In 2009, Disney briefly replaced Steve Whitmire as Kermit for a few appearances, most notably on America’s Got Talent. I was curious about what the mainstream Muppet fansites thought about that at the time, so I went digging through the archives and found this gem by Muppet Mindset founder Ryan Dosier about why Steve should not be replaced:
“Steve Whitmire is Kermit the Frog, and Muppet fans should fight for whatever they must to keep it that way.”
Oh, what a difference eight years makes!
But Ryan got it exactly right in 2009, and good on him for it. I don’t know if he still stands by what he said back then. Nevertheless, everything that he said back then is as relevant and true now as it was when he originally wrote it eight years ago.
(Except the part about Steve being “scraggly-haired” in the ’70s; the available evidence suggests that he was, in fact, meticulously coiffed according to the style of the times.)
Also of interest is that our old frenemesis “Anonymous” makes an appearance in the comments section, up to his old tricks (although back then they might have been new tricks) of trashing Steve relentlessly, without regard for either facts or feelings. How far back in time does this ridiculous grudge go anyway? Dude, get a life!
The year was 1978. A 19-year old, scraggly-haired, tall, lanky puppeteer approached a bin of puppets. These weren’t just any puppets, mind you, these were the Muppets. This young man had his wish granted by truly the greatest genie of all time, Jim Henson. A man who, to this young puppeteer, was on the same plane as John Lennon is to a musician, Albert Einstein is to a physicist, or Thomas Edison to light-bulb enthusiasts. This young man picked up a puppet, came up with a voice, and was immediately a featured player on The Muppet Show. The most widely aired show ever.
This young puppeteer was named Steve Whitmire, and this is his Saturday.
Kermit the Frog (1990-still)
Rizzo the Rat
Waldo C. Graphic
The Muppet Newsman…
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2 thoughts on ““Steve Whitmire Saturday” (The Muppet Mindset: September 5, 2009)”
When I saw the title of this post in my e-mail box, I almost had heart failure, thinking Steve had returned to Muppet Pundit. This took a lot of work. Seems we are all missing him.
Oops, sorry for the false alarm! I’d never used the “Reblog” button before, and I wasn’t quite sure what would happen. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably just make a link for it, but this works too.
It’s interesting how quickly Steve’s blog has become a fixture in our lives, isn’t it? When the comments initially closed, I had a minor freakout thinking, “Oh no, now I don’t have a way to get in touch with Steve anymore!” Then I realized that I hadn’t had a way to get in contact with him for years beforehand and had gotten along just fine.
But that was before becoming Internet-acquainted with him, and that’s what makes the difference.