Pest ConTroll

“It’s all clogged up with sludge” the guy said as the ripe aroma of decaying waste matter rose into the morning air out of a giant hole now dug behind my house. Along with family things and one of our cats being diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma after several days of not making it to the litter box, I wanted to let you know I have spent the last ten days ignoring this blog in lieu of ‘moderating’ the various septic systems at my house.

If you have a septic tank and have never dealt with this, just wait… First, the toilets don’t flush anymore, or they run over into the floor. Then, water backs up in the shower drains. You can’t do laundry, or run the dishwasher, or even take a shower (we made alternate arrangements on that one).

“How hard can it be to sort this out?”, I thought, so off I go into a dark muddy crawl space under the house in search of a ‘clean out’, which for the uninitiated is an entry point into home drainage systems so clogs can be removed. There’s a cap that unscrews, and you can run a long thing called a “plumbing snake” down into the drain pipe, twirl it around, and hopefully loosen whatever might be clogging the system…that is, unless a clog in the pipe is not the issue.

Let’s just say that when you open that clean out and the pipe is full of who knows what, you better get out of the way in a hurry…which I didn’t quite do.

What does this have to do with the Muppets? Nothing, but it did remind me of some of what we’re dealing with on this blog…

For those of you who don’t know this already, there are a handful of individuals who are taking past events and creating myths around them. I don’t believe they are just ‘trolls’, I believe they may be shills, all writing from the same IP addresses again and again while hiding behind their fake names.

Since I started this blog I have tried to maintain and support an open exchange of ideas, perspectives, and points of view. I thought that in the vein of ‘free speech’ anyone and everyone should be allowed to say pretty much whatever they wanted. That has made this a ‘forum’ rather than a ‘blog’.

As to the conjecture of trolls who’s comments indicate a desire to damage my reputation in the eyes of as many people as possible, I find myself largely immune. That’s because the more they talk, the more things they say that let me know they have no first-hand access to accurate information.

They have either been given incorrect accounts of the past by others, or they, themselves, are adding whatever they’d like in order to rewrite history to serve their own agendas.

So, since they have been allowed to state their viewpoint in full for some time now, based on the numerous requests from so many of you for me to do so, I will block the IP addresses of the known trolls because there’s a difference between attacking me and being belligerent towards or attacking those who are commenting on my blog.

I consider that behavior to be uncalled for, and it stops now. They’ll probably drift back in, but with your help we’ll keep on blocking them. Let me know the moment they re-emerge. FYI, the following author names are linked to the same IP address and/or email addresses:

Fleece Throat
The Other Fleece Throat
Shame On Steve
Steve Rulz
F l e e c e T h r o a t
Ms T
Louise Totie
Steve Fawner
Gobo Was My Favorite
Kat Birdseat
Katy Birdseat
Sarah Brechton
Sarah Brechtomy
Frustrated
Good ole Fleece Throat
Fozzie Bear

In the big picture all of this is relatively meaningless in light of the suffering of so many around the world. My heart goes out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the southeastern United States this past week. They have lost so much, yet they put one foot in front of another and continue moving forward by helping one another however they can. That is truly inspiring…

186 thoughts on “Pest ConTroll

    1. Hopefully this whole thing will blow over! I’m so sorry this whole thing is happening to you! You probably won’t reply to this but I want to be a tv & film puppeteer when I’m older,do you have any advice? My dream would be to puppeteer in the Sesame Street thanksgiving parade! (Sorry for the lengthy message! Many thanks, Ben

  1. Hi Steve,

    When I read the first sentence of this post, I immediately thought, yeah that’s what it’s been sounding like here lately. I’ll keep an eye out for these “trolls” that sneak back in. Seriously, I’m all for freedom of speech, and difference of opinions, but there is such a thing as disagreeing and not being rude or mean, or kicking someone when they’re down. Do theyhonestly think that will make people agree with them and their way of thinking?

    Anyway, I’m sorry about your cat. I have a soft spot for them (if my sign off line didn’t give you a clue, and all my mentionings of my cat). I’m also sorry you’re going through all of this, as well. I have no idea how a septic system works, but it sounds like an extremely messy process. I figured the reason why there was a gap in posting was because of issues with Real Life, something quite a few people on the Internet know absolutely nothing about.

