They both have very warm hands
September 10, 2015 1:25 PM   Subscribe

On the Other Hand Steve Whitmire's been playing Kermit the Frog for 25 years. And on prime time television again real soon now.
posted by DigDoug (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
From @robinsloan's (previously) magnificent twitter stream.
posted by DigDoug at 1:28 PM on September 10, 2015


I reiterate my position that Kermit died with Henson, just as Mr Hooper died with Will Lee.
posted by uberchet at 2:24 PM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Public service announcement: you absolutely MUST MUST MUST watch that clip from Jim Henson's funeral, as well as any other clip from Jim Henson's funeral.
posted by Melismata at 2:38 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

people close to jim henson say that while we all associate him with kermit, to those who knew him personally, he was rowlf the dog - which is why it took a while for him to get back to having speaking parts because it was just too hard on everyone else to be around.
posted by nadawi at 2:42 PM on September 10, 2015 [15 favorites]

posted by rhizome at 2:46 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

As deeply as I loved Kermit throughout my childhood, it's Rowlf's quote in the Muppet Movie that has resonated well into adulthood.
I finish work, I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk, and go to bed.

Either way, I will watch the new show and enjoy all the work that goes into keeping my childhood friends alive.
posted by teleri025 at 3:42 PM on September 10, 2015 [6 favorites]

Just wrote a slightly rambling pro-Muppets-as-real comment, but my browser ated it. Read the article instead. Really good/interesting and touched on the downsides of that treatment of them, which I'd never considered. I must know Steve Whitmire's Kermit at least as well as Jim Henson's and possibly better. I'll do my best to remember that in future.

Looking forward to the new Muppet Show.
posted by comealongpole at 4:33 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Public service announcement: you absolutely MUST MUST MUST watch that clip from Jim Henson's funeral, as well as any other clip from Jim Henson's funeral.

Though you might want to time it accordingly -- I started sobbing at the ending. Ridiculous, loud, choking sobs. I am such a sap.

Great article.

I'm a Muppets nerd, but I'm not a purist. One of my absolute favorite movies is Muppets Christmas Carol. I quote it more in my day to day life than The Princess Bride.

I think Whitmire has done very well by Kermit. I remember watching an otherwise less than exciting Christmas special and Kermit made an especially great, new facial expression. And we paused it and rewound it a few times trying to figure out what he was doing to make that work.

I'm cautiously excited about the new Muppet TV show.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 4:48 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've said it before: Whitmire's Kermit is not Henson's Kermit, but it's better than no Kermit, and that isn't faint praise at all.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 PM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

I actually got to see Whitmire (and Kermit!) at Dragoncon this weekend, and it was a delight. When he brought Kermit out and I heard the first few words in his voice, my eyes teared up, because apparently I still have a lot of feelings about the Muppets
posted by nonasuch at 9:28 PM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

All of the publicity and promotion leading up to the new show I have found encouraging... especially after seeing the San Diego ComicCon panel (on YouTube a week later). I had obvious concerns about the show being Executive Produced and shepherded by Bill Prady, showrunner of The Big Bang Theory, because, obviously, ALL the Muppets are more real to me than the characters on THAT show. But those concerns were pretty much set aside until I saw a promo for TBBT on the Colbert Show last night. It gets its Season Premiere the night before The Muppets' Series Debut... and while we are all talking about Kermit and Miss Piggy breaking up, on TBBT, after 8 years of awkwardly staged awkwardness, Leonard and Penny are getting married. Why does this scare me? Is Penny the new Piggy? Or vice versa?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:39 PM on September 10, 2015

Oh goodness, I have such strong feelings about this.

Yes, Whitmire's Kermit is not Henson's Kermit. And yet, they are the same. I mean, they are totally not the same, but they ARE the same. And I'm okay with that.

This article was very hard for me to read for a lot of reasons, but a big one was all those inserted videos from Henson's memorial service. I didn't need to watch any of them -- I've seen those videos in various forms several times over the past couple of decades. I can't watch them again, not right now. Henson is one of only two or three people that I've never met whose death completely ruined me. So much so that I was sent home from work that day because I was such a mess. And that memorial service... somehow Henson's untimely death is still too raw for me.

And for a while after his death, I was very NOT OKAY with the new Kermit. But the performances soon found their own rhythm and moved (for me) into a comfortable space, and at this point I have no problems with the new Kermit at all. He's still Kermit. I'm quite looking forward to this new series, because The Muppets have been a major thing for me my entire life. And I'm glad Kermit is still a part of that crew, along with Rowlf. My world would be less rich if Whitmire had not taken over, and I look forward to years of continued riches from this pile of felt and old coats.
posted by hippybear at 1:09 AM on September 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

Hippybear nailed it.
posted by Optamystic at 2:19 AM on September 11, 2015

I disagree. They are NOT the same. Whitmire's Kermit is a sad, depressing imposter that drives home the loss of Henson with every appearance.

It's not Kermit. It will never be Kermit, because Kermit is dead.
posted by uberchet at 8:10 AM on September 11, 2015

I'm skeptical of Bill Prady. He may have roots in the Henson world, but he is responsible for a lot of bad TV between then and now.
posted by rhizome at 10:42 AM on September 12, 2015

i dunno - dream on, caroline in the city, dharma & greg, and gilmore girls all have various levels of good to them (some more than others, admittedly) - and while i know this isn't a popular opinion here, i liked the first few seasons of big bang theory. a lot of his shows seem to feature strong friendships in one way or another, so that's another thing in his plus column for taking on the muppets, i think.
posted by nadawi at 4:42 PM on September 13, 2015

Are you ready for the eventual, "Next Thursday, the Muppets show you've been waiting for," with fadey jumpcuts between Miss Piggy, Kermit and Denise? Will Miss Piggy take him back, or are they broken up forever?
posted by rhizome at 6:08 PM on September 13, 2015

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