Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 1

“I just wanna bring up something that hasn’t been brought up yet. I really hope there’s no bad blood between you and Matt Vogel. I hope you and Matt are still very good friends”….comment by Anthony Thompson on July 12, 2017 at 7:23 PM

I am going back to this question from Anthony because I think it’s one of the most relevant topics to clarify.

I don’t consider myself an accomplished writer. When I do write things like this, I usually try and sum up my feelings along with the point of the note in the final paragraph. But for this, I want to sum up a point right here before I go any further:

I sincerely love Matt Vogel.

I became aware of Matt from Caroll Spinney, who had agreed to allow Matt to begin taking on some of the load as Big Bird. As Caroll and I discussed the issue of multiple performers for established individual Muppet characters, he expressed to me his trust for Matt because Matt would always speak with him about any request from producers before agreeing to perform in Caroll’s stead. It was from that level of respect for Caroll I perceived Matt to be a principled gentleman who understood the depth of the Muppets.

After working together on Sesame Street, I suggested to The Muppets Studio that we begin including Matt in our Muppet work, a hard sell with executives who didn’t immediately see the value of paying to bring a guy they didn’t know to Los Angeles, and paying him to assist when there are talented puppeteers in L.A. That’s true, of course, but it seemed to me that wasn’t the point. With Matt, I had a feeling he would be a good fit within our core group as he had already been working with both Eric and I for years on Sesame Street.

At first, Matt’s working with us was conditioned upon him having to pay his own way to Los Angeles. That’s a pricey proposition for a guy with a family the size of a ball team to feed, and what does it say about how he is being valued? I advised him not to do it, and, thanks to the efforts of Debbie McClellan, there was eventually an opportunity (big enough budget) where Matt could join us for a number of projects while being treated from the start with the kind of respect inherent within the Muppets.

In my opinion, after having lost Richard Hunt, and with Jerry Nelson’s retirement, a longtime issue plaguing the quality of our work was the passing around of most of their characters to pretty much any puppeteer who had been hired for the particular project. The understudy (multi-casting) initiative only seems to have focused on understudies for Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and Animal unless I missed something on the video.

Essentially treated as background, great characters like Floyd, Robin, Scooter, and Janice were hardly used at all, or had become shallow impressions of the originals, often way off the mark and left to be reinterpreted for every appearance by well-meaning puppeteers who had no idea who the characters were. That’s because many of those performers had no tangible connection to the original performers of those characters.

It was clear to me that if those characters were to continue to evolve and to once again be viable, it was vital for them to be permanently recast and assigned to a singular individual performer. Not just any performer, but the right performer, indefinitely.

As I’ve said before, I firmly stand by the notion that what is best for the Muppets is to treat them like a lineage tradition in which direct interaction with an originator allows for the tradition to continue progressively. Otherwise, it’s likely to end up being stale impersonations.

After abandoning the multi-casting initiative in 2006, recasting Richard and Jerry’s characters was not a high priority for executives as we had no significant work projects slated. In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman who Jerry and I both agreed would have been Richard’s choice for Scooter. This session gave him a chance to read as Janice to Jerry’s Floyd. It worked!

We don’t have a well produced video of that event. I hauled my own personal video camera to New York on my smaller private jet (Delta MD-88) with 148 of my close personal friends and I outrageously demanded a hotel room for the night so that I did not have to wander the streets…We all volunteered our time to get this right, once and for all, because it matters.

The key factor in all of this was the inclusion of Jerry Nelson to make the final choice as to who would continue the characters he originated. I’m proud that with Debbie’s help we were able to facilitate this casting session and I was able to give Jerry the gift of choosing his heir apparent before we lost him.

…to be continued…

155 thoughts on “Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 1

  1. “…my smaller private jet (Delta MD-88) with 148 of my close personal friends and I outrageously demanded a hotel room for the night so that I did not have to wander the streets.” HAHAHAHAH! That made me laugh.

    1. I guess this was on a day when your Boeing 767-300 was getting fitted for new upholstery, right?

    2. I also just laughed right out loud at that point… oops… lucky my coworker isn’t in the office today.

  2. Oh, please continue!


    “I hauled my own personal video camera to New York on my smaller private jet (Delta MD-88) with 148 of my close personal friends and I outrageously demanded a hotel room for the night so that I did not have to wander the streets…”

    That cracked me up! Do I detect a sarcastic running-gag? Well then, may it run to the ends of the earth!

    Brushing that aside, thanks for shedding light on helping to bring Matt over from Sesame. I really haven’t come across much dispute from fans as to whether or not you and Matt are still good friends, but it’s still good to have more context.

    Something I’ve been meaning to ask is what you believe what I call Kermit’s ‘jump-casting’ will mean for the character. ‘Jump-casting’ of course meaning ‘jumping over and past any sort of lineage onto someone random’.

    You did say ‘to be continued’, so let’s see how we go.

      1. You say ‘stay tuned’, but for how long?! I can’t stand the waiting! lol

        Anyway, the comment section’s getting a bit heated again, so I’m going to drop one of my favourite performances that you’ve done. Wembley’s my favourite Henson-related character overall, so it’s not surprising that ‘Children of Tomorrow’ is so special to me…

        I actually wrote all about Wembley this week if you’d like something light-hearted to read! It would be really cool to hear some Fraggle stories from you at some point. I have the 30th Anniversary Collection and love your recounting of the pranks everyone played on each other during breaks and stuff.

        1. I could sure use some Wembley right now. Or then again… maybe not. I’ve been cheering myself up these past weeks with a few old documentaries and my favourite moments of the Jim Henson Hour (of all things), but I haven’t felt ready for Fraggles yet. I fear it could be a while before that mood comes on me again. Just another lost thing I’m grieving…

          Yeah, for my part in perpetuating the “heatedness” a few days ago, let me offer a qualified apology. Conflict goes hard against my nature (and I’ve been advocating against it) but I felt I needed to step in once, not even so much for my own sake, but to try and make some things clear for all. More than one commenter on this blog has admitted to experiencing mental illness, and I know there are others who haven’t stated it openly; the distress that can be caused or worsened by witnessing the kind of antics we’ve seen here is REAL, people. Cyber-harassment claims lives. It’s a low brand of sociopathy and I have no time for it.

          Some people say, “Respect is earned.” I go one further: Respect is everyone’s by right at the first encounter, but it can be forfeited. That’s not something that should happen lightly, but I hope I managed to help more people recognise how and why it’s happened in one particular case below, and understand that it’s not dishonest but healthy to scroll right past and disregard from now on.

          After all, the ONLY way that internet communication is better than real life, is that nobody can force you to read anything. Nobody can walk up and shout in your face while you try to plug your ears. Stop reading, and they’re completely powerless. I hope everybody can use that advantage.



          OK, I’m myself again. Back to peace, love and understanding (and maybe, one day, Fraggles).

          P.S. Marni… is that 30th Anniversary business in region 4?

          1. It’s interesting how different people cope in different ways to the same stimulus. Fraggle Rock has been my go-to source of comfort since the news originally broke. Maybe that’s because I didn’t have access to it for so much of my life.

            But I do think that Fraggle Rock has a lot to teach us in the current situation. Since it’s all about conflict resolution, about understanding and respecting different points of view, it seems very relevant to the situation in which we find ourselves.

            So my response, almost from the beginning, has been “throw Fraggles at the problem!” But to each his own. 🙂

  3. Dear God!

    I love the behind the scenes stories, but why are we still talking about this. You could have picked your replacement/alternate/understudy YEARS AGO.

    But since you were fired, why would they ask you?

    They asked Jerry,
    They asked Caroll.
    Those guys got over their egos and knew the importance of an understudy/replacement, because that’s what is “best for the Muppets.”

    But you didn’t.

    You didn’t want one and now your gone.

    So why are you even bringing it up?

    What good is this to the Muppet fans?

    Why be so divisive?

    I hope Matt is great and I wish you could at least wish him well.

    1. Your questions make me wonder if you understand the point of this blog at all, pal…You should re-read the post. It’s not nearly as hostile as your tone…Troll alert!

  4. Fans could not have been happier with the recasting of almost all of the Members of The Electric Mayhem. The band has a huge fan following as I’m sure your aware. It must have felt awesome at the Outside Lands concert with all those screaming fans. What where your feelings about that?

  5. Seriously,

    You were once in Matt’s shoes.
    Being asked to take a role when the current performer was no longer performing.

    And you can’t even wish him well. You even said it was unfair for him to take the role.

    He didn’t take it. He was offered it.

    He auditioned for the role, did you?

    It’s unfair to say that because he didn’t know Jim, that he shouldn’t have the role. That’s absurd. The Muppets should be timeless and hopefully they still be here long after we’re gone.

    The only man who could’ve made this transition better was you.

    And you refused.

    1. Yes, Steve refused. What do you think he should have done? Signed that stupid NDA and fade out of Muppetdom like a quiet little mouse? Personally, I’m proud of Steve for sticking to his convictions and speaking out instead of shutting up and moping around like a coward.

      In regards to Jerry and Carroll, they chose to pick their successors because they knew they were at/getting to the point where they couldn’t perform their characters as consistently as they used to. Steve’s only 57 now, not even vaguely close to retirement age, so why should he have been in a hurry to pick his?

      1. He’s been Kermit since 1990. There has absolutely been no rush. It’s unrealistic to think that Steve would always be healthy or that he is immune to unforeseen tragedy.

