My opinion is while Rick is a fantastic performer, and he actually did a pretty good job with Kermit's inflections and such, the voice, to me, sounded like what I would expect from a comedy show: an intentionally somewhat-off imitation.
Lyon sounds bitter here. I'm not refuting the possibility that Whitmire's a darker person than he pretends to be, but to suggest he's a poor actor? I disagree, completely.I've actually been responding all over on other people's posts. It's unfortunate that it was all played out so publicly. I don't think anybody handled it particularly well. It's no secret that I never felt Steve was the right choice for the role - he's just not good enough an actor. His professional behavior - his combative contract negotiations, for example - has been well-known to his peers for many years. His sense of entitlement and ownership to the character of Kermit has always struck me as self-serving and misguided, and his repeated insistence that Jim entrusted Kermit to him has always been completely untrue. Does he suck at Kermit? No. Is he great at Kermit? Also no. And he has thrown his fellow puppeteers under the bus many times, blackballing people - like me - who he saw as threats. So, I am not sad to see him go. What I really want to do is send him a message that says, "So, now you know how I feel. Hurts, doesn't it?"
- Rick Lyon posted this on FB. Interesting.
While Steve was still employed I believe Billy was already providing Ernie's voice for the Sesame Street Live shows because of money issues with Steve. I feel bad that he didn't last as the puppeteer, but I commend Sesame's willingness to recognize a lack of chemistry or something missing and moving quickly to replace and correct it.Ahhh. The plot thickens. I always thought he voluntarily left SS to work exclusively for Henson/Disney. It's still beyond me though why they would recast Ernie after they just recast him recently. Makes me wonder if Steve's termination from SS/Muppets had something to do with it. I recall when Billy started performing Ernie we didn't know if it was a permanent recast or if he was just an understudy or something. Was Sesame Workshop thinking Steve would be back and did they just have Billy perform Ernie on the interim? That's something to think about as well. Though, I did see the car commercial with Peter's Ernie and I thought he did a fair job. Yes, he did bounce a bit between Jim's and Steve's Ernie, but so did Billy when you think about it.
Jim was his best friend. I can easily see him losing the spark for the characters without his comedy partner of 20+ years. Steve isn't necessarily the sharpest in terms of comedy, regularly telling jokes in interviews that are met with awkward silence. That must have been really hard for him. It didn't take long for him to transition away from the characters after Jim passed.Still, I'm guessing that Frank's alleged not being impressed with Steve's Kermit is pretty much because Frank didn't want to work alongside anybody other than Jim when it came to Kermit and Fozzie or Piggy, or Ernie and Bert.
I see. So you're saying Billy was sort of to be a temporary Ernie voice from the get-go. That makes more sense then.While Steve was still employed I believe Billy was already providing Ernie's voice for the Sesame Street Live shows because of money issues with Steve. I feel bad that he didn't last as the puppeteer, but I commend Sesame's willingness to recognize a lack of chemistry or something missing and moving quickly to replace and correct it.
Not necessarily. Literally, just that he was hired due to the contract issues with Steve for the live shows before he replaced him as the puppet performer. It just didn't work out from the looks of it.I see. So you're saying Billy was sort of to be a temporary Ernie voice from the get-go. That makes more sense then.