from Viacom, and we all know what a Devil-Worshipping International Media Conglomerate they are. :p
    scooterfan360 and Zappetman like this.
  20. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info; I recall a video where Frank stated his complaints, and I can't say I disagree; some of the characters, especially Fozzie (and this hasn't changed, in my eyes) became incredibly one-note, as if the writers merely forgot what made the characters so beloved and charismatic in the first place.. to quote Oz himself, "they've become cute".. they seem to have lost the incredibly three dimensional relations between characters, and watered them down to one or two main characteristics. I can't say I'd blame Steve for being upset with Disney's treatment of the franchise..

    Truth be told, I've never been all that delighted with it, but I figured that it'd improve; ironically, it seems to have done the exact opposite.. The Muppets are crazy, and don't follow the norms, but deep down, they're human, and have the same emotions we do (I feel Kermit's struggle in the original film proves this amazingly), and Disney seems to have forgotten this. They seem to enjoy being formulaic at times, something it definitely seems Jim was against.

    The Jim Henson Company may have not made perfect choices with the franchise, but they were still trying (somewhat) new things; before MFS, I never even considered Gonzo being from space. May not have been the most amazing idea, but it was somewhat unique.

    I could go on for hours about my issues with Disney as a whole, but I won't; save it for another time, lol. Steve seems like the kind of guy that would stand up for what he finds to be the "true" Muppets, and if anyone there knows what that is, it'd be the performers, not Disney executives.

    Apologies in advance for posting so many times; I almost feel like I'm spamming the thread :p
    LaRanaRene likes this.

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