        I’m glad he didn’t sign the NDA, as it’s allowed us to speak openly about the terrible choices that Disney has made.

        That said. Mr. Whitmire is not the sole surviving Muppet torch bearer.

        As if Dave G, Bill Barreta or Debbie or the Henson Co. don’t know what Jim would’ve wanted.

        It’s preposterous to think that ONLY Steve wants what’s best for Jim’s legacy.

        If he wanted, he could have been training an understudy at any point in his time with the Muppets.

        He didn’t. That’s on him.

        It actually appears that he went out of his way to make sure that NO ONE would ever play Kermit.

        And here he is lamenting the lack of HIS choice.

        1. I humbly request proof that Steve believes he is the only one who wants best for Jim’s legacy. At most, he’s stated that he’s been one of the most vocal about it.

          That’s just as far as I’ve seen anyway.

          1. Um… have you read this frog-blog?

            Steve never mentions anyone else as keeping the Muppets Muppety.

            He hasn’t mentioned Dave, or Eric or Bill as the last deference against the Evil Disney Empire or those terrible Henson kids.

            There’s many Jim Henson era people still alive and he Steve hasn’t asked you to rally around them.

            Instead, he’s made sure you think that the Muppets are in their last dying breath and only Steve can save them.

            And you fell for it.

            Hook, line and sinker.

            Can you point to anything that Steve has said that is positive about the remaining cast and crew who also love The Muppets. Many of whom knew Jim personally?

            I’m sorry that Steve no longer has his favorite puppet, but his new puppet–Mike Quinn-seems to be doing a great job for him.

            Speaking of Mike… where’d he go? Is he mad about the truth concerning the list???

          2. I’m sure there are others still in the Muppets that still want what’s best for the characters. Dave Goelz for example.

          3. I would expect nothing less. From the rest of main performers as well. Question is, would they now be able to challenge subpar scripts, if any are handed down their way.

          4. Andrew,

            Of course they could challenge the subpar scripts. But, if history tells us anything, then they won’t have much luck with it.

            Disney has proven time and time again that they can save (or sustain) an existing franchise. Their work in Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars proves that they can keep fans happy.

            So, it’s time for Disney to but the fat.

            It started with Steve who’s ridiculous demands for his wife’s salary and his approval for performers (that meant that because of his list even background puppeteers would have to flown in from NYC.) These headaches sure didn’t help the situation at Muppets Studio.

            I’m sure other heads will roll over there, but hopefully l–unlike Steve–they won’t try to burn the house down as they leave.

          5. ^^ In response to “Um… have you read this frog-blog? Steve never mentions anyone else as keeping the Muppets Muppety. ”

            Allow me:

            “I perceived Matt to be a principled gentleman who understood the depth of the Muppets.”

            “In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman… We all volunteered our time to get this right, once and for all, because it matters… I’m proud that with Debbie’s help we were able to facilitate this casting session…”


            “Multicasting refers to having multiple puppeteers perform a character simultaneously in the world, a direction the core performers were adamantly against because anytime any of the Muppets are divided into multiple versions they grow in different directions and it reduces their depth.”

            “The four of us agreed we could not follow this course in good conscience so we did not advocate for or support the ‘understudy initiative’. ”

            “If this is part of my unacceptable business conduct, then I guess Eric, Bill and Dave have marks beside their names as well.”

            To paraphrase an old favourite of Rowlf’s:
            “I read the blog.
            And Marni read the blog.
            Where were you?”

          6. In response to “Um… have you read this frog-blog? Steve never mentions anyone else as keeping the Muppets Muppety. ”

            Allow me:

            “I perceived Matt to be a principled gentleman who understood the depth of the Muppets.”

            “In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman… We all volunteered our time to get this right, once and for all, because it matters… I’m proud that with Debbie’s help we were able to facilitate this casting session…”


            “Multicasting refers to having multiple puppeteers perform a character simultaneously in the world, a direction the core performers were adamantly against because anytime any of the Muppets are divided into multiple versions they grow in different directions and it reduces their depth.”

            “The four of us agreed we could not follow this course in good conscience so we did not advocate for or support the ‘understudy initiative’. ”

            “If this is part of my unacceptable business conduct, then I guess Eric, Bill and Dave have marks beside their names as well.”

            To paraphrase an old favourite of Rowlf’s:
            “I read the blog.
            And Marni read the blog.
            Where were you?”

          7. Mr F,

            about Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars franchises — can you please tell them they can proceed with Muppets now?
            Maybe by bringing in people who really know how Muppets should be done?
            Staring with Steve Whitmire as Kermit please?

            Kirk Thatcher comes to mind for writing, maybe Frank Oz could lend his name directing an episode or two, hmmm…. Jason Segel as first guest recapping his 2011 role… blackballer ballet in the background… penguins and flamingoes galore… ahh, this could run wild!

            Da-a-a-ang, we want the beloved frog ba-a-a-a-ak!! 🙂

          8. Otherwise, just tell them to send out Dave. Then we can start telling ourselves “hey nothing can beat the original”, brush the dust off our tape/dvd/blu-ray collections, sort youtube documentary links, and serenely watch the whole thing go the way it’s going…

          9. * just kidding about Mr Goelz. Hope he will give us many more years of genuine pleasure performing!

          10. OK, trying this one more time. Apologies in advance for when my previous comment attempts suddenly appear tomorrow and spam everyone to death.

            In response to “Um… have you read this frog-blog? Steve never mentions anyone else as keeping the Muppets Muppety. ”

            Allow me:

            “I perceived Matt to be a principled gentleman who understood the depth of the Muppets.”

            “In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman… We all volunteered our time to get this right, once and for all, because it matters… I’m proud that with Debbie’s help we were able to facilitate this casting session…”


            “Multicasting refers to having multiple puppeteers perform a character simultaneously in the world, a direction the core performers were adamantly against because anytime any of the Muppets are divided into multiple versions they grow in different directions and it reduces their depth.”

            “The four of us agreed we could not follow this course in good conscience so we did not advocate for or support the ‘understudy initiative’. ”

            “If this is part of my unacceptable business conduct, then I guess Eric, Bill and Dave have marks beside their names as well.”

            To paraphrase an old favourite of Rowlf’s:
            “I read the blog.
            And Marni read the blog.
            Where were you?”

          11. Thanks, J.S!

            I’ve been busy all day and just came back to see that you had already countered with the same quotes I was going to gather up-saves me from doing it!

            And Steve, I apologise for taking the bait and being continually pulled into broken arguments. You really shouldn’t have to put up with our petty little conflicts.

          12. It was a pleasure. And as much as I agree that everybody *does* need to stop taking the bait, at least this time you managed to push our anonymous friend here (get that fake name again, very punny) into making some outright ludicrous statements instead of just bitter ones mixed in with a few cheap ‘n nasty shots. Makes it easy when they set themselves up like that – no hard work left in the argument.

          13. J.S., ALL,

            I noticed that posts containing MULTIPLE LINKS are usually held up for several hours, until some sort of ‘push’ happens.
            I don’t think it’s manual — must be some sort of automatic spam filter within WordPress.

            Posts with one link or none usually have no problems.

            Hope this saves somebody the trouble!

          14. That might have been it. Earlier versions of my comment had a second link, and then I started to suspect something and removed it. But I also screwed up my cookie settings last night which may not have helped.

            I just hope somebody zaps them before they all appear… there’s at least 3 copies out there somewere…

          15. Andrew,

            I’m not sure any of the quotes you provided actually speak to his believing that they can carry on Jim’s legacy.

            They’re all nice quotes… and maybe the one about having marks by their name a gets close, but he still hasn’t mentuon s that the rest of the guys can (or are capable to) save our beloved franchise.

            Now, what claim of mine was ludicrous?

            As I’ve been blocked before and had to use many names on this “not monitored” blog, I can tell you my claim(s) have be proven true.

            So what was it this time? What did I say that seems ludicrous to you?

          16. Fawner,

            That wasn’t Andrew, that was me. Again you’re displaying your habit of not reading with your eyes open.

            The quotes I provided didn’t have to speak to “his believing that they can carry on Jim’s legacy” because they were speaking to a different statement you made earlier, which I quoted, which is demonstrably false.

            “As I’ve been blocked before… I can tell you that my claim(s) have been proven true.”
            Is also an utter logical non-sequitur.

            I said this to someone earlier; it might have been you. It’s pretty obvious that your deep antagonism towards Steve is based in something personal. That is of no relevance to anyone else here. Many others’ positive opinions are also based in their experiences of meeting Steve or enjoying his work. One is not more valid than the other, so you have no right or reason to keep trying to spread your hate around to everyone else. It’s unhealthy for you and unenjoyable for us, and completely futile in any case. Your failure to take proper care of the truth and sense of your words only makes it worse.

          17. May I chime in, even though i wasn’t a guy with the quotes this time?

            I’d say… we really didn’t need any quotes.

            You see, your basic assumption here is wrong — you see this place as full of “Steve-supporting trolls duped into hate towards ___” (fill the blank: rest of the Muppets, Disney, Hensons etc).

            NOT so.

            EVERYONE here is not watching Muppets for the first time in their life.
            Have been watching the show since Jim’s times, watching it through all the changes and transitions.
            You don’t have to sell it to us 🙂 We KNOW the guys — by their work. And we totally LOVE them!
            We are pretty sure.. no, we are VERY sure they ALL will do their best.
            Which, as last season shows, may not be enough.
            But that’s besides the point.

