Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 2

Matt and I have had a few discussions on the topics of understudies, recasting, and simultaneous multiple performers for the Muppets over the years. I have seen him literally close his eyes, grit his teeth, and clinch his fists in reaction to the very way Disney has handled this present situation of recasting. We both know the importance of the duty entrusted to us by the originators of these characters.

As an ally during the production of the recent series, Matt and I found ourselves conferring and agreeing on the many character and story issues along with all the other core performers. We would often meet on our day off to brainstorm solutions to these character related issues. Our ensemble was strongly aligned.

Back in October 2016, Matt and I spoke privately after he and the other core performers had been informed of my termination. Evidently, when they were told, Matt is the one who spoke up and asked, “Well, did you give him an ultimatum?”…They were told ‘no’. As he and I spoke that day, he was stunned and largely without words on the phone.

All of that once again said to me that Matt got it. He understood how crucial it is for these characters not to be unnecessarily recast or multicast, both of which, in essence, derive from the same corporate mentality.

I still love Matt and I believe he already has his assignment. I believe he is the perfect choice to have stepped into the numerous characters of the man he had a relationship with and who chose him – that’s Jerry Nelson.

Matt was truly outstanding as Uncle Deadly, a perfect evolution of that character and, by far, my favorite character on the ABC show. Every time there was a scene between Deadly and Kermit I was gleeful throughout the day. And with good, faithful, character-based scripts, Matt would have continued growing into Floyd, Robin, Lew Zealand, and Crazy Harry. Very exciting for him and for the group.

I have always considered Matt to have so much integrity and commitment to the consistency of the characters. I still regard him that way, but this recast decision will require him to abandon the long list of inherited characters most of the time just as I had to do with Rizzo, Foo Foo, Bean Bunny, and Lips. That’s a big mistake because Jerry’s core characters will be back to being done by stand-ins, or suffer their own recasting yet again, this time without Jerry’s input.

Inside and outside the Muppets, Matt is a stand-up guy (very much like Jerry) that I have been proud to call my brother. I am having trouble understanding his support of the recast, but in trying to empathize with where he finds himself, the best I have come up with is that with my dismissal, some in the core ensemble of performers will have become fiercely protective of the chemistry within the group.

An ‘outsider’ could be seen as a threat to things running smoothly, especially when that outsider is reinterpreting the brand’s lead character. So, ‘keep it in the family’, maybe?…Put in the same position, that’s not what I would have chosen to do. For the sake of the Muppets and the ensemble, if anyone of the other core performers had been dismissed in this manner, I would still be doing everything I could to see this decision reversed.

Still, we don’t need ‘Team Steve’ versus ‘Team Matt’. That not what’s best for the Muppets, for the fans, for Matt, or for me. What needs to occur is insistence upon doing what’s best for the Muppets, themselves, by supporting the diversity that was our ensemble, but with me having been eliminated no one left is in a position to be radically honest and still keep their jobs. It’s out of their hands.

Restoration of our core remains what will ultimately serve all involved. So at two and a half weeks out from the Hollywood Bowl show, I‘ll offer the same thing I did to executives who chose to replace us on other appearances that did not succeed.

I can be up to speed and ready for this show with little more than a day‘s rehearsal. Restoring the integrity of the core team will give this show all the depth and authenticity that is inherent to each of the Muppets, and as offered in the past, I‘ll even do it for free because, in my opinion, keeping the 2016 ensemble whole and intact is by far what is best for the Muppets going forward.

424 thoughts on “Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 2

  1. Steve can you make some calls? Can you get somone, anyone to listen to you. I mean your clearly apoptotic over this situation. Surely something can be done?

    1. I’m very glad to know you and Matt are good friends. I also am glad to know that he is like you in the fact that he has a similar mindset and cares deeply about keeping the characters genuine and true to their origins. This makes me feel a lot better about everything. Especially since you said he was the perfect one to take over after you. I’ll always love your performance as Kermit. I don’t want to be mistaken for “team Steve” but I have to say that I will miss you dearly as his performer. I hope you are happy and fulfilled 😊

      1. Please, if you are using “Julia” as your commenter name, use a second one also so there´s no confusion with my (real) name i am using when commenting at Steve Whitmire`s blog.
        We clearly have different points of view about this, and i`m done with all the haters. Thank you.

          1. Because i know who you are and what you want. Your words revealed yourself. Be at least polite. My real name is Julia. Yours not at all.

          2. As Jim would say “That’s not nice talk”.

            Maybe when signing on you should each call yourselves Good Julia and Bad Julia? 😀

  2. Begging to get your job back, even working the Bowl gig for free, is not going to work. First off, SAG rules don’t allow people to work for free, you know this. Second, “An ‘outsider’ could be seen as a threat to things running smoothly, especially when that outsider is reinterpreting the brand’s lead character.” so you WERE threatened by outsiders!!! You just admitted to the blackballing. You’re too much.

    1. You are to much. He did not Amit to blackballing. He is saying just sticking someone in that is not the lead performer on a character can mess up the team chemistry.

  3. Surely this is a joke.

    I fear someone has hacked Steve’s blog, because this is the saddest thing I’ve read in what’s turned out to be a very long and sad blog.

    1. Hubris: Claiming to be the only person supporting Jim Henson’s vision while allowing your own personal controversy overshadow the coverage of the opening of Jim’s museum achievement in New York. No matter what happened before, how can you fans not see what he’s doing is exactly the opposite of what Jim or his family would do or want right now? This, not the angry posts here, is the ultimate disrespect.

        1. Oh… I thought you were dissing Matt. Please DON’T diss either — we love and respect BOTH Steve and Matt around here!

  4. I hope everything works out well!! I have followed this situation since the news came out, and was wondering where Kermit had disappeared to. It’s not the same character without your knowledge, having worked with Jim Henson and all…

    Do you have any plans forward? (Online or otherwise) 😀

    Have a nice week!

  5. Sorry for double posting but I have to ask. What can we do? Can Disney’s mind be changed? Steve I’ve wanted to help you and The Muppets since you have started this blog, but I honestly don’t know what to do! Let’s make a plan form a group do something anything. I just want to help, but need to know how!




  6. See, that’s definitely another thing a heap of us have been wondering about: why did Matt agree to take on Kermit? It leaves even more of a question mark knowing that he was with you on most of this stuff. I genuinely believe that Matt wants nothing more than do to the right thing for Kermit as his new performer…but then again the right thing seems to be to let you come back and at the very least train him up properly (or even better, just let you come back period).

    I’m not going to make any judgements on the other performers and their visions of the Muppets’ integrity because I know bugger all about their stances.

    However, I feel the need to ask…and please don’t take this the wrong way…what exactly do you mean by, ‘ with me having been eliminated no one left is in a position to be radically honest and still keep their jobs’?

    How were you in a position to ‘be radically honest’ in comparison to the other performers? Was it because of your tenure? Your status as the puppeteer of the leading Muppet? Because you had been outspoken for so long that the executives seemed to be willing to listen to you?

    I usually try not to beg, but I implore you to help us understand that part of your argument. From what I’ve seen, you’ve lost a lot of support because to some fans, by you saying that, it seems to come off as being self-serving. I’m willing to hear you out on this.

    1. You’re last question is a good one. Steve acts like he is the only bold one of the group who fights for what’s best for The Muppets.
      also, Why wouldn’t Matt take on Kermit? He auditioned and he won the role. role of a lifetime! He’d be stupid to turn it down. and it’s not up to matt if Steve comes back to train him or to have steve back at all. It’s Disney business.

      1. Like I said, I’m inclined to believe that Matt’s taken up the role with the best intentions. However, if Steve is being honest about Matt being an ally, which I have no real reason to believe he isn’t being so, Matt’s choice goes against what has been stated in the above post.

    2. Hmmmm… I feel you are overthinking this.
      Steve doesn’t owe anybody anything.
      I see nothing self serving at all.
      How exactly has Steve lost a lot of support?
      I’ve not seen that. Just the same “experts” who can’t seem to read a post.
      He has plenty of empathy and support.
      I feel it’s not appropriate to make demands upon Steve to answer to each and every one of you.
      He is not on trial and you are not the jury.
      I’m definitely seeing too many people being disrespectful here. Steve has infinitely more patience than would I!

      1. Mike,


        Implore: verb (used with object)
        to beg urgently or piteously, as for aid or mercy; beseech; entreat:

        Demand: verb (used with object)
        to ask for with proper authority; claim as a right:

        Thanks for the mansplaining, though.

        I hope it’s not too awkward at rehearsals.

        It must be strange to be surrounded by many of the boys from the list. You can’t truly believe it’s a coincidence anymore.

        1. This is what’s going to happen: The new Hollywood Bowl performance will go off without a hitch. In time, if not right away, people will embrace the new Kermit as one that’s more like Jim and the family have wanted. Matt is excellent in nearly every performance he’s created. There’s no question how good he is. Some fans will never get over it. Those are the same kinds of people who never took to Steve’s rendition either. Most fans will embrace the new chemistry built and the new character dynamics that will breathe new life into the franchise. This blog and most of it’s couple dozen supporters will fade away and Steve Whitmire will mostly turn his attention to other things. I hope those will be bigger and better things than musings about the past. The Muppets will live on. I think this shock to the system, even though it’s terrible, could be the best thing to happen to the Muppets. It’s a catalyst for change. Is it ideal? NO! Will it work? It’s very likely. These are troubling times for the Muppets. The good times are right around the corner. Much has been said about Disney. At least they were the only ones in this who went directly to the Henson family first. That’s where my allegiance lies: the Hensons, Jim, and the Muppets. I know it’s hard to see now, but Disney is actually the only one looking at the longterm impact of all of this along with the longevity and quality of the Muppets. I wish Steve well in his future endeavors. He did a great job that would have done Jim proud over the years. Matt and Disney will continue that tradition now.

          1. youre not fooling anyone “Thank You”, you are the same Troll who is trolling this blog all the time…leave this site please… show some respect and dignity, if you have some…..

          2. Not the case. First post. Been reading the message board this week. Those who aren’t 100% team steve getting his job back are seen as trolls or the same person. Not true. I’m being supporting to Steve and to Matt. The people here need to get out of their basements and into the real world.

          3. You are lying Thank you…. we only call trolls to people who are attaking other people…By the way I love Matt Vogel, and he have all my support on his work, please, stop lying and writing trash

          4. None of that was an attack. You attacked me. You’re one of the special people who’ve gone ’round the bend. That is an attack. This message board is jacked with looney tunes.

          5. It’s not a message board; you’re on Steve Whitmire’s personal website. There’s been a smattering of differing opinions (some of which I have chimed in on), but to say this “…message board is jacked with looney tunes.” is a bit of a stretch.

          6. Re “This is what’s going to happen…”

            Thank You — first of all, thank you for staying constructive in your posts. It is indeed much more pleasure to talk whenever the posters are civil. 🙂

            Now this is what WE ARE AFRAID is going to happen.
            I’m not saying it must. We actually hope it won’t.
            In fact, for some of us not wanting it to happen might be the main reason to keep posing here.

            FIRST, THE GOOD PART:

            The new Hollywood Bowl performance will go off without a hitch indeed. For multiple reasons —
            – The Bowl has to make a point now. I bet it will be scripted and staged by people who actually “get” the Muppets.
            – Matt is good at everything he does, no doubt about it. Same for the rest of the core performers.
            – This is a live event after all. Even if things do not sound exactly the same live, everyone is ready to forgive that.
            – Big part of the audience would be normal people who bring the kids to see the fireworks and the green monkey with his friends on stage, and do not care much about the exact mechanics of the show. (what, it was a frog? cute!)

            The exact content of your original comment will be published as the event review, and everybody will sigh with relief.

            The Hollywood Bowl will be the best thing to happen to Muppets in years (which is pretty easy after ABC Muppets huh).

            NOW, THE SCARY PART we are all afraid of:

            Alas, the Hollywood Bowl will remain the best thing to happen to Muppets in years.

            The next tv season or two will slowly bring the Muppets down. Mostly for the same reasons the ABC Muppets failed —
            – Muppeteers will be brilliant as usual,
            – but the scripts will kill the franchise.

            Why? Think ABC Muppets again.

            As someone here said, the Muppets are not exactly the top-level property these days. There is a budget for everything. The veteran writers who “get it” will be busy with other higher-level productions. The same ABC Muppets writers will write for the series instead.
            No, wait, these guys had moved on to better projects already, happy that the whole ordeal of having someone criticize your scripts is over. There will be new writers eager for a step up in their career. Bright new guys, pushing the limits and trying new edgy controversial stuff.

            What will be missing is one little thing, which actually seems to be the basis for all allegations brought up against Steve here, although Steve physically could not be the one doing it all. It’s called by different names depending on which way you look at it — giving notes, angry email, performer preferences, blackballing, consistency, outrageous demands, character integrity, unacceptable conduct, the vision. It’s a pretty finicky thing which always leaves people disgruntled.

            The creative control.

            (Before you object, let me point out that back when Jim Henson was trying controversial stuff and pushing the limits back in his time, the creative control was there. In the person of of Jim himself, who DID have his own vision and was following that one closely indeed.)

            Would Matt send notes and ask for changes if he’s told to act out things he thinks Kermit would never do? Esp. given what happened to the last guy who tried? Knowing that it will be way easier to remove Matt…
            (Hmmm, are there any other takers for devoted creative watchdog position out there? Anyone who suits it better than Steve?)

            Will it sit well with the viewers? Take your bet. The ratings will tell.

            Didn’t quite work out last time.

          7. Andrew- A lot of that operates under the assumption that Steve Whitmire is the Muppets’ only champion and the only one who knows what’s best. I admire the man, but I just don’t buy that. Plus, he reportedly liked Kermit’s Swamp Years and didn’t like the 2011 film. Segel’s film is very flawed, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the kiddie fare that Swamp years is. Such a terrible straight-to-video movie. If the Muppets could survive that, they can survive anything. I think there are loads of people who know the Muppets well, have their best interests at heart and will continue to share that with Disney. Steve was definitely part of that team, but there are others.

          8. Sure not saying that Steve is the only one who gets the Muppets — things would be much more sad indeed if he was. He’s the only one (we know of) who almost made it to the official title of watching things through from the core performers side. By experience he’s one of the (two?) people best qualified.

            Somehow all these people did not save ABC Muppets from being what it was anyhow. Which tells a lot. Steve or not, someone who “gets” it needs to be put in position to watch for consistency.

          9. Little known fact. The ABC show was not a Disney issue and not an ABC issue. It was primarily a Prady issue. He was the villain that nobody wants to speak about. The show wasn’t even his. He had some sort of legal attachment if any Muppet show went to network. This booted the very people who created the concept and worked hard to bring it to market. It’s one of the horrible truths about the industry. By the last 6 episodes, he was mainly pushed back into more of a celebratory position. He was no longer in charge. The other writer who was pushed out gets the blame, but Prady is the one who deserves it. That’s why the last 6 episodes were so much better. It wasn’t because of Steve. He fought against those scripts too by his own admission on here. Disney would never let a repeat of the first ten episodes happen again. Sweet, adorable, harmless Fozzie Bear being a kleptomaniac is never okay no matter how funny they try to make it. Prady canceled any ideas of fun and frivolity backstage. You know, muppetyness. That was all scrapped by the second half of the series. ABC allowed Prady to save face. They shouldn’t have. They should have created a bright red neon arrow pointing to him as the problem. They kind of did in the series. Who do you think that one hip human character was supposed to represent? That’s the truth of the matter. Disney figured out a lot about what does and does not work with the Muppets with the show. They can move on now with that knowledge.

          10. Totally agree and sure hope so! IMHO, all the more makes sense to have someone in official creative control position to maneuver past things like that with grace, in the future. They WERE on the right track!

            The best part of ABC Muppets, in my opinion:

        1. Damn, I’ve seriously been hypocritical today, I am so sorry!

          I was going back through the articles I’ve written about all this, and there was one thing that kept standing out,’Let Steve write his own truth’. I can’t believe I turned my back on that within a split-second. While I still think the question I asked is a decent one, it wasn’t fair of me to dictate to you what you should and shouldn’t write, nor should anyone else.

          I’m just looking forward to the next post, Steve. I things go well for you between now and then.

          1. Hi Marni,

            I don’t think that you have anything to apologize for! Yes, Steve should be able to tell his own truth, but if part of his message isn’t clear, he’ll never know unless his readers communicate that. I’m sure that you weren’t the only one confused by this post. I was too, and I would guess that many others were as well. You didn’t demand anything, you just asked some very thoughtful questions. If Steve’s goal is to get the truth out to the fans, I’d think that he’d appreciate the opportunity to clarify.

            I don’t think that you were “overthinking,” just thinking. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

      2. Steve,
        You have been clear and concise in this post. Bless you. May it happen, that you are reunited with Kermit, for the good of the Muppets and the integrity and continuation of the characters, to give to the fans and viewers, a united group of Muppet performers who know how to professionally present the show.

        Thank you Mike Quinn for being here for us, as you being a professional puppeteer with personal knowledge of the business, give credence to what needs to be said here. I want to read comments from those with expertise, and positive interactions or questions. All else is a waste of space. Love Anne Terri

      3. Mike, I definitely get what you’re saying. But Marni has probably been one of the most eloquent defenders of Steve’s position that I’ve seen. She’s put a lot of work into it.
        Steve has answered some questions from the “haters” on here, so I don’t think it’s totally off the mark for a supporter to ask one.
        Hope you’re doing well.

        1. Aside from Mike himself, yeah, I have tried my best to project Steve’s contentions while also asserting my own in any shape or form I can. Thank you for noticing, Carolyn.

          My question itself wasn’t the problem, it was just the way I asked it.

      4. I don’t think Steve is saying that he was in a stronger position than others to be “radically honest”. He’s saying that, once a company fires even one person for speaking up, all the survivors are going to know that from now on they will have to bite their tongue if they don’t want to risk their jobs. This leads to a different dynamic–more discipline, reliability, and efficiency, with the tradeoff being less creativity, initiative, and willingness to identify and address unspoken problems. Pretty much every company grapples with that at some point.

    3. I can’t answer for Steve but but I can tell you what I get from “with me having been eliminated who is left is in a position to be radically honest and still keep their jobs?” Since Disney was willing to fire Steve the others now know that if they speak up too loud against decisions made then they will lose their jobs too. So if they want to keep their jobs they must be quiet.

      1. Jeremy, that is how I read it as well. But I can see how it could be interpreted in other ways, especially in light of Steve saying previously that he felt he was somewhat alone in his fight when he was there.

    4. Well, I had a sort of epiphany today myself, although not a bright one. It might be relevant to your question so I thought to post it here.
      The revelation was: ‘UGH’.

      I mean, think about it.

      Management which does not recognize just how important performers are to the characters, and shuffles the roles and the whole ensemble around.
      Writers who neither understand nor care about getting the characters right, or even likable.
      Aspiring puppeteers who feel entitled to take on any character they like, and get offended when they can’t. (No, I don’t mean Peter or Matt here.)
      Fans of the brand who see nothing wrong with all of the above, “it’s just a muppet, any pro can do it”.
      Reviewers that say the last Muppets season was “edgier, funnier and better than the original”.

      They all are nice modern people.
      None of them has a clue what Steve is talking about.

      No, really.
      I just realized that not one of them honestly GETS what Steve is so fussy about. Bad businessman. Was pulling weird stunts, writing nasty notes and interfering with production. Now keeps writing in his blog here, talking about jumping back on the wagon and leaving the aspiring puppeteers without a rightfully deserved chance to prove, er, their business acumen to us all. (NO, I don’t mean Peter or Matt!)

      Thing is, they are all being honest about it. Entirely. And it’s not really anyone’s fault — just a sign of the times.

      Now think about this. Chances that these guys would come up with anything close in spirit to the original Muppet Show? Chances they will even try? Chances they will listen to battle-proven muppeteers telling them they are wrong?

      Now THIS is that ‘legacy’ stuff Steve is talking about. This is why he keeps posting. This is what he tries to save.
      Come on, if everyone out there gets it already, and does not need a reminder, how come they won’t give a guy who dedicated his whole life to it a single last chance??


      On the other hand, does the world really need these ‘legacy’ Muppets, more than updated muppets 2.0? Is there any money in it?
      There may be just a few of us who still value it, outdated oldsters, and the rest of the world had moved on indeed, and it’s time for everybody to move on with the times as well.

      One last question though — would the updated muppets be something people will love for another 60 years?

        1. Thank You! I have to add that I am not trying to lay a blame on anyboody — some of that came off much stronger than intended.
          Unlike some trolls, I don’t believe there is any blame to lay around — I really think that everyone was honestly trying to do the best they could all along, if anything.
          It’s just that I feel that everyone could benefit form a little nudge in perspective, to see things a bit closer to what Mr Whitmire and other core performers were seeing as their duty all along.
          Peace and all the best to everybody!

      1. Andrew: The answer is NO, to your last question. Do I care? YES. I too had an Epiphany last night, and I say this slightly with a Sardonic smile, and do hope none get offended.

        If the Henson Family want to stay with tradition, and honestly think Kermit needs a new voice, why not bring the voice from within their own family; Jim’s family – no slight against Steve or Matt. If they cannot or will-not do this, I suggest that they get out of their own way, and that Disney gets out of their own way, to reinstate Steve. He’s bowing before them.

        Why? Because there’s a spirit involved here. Kermit’s. He cannot speak for himself, but his Father can and has; Kermit was a part of him. His Stepfather Steve, has proven he can do this also and he too feels Kermit’s spirit.

        Kermit has had enough with changing Fathers. Please protect him, he’s hurting inside. If you do not think so, ask any puppeteer who has done a character or characters; their puppet’s spirits are firmly a part of them.

