Why is Steve Whitmire the voice of Kermit?

TidusEstar

Active Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
Messages
35
Reaction score
1
He sounds great now, almost like Jim Henson but why was he chosen orginally for the voice of Kermit? Was he his understudy?
 

That Announcer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
1,791
Reaction score
7
While I am not really sure, you might want to surf on over to the "Interviews" section in "Articles" and check out the Steve Whitmire interview there.
 

jeffkjoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
557
Reaction score
2
Interesting to note:

Jim Henson died in 1990, and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Kermit was Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992 and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Ernie was Sesame Street New Year's Eve in 1993.

Must have been a tough 2 years to get a replacement.
 

muppet_dk

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
1
jeffkjoe said:
Interesting to note:

Jim Henson died in 1990, and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Kermit was Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992 and the first appearance of Steve Whitmire's Ernie was Sesame Street New Year's Eve in 1993.

Must have been a tough 2 years to get a replacement.
The first time Steve did kermit was in 1990 in "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson"
 

Vic Romano

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Messages
5,161
Reaction score
86
muppet_dk said:
The first time Steve did kermit was in 1990 in "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson"
Really? Someone always told me it was Brian Henson.
 

Rattus P Rattus

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
probably because he was the youngest Muppeteer and he wouldn't die of old age while he was playing Kermit.
 

MWoO

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
1,583
Vic Romano said:
Really? Someone always told me it was Brian Henson.
That's what a lot of people think but it was most certainly Steve.

Steve was actually going to become an alternate for Kermit I believe. I believe JIm and Steve had a conversation about it. While Jim didn't plan on giving up Kermit anytime soon, he was planning on taking on a lot of stuff. Had the time come when Jim couldn't perform Kermit at one time or another, Steve mostly likely would have become his alternate. It just so happened that Steve was forced into the role prematurly and none of us were eased into it. I think the reason we didn't see Steve as Kermit until 93 was because we just didn't have any productions until then. The compnay just lost it's owner and creative mind. Plus they had to recover from a failed Disney deal.

I think Steve was spot on with Kermit in MCC. The character and even voice and puppet work were all great. Since then I feel as if Steve has gotten a bit laxed with Kermit's facial expressions.
 

Beauregard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
19,241
Reaction score
1,239
What was Steve's first line as Kermit? Is it the "I knew you guys could do a tribute for Jim" after "Just one Person...?"
 

lowercasegods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
640
Reaction score
8
In an interview I read with Steve, he said that Jim mentioned to him that he'd always regretted that Steve hadn't been given a more prominent regular character on the show (meaning that Jim didn't feel that Rizzo was of the same caliber as Fozzie or Scooter), and wanted to meet with Steve to discuss fixing the situation. The meeting never occured due to Jim's passing, but soon after that, Steve was given Kermit to perform. Steve said (and I'm paraphrasing) he'd never dreamed that this was the regular character Jim had in mind for him.

I know that in the beginning, many people naturally assumed that Brian Henson had taken over Kermit after Jim's passing. Around that same time, veteran voice actor Mel Blanc died, and he had announced two years earlier during the production of Who Framed Roger Rabbit that his son Noel would take over the voicing duties of Bugs Bunny after Mel passed on. This led to the assumption that every son of a famous voice actor or puppeteer would take the reins from his deceased father. Ironically, Noel Blanc didn't end up voicing Bugs Bunny ever, and a succession of voice actors have done the jobs ever since.

I believe Brian felt he couldn't perform Kermit because of the powerful bond the character had to his father, so giving Kermit to Steve was not only the best choice, but probably a necessity.
 

TogetherAgain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
5,105
Reaction score
407
Beauregard said:
What was Steve's first line as Kermit? Is it the "I knew you guys could do a tribute for Jim" after "Just one Person...?"
yeah. "What a great song. I knew you guys could do the tribute for Jim."
 
Top