            WHAT WE find very very SAD is cutting off Steve without giving him a chance to remedy whatever-it-was caused it.
            Real or perceived — money, favorites, or his notes on script quality — it ALL CAN be negotiable, given the will.
            Heck, they could had him by the flippers any moment they’d like, had they even hinted at what could be at stake.

            THE SHOW LOST a talented performer, muppeteer with vast experience, who over a lots of years gave us all the pleasure of pure ART of his performance, one of last two original guys hand-picked by Jim.
            (Oh did i mention we’ve been watching Steve perform for the past 38 years, on air or in reruns?)
            We LOVE Steve as his personality shows through in his characters. Whatever his other faults may or may not be.
            We just had lost him from the show.

            Even had he left due to being unable to perform, the sense of shock and loss would be palpable.

            Do we find it ludicrous in any way? Heck no.

        2. J. S. & Andrew,

          I’ve never mentioned “Steve supporting trolls.”

          I do believe there are many sycophants. Some are looking for Steve’s validation. Some want to acknowledged by him. Some want people to read their blogs. None of them are trolls.

          Me, yeah. I went from “bitter” to “troll.”

          I’ve never met Steve. He’s never met me. I can absolutely say we work in the same circle. We’ve worked for the same bosses, and that’s the difference between me and you.

          I know he’s lying about why he was fired. I know he’s not gonna tell you about Sesame Street either. That whole thing about the private jet… it’s almost right. It’s close, but it’s no cigar and that’s why Steve like to bring it up. It’s that brinksmanship thing he’s accused of. Steve is much better at this than most people. He’s very careful in his words. He abosolutely had a list. He’s never denied it. He’s skirted around it with careful language.
          It’s this “list” that got me started. I can’t even imagine how he must feel now that it’s become obvious to many people (thanks to Mr. Velez’s video) that the list is actually real. He had the audacity to say we should name all the people. Guess what? I did. And if you don’t believe the list exists now, then you aren’t reading “with your eyes open.”

          Those posts said nothing negative about Steve. He asked. I answered.

          …and then he blocked me.


          He wants you to believe that Disney let him go without warning.


          He’s not being honest. He’s telling half truths and he’s doing his best to make you believe that the Muppets can’t be saved without him. That he’s the “last samurai.”

          He’s not.

          He absolutely shouldn’t have signed the NDA that Disney offered him.

          He absolutely should’ve fought against the terrible scripts that were coming from Bill Prady and the Disney team.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are many people at the Muppets who don’t think Steve should’ve been let go.

          That’s because the whole truth isn’t out there. The only thing out there is Steve’s half truths. He knows Disney won’t/can’t speak it.

          That’s a bit unfair?

          So that’s where I and others come in. We’re here to fill in the gaps.

          The “list.”

          and one he hasn’t thought about in a long while….his “mafioso” dinners with puppeteers he felt threatened by.

          With eyes open,

          1. Wow! Talking about biterness …
            Not even one of your claims unvalid Steve’s merit as being one of the last extraordinary puppeteers from the Muppets since Jim Henson.
            And even if there was any truth in them (i don’t belive there is) Steve will always have merit as an exraordinary Muppet performer.
            Should we give up of the extraordinary for the ordinary? I don’t think so. 🐸

          2. Fawner,

            First of all, I do believe you are being sincere in your post. You sound sincere. It’s one hell of a practical joke if you aren’t ))

            That said, there is a tricky line between “could have been” and “is the fact” on the web lately. Without actually having solid proof, or a direct experience, it is hard to judge.
            This gray area is the twighlight zone of conspiracy theories “where nothing is quite what it seems”

            JUST the sake of such example (not that i pretend to have any factual info) —
            Take the “list” – the guys were apparently carefully selected out of thousands, trained to be main Mupped substitutes, and put on ice until the need for substitute arose (in case of Artie).
            What kept them on ice MIGHT have been actually the small mark on their file saying something like “overqualified for a Penguin”, “Kermit 2”, or even “keep away from S.W.” knowing how passionate he was about whole One Voice thing.
            What we know for a FACT is that Steve was never in position to make such decisions himself, so the responsibility simply can NOT be all his, right?
            We’ve also got Gabriel Velez posts sharing his experiences (many thanks and best of luck to him!), where he says explicitly that no one know what’s going on, much less that Mr Whitmire was extending his dark powers etc, or was involved at all.
            What’s interesing, we also have, from your own words (i think it must have been your post), that the management just had to ‘cry artie’ to have Steve to concede any points he might have had and “come running”.

            BUT LET’S ASSUME, if only for the sake of argument that all the points you raise are true, and Steve was indeed arranging things with the studio on the BEST possible terms he could get (hmmm doesn’t sound like a bad idea), picking up ONLY performers he preferred (still doesn’t sound too bad) and convinced management to his relatives promoted (wish i could do it with mine!).
            (Uhm, having mafioso dinners? Unless it’s a diet of sand and concrete, i’d rather try one myself ))
            With him being a contractor it ALL could have been stopped and rearranged at ANY moment. (Artie, again.)

            Is it reason enough to cut him without giving US ALL a second chance to see him in Muppets performances?

            Sorry, here I must admit that I’m still on the side of “many people at the Muppets who don’t think Steve should’ve been let go.”

            And, hey, I hope you don’t mind if i say that whenever you are on your civil side, it is actually a pleasure exchange posts. 🙂

          3. Afterthought — Is it even possible to block anybody on this blog? Some posts get stuck for days if you have more than one link within — this might be the reason… check up my post on that above.

          4. Steve Fawner/Shame on Steve/Fleece Throat/etc,

            …hey, at least you’ve helped us realise that there are a lot fewer haters around than it might appear at first glance.

            This is not just about “the truth” or “filling in the gaps”. If it was, you’d be dishing us the dirt on the bad habits and quirks of every puppeteer or Disney employee we’ve ever expressed a positive opinion on. If you’re offended by stuff that Steve writes because you believe it’s incorrect, you could stop reading it; others have done so. But no, for some reason you can’t bear the idea of ANYONE believing what Steve says. What harm is it to you if a bunch of fans believe a pack of lies, or misunderstand some half-truths? If you’re not emotionally involved – none. If you don’t stand to lose anything by it – none. Yet something is motivating you to disabuse us of our ignorance.

            The only thing left is malice and spite. Of course this is not about the objective truth. You WANT to destroy our goodwill with a lot of information that you have supposedly picked up on the internal Disney grapevine (since you don’t know Steve personally) from we don’t know who, even though you don’t NEED to. And you wonder why you aren’t getting much respect.

            Another difference between you and me is that I don’t have any vested interests here, nor axes to grind. I don’t identify as a fangirl. I’m also not a sociopath. I’m simply an external observer. I have read carefully between the lines of the things said by all parties who put their name to their words. I suspect I’ve even perceived a few things there that others have missed, for certain reasons. But on the whole I reckon I’ve come down to a pretty balanced *general* idea of what the truth is, that fits consistently with the stories on all (verified) sides. That’s all any Muppet fan needs. Extra specifics are not required – especially not in the form of rumours from sources who refuse to establish their credentials. If you have something that you think we really need to know because it’s truthful, then state it in a neutral, objective way and put your own name on it so we can judge if it has any credibility. (An NDA, did you say once? Underhanded violations of those for malicious purposes are not going to win much respect from me either.)

            Meanwhile, after having formed my views from the verifiable stuff, I still keep coming back to this blog. Not least because it’s interesting. All I want is to be allowed to read it in peace, and I keep having to watch it turn into a battleground. Go on, humour me; let me keep my bubble of stupid gullible goodwill intact. It won’t hurt you. Start a blog somewhere else, if you need to get it all out. It should attract a big following from the deep thinkers and truth seekers.

            (Oh, and by “the list” you’re referring to that IMDb study on the puppeteers’ names and dates of working? The statistics showing that certain performers didn’t work for the Muppets in a certain period? That was all they showed. Doesn’t take much familiarity with crime fiction to spot the difference between PROOF and CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. There’s some indication that they might well have been blacklisted, but they also might not have. And it gives no indication whatsoever as to who was responsible.)

            Anyway, I’m done with responding to this; I won’t reply again. I only get one life to live and I’ve spent enough of it now on explaining why your credit here is so low. I won’t be reading any more of your comments either – not because I’m scared of your “truths”, but because I’m sick and tired of reading your poison. Talk into the empty space where I used to be if you like; I won’t know. One day you’ll get blocked again, and find a new false name, but I’ll recognise it and scroll straight past. You’re easy enough to spot.

          5. (No, no, don’t bulldoze the guy completely! He keeps things lively around here, and actually adds a lot to discussion, whenever civil. 🙂 )

          6. First of all, I’ve NEVER said or implied anything negative about Steve the puppeteer. I’ve said (under na different name) that he was actually one of the best puppeteers out there.

            He’s actually performed some of my favorite characters… Wembley and Bean Bunny. I’ve never thought his voice was spot on for Kermit, but his performances were great.

            I’ve also never asked you to not like him.

            The question of “what harm” is it to believe Steve’s half truths. I guess there’s no real “harm” but his interviews and his words here have A LOT of his fans demonizing the Henson family and the Disney Corp (which includes The Muppet core performers.)

            He seems to have back peddled a little bit and I’m all for it.

            The big problem–to me–is that instead of saying nothing about “the list” he went out of his way to distance himself without denying he personally asked to have them removed. He did ask, by the way.

            So some of the claims might sound odd to you(mafia dinners?)

            Those are what are known as dog whistles.