        Allow any puppeteer at this level, to train a replacement if they are ill, or unable to continue for unforeseen reasons, or due to retirement. In this case, Kermit’s spirit will be lovingly passed on, not torn from him. May the decision be a wise one. Love Anne Teri

        1. This is exactly what I think all the time: Kermit does not want this, Kermit suffers from all this and he can’t just be handed over like this. As I said in my long post 2 weeks ago: Kermit was Steve’s “other half”.

          In another comment elsewhere (about the news that Steve had been fired); I read “oh no, they just killed Kermit”, and this is exactly how I feel, I am in mourning because I know that frog that I loved might never come back again. There might be a different frog in the future who might be great and looks a lot like Kermit, but it won’t be MY Kermit.

          And I just have to shake my head about the irony that Matt Vogel, who played Constantine, who PRETENDED to be Kermit and wanted to LOOK like Kermit (nevertheless was totally different and we could tell it is NOT Kermit) will now play Kermit indeed! And I have to think about that funny bit, when Kermit found out in “Muppets most wanted” and asked the others how on earth they did not see the difference, and then they said “well, he looked like you, talked like you… no actually, he didn’t talk like you”…

          This will be what happens in real life now, as if the film predicted it. I love Constantine, I really do. But he is not Kermit.

          1. Rachael, Seems we think and feel the same on this. I refuse to mourn yet, I’m making effort to keep my chin up, for Steve and Kermit. There is still time.
            Yes, you are right, the voice is different.

            Thanks for your response
            Anne Terri

      2. I can see how Disney would think that all of their warnings were the ultimatum. I can see how Steve wouldn’t see it that way from his perspective. That’s what this is. A difference of perspective. None of us has all of the pieces to be able to decipher unbiased truth.

        1. THIS. Especially your last sentence. I think you’ve cut to the heart of it.

          …Apart from one thing: If it’s true that the other performers were told that there was no ultimatum, this would show that Disney themselves didn’t consider their (alleged/assumed) warnings to be an ultimatum either. My cautious version of your statement would be: it’s possible to see how Disney could consider all of their (alleged/assumed) warnings were sufficient grounds for finally doing what they did.

          It’s a real shame, though. I wrote a while back that I think the (apparent) lack of an ultimatum *understood by all parties* might have been the single most unfortunate missed opportunity in this whole unhappy affair.

  7. I think it’s great that you would want to still participate in the Hollywood bowl show but I do have a question/comment not everyone can get to the Hollywood bowl so why don’t they film the show for tv or live stream it online it would be a great way to introduce New fans to the Muppets

    1. Hey Grant,
      Multiple reasons. One being putting it on TV would be too expensive. Everyone would need to be paid Union TV rates, which isn’t budgeted. Another is that doing a show for TV and one for live are two different beasts entirely. If this were for TV, it would then be a TV show that people could watch live. Which then compromises the live experience. Also the opposite would is true televising this live event. They are two different mediums that are created totally differently.
      The final reason is that ABC or whomever doesn’t want a Muppet special for their network right now.

      Some things just need to be experienced live and this would be one of them.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      1. I have a question for you, Mike Quinn. Are you assisting any other characters now with the Muppets? The work you and Steve did on the ABC show is amazing! Thanks for that.

        1. Thank you WC. I do feel new things were attempted by many performers that weren’t even done in the movies. The performers worked so very hard through long painful days and weeks and deserve abundant credit for that 🙂

          To be honest there’s not been much work since Outside Lands a year ago. So far I just did WE Day a few months ago assisting Dave with Gonzo and Eric with Fozzie & Piggy.

          I miss the work but I keep busy building my own empire so that’s creative too 🙂

          1. I really hope Steve builds his own muppet style company, perhaps with a school thrown in to raise his own “family” who would be truly worthy of the name/inheritance. Mike, you have your own company, outside of things, and thats as it should be. Its is all too easy to fall into certain habits whilst hoping and waiting for these terrible mistakes to be rectified, I don’t want someone as talented as Steve to end up being one of those people who end up wasting away watching Wheel of Fortune and eating their belly button fluff as life passes by waiting for something to happen. It can happen SO easily to creative people, you have to be proactive. Steve, please don’t do nothing whilst waiting for things to change. Remember, “we must believe in the guiding hand” as the song says. This is my favourite muppet sketch,

            Keep an open heart and mind for Kermit to return, he will do one day, but meantime you can do other things, if the Henson family aren’t involved in Sesame/Furchester maybe there, maybe just do your own thing where you can exact the standards and quality we are all used to from you and Jim. Nobody would be anything less than delighted to see that. You can do both!

  8. Yay, a new post! Glad to see you back, Steve! 🙂 I may have missed the eclipse (due to weather), but at least now the day hasn’t been a total loss.

    Anyway, as to the actual content of the post…how do I say this without being misconstrued…

    While I am steadfastly opposed to the recast, while I am still appalled by the way that Disney has treated you…if there is any comfort to be derived from this situation at all, I have derived some comfort from the fact that Matt was the one they picked to replace you. Insofar as it was possible to feel relieved about anything in this scenario, I was relieved that they picked someone who, as you say, “gets it.” I regarded it as something of a pale, faint, silver lining that they chose someone whom I trust to do the best that he can under intolerably difficult circumstances.

    When the news first broke, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would have done if I were in Matt’s position–or that of any of the other Muppet performers, for that matter. Truth be told, I still don’t know. We know–from the story that you yourself told us, Steve, about the days of the original Disney deal–that Disney would have no qualms about recasting anybody and everybody. On the other hand, I can’t help but think that if all the other Muppet performers were to have stood together on this issue and refused to go on without you, that would have caused a public relations problem that even Disney would have had a hard time sweeping under the rug.

    I don’t know. I’m not qualified to throw stones. All any of us can do is keep our good intentions in front of us and do the best we can with what we have to work with.

    1. And just in case there’s any confusion, let me be clear that the best that I, myself, can do in this situation is to continue to stand with you, Steve, and to fight for you as long as it is necessary.

      I guess my point is that I don’t have anything to lose by standing with you, so the choice is easy for me. For those who have more to lose, it may be more difficult.

      (Sorry for splitting the comment.)

  9. I hate to kick you while your down, but…

    Seriously, you did this to yourself.

    At this moment, unlike you, Matt is doing exactly what Jim Henson would want. He’s keeping Kermit alive and well.

    This was your job and you did it better than anyone could’ve imagined and I believe Matt will do the same.

    Matt learned a lot from you.

    He learned the right things to do (and it will serve the better good.)

    But, he also learned what NOT to do, and this 1/2 truth blog is a prime example.

    You pushed your employers to far and now the frog belongs to someone else.

    As far as Rizzo and Bean are concerned, they’ll quietly sit in the background for a while, much like other characters did in the past. But as time has told us, they’ll be back when a talented performer(s) will take the reigns.

    I truly hope you can come to terms with what you’ve lost.

    You gambled with your most valued possession, and now look where you are.

    It’s time to be honest with yourself.
    Then be honest with your fans.
    And then move on.


    1. While I don’t totally disagree with some of your perspective, I think it’s clear that you don’t hate to kick someone while they are down. It seems quite the opposite, from the multiple posts, the new logins and screen names, setting up a twitter. Enough already, man. Go back to reddit.

      At the very least, learn how to speak to someone when you are visiting their space. Do you have to agree, no. But at least do what others have done and use a bit of tact, a bit of empathy. Drop the accusations. Tell your story elsewhere, but for your own dignity, don’t be a troll. I don’t know you, but I expect the people who do would say that you’re better than this.

    2. I, for one, appreciate your candor, Mr. Throat. I have asked multiple mid-level sources affiliated with Sesame Workshop, Disney and Henson Co and have been told your stream of Tweets is spot-on. This whole blog is in bad taste and does nothing to help the Muppets. Disney rarely makes decisions lightly and even more rarely do they go back on them. The world has moved on. Mr. Whitmire had the best job in the world and lost it due to his temperament. Every artist has a tale like that. This was his one and only job and I guess it eventually happened to him too. For all the rest of you out there on the blog; it is Whitmire’s right to say what he pleases. That doesn’t mean it will be met without criticism. He’s being rather passive-aggressively hard on Mr. Vogel here and not everything he’s been saying is completely accurate. Little ever is in a he-said/he-said situation. I’m glad that Mr. Throat was able to provide some perspective. Peace out.

      1. What is your real name “Hand-Me-Down” and did you ever work with Steve?

        …..right….. thought not. More “experts” typing away!

        Leave the poor man alone! None of you were there! None of you worked with him!

        You have zero authority or experience to make judgment.

        This and other comments are getting close to faceless cowardly bullying in my opinion.

        1. I respect your body of work and perspective, but I find the way that Mr. Whitmire appears to be bullying Matt Vogel, someone who likely can’t respond for himself due to contractual obligations, to be distasteful. I agree. I could be more graceful in what I said and how I said it. I’m sorry about that. I, like most fans, am flabbergasted by how ugly this has all become from the Hensons, from Disney and from Whitmire too. There’s something to be said for preserving the magic and keeping this stuff behind the scenes. I also feel that fans are being used here. Mr. Whitmire has never reached out to fans like this. Other Muppet performers have, but not him until he wanted something. I’m being hard on him again. It’s difficult because he’s put his thoughts out on front street, yet doesn’t want any push back. I think that’s what people are seeing as self-serving. Ultimately though, you are right. It is his right to do so. This is his space and no one should rain on that. About real name usage, I’m surprised that anyone with any connection to Disney, Henson or Sesame Workshop would use their real name here. People have been fired for much less. Peace Out.

          1. I’m using my real name because I stand by what I have personally witnessed, as opposed to what others are saying or telling me what to think. I have nothing to fear as long as I speak truthfully. If someone wants to stop employing me for that, then I’m prepared to accept the consequences. I don’t doubt all parties have read my comments. Yet here I stand.

            If more people would speak out and show some strength of character, we would ALL be much better off. I suspect fear is what’s keeping some silent. Fear is the great enemy though. It serves no one except those who benefit from it.

            With that said, I have very many personal messages from people who have worked very closely with Steve for years, even decades and have nothing but praise for him, his work ethic and his character. Can they all be wrong?…….

          2. Good points and good to know! That kind of information strengthens Whitmire’s position. Regardless of any position, it’s good to see friends stick together. It’s not something that happens too often these days. All of this has been painful for fans to witness. I can’t imagine how much it is for Steve and others involved. Prolonging this doesn’t appear healthy to me, but maybe it’s just what he needs to get through to the other side, whatever happens. I think that’s the best phrasing of it. On one hand this looks like sour grapes, but on the other hand it can also look like noble persistence. It’s all a matter of perspective and it matters most of all to Steve Whitmire. You’re right.

  10. Also, anyone who hasn’t visited @FleechThroat on twitter, is in for a treat from a Disney insider…No, it’s not me, I’ve never worked for Disney

    1. Fake names “Steve Fawner” and “Fraggle Fan”, I read the posts from Fleece Throat on Twitter.
      I found them to be hateful and rather obsessive to say the least. Possibly defamatory too.
      It was not a “treat” but quite distasteful and sad.

      You clearly are getting a kick out of being this mean. I have to question if there is something wrong.
      May I suggest you put your energies into something constructive that may actually do your soul some positive good? That would be healthy, for yourself and others around you 😉

      1. Mike,

        For the record (remember Debbie and your fellow Muppeteers are reading this.)

        Are you denying that:

        A) “The List” didn’t exist.
        B) You didn’t receive or even know about Steves emails (mostly hostile, sometimes borderline vulgar.
        C) Steve already tried showing up for work after he was not hired.

        I mean, it’s easy to ask for *our* proof. It’s easy to ask for my (and others) real name.
        It’s easy to ignore.

        But, I haven’t heard you say is that we’re wrong.

        Just come out and say that the you know the rumors are false.

        BTW, Steve *could* do the same thing.

        The problem is you know for a fact they’re true.

        You can’t openly say those claims are false.

        So, insult us if you’d like. Change the subject to us. Whatever floats your boat.

        But a simple way to end this argument with you is to just say it’s all lies.

        Go ahead…

        I’m listening, Debbie and Martin and Kyle and the rest of your co-workers are too.

        F. T.

        1. Granted, with respect to your post, the fact that you’re here… and continue in this same vein… what is your purpose?

          What does it serve you? I mean you’re reallllly going out of your way here to barrage on Steve’s personal site.

          But moreover it really sounds like you have a personal ax to grind, and if so— go via the correct channels and do so. I mean, you speak with some “background” of things, you would know how to contact Steve personally.

          Or are you just Muppet-adjacent and speaking the “furor” of others? You’re coming at Mike Quinn for God sakes… someone who has known & worked with Steve for decades.

          But Mike will have a better way than I to tell you…

        2. Hey man are you on Facebook? Mike is and maybe if you really have an issue with him you could send him a private message or something.

        3. Er… who the hell is Martin? 😀
          I personally never ever saw a list or any of the emails in question 🙂
          The same goes for showing up without being hired.
          I have no idea about these three things listed but none are a crime or illegal.

          Also for the record, I’ve already stated I’m assuming everyone is reading this. You nor anyone else does not intimidate me and I don’t work on fear, the way you do here, hiding.
          I work with my experiences and my truths. You are trying sooooo hard here to make it look like I’ve said things I have not. Good luck with that.

          Finally, my thoughts here are not about Disney, Muppets or the other performers. I have a great relationship with them. All I’ve ever said is that I’ve NEVER EVER seen these things that Steve was accused of doing. I have no reason to lie. He’s a great guy, friend, performer and an amazing creative with a good heart.

          A few here have a problem with that and try to put words in my mouth. I’ve been accused of calling people liars and other things. Other people’s truths are theirs. they are not mine. It’s not rocket science.

          You are here because you are personally involved in this. I think I figured out who you are. Move on. Steve is not with Muppets right now and you have your vindication. At this point it’s just sad anger and pointless character assassinations.

          Do something creative instead of this pointless bullying. I think everyone can agree on this point.

          1. Mike,

            Two things:

            You did know about the list. I can’t imagine you didn’t know about Whitmire waiting outside CBS during the tapings.

            Also, before you go after someone who you *think* it is. Just know that we haven’t met. That’ll narrow it down to a few billion people, but it’ll also keep out the other people in our circle that have shown more class than you, Steve and even I have exhibited.

          2. S Fawner, Calling me a liar and classless, LOL!
            You need help, seriously!

            ALL your comments are invalid because you have zero credibility. I still think I know who you are 😉

            Nobody wants to read your disturbed comments. You made your points a very long time ago. It’s over.

            Again, either do something creative instead of bullying me here or get professional help.

      1. “@FleeceThroat”…who for whatever reason follows me even though he knows I don’t see eye-to-eye with him.

  11. Steve is showing due diligence by giving Disney every opportunity to rethink their decision. It’s important I think for Steve to know he has opened every door possible. That is totally appropriate and smart. He can then say “I tried. I tried absolutely everything”.
    Please don’t take that away from him people! It’s his prerogative.

    1. Yes Mike, and while Steve tries, I will do as you asked, in staying positive.

      Now let us all who truly Love the Muppet tradition, cross our fingers, and toes.

      Anne Terri

    2. A fools errand.

      Steve is obviously free to try that, but you’re at the rehearsals and you know he isn’t coming back.

      Once again, Steve is manipulating his fans. He had tried for months to get his job back before the re-casting process started. Now that Matt has the job, the only thing left to do is wish him well.

      The same people who trusted Steve to perform Kermit are the same people who now trust Matt to perform Kermit.

      Its is incredibly telling that you haven’t eased the minds of the people here who are doubtful of Matt’s performance and Kermit’s future.

      I’ve seen Matt’s Kermit and it’s great. People will love what he’s bringing to the table.

      Instead of building bridges during this time of turmoil for the Muppet community, you are perpetuating unnecessary false hope about Steve’s future with the company.

      You’re eager to tell people that they are wrong or they aren’t playing by the rules.

      Yet, you won’t tell them:
      Things are actually great at rehearsals.
      That finally Disney might actually be getting something right.
      That Kermit 3.0 is will actually make the fans happy.

      No, you are just here to be Steve’s other puppet. To keep things divided and admonish people for seeking answers under the guise supposed improperly asked questions.

      You and Steve can continue to divide the fans. That’s your choice. But let’s start being honest about what your true motives are.

      1. Are you a puppeteer working with the Muppets at the Hollywood bowl? Because unlike a lot of people who are aginst what Steve says you seem to have some general inside knowlage of whats going on.

        You’ve mentioned the rehersals what have they been like. Are the other core preformers throwing fits or anything about the Steve issue or the recasting? Or is the atmosphere less drama filled with Steve not there?

        Can you also give a clearer picture of the other recasts like Link Rizzo and Beaker?

        1. I am not a puppeteer.
          I cannot speak for the performers at the rehearsals, but I can say that things are going smoothly.

          Steve did not bring drama to the set. His “drama” was saved for his time off-set.

          I feel it’s unfair to divulge what I know about current casting and characters that haven’t been announced.


        2. Andrew,

          There is nothing unique to the concept of Disney not “getting” the Muppets. So this isn’t Disney “agreeing” with Steve. If the Hollywood Bowl show is actually good, it’s because of artistic choices and not because of Steve’s ideas, or–to be fair-his lack of being there.

          If you still believe he’s been let go because of a simple SAG dispute, then you’ve been missing the point of my posts.

          We’ll have to disagree about dividing the fans.

          I truly believe that if Steve wanted what’s best for the Muppets. He’d let this show go forward without his poorly hidden passive aggressive comments about the man who has replaced him.

          This blog is a missed opportunity to be a true champion of Muppet fandom and continuing Jim Henson’s legacy.

          Instead it’s a mix of Steve’s inside stories (and they’re great) hidden in a bunch of “woe is me” pity party 1/2 truths.

          The full truth is he had many warnings and chose to ignore them.


      2. “finally Disney might actually be getting something right” — meaning they finally agree to things Steve was saying all along? The “appalling communications”? Does that mean that half of the reason to keep him away from the Muppets is now gone? Only the SAG dispute remains?

        “divide the fans” — I really don’t think anybody doubts Matt’s talent here. However what keeps the fans divided is really one very sad administrative decision rather than any blog posts.

        “true motives” — I can’t speak for Steve or Mike, but how about a concept of being ‘fair’ to someone who spent pretty much all his life on Muppets? Giving the guy a chance to remedy whatever his faults might be and continue with the team? For one single last time?

      3. Fleece Throat/Steve Fawner,

        As I mentioned before, I read your tweet rants about Steve and something is definitely not right. It is clear you have it in for him.

        The fact still remains that you are hiding here. Trying to bully both Steve and now me here, ha ha! Let me tell you that nice people don’t do that.

        You are probably a friend of a friend (and your IP address or one you borrowed is now known). You want Steve to go away. Did you work with him directly or not? Are you a writer perhaps who took some script notes personally? Maybe you worked on the ABC production somewhere in the offices? It really doesn’t matter because you are not involved in Muppets now. If you were, you would just go about your business. This is not your business yet you are personalizing this. So either you have a close friend who had an issue or more likely, something directly happened to you. Perhaps your script writing was actually not that good? Either way, this is not healthy for you to keep doing this, here and on Twitter. What do you hope to gain?

        I will address the Hollywood Bowl since you brought it up. I’m a professional and don’t discuss what we are doing ahead of time. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here somewhere that Matt is super smart, super talented and super nice. I’ve spoken to him privately and that is between he and I and nobody else’s business. I will not divulge anything regarding the H-Bowl show or Kermit other than what I’ve told everyone publicly, that it’s going to be terrifyingly exciting and that they are in for a rare treat! But other than rough blocking we did a month or two ago, we aren’t in rehearsals yet, ha ha! Nice try 😀

        As for me, it is obvious you don’t know me very well, if at all. However, I’m really very easy to find via FB and emails etc. I’m very accessible. Why not take this offline and contact me directly. If you have an issue with me, talk to me and we’ll sort it out. If you have something I need to know about Steve (because I’m clearly totally unaware of what this thing is you are saying happened), share that with me personally. Wouldn’t that actually be more constructive?

        You are accusing me of having motives for dividing fans, LOL! Why the bloody hell would I do that? Life is too short for that drama. Fans can do what they want. I’m not a control freak like you are coming across here. I was the original Walter – a hardcore Muppet fanatic. Right from 1976! I’m still a huge fan. I just happen to be a performer for them too. There are absolutely no motives for doing that. Also I have said nothing with the end goal to try and divide fans here. NOTHING! I love Muppets, the characters, the puppets, the art form of performing and my co-workers. I have worked my arse off to the point of my body beginning to wear out to do my best for this job. I will continue to. I have always been supportive of the fans and been a strong ambassador for Muppets, going back into the 1980’s. Anyone who knows me, knows this.

        Also, Steve has not asked me to be his puppet. I’m here 100% of my own volition. It’s called being a friend. If you had those, you wouldn’t be wasting your time here trying to destroy someone. I was sad and heartbroken when I heard about what had happened to Steve. For the umpteenth time, I’m ONLY telling the truth of what I know and experienced, knowing Steve since 1980! I’ve worked with him and doubled for him on so many different projects over 37 years! I know his work, his professionalism and his heart. He has always been respectful, hard working and kind to all around him. So that only leaves anything that happened off set or in meetings or virtual communications that I’m not privy to. So that kinda puts the kibosh on claims of bringing drama to the set, LOL! There are literally dozens and dozens of testimonies from people who will agree with my experiences with Steve (and have done) from ALL aspects of production. So if Disney has good reasons for this, I do not know what they are and nobody has been able to tell me or share anything with me. Again, I can only speak of my truth and what I personally know, with hand on heart! All of Steve’s choices or recommendations I’ve witnessed have been completely within the realm of how Jim would have handled things. Very calm, supportive, creative and even posing an alternative idea as a question.