            If Steve is reading this–and who knows–then he knows it’s not about a “diet of sand and cement” it’s about him having to pay the piper for the inexcusable stunts he’s pulled.

            Hint: if he can’t get you on the list, then he’ll take you to dinner and let you know what “his rules” are.

            So enjoy his unparalleled career. He’s still on top of his game. He’s still the amazing performer he’s always been.

            But, he’s no longer with the Muppets. It wasn’t his first warning. He became paranoid and a bit too greedy with other people’s money and if’d just admit that to himself, maybe he wouldn’t be here drumming up support for his half truth. Maybe we could just celebrate what he did RIGHT for the Muppets, and use your voices to convince Disney to actually produce good content.

            But, when you’ve asked for too much, and done it in a way that your bosses no longer trust you as a businessman. Then why on earth would they listen your notes as an artist. They should’ve, but when someone tries to keep the show hostage over contracts, it become a “boy who cries wolf “scenario when other concerns are brought up.

            I will agree that this is not the right forum for some of my comments. You can find me on twitter and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.


            I will however pop back up to call out his half truths.

          7. “Steve Fawner”, “Fraggle Fan”, “@fleecethroat” or whatever:

            You and your twitter = 💩
            Keep your crap to yourself !

            But thank you, because now i know who you really are and know exactly where to reach you. 😈

          8. Julia,

            Nice use of emojis.

            To be clear, I’ve used many names but Fraggle Fan isn’t one of them.

            Please stop by and say hi!

            I’d love to know more about you.


          9. ( J.S. — Okay, i have to admit I was wrong. Some of us here might need to change our medicines, starting with moi. 🙂 )

            I think we all said what we wanted to say, above. See no point in continuing this discussion here.

          10. Andrew,
            I would sincerely like to continue the discussion.

            All of course are welcome.

            There is much to talk about.

            You know where to find me.


          11. well Mike Quinn has met Steve and worked with him excuse me if I choose to believe the person who has been around him and not someone who has never met him. Who has only “worked in the same circles “

          12. There is simply no point for discussion.

            Apparently there was an issue.
            Apparently it could have been negotiated.
            Apparently it wasn’t.
            Apparently the show lost the performer we knew and loved for years.
            Apparently this decision affected Muppets adversely.

            Shoveling dirt in the air in hope that some of it will stick does not change any of this.
            Even if the poster is as undoubtedly talented and dedicated as Mr or Mrs Throat.

          13. Maybe you are right Steve tells some half truths , maybe he could have handled himself better. I have been so passionate about a job before, that I was at odds with employers. But I believe still believe him, because I have seen how Disney have handled the muppets. His blog does not make me hate Disney or Henson kids, just lets me know his side, right or not to you, I enjoy them. Maybe you work for Disney maybe not, but then again maybe I do, how do you expect anyone here to trust you have some inside source we all could clam it, but we know Steve does.

  6. What a great Part 1, Steve! It’s refreshing to hear that you were a part of that process with Debbie and Jerry.

    I’m glad to hear that at one time (and I’m talking pre-2015 series) that Disney valued your presence as far as preserving the legacy of the Muppets, especially since you had worked closely alongside Jerry for so many projects. Always wondered who your favorite character is that each of the other performers played…Can’t wait for Part 2!

  7. Hi Steve,

    I sense a running gag with the “private jet” thing. LOL. I love running gags. I love reading about the behind-the-scenes bits. I’m glad you don’t seem to hold any grudges against Matt Vogel. Though I reserve judgement until I hear his Kermit. Talented as he is, I have to say, I don’t care much for his Count Von Count, however I LOVE his Floyd Pepper.

    Live long and paws-purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark
    (and meow from Snowball the Wonder Cat)
    (eeehhh. Sorry, I think my brain needs a jump start)

  8. Hahaha the good ol’ private jet!…’Whit-iest’ post yet!—pun intended. It’s the stories behind the stories like this one that truly make me proud to be a fan of yours. Especially when that story has substance in what’s best for The Muppets. Very cool how you were involved in this process of Jerry passing the torch to Matt for his characters.

    And I also love hearing stories about your relationship with Caroll, which of course goes all the way back to the beginning of your Muppet journey. This pow-wow that you alluded to here, makes me smile. It’s amazing to hear about two iconic performers could confide in one another about the importance of what you do. From what I’ve heard, the session the two of you did together at DragonCon was a real highlight of the event. I’m not sure if you saw the documentary ‘I Am Big Bird,’ but he spoke of you so highly in regard to taking on the role of Kermit. You’re Muppet royalty as far as I’m concerned, just like Jerry and Caroll.

  9. Hi Steve,

    You mentioned your work on Sesame Street, and I was curious about why your time on that series as Ernie ended?

    1. I’ve been wondering this myself for a while. After some research, I couldn’t find any definitive answer but came across some interesting tidbits of info.

      Not long ago, Frank Oz said that part of why he (referring to himself) hasn’t worked on Sesame anymore is partly because he’s “expensive.”

      Granted, Frank was seldomly performing his characters since the early-00’s but with according to Muppet Wiki’s episode guides, it seems that the last time both Frank and Steve performed their Sesame characters for actual episodes was in 2012. Maybe their budget could have something to do with it? This is just a theory and my two cents.

      Although it could very well be something different that required an NDA as Fraggle Fan suggested. I’d actually really like to know. Ernie hasn’t been the same ever since.

  10. Steve, I’m certainly not alone here in saying this clears up another misconception in relation to the rumors about Matt Vogel.

    Being curious about all the characters left without a dad and a voice, I read further on Richard Hunt, and Jerry Nelson, who are no longer with us. Thank you for sharing this, for it backs up what I’ve always sensed when I watch the Muppets, a sincere family of performers who bring quality to their work because through them, each and every Muppet lives and is important.

    Anne Terri

  11. I had said many a time in various fan forums that David Rudman would be an outstanding choice to take on Richard’s characters for nearly a decade before it finally happened and i was absolutely over the moon when it actually occurred (while also thinking “wow – what took them so long to come around to what i’ve been advocating for what seemed like ages”)! Very much love hearing these stories behind the recasting for Jerry & Steve’s characters.

  12. Sigh. I screwed up my cookie settings and now my comments are going into the void. Just watch as this turns up in three different places tomorrow. And I was having such a good run too…

    In response to “Um… have you read this frog-blog? Steve never mentions anyone else as keeping the Muppets Muppety. “

    Allow me:

    “I perceived Matt to be a principled gentleman who understood the depth of the Muppets.”

    “In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman… We all volunteered our time to get this right, once and for all, because it matters… I’m proud that with Debbie’s help we were able to facilitate this casting session…”

    “Multicasting refers to having multiple puppeteers perform a character simultaneously in the world, a direction the core performers were adamantly against because anytime any of the Muppets are divided into multiple versions they grow in different directions and it reduces their depth.”

    “The four of us agreed we could not follow this course in good conscience so we did not advocate for or support the ‘understudy initiative’. ”

    “If this is part of my unacceptable business conduct, then I guess Eric, Bill and Dave have marks beside their names as well.”

    To paraphrase an old favourite of Rowlf’s:
    “I read the blog.
    And Marni read the blog.
    Where were you?”

  13. So missed new posts this week! “I hauled my own personal video camera to New York on my smaller private jet (Delta MD-88) with 148 of my close personal friends” lol 😂😂😂
    Sounds like Paul McCartney s wedding when he married Heather Mills!
    Looking forward to the continuation…

  14. Steve did something similar happen to some of jims characters? I know for a while Rowlf and dr teeth was not used as much. In Rowlf’s case I feel it hurt the characters popularity. Back in the day he was up there with gonzo, Kermit, miss piggy, Fozzie, and animal as one of the big characters. Now he is not. I could be remembering wrong, maybe it just seemed that way to me as a kid, because he was one of my favorites. I remember a store having stuff animals of the muppets from muppets take manhattan. Rowlf was one of them. I did not get him and now I regret it because now it is so hard to find anything with rowlf

  15. I love the wit in your posts, Steve. Reminds of Hare Krishna.

    “Good grief, it’s a running gag.” — Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Movie, 1979

  16. Thank you Steve for another great post about the Muppets timeline and about your story with them & other performers.
    We, the fans, were all missing you.

    And also your haters, as far as i can see by some of the comments above ! 😃
    Maybe you could offer them a ride to the swamp on you private jet 😁, so they could meet some 🐸 Kermit’s friends, specially Arnie ! 😆

    Still praying, believing & having faith in a miracle ! 😉🐸

  17. “After abandoning the multi-casting initiative in 2006, recasting Richard and Jerry’s characters was not a high priority for executives as we had no significant work projects slated. In February 2008, Debbie and I coordinated a trip to NY to meet with Jerry Nelson, two possible candidates who had worked with Jerry for years, and David Rudman who Jerry and I both agreed would have been Richard’s choice for Scooter. This session gave him a chance to read as Janice to Jerry’s Floyd. It worked!”

    I’d love to hear/read more about finally recasting Scooter with a permanent performer, if you could share that, Steve? Scooter is my favourite Muppet and I couldn’t be happier that he’s finally back at the fore with the main characters again. He’s also struck me as interesting recast. For one thing, he’s had the most number of performers. And there was that period for most of the 90s where he disappeared completely after we lost Richard. That always stuck out to me. The rest of Richard’s or Jim’s characters who weren’t recast were still silently appearing in the background, but Scooter was the only one to not make an appearance at all until ‘Muppets From Space’. Was that a conscious choice at all? Something Brian and/or anybody else from the company decided? I assumed the fact that Scooter embodied so much of Richard might have had something to do with it, but then I’ve heard that Rowlf embodied Jim the most out of his characters and he still (silently) appeared – I don’t mean to sound like I’m prying at all if that’s how it’s coming off, I’d just be interested to know the reason behind it.

    Scooter also seems to be a difficult character to nail down in terms of writing. I had the opportunity to ask Jim Lewis about Scooter’s disappearance on a Muppet Central thread 7 years ago and he gave an interesting answer where he admitted to struggling with the character.

    It seems from that and the “Mama’s boy” persona he was given in the ABC TV series that Scooter has been a difficult character to get just right. I would be interested to hear/read your perspective on it and if that was ever an issue when you were tying to bring the character back?

    1. You know, I could have sworn that Scooter was in Muppet Christmas Carol in a background, non-speaking role. I remember it dawning on me a couple of years ago (after watching this movie at least once every Christmas practically since it was released in theaters) how profoundly sad it was to see him on screen knowing that Richard Hunt was no longer with us. The opening dedication to him and Jim Henson STILL makes me tear up every time, but I digress…

      I’ve been looking at clips and stills online of every scene I can think of him being in, and I can’t find anything! I remember it being just a fleeting appearance, but I have no proof to back it up. I’ll have to search more later when I’m not at work (oops).

      The thread you posted is great! And I agree he seems to be a difficult character to get right…and the recent ABC show definitely got him verrrrrrrry wrong.

      I’ll reply back if I ever find the clip of him in Muppet Christmas Carol, if only to prove to myself that I’m not crazy lol!

    2. Thanks for the link with the explanation! Scooter is my favorite character as well and I was always wishing for him to come back alongside the main characters (with Rowlf, my 2nd favorite character).

      I was thrilled when they were featured very up front and center in Muppets Most Wanted. I was also very happy that he was very prominent in the tv show, but agree that the mama’s boy personality wasn’t quite perfect for the character.

    3. Scooter was also my absolute favorite. Jim Henson was essential, and his loss will always be felt, but Richard Hunt’s loss was also very crippling for the Muppets, and I don’t feel they have ever recovered. I often wonder, if Richard had lived, if the Muppet legacy would have been stronger, no offense to Steve or everyone else who has fought to keep Muppets on track. Of course, it’s also possible, because Richard was so talented, his acting career or music career could have taken off, and he could have moved on like Frank Oz did.

      If I was king for the day in Muppet world, getting all of Richard’s characters functioning true to his spirit and up and running would be an absolute priority.

      And bringing Steve back as Kermit.

      1. It’s interesting you say that. I often wonder what would’ve happened to Richard and his characters during the post-Jim era had he not died aswell. With Frank’s involvement becoming less and less, it seemed Dave and Steve were put into the lead with Gonzo & Rizzo in the movies and other projects that came up in the 90s. Would Richard and any of his characters have joined them too?

        A few years ago, a friend of mine came up with the idea of Muppet Treasure Island but with Scooter playing Jim Hawkins. I don’t know about anybody else but I love that idea and think he would’ve been perfect for that. I wonder of the possibility of that happening if Richard was still around at that point. Plus, I just would have loved to see Scooter, Gonzo & Rizzo teamed up!

        1. Scooter as Jim Hawkins would have been so lovely, it makes me tear up to think about it. No offense to the final product, which I enjoy and admire. Richard Hunt just makes everything better in my inner 5 year Muppet fan heart.

          1. Same here, Le Anne. Both Richard and Steve have always been my favourite Muppet Performers and heroes of mine – their work has always given me a lot of joy, especially when I needed it most, and also given me a lot of creative inspiration.

            I also loved seeing Richard and Steve paired together quite a lot on Fraggle Rock –
            examples that spring to mind being Wembley and Mudwell the Mudbunny, Wembley and the Mean Genie, and Wembley and The Wizard. Dave and Steve of course are one of the greatest Muppet Performer Duos and have wonderful chemistry, but I also loved the chemistry between Richard and Steve when they got to play off each other. Especially since they both came into the company in a somewhat similar way – both joining at the age of 18 if I’m not mistaken. It’s something I wish we could’ve seen more of in other projects.

            Steve, if you’re reading this, I’m wondering if at some point when you can on this blog, maybe you could share some of your perspective of working with Richard in these rare pairings? I still enjoy watching Wembley play against the various characters of his listed above. There have always been these great Muppet Performer Duos over the years, but I always felt like it was maybe a missed opportunity to have more of yours and Richard’s characters working off of each other.

            I don’t know if it’s just me but I always got the feeling that Scooter and Rizzo had some potential and a good connection together that could’ve been explored more – some good examples of this to me being the Pre-Show Film of Muppet*Vision 3D, the 2014 Toyota Ads, and some other moments in the 2015 TV series. Plus, there’s also the fact that Rizzo pretty much took Scooter’s place in Muppets Tonight! – even calling Clifford “Chief” at some points.

  18. Haha no, Scooter’s definitely not in MCC. Although, Brian Henson does say in the commentary that Scooter was originally going to be in the movie playing the Ghost of Christmas Past (with Piggy and Gonzo as the other spirits) which I found interesting.

    And I hear ya about the opening dedication to Jim and Richard. Makes me tear up every time. I think it’s the start of the music that plays during it that gets. It’s quite melancholy and right away kind of sets the tone behind the movie – the people behind the movie had to deal with two major losses to the company and it’s really the start of a new chapter with the group trying to go on without them.

    1. Arg – well, I stand corrected 🙂 Scooter was only there in spirit, I guess! And that music in the beginning is a killer. I can only imagine how difficult production must have been without Jim and Richard, but everyone involved did outstanding work. This film was the pivotal moment when I knew everything was going to be ok.

      1. Oh he’s definitely in Muppet Family Christmas, most notably when he announces to the group at the farmhouse that he found a box of old home movies 🙂 This is probably my absolute favorite Christmas movie of all time! I’ll sometimes watch it off-season if I’m in need of a pick me up. Steve’s Turkey as the foil to Gonzo is a standout performance, and one that makes me laugh out loud. I also love all of the franchises coming together in one movie. Such a great film!

  19. Well, I tried. Maybe he’ll address some of those items I asked in future installments. We’ll see. Other than that, there’s really nothing for me to add here. I’ll bump them one more time. Some basic questions for Steve, if he chooses to indulge us fans. It’s a lot, and we’re not entitled to answers, but these will cut through all the garbage quickly so that there’s no longer any confusion or so much needless anger among fans:

    It’s been stated that there were other determining causes to the recast aside from money, but money is a part of the negotiation criticism. Is it true that you asked for a lot more money? If so, was it much more than anyone else was getting?

    Is it true that your Henson Company contract negotiations often came up to the wire with brinksmanship more so than your peers? If not, why do some have that impression? If so, what sticking points were there?

    Is it true that you delayed production under Henson management; what were those circumstances and why?

    You’ve stated delaying/missing a Disney Muppet production due to SAG’s recommendation not to sign a particular contract. Is this the same contract every other performer signed? If so, what kept you from signing them? Were there ever any other performers who allegedly created their own delays?

    You were never in charge of casting, but did you request producers keep certain performers from the set while you were working? Is it possible for some people to have perceived that, even by error?

    You’ve stated supporting the Henson Muppets legacy. Are there any other performers doing that? What advice do you have for the current performers, particularly Mr. Vogel?

    As one of the Muppets’ original core performers, how close are you to other cast members, past and present, and are you featured in Frank Oz’s new documentary? How close are you to other cast members, past and present? That meme is more relevant now than ever.

    Of all the performers, you’re one that fans know the least about. If there’s one thing you want your fans to know about you, what would it be? I know you do some charity work with Tippi Hedren. That’s rather fascinating. How did that come about?

    Matt Vogel has done excellent work with many authorized recasts. Even though this was absolutely not the ideal route to go, do you see a future for his Kermit and the Muppets or are they just over now?

    How do you feel about your original characters being recast? Rizzo and Bean seem to be such a part of you that I can’t imagine anyone coming close to your performance. They are now all legal IP of Disney, but emotionally do you consider any to be off-limits?

    Which of the recent Disney Muppets projects do you think were hits and which ones do you think were misses? They fired the other writer-producer, but I’ve heard Prady was the real trouble with the unMuppeting of ABC’s Muppets. So many great strides were made with the direction toward the end that fans were hoping that it would signal the beginning of a Muppet renaissance. What were your thoughts about the mood on the set and the production?

    If you could change anything about the Muppets, what would it be? If you could change anything about your previous performances, what would those be?

    What 5 adjectives would you use to describe Kermit?

    What 5 would you use to describe Rizzo?

    1. The axeman, er financial adviser Disney have hired is more to do with Steves’ dismissal than anything. Seems everything that can’t be exploited got the chop. I’d like to see him set up his own company/theatre, and maybe his own puppet school all rolled into one. The student became the master a long time ago. 😉

        1. Disney are having an almighty financial reshuffle according to the BBC and their financial report. Espn chopped and changed, Netflix being dumped, only showing outside the u.s. on ppv, Steve being dismissed because they couldn’t exploit Kermit with him there makes sense, he’s blocking them making a LOT of extra cash when really their shareholders are asking for more. Dependable but expendable. That’s how they see him. Quantity over quality. 😞

  20. I had the wonderful opportunity to moderate a panel with Carroll a few years back and he had nothing but marvelous things to say about Matt and how you especially welcomed Matt to the Muppets on his recommendation (basically he told me the same story you just told). I know Kermit is in good hands, and have nothing but respect for Matt. Just the same…

  21. Steve,
    We know how you feel about the Muppets, Jim, & Jim’s formula that made the Muppets work so well.
    You know this formula. Can you take that and create your own company? Surely you have made so many great contacts and met so many people over the years that could work with you in creating a troupe of puppets that can rival the Muppets? You would be carrying on Jim’s legacy and everything that you hold dear and true. It’s never too late.