        So rather than divide fans, I think I’ve helped unite by answering some of those doubts about Steve’s conduct on set and his character, which was severely brought into question recently.

        I’m tired of this. I’m tired of people like you with personal vendettas and now you are coming after me. Very classy. Seriously, if you have something to say, say it directly to my face, not behind a keyboard. If you have info you think I should know, then communicate directly with me. Help me to understand your experience. Prove it to me. If you are an adult, then act like one. Take this offline, leave poor Steve alone and be constructive and not destructive.

        Until you can speak directly with me, use your real name and tell me what happened to you, I will have to assume you are a teenage girl with fantasies of being someone more important and your comments are invalid.

        So SH#T OR GET OFF THE POT! Help me to understand something I don’t know or just leave. You are not convincing anyone of anything here. Move on.

        For everyone else still reading this…… lovely weather we’re having lately eh?…..

      4. Fleece Throat/Steve Fawner,

        As I mentioned before, I read your tweet rants about Steve and something is definitely not right. It is clear you have it in for him.

        The fact still remains that you are hiding here. Trying to bully both Steve and now me here, ha ha! Let me tell you that nice people don’t do that.

        You are probably a friend of a friend (and your IP address or one you borrowed is now known). You want Steve to go away. Did you work with him directly or not? Are you a writer perhaps who took some script notes personally? Maybe you worked on the ABC production somewhere in the offices? It really doesn’t matter because you are not involved in Muppets now. If you were, you would just go about your business. This is not your business yet you are personalizing this. So either you have a close friend who had an issue or more likely, something directly happened to you. Perhaps your script writing was actually not that good? Either way, this is not healthy for you to keep doing this, here and on Twitter. What do you hope to gain?

        I will address the Hollywood Bowl since you brought it up. I’m a professional and don’t discuss what we are doing ahead of time. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here somewhere that Matt is super smart, super talented and super nice. I’ve spoken to him privately and that is between he and I and nobody else’s business. I will not divulge anything regarding the H-Bowl show or Kermit other than what I’ve told everyone publicly, that it’s going to be terrifyingly exciting and that they are in for a rare treat! But other than rough blocking we did a month or two ago, we aren’t in rehearsals yet, ha ha! Nice try 😀

        As for me, it is obvious you don’t know me very well, if at all. However, I’m really very easy to find via FB and emails etc. I’m very accessible. Why not take this offline and contact me directly. If you have an issue with me, talk to me and we’ll sort it out. If you have something I need to know about Steve (because I’m clearly totally unaware of what this thing is you are saying happened), share that with me personally. Wouldn’t that actually be more constructive?

        You are accusing me of having motives for dividing fans, LOL! Why the bloody hell would I do that? Life is too short for that drama. Fans can do what they want. I’m not a control freak like you are coming across here. I was the original Walter – a hardcore Muppet fanatic. Right from 1976! I’m still a huge fan. I just happen to be a performer for them too. There are absolutely no motives for doing that. Also I have said nothing with the end goal to try and divide fans here. NOTHING! I love Muppets, the characters, the puppets, the art form of performing and my co-workers. I have worked my arse off to the point of my body beginning to wear out to do my best for this job. I will continue to. I have always been supportive of the fans and been a strong ambassador for Muppets, going back into the 1980’s. Anyone who knows me, knows this.

        Also, Steve has not asked me to be his puppet. I’m here 100% of my own volition. It’s called being a friend. If you had those, you wouldn’t be wasting your time here trying to destroy someone. I was sad and heartbroken when I heard about what had happened to Steve. For the umpteenth time, I’m ONLY telling the truth of what I know and experienced, knowing Steve since 1980! I’ve worked with him and doubled for him on so many different projects over 37 years! I know his work, his professionalism and his heart. He has always been respectful, hard working and kind to all around him. So that only leaves anything that happened off set or in meetings or virtual communications that I’m not privy to. So that kinda puts the kibosh on claims of bringing drama to the set, LOL! There are literally dozens and dozens of testimonies from people who will agree with my experiences with Steve (and have done) from ALL aspects of production. So if Disney has good reasons for this, I do not know what they are and nobody has been able to tell me or share anything with me. Again, I can only speak of my truth and what I personally know, with hand on heart! All of Steve’s choices or recommendations I’ve witnessed have been completely within the realm of how Jim would have handled things. Very calm, supportive, creative and even posing an alternative idea as a question.

        So rather than divide fans, I think I’ve helped unite by answering some of those doubts about Steve’s conduct on set and his character, which was severely brought into question recently.

        I’m tired of this. I’m tired of people like you with personal vendettas and now you are coming after me. Very classy. Seriously, if you have something to say, say it directly to my face, not behind a keyboard. If you have info you think I should know, then communicate directly with me. Help me to understand your experience. Prove it to me. If you are an adult, then act like one. Take this offline, leave poor Steve alone and be constructive and not destructive.

        Until you can speak directly with me, use your real name and tell me what happened to you, I will have to assume you are a teenage girl with fantasies of being someone more important and your comments are invalid.

        So SH#T OR GET OFF THE POT! Help me to understand something I don’t know or just leave. You are not convincing anyone of anything here. Move on.

        For everyone else still reading this…… lovely weather we’re having lately eh?…..

  12. Hi Steve,

    Thank you again for your continued candor. While it’s heartening to read of your friendship with Matt, there is something here that seems a bit passive. Not so much a plea to Disney, but to Matt himself. Though you are doing so in the best way you know how considering the situation, it still feels like you are calling the mans integrity into question.

    What if this had been Peter? With only Walter in his stable and now taking on Ernie and delivering a very strong performance, would you feel different if he were carrying the mantle? If the issue is one of lineage and the trouble with him now having to sideline characters that were coming back, would that make you feel comfortable.

    With the SAG issues, would doing the Hollywood bowl for free even be possible? Would it then fall under actor’s equity or similar union regulations. I’ve done theatre for a long while and the idea of picking up a show in a day and being ready in two weeks, while certainly in the spirit of the Muppets Take Manhattan seems impossible. So much to learn and catch up on. Perhaps it’s best to sit this one out and hope for the best after.

    I don’t know Matt, but I can only assume is that he and the rest of the guys are doing their best in a terrible situation, and that they, like you, decided that the show must go on…that they will keep bringing us more Muppet stuff, because that’s the way the boss would want it. They can’t just let Kermit stay silent you know. With the auditions, it’s very possible that they needed someone ready to bring as full of a performance to Kermit as possible in a short time. There will be no video or record, just the Muppets and the audience. Perhaps there is time to regroup or rethink the decision after the show, but for now I think the ship has sailed. If Jerry’s characters are the concern and it can’t be you, perhaps you can push for the team to reconsider Peter, for Jerry’s sake.

    I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. Beyond what some of the more trolling posters say, or even whether this may have been stopped or you had a hand in your own dismissal, I’m sorry. I always dreamed of working with Jim, of taking on characters when he was old, on carrying on that legacy. Even as a kid I was crushed to the point of turning away from the craft. I envy and revere all of you guys. I can’t imagine the hurt you feel. Keep on keepin’ on. For better or worse, you still have fans, you still have the impact you made, and you still have an enormous part of the legacy of one of the world’s great characters that nobody can take away.

    Best of luck, whatever happens.

  13. Well, the person(s) who post(s) here with the apparent purpose of preventing Steve from returning to Muppets (Mr Fleece/Mr Fawner/Mr Fan) sure fired all their cannons up here. 🙂

    Will they succeed? I guess we have to wait for the Bowl to see if the Disney Muppets can be the same Jim Henson’s Muppets we used to know.

    Steve — Best of Luck, whatever happens, indeed!

  14. Yay!!! A new blog today.This is especially a treat because tomorrows my Birthday.It’s a nice little treat.Now on to the question. Steve is there anyway we can help you with this? A lot of comments show that people want to help you with your current situation.Can we help?Can we do something about it?

  15. Hi Steve,

    I wanted to say about your comments on “we don’t need Team Steve or Team Matt.” I agree it’s wrong to divide the fans (which, unfortunately, this whole debacle seems to have been doing on the message board I frequent). I’m not on Team Anybody for the moment, and I refuse to judge Matt’s Kermit until I hear it. But I still wish Disney would change their minds.

    Live long and paws-purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark

  16. I have no doubt your cast mates are in agreement with many of your casting and character assessments. Most fans agree with you 100% too. Respectfully, have you considered that some of them grew tired of the way you allegedly alienated other members of the creative staff or slowed down productions? This has been publicly referenced by several sources with Henson and the Muppets Studio. I can’t say all of that is true, but it makes for a vert firm case. Also, Kermit was not something that was handed to Mr. Vogel. He reportedly went through many auditions with many other talented professional peers of yours and was selected by the Henson family. That does not mean he abandoned your ideas of recasting. It only means that he, and other performers, saw the writing on the wall and kept moving forward. You cannot pawn the results of your own decisions off on other people. Eventually one has to take responsibility for their own actions, whether or not they agree with the outcome, take ownership of missteps and deal with it all like an adult. I have yet to see that happen here. You were once one of my idols. For once, I agree with the lines that the ABC writers gave your Kermit, “Never meet your idols, kid.” As for whom I believe, I believe Brian Henson because he was Jim’s son and also his coworker. He likely knows more about what Jim Henson wanted than anyone else alive right now. All of this other complaining is unbecoming. Everyone has moved on. Everything has its season. The Muppets, for better or for worse, will move on too. How much more ugly this becomes and how much further this harms the Henson legacy and causes the Henson family strife is now up to you. SMH

    1. You know just because he is Jim Henson’s son doesn’t mean he knows any more about Jim’s wishes. Sometimes someone who has worked in the trenches with an individual will know more about them then their kids.

      1. In all fairness, Brian was Jim’s son and worked with him in the trenches and now runs his company.

        1. In all fairness Frank oz worked with Jim the longest, and has complained about staying true to the characters.

          1. And who’s left out of Frank’s documentary about Muppet people talking? As the kids say SNAP BACK!

            The level of intelligence on this blog is dubious at best.

      2. Come on, does it really matter who’s “more right” in this situation? There are always two sides to every story. What matters a lot — to a lot of people — is the ability to smooth things out, settle the differences and demonstrate the kindness of the heart, openness of mind and true Muppet spirit. Somehow i don’t think that ‘na-na-na you lost the frog-gie’ attitude expressed here in some posts is something Brian, Matt, or indeed anyone really working with Muppets is capable of.

    2. Brian Henson is also the one who thought Gonzo should be an alien and that the Muppets shouldn’t sing. He made numerous other missteps while in control of the Muppets. He’s not infallible.

      1. That’s not true. Brian Henson’s control of Muppets From Space was taken away and the original Jerry Juhl script along with that. He did not direct. He, along with the Henson Company, produced it and Brian also puppeteered in it. It was the other director who removed the Muppet music and made Gonzo the alien. That’s not how the original screenplay went at all.

  17. This has been bothering me so I have to get it out. Some of you along with Disney say Steve had ridiculous demands in contract negotiations. I do not know if that is true or not, the so called Disney worker does not too, they said they have nothing to do with muppets. Let’s says say this was true, so what. It is ok for sport stars to delay contracts. Disney puts up with these production delays from stars like Johnny Depp. Why is it voice over artist and puppeteers are expected to take what they are offered without demands. I think this is because these artist are not respected the same. This us why I believe what Steve says. The suits think puppeteers, and voice artists can easily be replaced. To me this is a sad way of thinking. Sadly most of the population does not know who talks for Kermit. Only the true fans do. I can’t tell you how many times I have told someone the voice of Kermit since Jim died, lives in Atlanta, and they are suprised. I think both of these type of artist need more respect. So I respect you Steve.

  18. Since this blog started,
    this is the most heartfelt post that
    ever so touches close to home to the
    very core of the Muppets, the crew and
    even the fans.

    In every dialogue there are always two
    sides when it comes to strong feelings, but…

    Kindness is what helps make the world
    evolve, and even in these difficult times,
    right or wrong, the foundation of the
    merits of the Muppets as a whole
    is what truly matters, folks ,especially…
    taking into consideration of the feelings of everyone.

  19. I sincerely wish Steve, that you could bring Kermit and Rizzo to life again, in the upcoming shows “The Muppets Take the Bowl” in September, in the USA.
    And next to the whole world (tv shows & movies).
    Like an old Disney song says:
    “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”
    I’m still believing and having faith. I hope you do too. 🐸

  20. “I am having trouble understanding his support of the recast, but in trying to empathize with where he finds himself, the best I have come up with is that with my dismissal, some in the core ensemble of performers will have become fiercely protective of the chemistry within the group.”

    For some reason, this has gotten me thinking this morning, and I mulled the sentiment all the way to work. Given the current situation, and what seems to me a distinct line in the sand drawn by the Muppet overlords (“Show up and shut up, or else”), I absolutely agree that the remaining ensemble would want to protect their chemistry. But if I were in Matt’s position, it think it might boil down to something even simpler than that.

    Now, I don’t know Matt – I’ve never met him, and probably couldn’t pick him out of a lineup (please don’t hate me!). But given such an impossible decision, if I were in his shoes, the choice would be clear: either try to maintain the integrity of the Muppets and Jim’s vision through Kermit OR give Kermit up to a wildcard. Help Kermit keep the True North of his character OR potentially lose his True North altogether, and thus jeopardize the integrity of the rest of the Muppets as well.

    For me, it’s a simple decision, regardless of how I feel about multi-casting, re-casting, and the like (and for the record, I am vehemently against both). Either help maintain Kermit’s integrity or offer him up to a wildcard. Everything else falls away. And I would choose Kermit in a heartbeat. If I know that I hold Jim’s vision and the Muppets’ integrity in my heart, then Kermit is far safer with me than he is with anyone else Disney may bring in for the job. Kermit from the beginning has always been the connective tissue for the rest of the Muppets. I’m not saying that he or his performer should necessarily get any special treatment above and beyond the rest of the ensemble, but if you lose Kermit’s True North, then the other characters start to slide as well. The writing for the Muppets in recent years has been inconsistent at best – it’s something Disney has never really been able to nail, in my opinion. So you take weak writing and add in a wildcard performer, and in my mind you have a recipe for disaster.

    Maybe I’m oversimplifying or overdramatizing things, but that’s how I would’ve approached it. It’s an awful situation no matter how you look at it, but if I were faced with the same circumstances, I would do whatever it took to keep Kermit alive and well and true to his character.

    And before anyone says it, I understand that Matt has never performed Kermit, nor does he have the depth of understanding of Kermit that Steve and Jim had…but when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, I would go with someone who understands Jim’s vision (which should help guide him when performing Kermit), over someone who may not even really understand the Muppets, much less Kermit. It’s really an impossible choice, and I still can’t believe that this is where we’re at. I never in my life imagined we’d be in a place where core Muppet performers could be fired, and we’d have to debate the merits of one performer over another when it came to major Muppet characters. But here we are…

  21. Hi Steve,
    It’s been a while since I’ve posted here but I do have a few questions about this particular post.

    I enjoyed reading it, and I’m an unconditional fan of yours. I know that you have no obligation whatsoever to answer anyone’s questions but I do feel as though these may provide some supplemental clarity to me as the Bowl show approaches…

    1. Have you spoken with Matt about the state of Kermit and the show since the news of your termination became public?
    2. Have kept in touch with any of the other performers?
    3. What would it take to get you back to your home base that is the Muppets? How much of a gave and take would it take on both your side and Disney’s side?

    Just some things I’d love to hear about in a Part 3. Thanks!

  22. Steve,

    Why not just show up at the Hollywood bowl ready to go. They may have giving you your resignation, but that dosnt mean you have to accept it.

    I tell my boos everyday I quite, and they always just say see you tomorrow.

    What’s the wrose that could happen they not let you in? At least you would be showing them you truly do care about the Muppets.

    Sometimes you just have to take a chance!

    You have said you feel that you job with the Muppets is more like a calling. Which reminds me of your Mentor Jim, and his passion for getting the Muppets their own prime time TV show. Even after two “failed” pilots and countless rejections He never wavered, and he kept believing that he could get his show. Eventually The Muppet Show was created, and was a huge success. The point of this is sometimes you have to put yourself out there and show them your the real deal.

    1. Yeah Steve tried that in 2009 for the Muppets’ performance of America’s Got Talent. He wouldn’t sign the contract so they re-casted Kermit. Steve freaked out and showed up outside of the studio begging to be let in and he wasn’t. Soooo…he’s tried that before. Doing so again would make him look nuts.

      1. Really? I thought all of this was such a “shock” to Steve. LOL!

        It’s clear that he’s not being honest with anyone. Like Frank, Steve was hired right out of high school. Unlike Frank, the Muppets were already wildly popular. He never had those lean years like Caroll Spinney or even Jim when he started out. He got the golden ticket! That’s like winning the lottery. He got that again twelve years later when he was cast as Kermit. This is not trolling. This is what happened. I think he’s too close to see that. Plus, I find it a little self-serving that this is the first internet connection that he’s ever had with fans.

        The notion that this firing would shock anyone who:
        *Was replaced once before.
        *Kept playing hardball with his contract negotiations
        *Stalled productions under Brian Henson because he wasn’t happy.
        *Stalled productions with Disney because he wasn’t happy.
        *Refused to work due to some SAG misunderstanding when everyone else on the set who are also a member of SAG showed up and did their job.
        *Sent long, rambling and sometimes insulting emails to writers and production staff on a weekly basis.
        *Thinks he’s only one who can “save” Jim’s vision (yeah, that takes a lot of chutzpah, particularly when there are still people who worked with Jim with the Muppets Studio).
        *Started a blog to passive aggressively air all of his grievances when everything didn’t go his way after all of this and continues to exhibit unprofessional behavior.
        *The last thing, he keeps taking credit for Vogel’s career. Talent is the reason for his career and he’d been working on Sesame Street long before he got the gig with Disney.

        Everyone gets help. Someone gives them a break. While loyalty is essential, what does one do when that person gets fired for what clearly appears to be ego and insubordination? The narcissism in these posts is killing my impression of a man whom I used to admire. I’ve heard many stories from reputable sources over the years and not once did I want to believe them. Then Steve started this blog with his take on events. That, not anything else, is what confirmed them. People, it’s true. Everybody was a little bit awful, but Steve did the worst. He’s culpable in all of this. It breaks my heart to say that.

        The one thing that would prove Steve’s commitment to Jim Henson’s kindness, spirit and legacy is if Steve stopped digging the Muppets’ grave for them. Nobody’s landed. Watch this. He’ll probably write a book filled with juicy gossip about his time with the Muppets. It’s his prerogative, but it’s never what Jim would have wanted and all that he’s doing now is disrespecting his coworkers and doing his best to murder the spirit and legacy of the gentle genius who gave him his big break. How’s that for loyalty?

        1. Also, it’s not quite true that Steve was never given an ultimatum. He was so used to exhibiting this bad behavior that he thought he had a lifetime pass. The last thing he did was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Disney wasn’t going to give him the keys to the Muppet kingdom. They were placating him while they called around to the Hensons to figure out what to do. He was fired from Sesame Street because of his contract demands. This was just another link on the long chain of omens to come and Steve’s childish entitlement. I know this isn’t kind to say, but what Steve is doing is such an egregious disservice to all involved. The only reason that fans are falling for it is a sense of false connection. He’s the only one talking about this and sycophants love red meat.

          1. Fake Dat? LOL! You sound like a Trumper. Most of the stuff listed has been confirmed by Steve, so that’s not fake no matter how unflattering it is.

        2. Holy cow, you nailed it!
          “I find it a little self-serving that this is the first internet connection that he’s ever had with fans.”
          That’s my favorite quote in this whole thing.

          1. Thanks! It pains me to have to write that, but this blog is filled with so many half truths, manipulations and little white lies that it has all but destroyed my impression of a man I once held in high esteem.

            Steve, if you’re reading this (and not only the sycophantic fawning), I am a huge fan. Your next move should be to create something of your own. I know you think you’ve had something taken away from you. So did Walt Disney on that notorious train ride when Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was taken away from him.He created that character and made it his life’s work. He then thought up something new and bigger and made sure owned it. I don’t know what that would be for you. I might be annoyed by these entries, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not one hell of a talented person! Your Kermit was awesome. You’ve been there and done that with aplomb. There’s a second act in you. I know there is. Whether that’s going to be based in resentment of things old or inspiration of things new is totally your call. I hope you pick the latter. If it’s good, and it probably would be, I’d be your biggest cheerleader.

          2. True Dat! wrote

            Steve, if you’re reading this (and not only the sycophantic fawning), I am a huge fan.

            Ironic, much?

          3. You can be a fan of someone and admire their talent while disliking their behavior. That’s at least half of Academy Awards winners. Clearly there’s a disparity of perspective here. It is a place for sycophants. It is not a place that’s going to help Steve or the Muppets one bit. I hope he sees that. He’s like a jilted boyfriend who can’t accept reality and if he can’t have Kermit, no one will.

        3. Absolute rubbish!
          You people really turn my stomach with your speculation and hateful slander!
          You were not there so this is nothing more than gossip!
          Real name please… yeah of course not!

          1. Why are you the only one defending Steve, Mike? I see no other Muppet performers OR anyone else from Henson, SS, or Disney on here defending him. Does he have dirt on you or something?

          2. Mike is absolutely correct.

            Seriously— these comments this afternoon/evening, in response to Dwayne’s comment in this thread from yesterday— are just getting downright stupid and ludicrous.

            Mike’s also right— show yourselves. Sitting there and hiding behind anonymous monikers, of which aren’t exactly anonymous, folks. Think about it. Comments are attached to IPs and so forth. It’s not rocket science.

            But I continue to say, to the anonymous naysayers— why are you even here? If you’re trying to impress Steve with your abrasive discord, well that’s one hell of a way to try and ingratiate yourself to someone.

            The superfluity of these comments is just that. Enough.

          3. Mike and Tommy, please address each of these directly and specially instead of just attacking source’s credibility. You never actually address any claims made…funny isn’t it?

            (Tru Dat wrote these above.)
            *Was replaced once before.
            *Kept playing hardball with his contract negotiations
            *Stalled productions under Brian Henson because he wasn’t happy.
            *Stalled productions with Disney because he wasn’t happy.
            *Refused to work due to some SAG misunderstanding when everyone else on the set who are also a member of SAG showed up and did their job.
            *Sent long, rambling and sometimes insulting emails to writers and production staff on a weekly basis.
            *Thinks he’s only one who can “save” Jim’s vision (yeah, that takes a lot of chutzpah, particularly when there are still people who worked with Jim with the Muppets Studio).
            *Started a blog to passive aggressively air all of his grievances when everything didn’t go his way after all of this and continues to exhibit unprofessional behavior.
            *The last thing, he keeps taking credit for Vogel’s career. Talent is the reason for his career and he’d been working on Sesame Street long before he got the gig with Disney.

          4. Correction: Slander is spoken. Libel is written. A lot of people get that wrong. I think you’re getting more than that wrong too. Some of that could be off the mark, but there is no “absolute” in what I listed. Some of those items are fact that came directly from Steve. The extreme way you respond to fans paints your motives. You’re a very good friend to Steve. It just doesn’t seem like you know the complete story. You saw the good parts of Steve and that’s great. The reason I don’t give names or drop them is because Disney has fired employees for less. They often refuse to hire people who talk publicly about behind the scenes events no matter if they’re right or wrong. I admire your bravery, but as a thrice employed Disney freelancer, I’d be careful. You know very well what happens once Disney has made a final decision.

          5. Mike ,

            You should know by now that Steve hasn’t been telling the truth… even to you.

            Call it rubbish all you want, but it’s the truth.

            Next time you’re at rehearsal, look at the men who were on that blacklist.

            Ask yourself, why didn’t Steve tell me about this?

            Then maybe apologize for the comments you made concerning their training and talent.

            Get a clue. He’s not telling you the whole story.


            BTW, you are a perfect example of how using your real name means nothing when telling the truth.

        4. Dang! Stalls contracts, plays hardball, rambles about vision… You people almost make Steve sound as bad as, you know, that previous Kermit guy before him 🙂

          You would probably kicked that one out much sooner than Steve 🙂

          1. Fraggle Fan, you’re one to talk about what is funny— considering you bring nothing to the table, much less any viable facts to support your BS…

          2. I’m sorry I asked! I was trying to get some balanced infromation on the issues at hand.

            I love Steve as a peefomer and think he has done an excellent job with Kermit and every other character.

            I also love the Muppets and have for most of my life. I want whats best for them. So I just wanted to see if everything that Steve was saying was true.

            Somehow that became a request to bash Steve, and for that I’m sorry.

        5. Steve digging the Muppets grave? LOL ! That horrible 2015 Tv show that didn’t understand the characters that Disney put out dug the grave!

          1. Oh come on, Disney hasn’t known what to do with the Muppets since they bought them. Do you really think they will figure it out now that Steve is gone? They should be listening to the performers because they know what the muppets are about and what will make fans happy. The difference in a Jim Henson lead Muppets and Disney led Muppets is that Jim was about the art and entertainment. Disney is about the money. Jim was a performer not just a business man and that is why listening to the performers is the way to go.

  23. After assessing the moods of the fan forums, this seems to be the safest place to admit this out loud:

    Outside Lands was incredible and nothing has seemed right since then. I started to suspect something was terribly wrong when the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade happened and Kermit remained silent. No matter how things move forward, I sincerely hope I can be confident about the Muppets again in the future…but I’m currently having doubts about that. Maybe when they release something that is open to everyone and not just the Hollywood Bowl goers, I’ll feel a little better about it.

    Speaking of having doubts, I went on a bit of a tangent about them but ended up resolving it. I was going to bring them up on here, but thought better of it. Pundit already suffers from senseless arguing as it is. The tangent is here instead if anyone is interested.

    1. Nicholas: I found myself tempted today to leave this site due to all the evil comments, but once again the Muppets have reached my heart, and I say firmly… it would not be fair to the Muppets, whom we are trying to save in their full integrity nor to Steve who I believe feels the same way.

      Thank you for posting this video.

      Love Anne Terri

  24. Just visiting your blog Steve 😉
    Wow you sure have a lot of haters !
    Just watch all the nasty comments in a row. Hater commenters with their own staff to support them and making them look a crowd😂
    Like someone famous said once, you’re nobody until you have a bunch of haters!
    Keep strong Steve! I still stand by you.
    Nothing they said matters.
    I dont need others to tell me what to thing. I’m old enough to evaluate all that i consider important.
    What really matters is that you are an extraordinary professional and the Muppets, specially Kermit needs you.

  25. Oh for the love of Jim, are you trolls all enjoying your d!ck measuring contest? Knock. It. Off.

    None of you are proving anything.

    None of you are winning people over.

    None of you seem to realise how stupid you all look right now.

    And worst of all, none of you are taking into consideration that the man you are all dissing and defaming is a human being with feelings.

    You remember what ‘feelings’ are….don’t you? Surely your hearts aren’t that stone-cold that you’ve forgotten how to empathise with the people around you?

    Steve Whitmire,

    Let me tell you something. After the reading the ignorant, horrible things that people are throwing at you, here is my opinion on why you were let go:

    I. DON’T. CARE.

    I used to want to know why and how you were let go, but after all of this, I couldn’t give less of a damn. This should not be the topic of discussion. This isn’t what you wanted, was it? Yes, you are disillusioned by the loss of your career, but that’s not your focus, is it? These…”fans” who are insisting on getting to the bottom of everything are completely missing the point.

    This is about the Muppets. This has always been about the Muppets.

    That’s all I have left to give a damn about. What is important for my beloved Kermit, Lips, Rizzo, Link, Newsman, Beaker, Foo, etc, is all I want to focus on. When you, Steve, say that the Muppets should be passed down in a linear tradition, I believe you. And when you say it’s essential that the 2015 team stay together in order to keep character integrity….I believe you.

    But if that can’t happen, you take all the opinions of your trolls, all the accusations from your former peers, scrunch them up into a tight wad, then spitball it back at them. You’ve spent so much time accumulating the wisdom and knowledge of Jim Henson and the original team: it’s time for you to step out of their shadows and prove the world wrong.

    I and so many other fans believe you have it in you to create something spectacular and original while still using the Henson principles. You definitely won’t be alone-take Mike with you and I’ll be the first person to stick my hand up and volunteer to help any way I can. Find undiscovered puppetry talent and take them under your wing. Perhaps the Muppets can’t be your direct future, but you can still have a great impact on the broader world of puppetry.

    I believe in the Muppets….but I also believe in you as a person. There’s no reason why I can’t support both of you.

    And before any trolls accuse me of kissing Steve’s @$$, you’re more then welcome to kiss mine!

    1. My turn to applaud!!

      LOL at all the ominosity in troll posts 😀 all without a single fact they could confirm.
      Can you imagine any of these guys being part of the Muppets or Sesame? Yuck…

      1. No Andrew I can’t.

        Did anyone else see any of Matt’s webisiods called “Below the Frame”? It was A Facebook live show that him and the other Sesame preformers did durring the filming of a season of Sesame.
        The reason I bring this up is because if you’ve seen that you would have seen how tightly knitted this group really is. They are not just co workers or even friends they truly are a family.
        Which is why I’m utterly shocked as to why no one other then Mike has stood up for Steve.

        Im also kind of surprised that the Bowl is still going on. Sure one person can be easly replaced or “recasted” but What if all the core preformers took the same stand Steve has and walk out? Then what?

        1. Personally, I read a lot in fact that there were no feature Kermit appearances over the past months. I think it speaks tons of good about Matt’s character. A person greedy for fame would have been all over youtube with ‘watch me doing Kermit’ first thing last October. Matt did Constantine instead. 🙂 Maybe there is still hope for us all…

          1. No, let me take that back
            Alas the frog hath crow’d
            Uncert’n days ahead
            And pathways yet unstrode

    2. I never understood why trolls come out from under their bridges and cause trouble. It makes the mind reel.

      (and incidentally, I just want to point out, I’m not using my real last name when I post due to privacy reasons, and the fact that I don’t like giving out my last name over the Internet)

      Live long and paws-purr!

    3. STEVE and MIKE

      Is there a way to block the Three Stooges, in an account which is not monitored? If not, I suggest no one reply to them, and this way they are exiled. However, I also suggest we use no Evil to fight Evil. Surrounding you with Positive Angels. Hey, are there Muppet angels in existence?

      Love Anne Terri

    4. Agree 100%

      And about the troll: I think it is just one person. The troll keeps repeating himself, using the same language, the same words, the same kind of grammar. I was surprised about the 88 messages in my inbox this morning – following this thread means I am busy reading things I don’t want to read… so I really wish this person stopped repeating himself and just shut up…

      About the new project – good idea, I hope and I believe Steve will do that in the future. Maybe something with only rodents (I know he likes rodents) 🙂

  26. Fleece Throat/Steve Fawner,

    As I mentioned before, I read your tweet rants about Steve and something is definitely not right. It is clear you have it in for him.

    The fact still remains that you are hiding here. Trying to bully both Steve and now me here, ha ha! Let me tell you that nice people don’t do that.

    You are probably a friend of a friend (and your IP address or one you borrowed is now known). You want Steve to go away. Did you work with him directly or not? Are you a writer perhaps who took some script notes personally? Maybe you worked on the ABC production somewhere in the offices? It really doesn’t matter because you are not involved in Muppets now. If you were, you would just go about your business. This is not your business yet you are personalizing this. So either you have a close friend who had an issue or more likely, something directly happened to you. Perhaps your script writing was actually not that good? Either way, this is not healthy for you to keep doing this, here and on Twitter. What do you hope to gain?

    I will address the Hollywood Bowl since you brought it up. I’m a professional and don’t discuss what we are doing ahead of time. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here somewhere that Matt is super smart, super talented and super nice. I’ve spoken to him privately and that is between he and I and nobody else’s business. I will not divulge anything regarding the H-Bowl show or Kermit other than what I’ve told everyone publicly, that it’s going to be terrifyingly exciting and that they are in for a rare treat! But other than rough blocking we did a month or two ago, we aren’t in rehearsals yet, ha ha! Nice try 😀

    As for me, it is obvious you don’t know me very well, if at all. However, I’m really very easy to find via FB and emails etc. I’m very accessible. Why not take this offline and contact me directly. If you have an issue with me, talk to me and we’ll sort it out. If you have something I need to know about Steve (because I’m clearly totally unaware of what this thing is you are saying happened), share that with me personally. Wouldn’t that actually be more constructive?

    You are accusing me of having motives for dividing fans, LOL! Why the bloody hell would I do that? Life is too short for that drama. Fans can do what they want. I’m not a control freak like you are coming across here. I was like an original Walter – a hardcore Muppet fanatic. Right from 1976! I’m still a huge fan. I just happen to be a performer for them too. There are absolutely no motives for doing that. Also I have said nothing with the end goal to try and divide fans here. NOTHING! I love Muppets, the characters, the puppets, the art form of performing and my co-workers. I have worked my arse off to the point of my body beginning to wear out to do my best for this job. I will continue to. I have always been supportive of the fans and been a strong ambassador for Muppets, going back into the 1980’s. Anyone who knows me, knows this.

    Also, Steve has not asked me to be his puppet. I’m here 100% of my own volition. It’s called being a friend. If you had those, you wouldn’t be wasting your time here trying to destroy someone. I was sad and heartbroken when I heard about what had happened to Steve. For the umpteenth time, I’m ONLY telling the truth of what I know and experienced, knowing Steve since 1980! I’ve worked with him and doubled for him on so many different projects over 37 years! I know his work, his professionalism and his heart. He has always been respectful, hard working and kind to all around him. So that only leaves anything that happened off set or in meetings or virtual communications that I’m not privy to. So that kinda puts the kibosh on claims of bringing drama to the set, LOL! There are literally dozens and dozens of testimonies from people who will agree with my experiences with Steve (and have done) from ALL aspects of production. So if Disney has good reasons for this, I do not know what they are and nobody has been able to tell me or share anything with me. Again, I can only speak of my truth and what I personally know, with hand on heart! All of Steve’s choices or recommendations I’ve witnessed have been completely within the realm of how Jim would have handled things. Very calm, supportive, creative and even posing an alternative idea as a question.

    So rather than divide fans, I think I’ve helped unite by answering some of those doubts about Steve’s conduct on set and his character, which was severely brought into question recently.

    I’m tired of this. I’m tired of people like you with personal vendettas and now you are coming after me. Very classy. Seriously, if you have something to say, say it directly to my face, not behind a keyboard. If you have info you think I should know, then communicate directly with me. Help me to understand your experience. Prove it to me. If you are an adult, then act like one. Take this offline, leave poor Steve alone and be constructive and not destructive.

    Until you can speak directly with me, use your real name and tell me what happened to you, I will have to assume you are a teenage girl with fantasies of being someone more important and your comments are invalid.

    Help me to understand something I don’t know or just leave. You are not convincing anyone of anything here. Move on.

    For everyone else still reading this…… lovely weather we’re having lately eh?…..

  27. F Fan, T Dat and F Throat (hereby known as the Three Stooges),

    You are all cowards, bullies and trolls.

    Interesting how now you have turned on me too. So childish and sad.
    How dare you claim “Steve must have some dirt on me or something”! Honestly, it’s pathetic! 😀
    You ask why am I alone here? Firstly, I’ve known Steve longer than anyone else. He’s my friend and brother. I’m sorry none of you know what it’s like to have someone like that.
    Secondly, very many co-workers have spoken well of Steve but are not part of this blog.
    I have this thing called integrity – fearless integrity. I defend and speak out when it is needed. If any of you knew my story you wouldn’t be speaking to me this way. My history has taken me through a lot of pain and suffering. The positive result of that is I now have balls of titanium and will clang them together when needed! Something none of you would ever understand and would never do for another.

    Threatening me with losing work (at Disney) because I’m telling my truth about what I’ve witnessed with Steve is very controlling. Nobody tells me what to do. You do not scare me one little bit. I’ve been around the block too many times children. If a company wants to not use me any longer because I’m speaking my truth honestly, then I’m fine with that. That says more about them than myself. People employ me because I do a good job, am professional and don’t BS. My days are filled with freelancing and working for my own company. I don’t have enough years left to do the things I want to do. So let the dice roll as they may. At least I can sleep well at night 🙂 But the chances are my potential employers have a lot more integrity than any of you have in your little finger.

    You each claim to have knowledge, yet nobody has come forward with any facts. I’m not hard to find via email or FB or anywhere else. Yet nobody is mature enough to educate me and help me to understand that which I have not seen in all my 37 years of working along side Steve.

    Are any of you actually puppeteers? If so then say so. Have you directly clashed with Steve? If so, tell me. How can you lose work by telling the truth, especially when you are backing up what Disney are saying. I’m asking for facts and for someone here to show some real balls….. All I hear are spoiled children having temper tantrum.

    This is not your blog or your place. Go elsewhere and do something positive with your lives. You are achieving nothing here. Just clearly enjoying the attention you all crave.

    1. What would Debbie McClellan say if she what you’ve just said?!

      You know this kind of attitude is what got Steve fired, Mikey. Don’t surprised if you end up joining him on the unemployment line because of your unacceptable conduct here. And quit being Evil Stevie’s accomplice.

      1. Your threats make me laugh! I’m sure they also make Mr Quinn and Mr Whitmiere laugh as well!

        I don’t mind you being the little troll that you are, but please show both Steve and Mike a little respect. Calling them “Stevie and ” “Mikey” is not very polite.

        Now run along you little troll, and dont play with scissors you’ll surly hurt youeself!

      2. Hey, Anony my babe! So nice of you to drop in!

        What part of, “If a company wants to not use me any longer because I’m speaking my truth honestly, then I’m fine with that. That says more about them than myself. People employ me because I do a good job, am professional and don’t BS.” were you incapable of grasping?

        If Mike is ‘Evil Stevie’s accomplice’, then consider me one of his demons.

      3. A Nonny Mouse…
        I assume everyone reads everything.
        I have NOTHING to hide. Unlike you 😂

        For the record, I don’t use the unemployment line 😁 I work for many different companies, including my own.

        What exactly is evil about what I’ve said? My truth cannot be evil by its own existence. What is evil are threats, hatred and lies.

        I’m all about helping people around me and building others up. That is a positive creative thing.

        Your comments are the opposite, being negative, accusatory and controlling. Thank you so much for telling me what to do. I really appreciate that.
        So who’s the evil one here exactly? 😂😂😂

        But you know what, if I can take some of the heat off Steve, I’m okay with that. My shoulders are broad enough and that’s what people do who care for each other 😉

        Now run along and continue to lose your soul with the other trolls 😎

          1. *LOL*

            I still think they are (or he is) far too much attention.

            I am on #TeamMike as well.

            Mike, this person is not worth a second or third thought, nor your energy.

      4. you should be a pretty bored person,and an evil one too, writing bad things in sites you dont care, and trashing all the people who dont think like you (thank good) obviously you are not happy with your live… please, for your own dignity, (supposing you ever had some, which I doubt) leave this site, the only thing you are doing is the opposite you want, we are even more on the Steve side….bad news for you I guess, and like Miss Piggy would say: kissy kissy and please, have a live….dont be trash.

      5. yeah? well…if we have to think like you, all Steve supporters should be telling Tyler bunch and Rick Lyon to dont be surprised if they never work again with the muppets for showing their opinions about this situation… obviuosly we are not bad people like you , we tolerate other opinions, even from people againt ours… why are you concerning Mike about his supporting??? please, leave this site piece of Troll

    2. Mike, we would all be unbelievably lucky to have a friend like you 😉. These trolls don’t realise (or won’t admit to) the real issue. What we are watching happen is the process of watching the “real” or original muppets being turned into a pale facsimile of the real thing. Think of it this way, if I’m paying top whack to see an ABBA reunion concert, with the 4 real original members then that’s what I want to see. If I then turn up to the concert and I end up watching Bjorn Again, probably the best tribute act to ABBA who sound almost identical, it doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t abba, and if they touted themselves as such they’d be done under the trades descriptions act. It makes me wonder if legally, the muppets and the company themselves had sufficient legal protection going into the merger with Disney. Apparently not. Steve has been acting not just as a spokesperson, but if you like an unofficial shop steward, defending the characters and the original workers, in the absence of proper legal protection of all puppeteers in the business. The fact that your face isn’t recognised and your voice can be copied does render these performers with less protection and rights than a recognisable actor. Perhaps Steve could raise this with an entertainment lawyer. However, the discrimination he has suffered for doing this wouldn’t be allowed if he were actually a shop steward type person. If a change of management, which is what this is, causes this much change and disruption to the original company as it is doing they could just refuse to work collectively. Again, a lack of legal protection which, imo, is a loophole which needs to be closed by somebody. Squabbles at work when there is a change of management is a part of every kind of career path, but when the company are more like a family, feelings are brought into the matter. Anybody who is old enough to remember rep companies, where the same group of actors perform different plays every week (like the carry on team) will know how close people can become. A change of management can in this case be likened to when a single parent marries somebody totally unsuitable, who brings hoards of wild out of control badly behaved kids into the home of a nice kid, who then has to watch their room and everything they love and own trampled underfoot, broken and destroyed. This problem is very VERY rarely rectified without the new folks moving out.
      Meantime SO much damage is done.
      Now Steve isn’t really doing anything anybody else in this *specific* situation wouldn’t do, he’s taken on the management and he had every right to, but he hasn’t had the protection to do so without prejudice.
      If coke tried selling new coke as classic coke they’d be sued. It’s not what you’re paying for. These performers have no protection and I believe (although they have already ditched Steve) That for the sake of the other puppeteers all around the world whose faces aren’t seen and whose images aren’t used (or classed as property or a commodity) by companies like Disney, that where a company or brand are concerned, there must be SOME forms of legal protection they can turn to, after all, characters like Rizzo aren’t just voiced by individuals, they are often created by them too.
      In short, I as a fan am not only sick of Disney holding (certainly viewers in the uk) to ransom so we can only see new muppets stuff on pay per view, but when I do pay I want to see what I paid to see. WE ARE ALL WATCHING OUR BELOVED MUPPETS SLOWLY TURN INTO A TRIBUTE ACT OF WHAT AND WHO THEY ONCE WERE BUT WE ARE STILL BEING CHARGED TOP DOLLAR LIKE WE ARE GETTING THE REAL THING. Fact is we aren’t. Matt, poor thing is having to turn himself into a proper little Rory Bremner, pretty soon it’ll be a one man show.
      Mike, you’re a gem of a mate, you keep clanging those balls loud n proud buddy. 😆

    3. Hey Mike, sticking your nose further up Steve’s butt isn’t going to help get Steve’s job back. Nothing anyone does is going to help Steve get his Muppet performer job back. Steve is through and for good reason.

      1. Not once did I ever say anything about trying to get his job back 😀

        Also, your vulgar rudeness isn’t ingratiating you to anyone here. Please explain what your goal is here. We are all listening…..