  22. Steve,
    Thanks for the behind the scenes info. I hated that Rowlf, Scooter and the others disappeared for so long and the few times they talked during those years in specials they didn’t sound right. So I was excited when they finally came back with bigger roles again and they sounded like they should. David, Matt and Bill did a great job with the characters they took over. That being said I have a question. I think Matt has done a great job with the characters he took over, but one character he does doesn’t sound right. That’s Robin , His one line in Muppets most wanted, that episode in the 2015 show, and in the online muppet videos he doesn’t sound right. But I saw a video where you and Matt did Kermit and Robin on the Jimmy Fallon show around Christmas and sang a song with Jimmy, I think it was 2011. In that I thought Matt did a great job and he sounded like Robin should, and a lot closer to Jerry’s Robin. So my question is why the change in his voice? Is it because Disney is wanting to make him more of a teenager? I know in that 2015 show it definitely seemed they were trying to make him more of the teenager, and I noticed the puppet looks different too with an elongated neck like he is supposed to be older. If that is the case I wish they would ditch that idea and Let Matt bring him back to more like Jerry’s and the puppet too. Sorry for the long post, It’s just been bothering me about Robin and he’s been my favorite Muppet since the Muppet show.
    Again thanks for everything.

    1. I am also a big Robin fan, he is so cute (always wondered why there wasn’t a plush version of Robin).

      Do you have a link to that Christmas show, I would like to see it.

        1. Thanks Jeremy. Bookmarked this for Christmas. Is it my imagination, or did a see Kermit do a move near the end of the song, looking like he took a swallow, and then raised his chest to get his breath to sing the next part? This is the sign of a highly professional Puppeteer.

        2. Thanks for posting, I had found the same video clip at the same time! Shame about the quality, but we do get the gist. Anne, I saw the same movement in Kermit that you noticed.

          1. We need this today, Nicholas Napoli and yes, Rachel W. In my house it’s Christmas everyday. I even saw that Kermit can stand on his toes to sing the high notes.
            God Bless Us Everyone, as Tiny Tim would say, right? Thank you Jerry Nelson.

          2. Would love it Steve, if somewhere in your own life today you could work in the phrase, “God bless my little broken body!” in Rizzos voice, it’d make me chuckle 😊

    1. Wow, this is certainly a long article that you wrote, you must have put a lot of time into this.
      I had not seen the bit with fake Kermit done by Lyon, but at least he stresses that it is not a real Muppet, it is a puppet that he made himself (I think he could’ve made an entirely different frog then, and sung a different song, too!).

  23. What I’d really like to know! I often read on the internet that Matt Vogel would have his fist appearance on the Muppets “Thought of the week” in late July. ever since I read that, I’ve been searching the internet for that very appearance, and I found many, many thoughts of the week, but none after Steve’s dismissal. Where is it – or didn’t it happen after all?? Has anybody seen it and / or can provide a link=

    1. I asked the same, ppl think it’ll appear at the Hollywood bowl, but honestly if it’s that bad I can only imagine it’d make it worse for Matt, in a way I guess he’s a victim too here. Obviously we won’t see that or anything else in the UK so pls ppl the other side of the swamp keep us posted!

      1. Nobody has replied to it yet, so I really wonder if this Thought of the week (must have been several weeks now!) have ceased now??
        Has anybody seen Matt Vogel as Kermit yet?

  24. Hi Steve,
    I got two questions.
    The first one is about Rizzo, I really like the character.
    He is quite popular and one of the main characters,
    But his voice is quite notable, and I don’t think many people can do his voice.
    What do you think will happen with him? I really don’t want him to be a non-talking background character.
    The second one is about Muppet*Vision 3D,
    I’ve just read about the area just in front of the upcoming Star Wars Land.
    ( )
    So Muppet Courtyard will be gone and the whole area with the old streets of America will be named ”Grand Avenue”. Beside that Muppet*Vision and PizzeRizzo will stay, it’s gonna be less Muppet-Themed, And I am kinda sad about that. What do you think about the new area or do you know more about it?

  25. Hey Steve,
    I previously commented only once, but I felt like chiming in again. I am really finding all of these posts very intriguing and insightful. I appreciate how you are just putting your perspective out there, and do not go out of your way to bash or badmouth “the other side” in the unfortunate circumstances surrounding your exit from this beloved group of characters and performers that clearly meant/means the world to you.

    I just wanted to say, specifically in regards to this post that I don’t know what I wouldn’t give to see footage of the auditions with David and Jerry, among other things. From what I understand, you were one to film a lot of behind the scenes stuff, way back when, in “the good old days”. If true, I imagine a lot of it would have made for wonderful bonus features in any number of releases that have come out, or any of the many potential ones still sadly gathering dust in “The Disney Vault”, leaving us fans starving for more.

    I am just curious, would you ever be willing/able to share things from your personal recordings, maybe starting up your own YouTube channel, or, like seemingly plagues so many potential releases of classic Muppet material to home video and/or streaming, are there complicated legalities preventing such a thing. Speaking for myself (and I am guessing a large majority of the rabid fandom), it would be so great to have a chance to take in never-before-seen footage from decades past.

    Beyond all of that, I am still rooting for you, wherever you go on your next journey in life, and the offer still stands to come on The Wally Wackiman Pupcast (Here’s the URL, if you want to check out the 2 current episodes: ) to speak more about your overall history and experience in the world of puppetry/Muppetry.

    Thanks, again, for putting your thoughts and feelings out, and for hearing us fans out, as well!


  26. I’m really glad that you’ve addressed this, Steve. I’ve seen people, here and elsewhere, interpret things that you’ve said as somehow being some sort of affront against or insult to Matt, and I hope what you’ve written here will help to put those criticisms to rest.

    I’d just like to underscore something that you’ve said here: that quite apart from disrespecting Matt or lacking confidence in his abilities, you were on the front lines fighting with Disney on Matt’s behalf, so that Matt would not only be able to perform with the Muppets but that Disney would value him at his true worth and compensate him adequately. So, to put it into words that you maybe can’t use without sounding self-aggrandizing or something, all of us who count ourselves as fans of Matt owe you a debt of gratitude for bringing him into the fold.

    (“Count” ourselves as fans of Matt. Ah, ha, ha.)

  27. Has anyone else seen what’s going on over on twitter? Someone called @FleeceThroat has stories about Steve blackballing. No, it’s not me…

    1. Yawn, pretty boring so far… did he get to the bit on how Steve was smuggling tadpoles from Amazonia yet?
      Nah, that’s not me either 🙂

  28. I remember when I was younger I never understood why it was Kermit usually alongside Gonzo and Rizzo accompanied by mostly new Muppets in new shows. The Jim Henson Hour introduced us to Clifford, Digit, Leon and lacked Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Scooter, Floyd etc… Then the same thing happened in Muppets Tonight, there was Kermit, Gonzo and Rizzo also usually accompanied by Dr Bunsen and Beaker attempting another show with a new group of Muppets. The same can probably be applied to Kermit on Sesame Street where he was joined by a different cast of characters including Big Bird, Oscar, Telly, Elmo etc… I never appreciated this as a child but now I respect it very much. Jim Henson respected his performers and if they were not there, their characters were not their either. Jim Henson used the characters already developed by those performers alongside him at that particular moment and hoped to help a new group of Muppeteers develop their own characters with the support of Kermit the Frog.

    This supports the One Muppet, One Voice rule. 

  29. Hey Steve!
    I have an unrelated question that I’m hoping you’d be willing to answer. It’s just a nerdy curiosity but still I hope you might answer it for me.

    In one of the panel discussions (comic con perhaps?) from a couple years ago Bill Barretta commented that the Rowlf puppet he was using was from before Jim passed. I guess since Rowlf hadn’t been used very much that the puppet was still in good shape and usable.

    So my question is: Can you comment on if any of the other puppets currently being used are still left from before Jim passed? Are any others still in usable condition?


  30. Disney deserves a lot of flack for a lot of things over the years. That’s a certainty, but I’m a little confused here.

    The Jim Henson Company stopped working with Steve Whitmire years ago by both of their admissions. They still provide a lot of vital puppetry work that other career Muppet performers still work on, but not Steve.

    Sesame Street parted ways with Steve Whitmire several years ago with little press of fanfare. Many active Muppet performers and main cast members still work heavily for both Sesame Street and the Muppets.

    Disney is the final company of the trio to part ways with Steve Whitmire. They are the highest profile of the three companies so they had to prepare a statement. The first was very complimentary. Then they were accused of malfeasance by Whitmire so they shot back.

    I can’t imagine that Disney’s attorneys would allow them to list a string of actionable accusations without legal documentation to back them up. They are not a sloppy company. I’m no Perry Mason, but it appears that there’s more going on here than Steve Whitmire has told us so far. There are so many unanswered questions he’s been asked that have yet to be answered or even addressed as to why he can’t answer them.

    This isn’t just Steve vs Disney. This is Steve vs Disney + Henson + Sesame Street in what looks like a long, unhappy working history. This is what attorneys refer to as a pattern of behavior. I love Steve Whitmire’s puppetry and his characters. I just get a bad feeling from this and it’s not really coming from Disney. Those understudy workshops were from over a decade ago and something Disney stopped pursuing a long time ago.

    I just really am confused as to why one party is given the benefit of the doubt while every other party has not. I guess to get the real answer, we’d have to get Sesame Workshop to step in and tell us why they let Steve go. Ernie’s been juggled between performers since Steve’s ousting and that doesn’t seem ideal. Something’s fishy, so in an Ernie voice, I’m asking, “Here, fishy, fishy, fishy!?”

    1. He took Big Bird to mafioso dinner but it all fell through when he ordered an omelet. Of course he won’t tell us about it now…

      (sorry just couldn’t resist)

    2. If you are “confused” and have questions for Sesame Street, try asking them, not Steve.
      But they probably will not answer you, and that´s the correct thing to do.
      Remember Sesame Street has an educational purpose and is different around the world. Totaly different from the Muppets or any other JHC puppets. For educational purposes the Sesame characters and actors should speak each country native languages, so they can be understood by small children. It`s not possible just subtitle or voice over the original voices because small children wouldn´t understand.
      About the Muppets and others puppets, mostly for literate children and adults, shows and movies are always subtitled, and that`s why one voice for each Muppet is so important.

      And you “dazed” (like if we don´t notice recurrent commentators), if you don´t have anything to say related to Steve`s post or at least Muppet related (the main theme of this blog, do not embarrass yourself with stupid jokes !

      1. Andrew’s response probably wasn’t what you expected, was it?


        Andrew if you are indeed “dazed” I applaud your joke.

        Timely and apropos.

        Julia, you should give yourself permission to lighten up.

        1. You are wrong “Steve Fawner”. That was exactly the kind of answer i expected from the kind of person it came from.
          And i hope your filthy @fleecethroat twitter is blocked soon and your employer/s kick you out.
          Already made some arrangements, so i hope you really are not a The Walt Disney Company or The Jim Henson Company employee as you’re saying on twitter. But if you are, pray for your job.

          1. “Anonymous”,
            Just wait and see !
            Is being bad supporting Steve Whitmire against comments full of lies and a filthy twitter page doing the same, from people not aware of how serious this is ?
            Grow up!

    3. First of all, nothing that Disney said about Steve was complimentary. At first, all they said was that he was no longer performing with the Muppets, and if they did not actively promulgate the false impression that he had left voluntarily, they did nothing to correct it.

      Second, you want to talk about a “pattern of behavior”? There are entire BOOKS out there documenting Disney’s “unacceptable business conduct” with regard to employees and business associates, etc. etc. etc. Perhaps the best is “DisneyWar” by James B. Stewart. Another good one, though a bit dated, is “The Keys to the Kingdom” by Kim Masters. If you read those books, you’ll find that every single accusation that Steve has made about Disney has a documented precedent in the recent (35+ years) history of the company. Steve is not the first person at Disney to be led to believe that his position was secure, only to have it snatched away from him without warning. He’s not the first one to be told, in essence, “You are going to ‘retire,’ and it is going to be your idea.” And he’s not the first one whom Disney has tried to discredit for daring to speak out against the company.

      Nobody–and I mean NOBODY–is safe at Disney, not even Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt. As detailed in the above-mentioned “DisneyWar,” an attempt was made in 2003 to try to force Roy to retire from the Disney board of directors–although they did offer him an honorary directorship, with no voting privileges, so that they could continue to parade him around like a mascot at special events. Not so different from them offering Steve a Disney Legends award in return for his signing an NDA, if you think about it.

      You ask why Steve is afforded the benefit of the doubt while the other parties are not. The answer is simple: credibility. Steve has never done anything to hurt his credibility. Even in speaking out here on this blog, he’s always taken the high road, never stooping to the smear tactics that have been used against him. Whereas Disney is now bankrupt of credibility, having squandered all the credibility that they inherited from Walt over the course of the last 35+ years or so. And perhaps the saddest thing of all is that Disney KNOWS it is completely bankrupt of credibility; why else would they have namechecked the Henson family when it was making its official statement about Steve’s dismissal? Because it knows that the Hensons still have the credibility that they inherited from their father, that they’ve invested and spent that credibility wisely–or they had up until last month. Whether the Hensons were complicit with Disney in a plot against Steve or they were just another pawn in Disney’s little game, I don’t know, but by choosing to speak out against Steve, they allowed Disney to spend the capital of credibility that they have fostered so carefully for the last 27 years. I don’t anticipate that they’re going to get a good return on that investment.

      I have to admit that I had second thoughts when I first saw that the Hensons had spoken out against Steve. I asked myself if I had jumped to a wrong conclusion without knowing all the facts, if I had been the victim of a (very) long con. But when I looked at what each party was actually saying, I found that nothing that the Henson kids had been saying was consistent with what I know about how Jim Henson conducted himself and his business, whereas nothing that Steve has said is INconsistent with how Jim Henson conducted himself and his business. Even take the merest shred of evidence, e.g. the line from Jim’s last letter to his children to “love and forgive everybody.” Compare what the Hensons have said and done with what Steve has said here on his blog. Who’s done a better job of loving and forgiving each other? The ones who leapt at the opportunity to drag a former colleague’s name through the mud? Or the one who turned the other cheek and refused to speak out against his attackers out of concern for causing “real personal damage”? There can be only one correct answer.

      As for Sesame Workshop, I don’t know what’s going on over there, but just because they are no longer working with Steve anymore doesn’t mean that there is bad blood between them. You said yourself that there was little fanfare; maybe that’s because things over there simply didn’t end as dramatically or inequitably as they did in the Disney situation. Sometimes companies have to let people go for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance, personality clashes, or that sort of thing. For example, I was let go in June from a job that I’d had for nearly seven years, and it wasn’t because I’d caused trouble for them or that my work hadn’t been adequate or that I hadn’t been getting along with colleagues or anything like that; it was simply that they’d adopted a new system for strictly economic reasons and, as a result, my position with them had ceased to exist.

      Moreover–and this is 100% pure speculation on my part–I think it’s at least possible that the general public has underestimated the amount of influence that the Hensons still have at Sesame Workshop. The last that I heard–and, granted, this was several years ago, so my information could well be out of date–JHC was still making all the Sesame Street Muppets, and Cheryl Henson served as a liaison between JHC and Sesame Workshop. Also, we don’t know all that went on during the deal between Sesame Workshop and HBO. We do know that a lot of performers that had been with the show for 25 years or more left during that time, voluntarily and otherwise.

      You said, “There are so many unanswered questions he’s been asked that have yet to be answered or even addressed as to why he can’t answer them.” Well, Steve has only been writing in this blog for a month. He only has two hands, and there are so many hours in a day. He can’t possibly address everything all at once. Give him time.

      1. Well said, Mary Arlene.

        And I might add:
        Steve was not forced to write this blog. He does this voluntarily. Nor is he forced to reply to all the “unanswered questions”, some of which are really impertinent. He does not have to justify himself in front of us, or others.
        If this blog continues with all the hatred and people who hide themselves behind their internet name, I would not be surprised if he stopped writing on here altogether.
        I think we should simply ignore some people on here who just want to stir trouble, and who keep mentioning their ridiculous twitter account. If they are being ignored, they might just shut up and go looking for a new victim.

        As if the whole situation wasn’t bad enough – it is so annoying that we have to keep reading those comments rather than something productive.

        1. I agree-if we can’t have a decent conversation due to neither side being capable of keeping our tempers at bay, then what’s the point of it all?

          I love ya, Steve and all that, but there’s only so many times I’m willing to combat your trolls before I want to repeatedly slam my head into my keyboard. It’s about time the silent treatment came into play and the sad little haters will crawl away.

          Also, to answer your question Rachel, Matt appeared with Kermit at some type of panel thing a while back: there’s a picture of it floating around.

        2. Nope. They’re either waiting until after the Hollywood Bowl concerts, or have just decided to never release it at all and will introduce Kermit 3.0 some other way.

      2. I have to rebut this because the America’s Got Talent disaster in which Steve was replaced with a very talented understudy is an example of why some people might not give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know what went on there, but it hasn’t happened to any other performer before or since. That’s a big deal that points to Steve as the variable. It appears to support the Henson’s claims of brinkmanship and a delaying productions. I have as much info on that as you do and really no clue what actually took place. I just think it’s unfortunate that you’ve spun two unfair narratives about the Hensons when they’ve given us at least one fewer reason to doubt them.

    4. Forgive me, but I listed several substantial items and was met with rather bizarre responses. It’s clear that this is not a place for any meaningful information on inquiry. It’s for rabid fans who’ll bark down anyone with anything less than stellar to say. I get that. Usually there’s fault to go around, however this is not the place for that. I understand. Have a nice day.

      1. Well, look…it’s possible that I let my temper get the better of me a little bit. I’m just so tired of having to rehash the same arguments over and over.

        When all is said and done, I empathize with Steve, and here’s why:

        In the first place, there was a time in my life when I assumed the worst of one of my dearest friends based on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence, and when my assumption turned out to be false, I was eaten up with guilt. I felt so bad that I could hardly live with myself. I never want to go through that again, so I decided that, from that moment on, I would always give someone that I care about the benefit of the doubt unless I had a very good reason not to–and when I say “a very good reason,” I’m talking about incontrovertible proof. This principle of believing the best of those I care about has been a guiding principle of my life ever since then, and I’ve never once regretted it.