        … actually we aren’t. You are bringing nothing to the table here.

        Stop worrying about other people and focus on your own life. Take care of yourself and your own needs. You are beginning to sound rather obsessed. That’s not healthy.

        1. You’re a good man, Mike!

          On a side note: For the good of this blog and those who want to continue enjoying it—I feel like it would be beneficial to embrace some sort of membership and username system for anyone who wants to comment. I feel like it’s the last resort in trying to weed out the destructive energy and comments.

          Steve created this blog with the best of intentions for his FANS, and those with an agenda are partially ruining the experience for those of us who are here to support and learn from him.

          My two cents.

      2. Fraggle Fan, why are you so hostile? What is your problem? Are you one of those types who feel Disney can do no wrong? Or are you just a control freak who can’t stand it when people have a different opinion than you? It’s obvious you are not a fan of Steve’s, and I think that’s fine, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but why in the heck are you even here bashing the man? Just like causing trouble, eh? If that’s the case, I find that to be quite childish. Grow up!

  28. Dear Steve,

    What do you propose we fans do with our fandom if Disney doesn’t hire you back? This ugly situation is like a bad divorce and the fans are caught in the middle. The Muppets have never had a controversy like this. What do we do? What it Matt is good? What if he isn’t? What if Disney finally gets all of this right? What if they don’t? Please give us some guidance as to what you would have us do if they’ve truly moved on.

    1. Dear Millions of People,

      the situation is very unpleasant indeed.

      For the first time in history a veteran performer hand-picked by and mentored by Jim Henson himself and loved by us all had been cut off from the show.

      This goes against every tradition of the show and for many of us may kill the magic of the Muppets forever.

      I suggest all of us immediately petition Disney to reverse the unfortunate decision and hope for your support!

      A Muppet Fan since 70s

      1. Thanks, but that wasn’t the question. No petition has ever made Disney reverse a decision in the past. My question is – What we do if that doesn’t work? What do we do if the Muppets really do move on without Steve? Do we all stop watching? I fear too many people in here are living in denial of reality. What I’m pleading for is a real answer instead of the usual fanaticism.

        1. Well, apart from petitioning there may be nothing we can do really. Just sit and watch how more unfortunate decisions will drive Muppets into oblivion. 🙁

          But it’s still worth a try.

        2. Hey, that’s an interesting question! Should we all stop watching or something if Steve is gone for good?

          As for myself, I surely won’t boycott the Muppets and I don’t think Steve would want us to — that would be, like, going against everything he and the whole Jim crowd always stood for.

          But I have to say that for me a big part of the Muppets is that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that the original guys who worked with Jim are still out there doing what they do best.

          After last canceled ABC series Muppets already lost a whole lot of goodwill they accumulated over the years — the ‘yawn tolerance limit’ which keeps viewers’ fingers off their remotes gets lower — and removing Mr Whitmire from the cast sure does not help that at all.

      2. THIS IS TO EVERYONE Fans here have a way of answering questions for Steve and speaking for Steve. Please don’t do that. It’s disrespectful and counterproductive. Thanks.

        1. What’s with the edicts?

          There is really only one person, Steve aside, who has given great insight and been very open— and that’s Mike Quinn. Some aren’t necessarily speaking for Steve.

          1. This person who answered my question is who I’m talking about. This a very unfriendly place. It’s not just the angry anti-Steve posts. The supporters are even worse. Sorry I came here at all. With fans like you guys, who needs enemies? You’ll drive everyone off who doesn’t phrase things exactly right.

          2. Not exactly, and I think the majority of the issue at hand is that passions have run very high in here, especially on this thread alone.

            The big problem the lately are the anon-troll types who have been hitting this post lately and attacking others (not just Steve), and these others are Muppet-affiliated as well. Caustic and antagonistic as they’ve continued to be— none will reveal themselves, especially after those who have asked them to do so, but they won’t. They’re either keyboard warriors going off of half-baked conjecture, or their barely, or even slightly, fame adjacent to those involved in the productions— and fear reprisal either for themselves or their “friends.”

            Its interesting… those with an obvious deep-seeded ax to grind— hide behind monikers.

            So don’t feel sorry you came here at all. There’s a lot of varieties in these threads.

          3. Dear Millions of People, if you see any disrespect in the way I post my opinions on this blog, please provide the direct quote you found offensive and I will be happy to offer my apologies.

            On the side note, let me assure you that my opinions are purely my own. In no way I claim to be speaking for anyone else here.

          4. Okay. Thank you both. That sounds on the level. I just really want to know what Steve thinks we should do if the Muppets move on without him. As lifelong Muppet fans, I think that’s one of the most important questions to ask and I was afraid of it getting buried in other responses about other things.

          5. Steve has answered some questions in the comments and taken others to be replied in subsequent posts… so you just never know! 🙂

          6. Hi Millions of People,

            On another thread here, I recently got criticised for speaking on Steve’s behalf and trying to drive off everyone who doesn’t phrase things exactly right. I guess I must have phrased something not exactly right and been misunderstood, because I had no intention of doing either (I was actually trying to encourage understanding and civility). I mention this because there just seems to be so much of that type of misunderstanding going around right now, on all sides of just about every debate going.

            As Tommy points out, feelings are running very high, and the very small number of true trolls (not folks like yourself) and the reactions against them are partly what’s driving everyone to the brink. Yes, there are fanatics of all stripes here, but on a good day many of them are not unreasoning, or even unfriendly. If I find myself defending these ones, I don’t mean to attack you. It’s true that this has not been a healthy place lately, and I regret that very much – if I could apologise on behalf of anybody else’s worn-down emotions I would.

            Anyhow, the main reason I’m replying to you is to say that I share your questions. I agree that they are valid and important and I’ve been wondering similar things, particularly in regard to specific action. Hopefully adding my comment here will help your questions to not get buried.

            If not, three weeks from now might be a better time to raise this again. I’m surely not the only person who has come to see the Hollywood Bowl as Disney’s point of no return. After that I suspect the future will be set, if not in stone, then at least in as much cement as Disney has ever committed to any construction project near Bay Lake, FL. I’m not going to guess at the odds of a casting backflip before the public debut of the Matt-Kermit, but the odds of it happening after have to be exactly nil. Don’t they? (Am I missing something? Anybody? Steve if you read down this far?) So in a way I feel like I’m on the edge of my seat now. After the Bowl, I’m convinced, the die is cast for sure. I admit that some part of me is just looking forward to reaching that resolution, whatever it may be. But the next question that will be begged is… What happens then? What changes?


            On a side note: Some have argued that the Save The Muppets/One Muppet, One Voice campaign in 2005-2008 was successful. (Erm… I hope it doesn’t open a can of worms mentioning that again here.) I wasn’t around then though so I don’t know.

    2. Why don’t you just think for yourself and not ask/let Steve or anyone else decide what to do with your fandom? Make up your own mind.

  29. Steve,

    Even though it is pretty obvious (I guess?) that Kermit has passed to a new puppeteer, Disney really should at least give you the opportunity to play other characters (if you so choose).

  30. Hi Steve,
    Now that you are no longer with the Muppets anymore, have you thought about working for another Puppet Company? Or have you contemplated retiring from Puppetry altogether and pursuing a different career path?

  31. OMG!!! I disappear for a number of work projects and come back to all this utter cr*p from a few deeply disturbed *anonymous* people!!

    Feeling somewhat exhausted after a very intense but very enjoyable period of work, I thought I’d check up on the news here before I start rehearsals for my next job. TBH I wish I hadn’t bothered!!

    For the record, I’ve worked with both Steve and Mike. They are both HUGELY gifted, lovely, generous spirited and immensely talented people and I love, admire and respect them both.

    I feel honoured to count them as friends and no, I’m not being paid to write this and I have absolutely nothing to gain or lose by saying I love and admire them both.

    Goodnight All 🙂

    1. Pat,

      I feel honored to have had the chance to enjoy some of your work in my life, through your films.
      We need you here. I refuse to respond to any negative posts directed at Steve, Mike or any other performer who has worked with them. I had the same reaction to these anonymous ones several days ago, and nearly let the doomsayers keep me away with their consistent interference. Instead I choose to stay and be a positive influence here.

      Bless you
      Anne Terri

      1. Thank you for your lovely post Anne 🙂

        It makes me happy to see that the positive responses far outweigh the negative ones 🙂

        We will overcome 🙂

        Pat xx

          1. Serena, Your posts have been very helpful and your advice is good for I do believe the Puppeteers need protection.

            I’m reading all of these new responses as quickly as I can to keep up, and it seems all of a sudden many are coming forward with what could be suppositions, or actual facts. Because I do not know the names, I hold my responses to these posts about the behind the scenes evolution on characters, re-casting and so on.

            Let’s stay positive, in hopes of the #Team Muppets holding up under all this pressure.
            Much Love to all who were or are with them for the good of the show.

            Anne Terri

    2. Thank you Pat!
      You are a huge talent and a genuinely kind person. I’ve always enjoyed working with you and wish that one day that may happen again!

      Much love <3

      1. Love you Mike and yes, I very much hope that one day we can work together again 😊

        You are a STAR both as a talent and as a person and I am proud and honoured to call you a friend ❤

        Much love
        Pat xoxox

  32. My heart is so broken.Nothing will EVER be the same with out Steve.It almost reminds me of a Metallica song.

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn’t be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    No, nothing else matters.

    I trust in who you are Steve.A manof great integrity.

    How ever I am angry and so sickened by the insults to Steve and to Other Puppeteers.

    Yes I will miss Steve for sure.How ever I will never doubt the talent of Steve or any Puppeteers for that matter.Do we all understand how much they do for US? All the work and dedication.All the time away from family and loved ones so that they can provide entertainment for all of us across the world?! And here I am seeing insults.

    We do not know what they all go through on a daily basis.We should be THANKING them for every bit of what they do!

    Not insulting them.It should all mean something to all of us.

    We are all adults.

    I am sure that Steve would never want anyone to be insulted!

    1. Meghan, beautifully written. No one wants insults. Making all efforts in this direction. We still have hope, and also I believe it is possible to rise above this nightmare.

  33. Hi, Steve. Say, I wanted to let you know that, two weeks ago, my parents dropped by for a visit on their way home from their annual vacation. I was discussing your situation with them; they had heard about your dismissal when the news first broke but hadn’t heard all the static that happened in the aftermath.

    My mom has been a fan of the Muppets for over 50 years, but she was decidedly NOT a fan of the 2015 series, which she refused to watch after the first episode. So I made a point of telling her that part of the reason for your dismissal was that you were outspoken about the (out-of-)character issues on that series. She seems grateful to you for making the effort to protect the characters.

    She also said–and I echo this as well–how “lucky” we are that you were able to step up and perform Kermit after Jim passed away. She phrased it specifically in terms of your voice being so close to Jim’s, but I’m sure she means the manipulation as well; the voice is just what’s she’s aware of on a conscious level.

    On an unrelated note, I’ve been playing trivia bingo with friends on Wednesday evenings. One night the category was “Movie Musicals,” and they played clips from both Rocky Horror and Labyrinth. It made me think of you and smile. It didn’t help my bingo game, however–haha. 🙂

    Just trying to bring some light into the darkness around here. 🙂 Hope you’re well.

    1. Thank you very much! 🙂 I wrote a new one in which I make an extended metaphor between Steve’s situation and the Fraggle Rock episode “Believe It or Not.”

      Since you’re a fan of Bean Bunny, per your screen name, you might like to know that I have a real-life Bean Bunny living in my backyard. He’s very small and very brave, so I named him Bean Bunny in Steve’s honor. 🙂

  34. With thee negativity on this blog lately, I feel we could all use a good joke.

    So, here’s the hottest joke from the near future:

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Steve Whitmire.
    Steve Whitmire who?

    Wocka Wocka!!!

  35. Hi Tommy,

    I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me!

    I’m a bear who happens to be The Muppets resident comedian.

    With a quick google search you can easily see “what I’ve done with my life.”

    Would you like to hear another joke?

    Wocka Wocka Wocka!

      1. Ms. Hill,

        You are too kind!

        “can’t compete?”

        Give it a shot. I think you’ll surprise yourself.

        Wocka Wocka Wocka!

  36. The real Fozzie Bear would never make jokes against his own puppeteer, Mr. Oz, nor about the one who is Kermit’s. It’s like biting the hand that feeds you.

  37. Well today’s the day!
    Matt is revealed as Kermit
    And it is more disappointing than anything else.
    When you took over after Jim, there were a few nuances that were different in your Kermit voices but no real difference.
    Matt’s is entirely different and entirely upsetting. Absolutely disappointing

  38. The Muppets’ Thought of the Week has dropped. It’s now official. And so it has begun… There will undoubtedly be harsh critiques. Steve’s first Kermit performances had a lot of detractors. Go back and watch the Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and hear that performance. Sheesh! He grew a lot after that. I hear and see more of Jim in this brief performance and a slightly lower voice like Henson had too. Tearful end of an era. Exciting beginning of another one.

        1. Thanks for the link and the video. I really don’t know what to say.
          It must be hard for Steve to watch it.

          1. It was definitely very different to watch. I didn’t realize Diego had posted the reply first for the link.

          2. Mary Arlene. Last night, I saw the announcement from someone named Andrew Vesci, who is hardly ever on this site and I cried. He may be the one on Twitter who loves Disney stuff. Could not even respond, for the pain was too great. I wish he’d have allowed Steve to make the announcement, even though his post was kind. I do not think he’s the same one as our regular Andrew. Oh God I hurt for the Muppets. I hurt for Kermit. I hurt for the originals still wondering what is happening, but primarily I hurt for Steve, as I am an Empath.

            Love Anne Terri

          1. Matt deserves our support. People who fired Steve don’t. Would Jim fire Steve? BRING STEVE BACK AS KERMIT and let’s keep supporting them both!

        1. I don’t know what to say. 🙁
          I don’t think I’m going to get used to this Kermit. In my opinion this Kermit sounds like Constantine doing a Kermit impression. I REALLY hope that Disney will rethink this and rehire Steve. I’m not trying to offend Matt Vogel but he is no Kermit.

    1. Exciting beginning of an era which could keep Jim Henson’s performers but didn’t…

    2. What ?!! This is it ?!!
      Matt`s voice intonation and articulation is not right !!!
      Someone like me used to hear Steve Whitmire performing for years easily notice the diference.
      I don`t really care about the Bowl shows, they will be only in the USA.
      But i care about the eventual new shows and movies for the fans around the world.
      I need Kermit back ! Steve Whitmire at this moment is the only one that could bring the real Kermit to life.
      I think Disney really needs a shake to see if they wake up and correct this !

      1. The sky is not falling. Steve’s first Kermit was dreadful and he got better over time. Watch the end of the Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson on You Tube. Matt’s Kermit is at least on par, if not better, than that debut. The ship has sailed. Some people will take time to get on board. Others never will. Steve’s Kermit lost some fans too. That’s the way of things. Disney can never hire Steve back now that he has published this critical blog. No employer would.

        1. No, not the sky !
          But the Muppets are falling deep into the unknow if this continues.
          The thing is, it was not necessary a “debut” at the moment.
          Steve Whitmire is well and willing to bring us the kermit in the extraordinary way he has accustomed us to.
          I`ve never said a word about Matt Vogel until now, because my favorite Muppet characters were / are not performed by him.
          And what i said after viewing this youtube video was not that he was not a nice puppeteer also, was only about his Kermit`s performance: Matt`s voice intonation and articulation is not right. And i believe it will not be better at the Bowl shows.
          He may try to train and change his intonation and articulation, but i think he will not succeed.
          It will be impossible for Matt to recreate Steve`s Kermit.
          Matt`s version of Kermit at this moment is not good.
          Many others agree with me, just check the reviews ! I hope Disney gets it !

          1. Steve’s not coming back. You don’t come back after airing your professional grievances on a blog. To companies, that’s the epitome of un-professionalism. Why would you expect/think/want Matt to fail? The rhetoric here is starting to get scary from the Steve supporters too now.

          2. You don`t know if Steve Whitmire will comeback. I don`t know either.
            Only Disney knows.
            You can`t speak for Disney. As for me we will see.
            So you stick to your opinion, and i stick to my wish.

          3. In other words, would a woman get back with her ex if he showed up in public, aired all of his grievances about their relationship around her friends and family and tried to convince her how he was not only right in all of it, but right for her? NO! It’s depressing, but Steve is gone and they will not have him back. That’s the reality. The only question is how things will go forward from this. I think everyone should at least cautiously wish the Muppets well and send the creative team as much positive energy as possible. That’s all I’m saying.

          4. Well i`ve lived enought to see that what you described as an example happens very frequently.
            But i don´t judge personal decisions.
            Because fans love the Muppets, they try to get their best.
            No doubt Matt Vogel is a great puppeteer. But he should perform his characters only, if he is not suitable to perform the iconic Kermit.
            Fans decide. If not heard now, maybe latter someone will regret it, and we don´t want to lose the Muppets forever.

        2. ” Steve’s first Kermit was dreadful and he got better over time.”

          People seriously exaggerate how bad Steve’s first Kermit performance was. Instead of relying off memory, actually compare it to Jim’s.

          Here’s Steve:

          Here’s Jim:

          And here’s Steve just three years ago:

          Steve’s Kermit actually got higher over the years and became less like Jim’s. Steve’s first outing as Kermit was as close as anyone could get to replicating Jim’s voice at that time.

  39. Hi Steve,

    Hope you’re okay despite that the Kermit video has finally been released. I can’t imagine watching someone else performing a character that became apart of myself.

    Wishing you well and hoping to see a new post from you soon,


    1. I echo Marni’s sentiments, Steve. Today has been an awful day, and I feel so bad.

      This whole thing is just so unfair: to you, to Matt, to Jim, to Kermit, the other Muppet performers, and to us fans as well.

      Please stay strong. Remember that you are loved.

      With all my heart,
      I believe in you.

  40. I mean seriously folks, they should build Trump’s wall out of Steve’s old Kermits!

    Because apparently people can’t get over them!!!

    Wocka wocka wocka!!!

    1. Seriously, what’s your issue? I’m talking to the troll behind the keyboard. If you’re anti-Steve, then why are you here? You got a personal beef, or just no life? Or both.

    2. Yeah, you’re Fozzie Bear all right. You are NOT funny at all.

      PS: Apparently, we are not the only ones who can’t get over it, if you’re making bad jokes about us.

    1. Altered audio version or the original one, Steve Whitmire`s Kermit initial performance was already extraordinary.
      Steve improved and developed it over the years, but it`s possible to recognize Kermit even with your eyes closed, on his first time performance.
      Compare it to Matt`s video and you will notice the huge difference !

      1. Agreed Julia,

        What I noticed besides the natural excitement in the voice in the unedited version, is the fabulous way Kermit moves, meaning the puppeteer knows his stuff, Kermit’s stuff. The Spirit- as I said in a post earlier-moved into Steve, and yes Kermit had room to grow, but more importantly had the base there to work with.

        I am not anti-Matt, for this would be cruel. I imagine he too is a bit shook by all of this. I do wish they had dropped the Monday Muppet Thoughts, though. It was like rubbing it in to the fans, and testing Matt at the same time. Somber it was, and confused.

        I will make only one comment to those who have been the agitators on this site, the ones using Evil to get their points across, and then waste their day laughing at their own rudeness, rather than being constructive. This is not a place for you to be right now. You do not represent well, what the Muppets stand for, nor even do you represent well what Disney used to stand for.

        Our hearts are with everyone who is involved, whether they were right or wrong in their decisions. May it all be fixed, may everyone heal and go forward with good intent to bring the Muppets back into balance as when Jim Henson held the reigns. Love, Anne Terri.

        1. I was just a kid when I first saw Steve’s performance.

          I hated it. Absolutely hated it. I bawled when he spoke. It sounded wrong. The way he held his face looked wrong. It just wasn’t that good. I love Steve, but man, it was rough. It wasn’t my hero, Jim or Kermit.

          It took me a looong time to want to watch anything with Steve’s Kermit. I did warm up to him for Muppet Christmas Carol. I listened to the soundtrack, alone in my room, prior to seeing the film. He improved a ton between the first appearance and the next.

          It wasn’t really til MuppetFest and Muppet Show Live when his Kermit finally started to gel for me, probably because it gave the character a context in which he felt more natural.

          At any rate, as the first recast, the first performance was a long, long way from perfect, and it took time for Steve to grow. Keep in mind, he did not train with Jim to take on Kermit, just as he has insisted of new performers or as Matt has with Carroll or Jerry, or Eric with Carroll. He became Kermit due to unfortunate circumstances, just as Matt has now with Steve’s dismissal.

          Now, the show has to go on, regardless of what happens in the future. I wish both men luck. Whether Matt continues, or Steve returns, I’ll be trying to support Kermit.

      2. Do all of that, but listen to Jim’s Kermit first. The bias toward Steve is due to the fact that we’re used to hearing his own inflections in Kermit because he’s performed him for nearly 30 years.

        1. I disagree. I think the “bias toward Steve,” as you call it, stems from the fact that the recast in 1990 was done out of necessity, whereas this recast was not. Even assuming that it was justified, there were other options available. Steve’s here, Disney’s not going anywhere; they could have come to the table to work something out: “The kind of deal […] in which both parties try to arrive at a fair settlement and everyone walks away satisfied,” in the words of Jim Henson. For whatever reason, this was not done.

          This isn’t about being biased toward Steve and/or biased against Matt. It’s just that we realize that this is a decidedly UNfair settlement: unfair to Steve, who has had his life’s work taken from him without being given a chance to make things right; and unfair to Matt, who is now pressured by a burden that he never should have been asked to carry in the first place, and certainly not under these circumstances.