        In the second place, a few years after that, the tables were turned and I was the one being unfairly maligned. I was the one whose words were being twisted and misrepresented to other people; I was the one whose good name was being sullied. I remember what it was like to feel powerless against the things that other people were saying about me, and how lonely and frightening it was to feel abandoned by those I thought that I could trust to support me and have my back, no matter what. It felt exactly like this.

        Therefore, I’d ultimately rather support Steve than put my faith in a large, soulless corporation like Disney…especially when I know for a fact that Disney has a long history of making the shadiest deals that it thinks it can get away with and not caring who gets trampled on in the process.

      2. Hi confused (on the offchance that you check back one more time),

        It’s my impression that you might not have been following the discussion here closely over the past six weeks – apologies if I’m wrong. Anyhow, it might help you to understand the “bizarre responses” if I explain that you’ve weighed in at a difficult time: more or less the same arguments have been cycling on repeat for weeks now, and given that the only possible conclusions to most of them at this point are “Unknown and unknowable”, the regular readers are starting to get a bit jaded. Hence the attempts at levity. And while there are certainly some around here who might self-identify as “rabid fans” (not to mention the rabid detractors), there are also many honest and critically-thinking folks who have been engaging in civil discussions and have put time and care into forming their views. There are probably even some who fall into both categories. Unfortunately, to find those discussions you’ll have to scroll through an awful lot of slanging. But I hope you’ll take my word for it and not tar all of us with the same brush. Let me assure you that you’re unlikely to find anyone to attempt a more earnest, thoughtful response to your questions than Mary Arlene. I hope you’ll at least give her comments the same consideration you expect yours to receive.

        With respect, I’ll make one other point: if you do want to start another in-depth conversation speculating on background details about Steve in the third person, you *could* try running it here, but you might consider it more polite to take it to another forum. He does actually read all this. It’s your choice in the end; but it might not be fair to expect a completely candid, unbiased discussion when the subject is standing in the room. In the non-cyber world, that’s regular etiquette.

        1. So this isn’t really a place for punditry? I have just read back a few weeks and it really feels like a creepy cabal in the response section. You’re okay, but some of these posters seem scary. This is why I tend to stay away from the internet. Blessed be.

        2. What’s happening here?

          JS, “Confused”asked his/her questions in a very polite and respectful way.

          Just a friendly reminder that this is not a real “room” and it is indeed the cyber world.

          Others here have actually tried to speak for Steve (in 3rd person) and not once have you asked them to go to another forum.

          If Steve wants to not answer the questions, that’s his prerogative. But this is HIS blog and he’s not asking people to just stand by and listen. He’s even answered people’s questions.

          The questions seem like they are coming from a sincere place.

          Lets let Steve decide what’s right and wrong.

          1. Thanks for that. I am being entirely sincere. I don’t understand why a swell of people who are not Whitmire, nor a party to really know what’s going on, continue to definitely respond to or bark down others simply asking pertinent questions. If Steve Whitmire has a problem with it, he should be the one to deal with it. I understand why he won’t talk about the Henson Company/Family, but I still don’t understand why Sesame Street is exempt from Steve’s criticism as they let him go several years back. I feel bad for him because it does seem like the entire Henson/Muppet/Sesame world against Whitmire all of a sudden. This entire situation is very, very odd.

          2. In fairness, J.S. has been one of the calmest, most respectful and most reasonable voices among us commenters. I think that J.S.’s point is not to make judgments about right and wrong, or about dictating what people can or cannot post, but merely to point out that it would be more polite to talk to Steve–to address whatever questions one has directly to him–than to talk about Steve as though he were not here reading what we are saying.

          3. I’d understand if these guidelines came from Steve, but they’re coming from people speaking for Steve. There’s something more distasteful about that than any rogue accusation. I have no doubt that some here would object to rudeness no matter how these questions were framed. The forum section here has become a creepy place with self-appointed moderators. That sort of behavior is not likely to inspire new folk to participate or hear Steve out. It will only serve to turn new people away and whittle this place down to the same dozen or so voices that bully new people away. I don’t see that benefiting Steve or Muppet fans and I no longer see a reason to come here.

          4. Mary Arlene,

            With all due respect, the question was posed to J.S.

            This discussion is about people speaking for other people.

            That’s why I’d like to hear from J.S. about why appears to be a double standard on the discussions posted here and not your opinion on his opinion.

            Not everyone here who has questions is a troll or needs to be silenced.

            This idea that people shouldn’t ask certain questions unless they are worded in very specific ways and go through certain channels is absurd.

            Either we try to get the truth or we decide to be blissfully ignorant.

            It seems that “Confused” is trying to be the former.

            What about you?

          5. Wow, that came off much ruder than I anticipated.

            I just think that the questions posted were valid and there were a lot of people speaking for Steve (which isn’t new here) and because the questions made people uncomfortable, many good people suddenly became dismissive and borderline abusive.

          6. It will only serve to turn new people away and whittle this place down to the same dozen or so voices that bully new people away.

            If you regard me as one of those “bullies,” Confused, I sincerely apologize because that is completely the opposite of how I want to present myself to the world. Please know that I would never have attempted to answer your questions if I did not believe that they are sincere and legitimate. If I believed you to be just another of the many, MANY trolls that have been plaguing Steve’s blog, I would never have responded to you at all.

          7. Thanks for that guys. From the trolls to the supporters, I haven’t found the forum section to be very Jim or Kermit-like in the treatment of others. I shudder to think that the messages here could be seen as Steve’s legacy now. He’s a phenomenal (doo-doo-doo-doo-doo) puppeteer who deserves better than to be defined by the last few weeks. I think that’s something we can all agree on. Here’s an additional question to pose to Steve: Please explain the origin and demise of Mr. Poodlepants! That’s as soft-ball as it gets, but I seriously want to know.

          8. Re “who deserves better than to be defined by the last few weeks” —
            Thank you for admitting that. This is totally something we can all agree on.
            Also, I wanted apologize on behalf of everybody for some occasional snarling or pathetic attempts at jokes you get here.
            Please bear in mind that for the most folks who post here this blog is a sad place to go to at this time.
            A pretty sad place…

          9. confused,

            I recognise that the original questions are genuine and I’m trying to be polite and respectful back. I’m sorry if I failed at conveying that clearly enough.
            I certainly don’t wish to uphold any double standards. In truth I believe there are VAST amounts of things written on this blog by many parties – both pro and anti – that would have been better not said, or said elsewhere. I usually don’t say so though, because I am indeed not a moderator and it’s not my place. (Also because I have a day job and I’m busy.) The only reason I chime in occasionally is to try to foster understanding, explain possible misunderstandings, encourage thoughtfulness and sensitivity, and promote goodwill if I can. That’s why I responded to the #4 comment and its tone of resignation, not the original comment. My motivation was simply to defend the thoughtful elements that are actually present here and, hopefully, help you to see a little more of the good and interpret some of the bad. I’d never try to defend the whole scene to you because I fully agree that it has some real big ugly parts and weird vibes, however much I wish it were otherwise.

            The other double standard I’m opposed to is the idea that etiquette on the web *should* be any different than in a room. If I reply directly to one of Steve’s posts, I normally address it to him. If I reply to another commenter I address it to them. If I do get drawn into a “third-person” conversation like this, I try to only say things that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say in the physical presence of Steve and all other individuals who are likely to read it. But these are not my “guidelines” to be imposed, and I have no power or intention to silence or turn away any genuine seeker; all I do is make an appeal to everyone (not just you) to think empathetically and then judge for themselves. I didn’t frame that part of my comment as an instruction. I hope this helps to clarify what I said. And I hope you find your answers, and we all find some peace.

  31. Ignoring the above arguments (because what else is new on here?) I have a question about Muppet Performer cameos in the films. How were they organised? Cameos like Jim’s in Muppet Caper were obviously organised (best joke in the film), but how many times was it a matter of ‘screw it, you’re not doing anything at the moment, jump into that crowd!”?

    Still can’t wait for Part 2, Steve. Way to leave us all hanging, huh?

    1. Marni, I’m overwhelmed with the hate we keep reading here. How can anyone even think to write anger when the Muppets are involved? For their sake and Steve’s sake (After all this IS his site) I’m happy to see you here Marni, for it is important to try to keep the peace. This is my goal too.

      Having worked many years in direction, writing, theater, dance and choreography, as well as organizing large events, I cannot remember ever dealing with such rudeness. If some of the people here are from certain, specific organizations, who’s names keep reoccurring here, they are leaving me with the feeling of great sadness, for I used to have great respect for these…

      Yes, Part 2, Steve, if you can wade through all of this with a tough exterior. Kermit is tough but has a warm heart underneath it all.

      Love Anne Terri

      1. Steve, I’m sorry that you have to go through this. I’m not giving up, but want to do my best to stay positive for you. I will share this. I closely follow another top puppeteer, whom I shall not name due to possible conflicts. He is the one who alerted me to this blog and has spent weeks in frustration over what happened to you. Right now he’s getting ready to make a film. I’ll say no more. Just know you have friends who care on the inside, whom you’ve worked with in the past.

        Love Anne Terri

  32. Nope. They’re either waiting until after the Hollywood Bowl concerts, or have just decided to never release it at all and will introduce Kermit 3.0 some other way.

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