        2. This casting was done out of necessity of delayed productions, contractual brinkmanship and endless emails berating other staff members. At least, that’s how Disney, Henson and many others saw it. Neither of us were there so we don’t know either way. This could very well have been done due to necessity.

          1. But my point is that all of that stuff (if, indeed, it exists) could have been–and still could be–worked through if people were willing to invest the time and effort, to listen to each other, to engage a skilled mediator to try and resolve the differences, to come to the table in the interest of mutual benefit. It’s not at all comparable to the situation in 1990; there’s no mediating or negotiating with death. Either Kermit had to be recast, or he had to remain stored away in a box somewhere, in limbo. There were no other alternatives.

  41. I don’t remember anybody, critics or otherwise, being “angry” per se about Steve’s performance as Kermit in 1990. Perhaps you’d care to share evidence in the form of news articles, editorials, etc., published at the time to illustrate your point.

  42. Hello Steve,
    I haven’t written here since your first post on the blog, but I do want to know something: Are you going to attend the Hollywood Bowl show regardless of the fact that you won’t be performing? Just wondering out of genuine curiosity. Thanks a bunch!

  43. Sending my support out to Steve your always in my thoughts, this time must be very hard for you and bring it all back to when you first received that shocking phone call, I have not posted for a while as my life has had very similar events to yours Steve my marriage was breaking down and didn’t get to spend time with my son and read him story’s at bed time and play as much as I could, but things have started to get better and me and my wife have started getting those loving feelings back for each other after all the stress and pressures of life, my son still takes his kermit to bed with him and always remember his face watching the muppets with him. I know how hard it is at the moment and you think your loved ones are moving on without you to guide them but your influences will always be there to guide them, if anything Matt needs support from his friends Around him and I hope this doesn’t come between your friendship with him. I always remember your first time as kermit and it hurt because I knew Jim was gone and you were amazing for what you had to do and step up for our little green friend, you brought life back to kermit and muppet Christmas Carrol saw our kermit return to us and we all felt safe again and for that I Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope they honour the muppets and realise they need one muppet one performer, I feel for you and hope you in some way are able to work with Disney again and support and guide Matt and other performers through this hard time for the muppets the performers and the fans, jim was gone when you took over and it would of been nice for you to train and guide a new muppeteer to perform him and pass the touch on so all I can say is Steve we love you and we will always remember your kermit as a light that brought us from the darkness after losing Jim Henson and here we are again in the darkness after losing you as kermit stay strong We Love you Steve. Now on to Matts kermit My support goes out to Matt vogal he has a hard job ahead of him he is a great puppeteer and love how he has carried on several characters and kept them alive. Although some of those character lie in the balance as to will Matt still preform them now he has Kermit I hope he can as it would be a loss and to say jerry and Carrol trained him and passed there torch to him, I didn’t hate Matts kermit and think if we never had muppets most wanted and no Constantine would we be less critical towards him because I to hear Constantine and not kermit, but if this is kermit new performer have faith and he will return in some way and hopefully relight the darkness. My thoughts are with you Steve and Matt and I love the muppets as do so many of us and we want the best for them so everyone stay strong and send your love and support for these two most talented and amazing people who have given there lives to these characters we thank you.

  44. Personally, I think matts debut sounds a little more like Ernie, but I don’t think there is enough in the way of dialogue to judge. I don’t think he could keep it up at a convincing level for a whole movie.
    As bad as it is for Kermit, I’m more worried for Rizzo, as I have a funny feeling we aren’t going to be seeing him may be ever again. I think he is too closely associated with Steve, for his appearance to allow the public to “forget” Steve which apparently is what some individuals want. In my last post I mentioned the legal ramifications of these performers not getting enough legal protection, as they not only voice these characters they often create them too. It must be like losing custody of a loved one wondering how they are being treated and what they are being raised to do. I do think someone should bring these issues up with an entertainment lawyer, because until someone does challenge the status quo it’ll keep happening.
    The degrading of the standards of morality and innocence of the muppets with the Kermit lying/dumping piggy and the kleptomaniac fozzie storylines reminds me of what happened to sooty here in the UK.
    The BBC banned sooty from having a girlfriend because they didn’t want him to lose his innocence, but the show went downhill so fast that soo a little panda puppet ended up “pregnant”. People went nuts, the formula and the Corbett family were ditched and with a new presenter and new channel a return to high standards has sooty back on TV again. Maybe when Disney and abc have finished with them we could put the muppets out of character behaviour down to a wicked mid life crisis, or better still make it like dallas, where the whole thing was a bad dream…

    1. Rizzo has been recast. He’ll be a background character for a while and then make his way back into the fold over time. Pertaining to the rights of the characters, they wholly belonged to the Jim Henson Company under a very standard contract. No puppeteer ever had any rights to them and they’ve known that since the beginning. Those rights now belong to Disney. Pertaining to Steve being fired. It sounds like a simple case of insubordination. That’s a difficult thing because it’s all about perception here. How does one prove it is or is not the case in something like this? It’s impossible. Each puppeteer is a freelancer. That’s how Jim designed it because it gives all involved great freedom. It also means that Steve has no legal recourse.

      1. We know that these characters belong to JHC /Disney etc and that was the point of my posts. As long as it remains like this for EVERY puppeteer, and their characters, will be as disposable and changeable as Steve and Kermit/Rizzo. Somebody has to start the ball rolling and ask for change or these things will continue and so will the downward spiral in quality. Puppeteers need some union (not the SAG) all of their own, like I said if nobody challenges the status quo it’ll keep happening. These puppeteers wouldn’t just belong to one company, it would include them all.
        When Harry Corbett had sooty, things were fine. Mathew his son, took over and at first it was okay then it went downhill. A new guy outside of the family took over after that and it’s as popular as ever. Thing is, very much like when Rod Hulls son took over emu, voices weren’t an issue as both sooty and emu are silent, but this meant that the downturn in popularity for sooty was totally down to the changes in *character*, which just shows how important character is for a long term name like sooty or Kermit, and remember sooty is older! It’s often wiser to learn from somebody else’s mistakes than waiting to make them yourself! (Take note Disney!)
        I doubt if Rizzo will show himself the way he used to, (background indeed if at all), but just because he will remind people of Steve forever, some folks don’t want that regardless of who voices him. I think Dave must be *clinging* to Gonzo and I don’t blame him. It’d be great if Gonzo and Rizzo could host a show of their own, after all rattus rattus does a grand job in horrible histories!
        Vents are claiming legal rights over their characters and they are freelance, the fact that currently puppets belong to the company the puppeteers are contracted to doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. It’s just that vents themselves show their faces, and their faces and voices are so tied in with their creations unless someone has passed away (they usually guard them with their life) the world will forever associate them with each other. Bit of a double standard.
        No idea who is doing Rizzo now, but post a clip so people can see.

        1. “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.” It will never be how it works. What you attribute to Steve is the product of a team of conceptual artists, puppet builders, writers, producers, the parent company and, yes, the puppeteer. The word on Rizzo is that he, along with all of Steve’s other characters, will now be performed by Peter Linz. Of course there’s no clip yet. We had to wait until yesterday until getting a clip of Kermit. As I said, he will remain in the background for a while and then rise back up in time. His performance will dictate whether or not he will be a full or part time cast member. I’d rather they put another rat in the limelight like Yolanda. She’s been recast several times, by the way. The Muppets need more girl power and she provides that while being hilariously funny. I fear too many people here are spinning so many wild hypothetical situations that won’t likely happen. The idea that most Muppet viewers even recognize who does what character is a stretch. As with anything, Steve or not, if a bit or character is good it will be utilized. Trying to make predictions beyond that is a fool’s errand.

          1. We totally understand that the production as a whole is down to the entire company working together. That again isn’t what we mean. We are referring to when 1 particular cast member creates a puppet AND it’s character from scratch, Rizzo was all Steve, right down to each item of clothing. To keep allowing companies which can themselves as a whole be bought and sold by total strangers to have total say over a character which to an artist can not only be a part of themselves but have a life force of their own can’t be allowed to continue as it is. Who knows what will happen if Matt stands up for himself or his characters too? Will the same happen to him? Yes. Until somebody stops the rot. We have lost almost all the original cast. Like we said before we’re not paying to see a tribute act. If the companies keep doing this each puppet will end up becoming a paler and more washed out version of the original. Understudies/helping hands are one thing, multi casting another, however the current position of puppeteers everywhere means companies can flog a character to death whilst it’s creator has to stand by like the rest of the world and watch. And if something can be done to stop that rot it should be. Let something good come from this mess. Steve has a lot of support in the business not just Mike.
            Still doubt Rizzo will surface.

          2. Steve didn’t create Rizzo completely from scratch. Many designers, writers and builders went into the making of Rizzo. Steve was a big part of that process, but not the only person involved. Not by a longshot.

          3. Muppet Fact Of The Day…

            Actually, he did create Rizzo from scratch.
            As a generic background rat, Steve began to give him a personality and a voice and attitude.
            Jim liked that and during Muppet Show, Steve himself rebuilt Rizzo, even re-sculpting his head and suggesting wardrobe etc. Writers then wrote for that character Steve had created. While Steve didn’t write Rizzo’s scripts (although he had a lot of input as needed), Rizzo is still 100% Steve’s creation.

          4. Rizzo is all Steve alright, if it were Punch and Judy style puppets he’d be classed as a “professor” not just a puppeteer. He made him from an old bottle.

      2. Rizzo hasn’t been recast. Also, Peter hasn’t taken over all Steve’s characters.
        Those are all total assumptions 😉
        When Jim was around, he gave his core puppeteers a lot of control and even a share of licensing for their characters. When Disney came along they tried to remove all that.
        Make of that what you will….

        1. I remember reading about the licensing deals back in the day. It’s a great way to reward a performer for creating a performance that connects with an audience and brings revenue to the franchise and broader company.

          In Jim’s day, was there ever a contingency plan in the event of a death or dismissal of a performer? Once a performer is gone from the role they created, does that same deal exist for the new performer of that character, or does that licensing money go fully to the company? Or should it be treated like residuals for the the original performers next of kin?

          I could see an argument for both sides and understand where it all could get very complicated. At the very least, I could see a company wanting adjustable terms for each further iteration of a character from the original, or severing it all together and have that intake go fully to the company once the original performers contribution in that character is gone.

          Man, I hate business.

        2. The licensing thing is quite interesting. I’m glad that Jim tried to share the wealth. That makes sense. A large company like Disney not doing that makes a lot of sense too. The casting of Rizzo and and the remaining Muppets like Statler and Beaker has been confirmed by production staff. Naming their names would get them fired, but it is the case. Time will tell, I suppose. Make of that what you will. You’re close to production, but I doubt you’d be able to publicly admit any creative decisions due to NDA’s.

        3. If this licensing share is still the case, could it be why we have such little Muppet merch? It’s cheaper for Disney to utilize other licenses than the Muppets?

          1. Im only asking because Mike said Disney “tried” to remove all that. Can only hope they didn’t succeed entirely.

          1. Actually keyboarded coward, I’m not lying. Proves you are clueless and out of the loop, LOL!
            Also, as previously mentioned, I am self sustaining, meaning I don’t join the unemployment line.

            Here you are threatening me and bullying me.
            Get professional help please and leave us good people alone.

            The name is Mr. Quinn otherwise I’ll assume you are talking to someone else 🙂

          1. That’s not the same thing at all as what’s been discussed. At that time, the merger had failed, mainly due to Eisner, and the two companies had to figure out what to do with the profits of the products they’d planned. This is about a failed merger and not how the profits would have been divided had it gone through.

          2. The U-ey in question here is in reference to their attitude, regarding their fathers legacy, not the business!

  45. Dear Mr. Whitmire,

    I commend your perseverance and the common ground you have with Mr. Vogel. Let’s all be Team Muppets! It’s the way the Bearded Boss himself would have wanted it. 🙂

  46. I love your work over the years, but if you write a tell-all book that harms how people view Jim Henson’s legacy, even though it is your right, you will have lost all affection from me and many other Muppet fans. Please don’t do that tackiness.

    1. BookyBook, so you admit that what’s going on is pretty yucky, too? 🙂

      Myself, I’d love a book about the good times when Muppets were the still the original Muppets, and ‘legacy’ was not just a word to throw around!

      1. I fear the one person harming the legacy right now is Steve and his digs at Disney and Vogel. What happened is very sad. It’s not a tragedy. It’s just sad. I hope he transforms this situation into a celebration rather than a dirge. The Muppets have gone through transformative times before. The one thing that hasn’t happened is a former employee spilling the beans like this. It is his right to do so, but it is very unprofessional and reportedly the kind of stuff that got him fired in the first place. He seems to be tossing around the idea of Jim’s legacy and wishes more than anyone, yet the family and Disney disagree.

        1. Steve has not said anything bad against Disney or Matt. If he said anything it is the suits in charge not Disney. Corporate people know how to make money and running a company, but nothing about the characters, or making the art itself. Jim wanted them to use the performers he hired.

          1. Steve actually never said anything against *anybody* at all.
            At most, he explains where he stands on character integrity, team composition and artistic choices, that’s all.

            Some posters on this blog are eager to allege that he did though. Interesting that they do more of a disservice to Disney themselves, by implying there *could* be some sort of unfair play on that side.

          2. Once a former employee starts talking publicly about their perception of what went on behind closed doors, they are instantly unemployable. That is a fact in any industry. Steve never had another job aside from this so maybe he doesn’t know that. I assure you that almost everybody else he worked with does. It’s unwise. Yes, he has made wild claims about others and speculated too. That’s actionable, but won’t be acted upon because it would be a waste of resources that would just give Steve more attention other than the 30 or so wide eyed fans that post here.

        2. Notice how much more time keeps going by between postings. He doesn’t care about you guys. These entries are practice for a tabloid like book he’ll be pitching soon. He’s going to save anything meaningful for the book.

          1. Steve, the important thing is that I, and most of us here, care about you.

            And if you ever do publish a book, I promise you that I will be the first one in line to buy it!

  47. Hi again, Steve,

    I can’t imagine what must be going through your head with all these accusations from these obvious haters. I know if they were directed at me, I’d probably be drowning in tears. I don’t understand how people can be so mean to others. I do understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that everyone is also entitled to freedom of speech, but why are people so rude about it? Why do people get so bent out of shape when someone disagrees with them?

    In any case, I still support you.

    Live long and paws-purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark

  48. Hi Steve! Don’t take the nasty commenters too seriously… They don’t personally know you and clearly lack the ability to see things from another perspective than their own. They don’t know the whole story from your point of view.

    If being emotional over something important to you is wrong then we’re all guilty. Even the really rude people in the comment section here.

    This is about so much more than recasting a character (which happens all the time). It’s about seeing something close to your heart falling apart more and more over time and being unable to do something about it. Matt is obviously a very talented guy, but Kermit is a different character on his hand. New fans likely won’t mind, but when you know how much more solid it all was before, it’s hard to take in!

    Stay strong and healthy!!! Keep doing your thing!

  49. Ok Fleece Fawner annoyance and anyone else who has to gripe about Steve and now Mike. It’s time for A little Muppet history 101, so sit back and get ready to learn why your flat out wrong!


    Now to begin this topic we have to go back to when Jim was alive and the Muppets where growing. Jim was always very careful and”selective” of who he brought into the inner circle of puppeteers. Even when he did bring in someone new they had to go through the ranks. Even major preformers like Richard Hunt and Kevin Clash had to work a lot of background characters, and assit with hands before getting there own characters. Even Steve can testify to this being true, because he to had to do the same thing.
    Jim Fank and the others did not have understudys,and they all felt that was the way it should be. Then the unthinkable happened Jim and Richard passed away leaving a huge hole for the remaining prefomers to somehow try and fill. The 90’s where a challengeing time for the Muppets. Because not only where jim and Richard’s characters needing to be recast, but Jerry and Frank where slowly sliding into retierment.
    So there characters to would need to be recast. Fortunately for Frank and Jerry they where able to pick the people to take there prefoming duties.
    Then in 2005 Disney buys the Muppets from the Henson family. When Disney bought the Muppets they had a vision of mass expansion of the characters. Which means havibg several different puppeteers for one main character. The core preformers (which included Steve) knew that this was the wrong direction for the Muppets, and for them to stay true to who they have been for years the prefomers and fans would have to take a stand.
    It would become a long battle and Disney did make sevral attempts to multi cast the Muppets. From productions like “From the Balcony” “Muppets Ahoy” and the few appearances of Kermit when Steve did not preform. Disney also setup a workshop/audition for new puppeteers for the core characters. This “workship” may have included big wigs from both Disney and Henson, but there where key personal who where absent the core preformers! According to what I’ve read (Steve or someone correct me if I’m wrong) these “replacements” where giving a lot of freedom with the creative side of what to do with the characters.
    So if there was anyone who was ever “blacklisted” it was Steve and the other core preformers. Untill the fans and the prefomers vocies where finally heard.

    1. So you’re saying that hardworking puppeteers involved with Muppets Ahoy and From the Balcony DESERVED to be BLACKBALLED because you feel that Steve’s concept of what Jim wanted wasn’t carried out by Disney?

    2. Hi Dwayne,

      Thanks for the history lesson. You’ve actually just repeated the same things that many of us have already posted.

      —Lesson 102—-

      The blacklist actually started after the first cruise. What you don’t know… Steve did that first cruise with two “multi-casters.”

      Where was his integrity there? Good enough for Steve to do–and he took the work–even though his core performers weren’t there?

      REPEAT: Steve took a job knowing that his comrades would NOT be there and be replaced by alternates/understudies/multicasters.

      He says he’s passionate about being authentic and not cheapening The Muppets.

      But there he was. He took the job (and the money) Dave and Eric be damned. He performed with out them instead of sticking to his “morals.” What a hypocrite.

      So much for “One Muppet, One Voice.”

      Disney decided to go ahead with multi casting for Disney Cruise Line (DCL) again. This time without Steve.

      Needless to say. He didn’t like that. So Steve started the blacklist with those 3 performers.

      And this was BEFORE the ’06 understudy auditions.

      But don’t take my word for it.

      Let’s let Steve do the talking.

      You can see the email that started the blacklist on my twitter page.

      ***Stay tuned, there’s more emails to to share soon.***

      Thanks Dwayne for giving me a reason to bring this up again.

      1. You know — assuming the letter is authentic and legal to disclose — if I bought the cruise tickets for “the original Muppets” cruise expecting to be traveling with Mr Goelz or Mr Whitmire, and then it turned out that all of the characters were not performed by established core muppeteers… in all honesty, I’d feel cheated out of my money.

        To provide an analogy, the “real Beatles cruise” would work with me if any of the fab four was physically present, and would seem fake otherwise.

        Something the people behind the staffing decisions apparently didn’t consider.

        I’m saying this with total respect for all the puppeteers, and meaning no offence whatsoever to any of these gentlemen — purely a personal opinion on the nature of art.

        P.S. It does not seem to say anything about blackballing whatsoever.

        1. Andrew,

          I respectfully disagree.

          I hear you about expecting “real” Muppets,
          but I feel you are ignoring the main points of Steve’s email.

          -1-Steve decides it’s acceptable to work with “alternates” as long as he is employed on the same gig. The other two performers on that first cruise were NOT core performers, yet Steve took the job. He could’ve easily said no. But he didn’t.

          This goes against ALL of his “one voice” rhetoric.

          -2- On the second cruise no core performers were asked. So… Steve was replaced and the the three performers mentioned in the email would not work with the Muppets again… until Steve was fired.

          This was absolutely the start of “the list.”

          Please have another read. The dots are easy to connect here.


          1. Mr Fawner — I beg to differ here myself. I honestly think that one has to already condemn the man and look for secondary clues in order to read it like that.

            Not to run the risk of speaking for other people or of things I have no knowledge about, I’d better stop here at this point. 🙂 Let us each keep his own opinion.

          2. Trying to persuade a blog full of 20 staunch supporters is as useless as talking sense to rednecks at a Trump rally. It’s entertaining, but won’t amount to much. They will just bend and twist in order to maintain a point of view that doesn’t match the facts. And just wait. There will be fans who won’t understand this criticism either. What I’m saying is that I like your posts, but there more for the silent majority who are beginning to see the hypocrisy, duplicity and strange behavior from someone who used to be their idol.

      2. Assumptions are being made and the letter is actually out of context.

        By the way, this is a private document and you may be getting into risky legal territory here in the name of feeling self important.

        All this letter does is prove what Steve has said all along 🙂 The other core puppeteers agreed this should not happen and that he was sticking his neck out for them and the integrity of Muppets.

        Who other than business men would not agree with Steve’s mission? Because creatively what Steve was trying to do makes perfect sense. You are clearly someone who has come up against Steve over this very issue and now are taking glee in “dancing on his grave”. You seem to be a very unhappy person with some issues you really need to get taken care of. Leave the man alone and move on. You are achieving absolutely nothing here except showing us all your sadness and dark soul.

        Nobody cares about your vendetta and people here just want to support Steve and show their gratitude for all he’s done over the years. Return to your tweets and leave us all in peace.

        1. Mike,

          He took the gig even though he knew neither Dave, Eric or Bill were going to be performing.

          Why would he do that?

          You can’t spin this story.


          1. That’s where your wrong! He did not take the gig all the “core” preformers where beibg replaced not just Steve!

            Maybe you need to learn how to intrupet what you read better.

            Your also sharing a private e mail that was not ment for the public to see. Yet your to cowardly to share who you really are or whos puppet you truly are.
            Whoever gave you that e mail let them come forward if there man or woman enough! Stop being someone else’s puppet fleece!

          2. Mike,
            No one “lost” here. This isn’t a competition. This is a man who refuses to tell the whole truth.

            You’ve been a good friend to Steve and I doubt you even knew this email existed.

            That doesn’t change the truth.

            If you believe it’s being taken out of context, you are free to try to clear it up.

            F. T.

          3. That thing is Fleece your truth is so far out there, that you can’t even tell us where you got that e mail. Steve and Mike both have been very honest about what they have seen and heard about these issues. It’s you and whomever your speaking for that are not being honest. Your just a coward trying to distory two men I have great respect for, and I’ll be damned if Im going to let that happen.

          4. I really have no frame of reference for the cruise in question and am not looking to get into this argument but something occurred to me and I figured I put it out there.
            So Steve agreed to do a cruise where the muppets were to perform. It’s entirely possible that Disney said “look we’re going to be doing these Muppet cruises and we’ll be having people on the cruise to perform the characters” (not unlike how they have performers to perform the characters in the Muppet courtyard for the history show)
            Isn’t it possible that Steve either a) wanted to go along -or- b) was asked to go along as a senior performer to help train the newer performers?

            Were any of us on that cruise? If not then can we be certain that the performances on the cruise weren’t just mimed performances to pre-recorded tracks the same way the History show in disney world is done?

            Isn’t it possible that after the first cruise the new performers were “up to standard” and so a senior performer wasn’t needed anymore?

            Steve is on record saying that in the case of shows like the Muppet History show at Disney world that he is totally fine with performers that work the characters to the recorded show tracks as the characters are still “intact”.

            So isn’t it possible that the entire situation of the cruise has been taken out of context and twisted around into something it never was? Are there videos of these cruise performances that show that other people voiced the characters and took those liberties with the character essence/soul?

        2. Dwayne,

          That’s where you’re wrong.

          “You may recall that I did such a show in late May.”
          -Steve W.-

          Meaning: Steve performed on a DCL ship in late May 2005. This isn’t up for debate because it actually happened. He was actually there, with two other puppeteers who were not the core performers. These two “counterfeits” did indeed perform core roles.

          Why would Steve perform with these guys if he truly believes in “One puppet, One Voice.”???

          He could’ve said no.

          He didn’t.

          F. T.

          1. Nobody cares. You are like a broken record.
            Your obsessiveness is boring everyone!
            It’s over…..

            On to nicer things for the rest of us 🙂

          2. The troll (plural) should be stuffed buy now as many, myself included, have fed it plenty.

            I agree with Mike on his points – especially about the supposed letter – as that can carry some serious legal ramifications.

            Fleece/Fawner/Fozzie/Louis- whoever he/she may be – has run their course. The vendetta has gone into a very disturbing realm, and the cyberbullying is beyond creepy.

            As Steve has appeared to possibly take a break from his blog …it doesn’t mean the appropriate parties aren’t watching- especially on the technology front. Digital fingerprints have been left behind, and you should quit while you’re ahead – as the saying goes. It’s sage advice.

          3. Fawner,

            not sure if it helps any — but well, i think i can really understand and sympathize with both sides.

            I can see what MIGHT have transpired:

            – I can see how someone could see the main roles on the cruises and understudy workshops as their big break for the future
            – I can see how core performers can see the main characters as “hey, that’s Us” and try to stop it
            – I can see how in heat of the moment the new guys can say “shove off that’s us now” (I think something like that was on twitter)
            – I can see how that could generate tension between “old muppet mafia” and “new guys”
            – I can see (takes some stretch) how the old Henson crowd could start picking other talent first, for muppets projects (this part is open for interpretation. apparently there is no shortage in talented guys dreaming to be a penguin, also consider overqualified marks after workshops, hr being aware of personal tensions, and million other reasons)
            – I can see how the “new guys”, or someone close to them, can see it as ‘evil conspiracy’ for years, and search out the evidence to support this view
            – I can see them desperately needing to get this story out, to finally unburden the soul. Not unlike Steve creating this blog to unburden himself of the weight of allegations made against him.

            The whole thing IS the difference in perspective, all over again.


            If muppets were initially made as open to ‘Elvis impersonators’ (or ‘Mickey and Minnie park actors’) approach by Jim Henson, there would be no problem at all.
            I must admit, it would increase the number of people to partake of Muppets, and the joy to spread around.
            But, quite possibly, there would be no Muppets by now.

            As it happens, the Muppets is pretty restricted club, traditionally. The core performers are actual AUTHORS of the characters, or direct successors CHOSEN by original performers. They are fiercely protective of their main characters, see them as a part of themselves, and do not change them without dire necessity.
            That’s the way it always was.
            That’s the way Jim Henson made it.
            That’s what makes Muppets the Muppets.
            That love (which some might find unnatural) is what made Muppets last for 60 years.

            The “old mafia” is all about legacy. And yes, it does make them the knights of their realm, chosing their heirs.
            The “new guys” are about equal possibilities, open magic, and chances for everybody. And yes, it was not part of tradition so far.

            Me, I’m an old-style Muppet fan myself. For me what’s going on is pretty much like myself being ready to move into Buckingham palace if only certain Windsor family would be so kind to finally vacate the premises.

            But I sure can see how it could look from the other side, too.

            Per IMDB, the guys you mention did quite well for themselves, just not with Muppets, over past years.
            Also, Steve could not be the only one doing it all… he may or may not be the spokesman, but pretty much every Henson guy must be “in”… simply because that’s what they always were.
            If you think about it, you’ll see that it’s really what it is — the limited placement, the personal tensions and, first and foremost, the difference in perspective.

            And…. it would be great if you could let it go. The old Muppet world is breaking up all around us right now anyway.

            (Oh well… please don’t hold it against me if i got it wrong.)

            With respect,


          4. Nailed it Andrew. Well said. It’s as if Disney execs are saying to the original Muppet performers “nothing of what you have been taught by Jim matters anymore.” Which just goes to show how the current Muppet bosses are not the right people to be handling this franchise. I’m sure Jim would be regretting the fiasco this whole thing has become, with all the creative reins being put on the performers now.

          5. I couldn’t have said it better myself! There is a definite hypocrisy. This whole situation is strange and disappointing from everyone involved, particularly Steve and how he’s using fans.

          6. Not personal then… well I really feel better knowing it’s not one of these guys.

            You seem to be running out of arguments here 🙂

          7. Andrew,

            As usual, I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thank you for listening even if we don’t see the situation the same way.

            Many of us here are reactionary people, and we are not choosing the best words when trying to prove our point. This obviously includes myself.

            Thanks for keeping an open mind.

            Thanks for keeping this civil.

            F. T.

      3. Fawner, Fleece Throat, or whatever other number of alias’s you’ve created (I suspect many as the writing styles and points are the same.)

        Curious as to whether you considered the following…

        In the letter you felt the need to post to Twitter, and which echoes many of Steve’s blogs, Steve mentions that the guys knew of and opened their schedules up for a show in August that they found out about in April. In May, Steve performed on a cruise ship in a different show.

        Were the other guys privy to that May show and simply unable to attend due to schedule or turned it down, whereas Steve was able and signed on? We don’t know. You’ve only posted the aftermath. There is only partial context and none of it paints Steve in the wrong.

        I don’t think the letter has the affect that you think it has. It actually backs up what Steve has said…That Disney undervalued and in some cases down right disrespected the long standing performers. That long serving Henson execs had begun to silence their own opinions under the Disney banner. That other performers agreed with what was happening and actually approached these issues as a group. Execs backing out of commitments to use core performers first when possible. The guys working in tandem to reverse course. They even make it clear that they aren’t opposed to understudies or having others providing the puppetry. It’s all legit and nothing new.

        It’s clear that, due to issues with information and straight answers that longtime performance troupes were having, serious calls were arranged with the intent of confronting the guy calling the shots. The performers were being dropped from a show they agreed to, likely to save a couple of bucks, all for “it’s good enough.”

        Where are the standards there? The Muppets are like Monty Python or Kids in the Hall, you don’t promise a show and then not book the actual cast. Even from the Balcony, with all due respect to Drew and Victor….they were terrible. Every character that they picked up that they weren’t a solid performer of was really quite terrible. No character, poor mannerisms and, terrible voice work. They were just bad impressions.

        About the only thing that paints Steve in a poor light, is referring to his lead executive as a horse’s rear end. That’s it.

        What is your end game here, man? When is enough enough? What is it you are going at such great lengths to prove? You are looking like more of an obsessed nutter, with each, long worded post. Some of the more trollish company you keep here isn’t helping.

      4. If you have his email, How did you get the email that is illegal. If someone gave it to you it is still illegal. One should I trust someone who ok with illegal acts?

      5. Hey fella. I’m not sure what to refer to you as since you’ve created multiple alias’s for whatever it is you keep trying to do here.

        I’ll start out by saying I’m a neutral poster here.

        That said, I don’t know that this email has the intent you think it does. While you could argue that this is the first indication of Steve trashing an employee (Referring to Chris Curtin as the other end of a horse), none of the rest of it is any different than what he is trying to express in his blog.

        Even in the context, we can only make assumptions. Hear me out. You say that Steve performed in May, with understudies. Yep, he did. He also makes clear that guys had known of the second, August show, since April. That being the case they likely knew of the show in May. It’s mentioned that all had cleared their schedules to take part in the August show.

        Do we know if they were able to do so for the May show? Was Steve the only one to sign on to that particular event, or choose to go to something the others felt unworthy of their time. Did he get there and see that this felt more likely multicasting than understudies, something all of the guys opposed?

        It’s clear that Steve, along with Bill, decided to address this directly. They were met with the disheartening silence from Marvin and Debbie, former Henson folks now towing the Disney line, that he has mentioned elsewhere. They were met with stonewalling from Chris Curtin. They were literally told that the new owners felt no commitment to the very performers who were largely responsible for the value of the characters that they now owned.

        It’s clear that the executive attitude towards their concerns and themselves as employees was dismissive and disrespectful, and that the feeling of understudies being “Good enough” when the real deal performers were available was made to save a few bucks, rather than provide an avenue and opportunity for up and comers.

        Steve also makes it clear in that email that he and Bill were clear that they aren’t opposed to performers “Manipulating characters”, meaning to a prerecorded track, but that they idea here was actual performance, casting alternates to pass off as originals.

        Why aren’t the Muppet creators given the same respect, freedom and autonomy as Marvel or Star Wars? It seems like Disney, at that point in time, thought of them as a profit center and nothing else. They don’t understand that they didn’t just purchase characters (they did, I know), but that the Muppets are a troupe, a felt version of Monty Python or Kids in the Hall. You don’t book those guys and then give the audience a list of performers nobody recognizes. Defending that is nuts.

        Steve isn’t in the wrong here and the email actually backs up his points, where you are obviously trying to illustrate that he’s out of line or that this is the beginning of the list. Perhaps he was looking for the understudies to stand up and back the long tradition of the characters, that they should have seen this as replacing guys who didn’t need replacing, because they were available, just as they did in From the Balcony.

        Speaking of which, Drew and Victor are talented, but you must admit that the From the Balcony content where they just grabbed and performed whatever characters they wanted were pretty terrible. The impressions were not good. Like not at all. Nor were the performances. None of the characters felt or acted right, which again, backs up the concerns.

        Again, I’m a neutral person here, but it’s clear that your intent is no longer to spread truth, or clear up misconceptions, it’s just to trash a guy you disagree with. It’s gotten a bit over the top and out of hand, posting on every thread regardless of context. That you keep signing up and coming back speaks more about your own behavior at this point than Steve’s. I follow your twitter, I’ve even agreed with some of your points. This email isn’t one of those times.

        1. Yep. Though I often repeat myself here saying that everything is in perspective… each time I’m honestly surprised at the extend things actually ARE, like this one. As for the Balcony, for me it proves mostly that the Muppets is a very tricky combination of talent — performers and writers listening to each other, and everyone and everything else, with a bit of good old runaway magic thrown in. Not to argue anyone’s talent (there could be no doubt about it) is just shows how delicate the whole thing is, and so very easy to break…

          1. I didn’t mind Drew’s Statler, and thought it was actually quite good, but his Pepe was pretty bad. Victor’s Waldorf was also serviceable. I also recognize that these are one offs with no time to develop, but it’s still an inferior product that got cheaper over time. All of the characters just kind of felt flat and without much energy, likely because it’s hard to do a spontaneous performance with a character that you don’t really know or haven’t performed.

            It’s pretty clear that the multi-casting was starting to surface, as somewhere around halfway, Statler and Waldorf were the only recognizable Muppets being used, while all others were whatnots.

        2. Dan & Andrew,

          Well said. Those are all fair and valid points.

          I can understand how the email will only solidify people’s preconceived notions.

          Regarding Statler and Waldorf, I’ve really not liked any performer’s take in it since 1990. Although I am however warming up to Dave and Peter’s take on them.

          F. T.

          I’m all for discussing this further, and believe or not, I’d rather do this over on Twitter.

          1. I think some folks are able to see the fair and valid points in ways that you are unable, because we are actually looking beyond the preconceived notions and personal biases of what has gone on. Whether you realize it or not, you and the other trolls here are the flip side of the very same problem you see and seem hellbent on exposing with Steve’s blog, a one sided seller of half truths told in order to manipulate people who support your view.

            The difference is you appear to be more of a bystander and messenger, rather than someone who literally lived one of the sides as they happened and who has a clear vision of what their own motivations are. Steve’s truths are not your truths. Your truths appear to be more business minded, looking for the justifications, rather than the perspective of the performers and why they fight for the characters. That said, I can even see your truths and the truths of Disney that may have led them to look elsewhere or decide enough is enough.

            It’s been clear from the beginning and in your exchanges with Mr. Quinn and others here, that your intent isn’t any kind of understanding, but righting some wrong or settling a score that probably isn’t even yours.

            Another angle to all of this to think about, name a time when Henson was alive, and in the immediate aftermath where the Muppets showed up without their performers, or without their performer being looped in. You can’t, because their was no performance too small…commercials, talk shows, etc. Frank’s characters were absent on Muppets Tonight because Frank himself was absent. Eventually, he needed a back up. This is a totally different Animal, literally.

            It’s odd that you are only now warming to Dave, considering he’s been performing Waldorf since Henson’s death. I quite like Peter’s as well, as he sounds more like Richard, rather than just sounding old. Anyway, I digress.

            In trying to move this to Twitter, I hope that you are finally waking up to how your behavior is perceived here on someone’s personal blog. Even to those who agree with some of your points, it comes off as bitter and perhaps obsessive at best, and at it’s most extreme worst, outright harassment. What is your end game? When will enough be enough for you?

            Again, I’m largely neutral, as there are perspectives from both sides that make it clear that the truth actually falls somewhere in the middle. What has happened with your tone until recently, is unfortunate. Glad you are thinking better of it.

            At this point, and I mean this as respectfully as one can, but it’s a bit of a Lebowski situation, you know? “You’re not wrong, Walter, you’re just an asshole.”

  50. ….Steve. I just watched Matt’s Kermit… right now, and taking a comment from there, “No…Just…Just no.” Nobody except Jim will ever come close to you, and a lot of people are really missing you right now.

    1. You are absolutely right Donnie. 😆
      That’s why, because of the huge number of bad reviews on Matt’s performance that Disney released a few hours later another Muppet Thought of the Week video with another character.
      I guess week now is = day !
      I’m so happy confirming that like us, a lot of people in youtube reviewing the video love and miss Steve Whitmire as Kermit. 🐸

      1. Really? At first there was no thought of the week for several weeks and now there are two in one week? Does anybody have a link? Thank you.

        1. Yes Rachel. I can’ t place the link, but you will find it near the Matt’s video on the Muppets Thought of the Week video list.
          It was released just a few hours later.
          Unless they are trying to direct attentions from Matt’s video because of the huge amount of bad reviews, now Disney is considering two days as two weeks!

          1. Thanks for the link. They obviously wanted people to forget the Kermit one. This new one is actually funny (apart from the new Kermit performance, the last one was not easy to understand anyway (didn’t make much sense).
            Sad, though, that all this has to happen the way it does.

          2. Well Disney have the chance to learn from this because fans are showing wat they want.
            Let’s hope someone very wise correct things for the best. 🐸

  51. Dear Mr. Steve,
    I’m so sorry to learn that the video that all of your fans has been dreading has arrived on “Muppet Thought of the Week”. Again, nothing against Matt or any of the other performers…but ever since the world lost Mr. Henson, you have been Kermit, and should remain so, because you ARE Kermit, and you are EXCELLENT as Kermit. I also love the characters you originated, and the ones you took over…you’ve consistently been a quality performer with a lot of heart and soul…and I do not like the idea of the Muppets without you!

    All the best to you, sir!

        1. Andrew: I looked up how to block those who are only here to cast stones. However this has to be done by Steve, if he chooses.

          Now, has anyone thought, of how many Muppet Fans are in Houston right now, fighting for everything they hold dear? This is what I’ve been Assisting with this week, in getting the messages out for rescue efforts, Etc. I have worked directly in tracking hurricanes in my past, as a 911 operator and have been an active an part of fire/rescue/medic/ hazmat, and so on.

          Imagine if this storm hit Orlando, then Disney would have new priorities to take care of, and the Puppeteers and Muppets would be assisting them at the flooded park in a positive way, instead of Disney exiling one of the puppeteers, and slinging mud. They’d work together for the good of the all.

          Instead, we have our own private calamity here. I treat Steve Whitmire, Matt Vogel, Mike Quinn and Pat Garrett with respect, along with other Muppeteers whom I’m friends with.

          Yet, there are Devils are here with their own crap to spread like a stinking blanket. Are we perfect. No, none of us are. Doomsayers, go help Houston and allow us to sort this out. Let us, be comfort for those in need, instead of being the problem, be the solution. Do not ever forget that God is Watching everything you do and say. If you do not want a Biblical tirade from Him, then I suggest, let those who are without sin, cast the first stone. None of us are clean. This is from My Personal site with info and rescue numbers for those suffering from the hurricane: LOVE ANNE TERRI

      1. Anonymous, what is your freakin’ PROBLEM?! What, are we not allowed to have opinions that are different than yours? Sheeeeesh! Get over yourself!

    1. And then a few hours later it was released a new character Muppet Thought of the Week video for driving attention from the bad reviews of Matt’s video.
      It’s impressive considering the very high numbers of viewers and bad reviews in a short time. And still growing… A huge number of people showing love for Steve Whitmire and for Kermit’s integrity. 😆

      1. Actually it’s getting a lot of positive reviews online. Just look at the like/dislike ratio on Youtube. Steve’s time is over. Matt is doing a good job and I’m sure he will grow even more into this new role.

        1. Well, if you consider the video reviews or comments not caring about it at all, positive !!!
          Like/dislike ratio, compared to bad and neutral comments and like/dislike on them are very elucidative.
          The huge exposure of this bad and neutral reviews with the very fast rising of views (not normal for most of Muppets youtube videos), is something to notice, specially for a company like TWD.
          But understanding this is not for everybody.
          I`m glad Disney did understand and is aware of what fans wish for Kermit and the Muppets.

          1. Most videos have a similar amount of neutral feedback as this one does. If fans didn’t like this, there would be a heck of a lot more negatives. Jax is correct here.

          2. I was talking about the comments on the videos and the likes/dislikes on them. Not the like/dislike “hand” buttons. These compared to those are insignificant.
            And many of the comments on facebook Muppet/Kermit/Disney/Henson/ & all fan pages & groups were the video was shared, it`s a huge no about Matt`s doing Kermit.

          3. I did not comment there at the video because of respect for the Muppets, and Matt, who is still from the more experienced group of seasoned veterans. It’s cruel to make comment if it’s negative. I’m not alone. I did not hit the like button but the dislike.

          4. If you’re looking at youtube comments in order to prove your point you’re just grasping at straws. Even the most popular vids get negative comments. It’s an unfortunate side effect of this while Internet thing

            Besides, there is obviously SOMETHING going on with this whole situation. If Steve was such a great colleague and loved by his peers then tell me this:

            Why wasn’t Steve a part of Frank Oz’s documentary Muppet Guys talking. The documentary in which the core Muppeteers discuss how it was working together and with Jim. Seeing as how Steve had worked with all of these people, including Jim it would seem logical to make him a part of this, would it not?

          5. You should try to ask that to Frank Oz since he directed the documentary. There`s a few official webpages with contacts.
            I don`t think being only five of the many puppeteers that worked with Jim Henson in the documentary, says anything about the other ones.
            Remember was more than a puppeteer he produced and directed a lot also.
            In fact, if you take some time to watch some Frank Oz recent interviews, you will state that he has great appreciation for all the puppeteers, and like Steve Whitmire, he considers that Disney`s Muppet vision is not the one he would like for the Muppets also.

      2. That’s not accurate. The Muppets Studio has a glut of these videos that they planned to release but didn’t until the Kermit debut. This was merely a thank you to fans. There’s not really a huge number of fans as you’ve said. Only a few dozen or so. It’s disappointing how the admirable champions of Steve are now becoming Muppet bullies in that the Muppets can’t do anything right.

        1. Try reading the comments (if you have an hour or more available) to the video on youtube and in all the official, private and public fan pages & groups, Muppet related, and then you will see what this is all about.
          Sticking to what is right is not being bullie.

          1. That’s the usual stuff of YouTube. The real indicators are the likes and dislikes. Those people with enough passion to choose one or the other. The rest will eventually go with the flow. The intense pessimism against Kermit and the Muppets here is bullying. I stand by that. Steve should too.

          2. Pessimism is a feeling. You can`t avoid feeling like that if things aren´t right.
            You can`t consider pessimism bullying because it´s just the human nature.
            People are moved by their feelings about other people and about situations in life.

  52. Dear Steve Whitmire,

    First off, I hope you are doing well. I have always loved your work- especially Wembley from Fraggle Rock- and have admired you not only as an actor but as a person. When I first found out who you were, I was watching a documentary that came with my Fraggle Rock DVD and I thought “he looks just like Wembley!” You were big smiles and fluffy yellow hair, and it was said that even off camera you made the “squeet squeet squat squat” noises that Wembley did. It was the documentary- if I remember right- that focused mainly on Jerry Juhl. And what struck me most about it was how happy and cozy everyone was. A big family. And, of course, working isn’t always happy and cozy all the time, but neither is being a family I guess.

    Hold on, because I do have a point! I promise! But is it okay if I tell you a story? In high school I was part of a small theatre club that was on the verge of being booted for a couple years. The two people who were president and vice president are good friends of mine and mean so much to me. They are my mentors and my inspiration; I promised myself I would never let them- or anyone in the club- down. But I did. The second year after my two friends graduated I became president of the club. I was excited. I worked SO hard and made plans with the new sponsor to build up the club to its former glory… I won’t go into detail, but long story short things did not work out. Ideas were thrown out last minute, too little people were given too much work, and there was an overall lack of communication. At the time I had personal issues going on as well, and one day I just snapped. I quit. I was so angry at the sponsor, at the club, at myself. So I home schooled the rest of the year. It was awful. I had let down my family.

    Recently, my two friends moved. They had a going away party, and I was invited (oh so much wembling on whether I should go. Were they angry with me? Disappointed?) I showed up and everyone from theatre club was there. Surprise! They were all friendly and said they missed me. Before the party ended the former vice president covered me in hugs and kisses. She told me she believes in me, to keep my chin up, she’s not angry, and she understands. And just like that things were going to be okay.

    Sorry for talking about myself so much. Gosh this is getting long. What I really want to do is offer some semblance of understanding, I guess. Obviously I don’t know exactly what you’re going through or how you feel, but it must be really tough. I just wanted to tell you that we sometimes feel like we’ve let others down. And sometimes we do. But know there are always those who believe in you and will stand beside you no matter what. You have inspired so many people, and I thank you for that. In my eyes, you are not a failure and you have not let anyone down. You probably know this, but I wanted to tell you myself. You work hard and you’re still going strong!

    To wrap it up, I wish you happiness and success. I hope things get less stressful. I hope that next time you buy a drink at the vending machine it spits out an extra one. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Greetings Marni,

      I read your thoughts, and understand them well. Now we wait. Right now, we are at a turning point.
      Dear Steve is too. I have read all the above posts, and have made effort to stay out of most of it. My tongue is sore from biting it all day.

      Thank you for your honesty.

      Love Anne Terri

  53. Well now we know about the bowl, Kermit will appear but it won’t focus on him. Piggy is doing a musical extravaganza, Gonzo is with the guy from duck tales, animal and the electric mayhem are doing their thing and the big fireworks finale.

  54. I’d just like to ask a question to those who know about the exact wording of Steve s contract. Did it mention at any point he may have to enter into any involuntary job sharing roles? The quality of Steve actual performances has never been an issue. His colleagues think the world of him (the original family) it’s just management not being happy with him refusing to “share” his duties with those less experienced than himself that’s the cause of this.
    If his contract is in any way vague about sharing roles which have become his own with others he may have a case for refusing a job share without official negotiations. After all, his name may be dragged through the mud if people misconstrue a poor performance by an understudy as a poor performance by him, esp where the puppeteer isn’t officially credited on screen. (Ribbon cuttings, etc)
    Enforced multi casting in this case, could be classed as being pushed into a job share situation where wages would be diminished, reputations in regards to quality of performance could be wrecked and the artists long term prospects could be irrevocably altered.

  55. I woke from a dream earlier. The kind of dream you only have when you’re under the weather, slightly delirious. Bits of it, I suspect, came from watching an old video on YouTube of Frank Oz speaking at Jim Henson’s memorial before falling asleep. Before I share the dream, I want to emphasize why I feel that matters.

    At the memorial, Frank spoke about a diorama Jim had made him of Bert’s inner psyche. How it had stratified layers, like geology. How inside Bert’s tiny pupils, there was an image of Frank himself, naked, which Jim – much to Frank’s previous bemusement and confusion prior to that moment – had taken over the weeks prior. Frank said that this was when he realized, “That he loved me, and I loved him.”

    If there’s anything I as a fan on the outside looking in, in all my life, have ever been blessed and privileged to be privy to that proves the wisdom and truth of the anecdote Steve shared here not so long ago – of Jim telling a performer considering therapy, “Don’t get too healthy. That’s where a lot of the good stuff comes from” (paraphrasing from memory, forgive me, but the point remains intact,) it is that story.

    For in that seemingly mad, maniacally detailed gift, something which surely sprang from pure spontaneous creativity and affection, with all its paradoxical humor and somberness, Frank had received all the information – somehow, in that crazy sounding gift – necessary to know he was loved, and that he loved the source of that love in return. If that isn’t “the good stuff” coming from the place where craziness resides, nothing is.

    So it is in that spirit of, “don’t completely denounce madness/delirium, because it can hold the best parts of ourselves,” that I will now recount my fever dream, for whatever little it may be worth to anyone out there.

    In my dream, I saw Kermit – alone, without a performer, yet very much alive and animate – sitting on a dusty wooden crate in a storeroom. This room was completely dark except for a single shaft of light shining through a seam between two of the wooden boards comprising a wall. Kermit was looking down, as though in deep reflection, considering the slowly swirling particles of dust in this intensely narrow beam of light, which struck the floor near his feet.

    As he lifted his gaze, my own perspective shifted as well, and I became aware that wherever he looked, I too could see.

    I saw Matt Vogel standing in the doorway. Whatever light lay in the room behind him was obscured by the intensity of the aforementioned sun ray, but I could nevertheless just make out his face. He was staring apprehensively but determinedly at Kermit, his hands balled into fists, as though taking in the awesomeness of the responsibility resting upon him, and knowing, reluctantly, what he must do… and that he must not fail.

    Kermit’s gaze shifted again, this time to Steve, who was also staring at Kermit from a corner adjacent to the door, a look of mixed sadness and hope on his face.

    It was only then that Steve and Matt, noticing one another, looked away from Kermit and instead peered with acknowledgment into each other’s eyes.

    Matt raised his now open hands from his sides, and shook his head, shrugging with a look that plead for understanding. As if to say, “I just don’t know what else to do.” He communicated this non-verbally, however.

    In acknowledgment, Steve closed his eyes and nodded, holding back tears, before looking down to the floor. Then glancing back at Kermit, and forcing a smile… as if to offer him comfort. He then looked to Matt and did the same, nodding slowly. Matt sighed sadly, but also nodded.

    Suddenly, all three pairs of eyes – Kermit’s, Matt’s, and Steve’s – turned to look across the room towards the sound of a sharp exhale, more tired than frustrated. It was Jim Henson. Jim shook his head, opening his arms wide, before gently clasping his hands and nodding in thought. He then chuckled and walked toward Kermit.

    Through Kermit’s eyes, I felt him being lifted into the hands of his creator. Jim smiled into Kermit’s face, then turned him around, back towards Steve and Matt.

    Both Steve and Matt also now had Kermits in their arms. They were both startled, surprised at these duplicate Kermits in their grasp appearing as if from the ether. But whenever Kermit (the first one) moved, so did they. They matched his actions perfectly.

    For the first time, my perception shifted now to see Kermit himself (the first one, still being held aloft in Jim’s arms,) as my point of view was now that of the shaft of sunlight he had been considering at the dream’s start. I could feel the energy of the light, and the particles of dust “tickled” me. (Who knew rays of sunshine were ticklish? Well they are, I’ll have you know. But I digress…)

    Kermit looked at me. In that instant, I saw and heard him speak, all three Kermits’ mouths moving in unison as he said in a soft, small voice… “Well… w… Which one am I?”

    For some reason, at this, Jim started laughing uproariously. A mighty belly laugh that left him in tears, the kind those who worked with him often speak of, telling tales of how they would all break down after far too long a day of work and just lose it. Steve and Matt followed, and soon they were all in stitches. Including Kermit, although he nervously added between laughs, “I’m glad my existential crisis has made your days… sheesh…”

    Jim sighed, more happily this time, and said – after they had all recovered from the fit of sidesplitting laughter – “It’s serious, because you care. Just remember, you care because you love. Otherwise, it’s not caring. It’s,” he chuckled softly again, raising his eyebrows,”Well… something else.”

    He then added, looking directly at the Kermit in his arms – the other two having vanished – “There’s only one you, Kermit.” Steve and Matt smiled and nodded. “Luckily, there’s a little of you in all of us… ” he concluded, as the room brightened beyond my ability to see any longer, “… to varying degrees…” which elicited a final laugh from everyone present, frogs included.

    Then I woke.

    1. Wow. Not only is that an amazing dream, but I’m impressed that you were able to retell it in such vivid (and coherent) detail. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      1. Wow, I’m shocked this went through. I tried three times and nothing happened. I figured maybe it was too verbose or maybe posts are reviewed before being allowed and this was considered too “strange” lol. I hope my multiple attempts don’t end up reposting. If so… oops and sorry!

        I always keep a journal of my dreams so that I don’t forget them after the memories fade. 🙂

        1. I am having the same problem, yesterday I tried 3 times, and then it magically appeared. Anonymous (the nice one again), I think the program knows if we try to repost. My Dreams and Visions are officially posted online, and is very extensive, being a Visionary

  56. Facts:
    Whitmire provided a noble Kermit for many years.
    Whitmire was fired.
    Vogel auditioned and was hired as Kermit.
    Disney is not going to hire Whitmire back no matter what the fans on a blog say.
    The debut of the current Kermit casting went alright. About 2/3 of fans are on board.
    Disney’s pulling out all the stops to bring an unprecedented live Muppet concert just one week from now.
    Nobody knows the balance of power behind the scenes.
    The Muppets and remaining performers deserve our support.
    The Muppets existed before Steve Whitmire and will exist after Steve Whitmire.

  57. Nitpicking: Can’t be sure if Matt auditioned or was cast as Kermit in some other way.
    Notpocking: Still so want to believe in exec people’s ability to think…
    Nutpucking: …about the Muppets, occasionally.
    Netpecking: Surely Muppets will go on. Hopefully for long.

    Agree on all the rest!

  58. I just hope youre doing okay now, Steve.

    I understand if you need a break, especially since Matt’s Kermit debuted today.

    I don’t have an opinion yet on the performance, but I’m just worried about you. I’m still rooting for you, Steve.

    1. Valerie,

      Finally my sentiments exactly. I hope Steve reads past all the negatives, and keeps positive.
      It’s good for us all to read posts such as yours.

      Love Anne Terri

  59. “To blame any of this on something called ‘Disney’ , as though a big, bad corporation is responsible for anyone’s individual decisions, is to engage in a great deal of self deception. Using a corporate scapegoat is a copout.”

    Steve Whitmire
    Summer 2005
    “TO: All Puppeteers in the World, especially Los Angeles.”

    His words were true then, and they are true now.

    FleeceThroat, OUT.

    1. What is this from?

      Also, did you take your Twitter down on your own volition? Just curious whether if it was an outside effort or a solo cut and run.

      As said, there may be a place for you somewhere, but this surely isn’t it.

    2. Interestingly enough, I really don’t see anything either wrong, bad, or inappropriate with the quote (apart from that I couldn’t find it in public domain).
      Of course the whole huge “Disney Corp” can not be blamed for one, single, very individual, very specific, and very unfortunate decision not to give Steve a single chance in this case.
      Weird as it may seem, for once, there is nothing to argue about in F.T.’s post 🙂

  60. Happy now Steve Fawner ?!
    Your filthy fleecethroat twitter page is finaly gone.
    You are next.
    I’m sure you knew that Twitter’s CEO is also one of The Walt Disney cpmpany Directors, because you know everything.

        1. Firstly, I’ve STILL seen no real evidence of this alleged bad behavior.
          Secondly, this is not healthy for you or anyone else.
          Thirdly, this is not your blog or your property.
          Fourthly, you are hiding so your comments have zero value to anyone.
          Fifthly, nobody cares 🙂

    1. The info’s already out. He probably took it down himself. Many people find him to be highly credible. The people here are the ones who aren’t. You’re clinging onto a false hope that someday Steve will return. This denial hurts Steve, hurts you guys and hurts the Muppets a teensy bit, but not much.

      1. It was removed by Twitter for violating their rules.
        There is no credibility in anonymity and unhealthy obsessive bullying.
        Actually, most people are here to show their love and support for Steve. It’s called compassion and empathy.
        People have expressed their desire to see him back and that is totally natural to want that.
        The only people hurting others are the Three Stooges here 🙂

        1. Hi Mike! Just curious how you know that the account was suspended by Twitter? I couldn’t find any evidence of that, and don’t know of any rules that FT actually violated. Since you frequently ask the trolls on here for proof, I’d hope that you wouldn’t make such a bold statement without something to back it up. There still seems to be a lot of intrigue about him/her, so if you can share whatever proof you have, that could put a button on everything. Otherwise I’m sure that the speculation will continue.

          Can’t wait to see you at The Bowl!

          1. Its really not a bold statement. I could be wrong but I don’t care.
            I just follow the logic. FT had earlier just stated they were headed over to Twitter to say more.
            This was their “sanctuary” and own place to say whatever they wanted. There would be no reason to switch it off.
            Also lots of people reported them. Posting a private company email and talking smack about them is definitely a violation.
            But as I said, I don’t care why, I’m just glad it’s down and the reason is irrelevant to me. This person was nasty to the core and everyone knows it.

            But on to better things. Enough negativity and on to some positive stuff 😉

      2. It’s the fact that FleeceThroat (who uses 5-6 aliases in these comments), did nothing but come in here, and on Twitter, repeatedly, by banging the same drum over and over again. All he/she kept clinging to was one single, alleged email from 12 years ago— touting to the heights as if it was some sort of smoking gun.

        It wasn’t any of that.

        This person has a beef, and like I (and Dan) commented previous;y— may be one that isn’t even theirs to begin with. Muppet-adjacent. Doing someone else’s bidding as if it was his/her own. And this person cannot stop, but yet he/she deactivated their FleeceThroat Twitter; it was not suspended.

        “FleeceThroat” (and it’s variants) had one goal in mind and they didn’t succeed. He/she, wih their ax to grind, wanted to go viral with what they felt was an exposé on Steve— and it fell completely flat on it’s face. He/she went so far to tweet to various network and news outlets about Steve— while keeping Steve’s “email” pinned to the top of their Twitter page.

        He/she finally realized— zero-sum game.

        The only thing concerning about Steve’s alleged email— is actually not the contents whatsoever (as there was nothing salacious in there)— but rather the fact that an electronic communication, via Disney, was possibly leaked, and that carries some possible consequences as it goes against their grain (NDA, Standards of Business Conduct, et al).

        1. Believe me Tom, that filthy twitter account was not deactivated by that Fleece person.
          Mike Quinn is absolutely right.
          And this involved some others that, like many of us here, care about Steve Whimire.
          That Fleece person didn´t realise anything unfortunatly. So most probably will suffer consequences for being so mean.
          I will keep my faith & hope & wish the best.

          1. I just went by the norms for what Twitter has operated in the past. When deactivated, no matter who does it, it reflects Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!, as it does currently. When Twitter takes action against an account, the page will state Account suspended.

            But at any rate… the page is gone, at least for now. FT remains on here under his aliases aplenty.

    1. I needed a frog in my throat, just about now. Thanks Andrew. All this intrigue, makes for a great who dun-nit.
      Thanks also to everyone making effort on Steve’s behalf. I’m at least here with positive spirit.

      Hugs to all.
      Anne Terri

  61. Dunno why but have the suspicion that the troll on this blog is female. They can’t let go like a maggot on a chop, apparently an unemployed maggot at that who can’t realise that those who get email notifications can time all their responses to everybodys posts to within minutes of each other regardless of the names used to respond. An unemployed maggot with too much time on their hands.

    1. May I hazard a guess that this post as well as last posts by JS are made by “understudy” of original Serena and J.S. posters? 🙂 Or did we start to troll ourselves out?

      To run with the idea that the troll is female, though…. fleece throat… has a deep seated grudge with Kermit… though OK with younger one……. Denise???????? 🙂

      1. Andrew
        Today’s JS comments are:

        JS=Julia Silva=Julia (or Good Julia as Mike Quinn sugested 😁).
        No “understudies”. There was a reason for this. 😉

        1. JS, Julia S — my most sincere apologies!
          An honest mistake for which I am very truly sorry. This was totally uncalled for.
          Same for Serena, just in case I was wrong here too. But I have to admit that the “maggot” post does not sound like her usual self at all. 🙂

          Andrew K

    2. While I agree that FleeceThroat went far over the line, your comments makes you seem like a real jerk.

      How do you think Steve will feel about you literally insulting people who are unemployed? He was fired remember? And not to mention your blatant misogyny, yikes..!!!

      1. Yep, I commented on that already, only my comments got stuck. Not a real one. An understudy poster working here, right K?

      2. Firstly, Steve isn’t unemployed by choice! He was dismissed! Thats not the same as a slacker with too much time on their hands. Secondly, lots of ppl have referred to “he/she” recently, the more stuff is looked into, clues are there. Mysogyny has nothing to do with it.

    3. “Footless, yellow earth-worm,” said Bagheera under his whiskers, as though he were trying to remember something…

  62. As Mr. Quinn said, “Enough negativity and on to some positive stuff.” YES PLEASE!

    Incidentally, I’m also an unemployed female with too much time on my hands. Does that mean I’m gonna be a bad guy or something?

    (I think I need my kitty . . . . .)

    1. Yes, must stay positive. Erin, I’m a professional volunteer, and did not get paid for much of what I did for two volunteer fire companies, including being the first female firefighter there. I’m retired now, too old to climb ladders and such. However, when I did work, the pay was so low, it barely paid bills, and forget health care. Now being retired, I’m unemployed, and certainly was not lazy when I was.

      1. What on earth has been going on here since Friday?! Came back today to find this thread! Perhaps things don’t translate well in regards to UK terms or humour or whatever, but the “chop” term used in one of the posts here is a British expression meaning somebody is nawing away at something or somebody, wearing somebody down, with negative comments. If it’s not used in the states, it is a very old term here. Also, we would use the word redundancy, (if its involuntary unemployment) or as you say “retired” not unemployed, for the situations you are describing here. It is totally different to what I realised ft was doing when I looked for the first time at all the other sites (including news sites, muppet only boards etc) it dawned on me, gosh it must take this individual ALL DAY to do this! If he is employed his productivity levels must have dipped to an all time low, they’ll probably be canned by the end of the month if they do have a job!
        If I offended anyone it wasn’t intended to, I did try to post again Friday but got the “bot” page. However, I have today written on Steve new blog about the dangers of identifying people via ip addresses. Hope it helps.

        1. Dear Serena,

          I wanted to me use this opportunity to bring my apologies all over again. Even if I did not like the idea of giving maggots a bad name (or rather thought it did not tie well with your usual positive spirit) I MUST have been more careful in my comments. If it is any excuse, my posts got stuck for a while… and then suddenly there were too many of them. 🙁

          Now back to doing something to keep my own productivity levels on track…

          1. Some things just don’t translate well across the pond! And it’s true the site has some gremlins in regards to posting too.

        2. Hi Serena, We are weeding the garden now, as you have surmised. I saw your comment over on the new post. In some cases you can block by name as well as IP, but unfortunately it’s about al one can do.

          In the states sometimes they use the term chopping block to meant terminated. But if I say I’m retired, it’s by choice or having reached the age of retirement.

          Glad you are back Serena
          Anne Terri

          1. Oh no, the chop here is in reference to a pork chop lol! It’s just an old British expression ppl, not a nice one, but it isn’t supposed to be. Ft wasn’t a nice person. Someone who picks away at a person till nothing is left. But for the most part they are gone now.
            To quote another UK only reference, from an old advert for the financial times, “no ft – no comment”

          2. Serena,

            My fingers are tired and so is my key board, causing extra letters to words. Glad you could read it. Seems we have another chop to take care of over on the other post.

  63. Hi all. The original J.S. here. I’ve been offline for a few days and have not had time to catch up on the latest comments, so I’m going to remain rather confused until I find time to do that. For now I just want to confirm that the “JS” posts are not me, in case anyone is not sure.

    1. What I recommend is register your email address with Gravatar. That’s where everyone’s profiles emanate from who have pictures and a profile (like mine, Mike Quinn, Marni, etc). You can set up your own profile with your picture— and everyone will know its you.

  64. Just for a change of pace, I had some time to kill and decided to try and put this entire situation into poetry form. This debacle has been such an epic, I figured why not become the bard for it?

    If there’s anything I’ve written that I’d hope you would read and perhaps respond to Steve, it’s this. It just goes to show how much you have inspired people to be creative on our own terms. Your courage to stand up for what you believe in has rubbed off on so many people, many of which are always on Pundit ready to respond.

    In the face of everything happening right now, that is truly something to be proud of.

    1. Marni,
      Absolute perfect in heart, soul and content.
      I’m beginning to feel green is a great color again … to be,
      for the true character lost,
      still lives, live in Steve’s memory.

    2. THIS. Wow.

      People, I’ve been known of posting too rashly here and had to apologize to other posters before.
      This time I’m very sure is not one of these occasions.
      Let me say this. In Caps.


      Marni — Thank You!!

      Now let me catch my breath and read it again…

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