    Live Long and Paws-Purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark

    PS: Snowball the Wonder Cat sends cuddles to your kitty!

    1. Yep, disagreeing civilly and being truthful.

      Thanks to Snowball. Our cat, Streek, was a stray named for both her manner of moving through a room, and a white streak on her face. At fifteen, she’s just going through old cat things. I give her fluids to keep her hydrated, and she’s on a round of steroids that have brought her back for the moment.

      More soon!
      S

      1. Helping an older kitty out is a noble and sometimes thankless endeavor. I hope the fluids and medicine aren’t too stressful for either of you. I bet your cats are some of the happiest around.

      2. Praying for Streek to be okay. Knowing everything else will work out for the best, eventually — things usually have a way of doing just that. The darker pungent stripes of life mostly are there to make the light ones shine brighter. 🙂 Have a good one!

      3. I’m sorry to make jokes, but when I read the name of your kitty, I thought of something I saw on an episode of the Muppet Show, and now for the life of me, I can’t remember who the guest star was! The bit looked like something Koozbanian, with these two freaky looking Muppets walking around, and one was going “Trudge, trudge, trudge trudge,” and the other came whizzing by screaming “Streek! Streek!” and then they beat each other senseless and compromised on their “trudge trudge streek streek” routine. I believe Frank Oz voiced “Trudge” and Jim Henson voiced “Streek,” too.

        Live Long and Paws-Purr,
        Erin T. Aardvark

  2. YAY A NEW BLOG AND NO MORE TROLLS. As Kermit would say “YAYYYY”. Hope to hear more from you. Will you give your thoughts on the new Kermit? Just wondering.

  3. Okay, first of all, sorry to hear about your cat. Hope he/she gets better soon…

    Secondly, thank you so much for dealing with those idiots and don’t worry, we’ll be on the ball when it comes to flushing them out (See what I did there?). Pretty much everything these guys have said has been disgusting sewage to no end.

    And yes, the world is a consistently scary place, especially in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. I feel for and send my best wishes to everyone involved…

    1. I guess that makes you a coMODian! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

      Read your poem and all of your other posts, and enjoyed them very much. Sorry it’s so tough to respond directly…many things going on, but I will try to be more attentive to the blog now.

      1. Steve, Marni is the one who kept my Spirits, up along with others here whom you are aware of.

        Her last post over on Part 2, her prose for you gave me hope. Great to see you back. Sorry if my reply from last night, appeared more than once, the site was not showing it, and I re-posted.

        Didn’t know I had kindred cat people here. I once had 7 felines at the same time, when I lived in NYC. It was interesting to say the least. Once I also save a frog from a dog. This may have some meaning for you.

        Love Anne Terri.

        1. ‘IF just one person believes in you…’

          Fellow Cat person here too, Miss Kitty is my little girl and she’s waving her paw at all the lovely hoomans 🙂

      2. Oh wow, I was so enthralled with the knowledge that you’ve read my poem and posts, I completely forgot to respond! Woops!

        Thanks for taking the time out to read them and I’m glad you found them enjoyable! It means a lot to know that you care about what we have to say just as much as we do about what you want to discuss. The poem in particular I was nervous about sharing, but the response has been favourable and I’m quite proud of that.

        It’s perfectly understandable that you aren’t able to respond to everyone all of the time, but it’s good to know you’re eager to keep this thing going.

        Also, I’m taking the title of ‘comodian’ and shall bear it until my last dying breath, with which I shall make the most terrible of puns before giving into the darkness. If I’m going to take down trolls it’s going to be with an arsenal of Fozzie-worthy jokes!

  4. Hi ho Steve! Just wondering, who are some of your favorie youtube puppeteers? Also, What was one of you favorie projects to work on after Jim was gone? Sorry I’f I have too many questions it’s just that I’m a big fan and it’s sorta like meeting your hero (but you don’t actually see him talking to you.) I hope to become a Puppeteer like you one day. Thanks for your time

      1. James Kemp is a good one,Tau Bennett (from the Being Elmo documentary) Channel called The Rumble Ensemble !,The Mo Show Productions,Adam Kreutinger, Glove and Boots, Arlo,Cam Garrity, and Terry Angus. Didn’t you work with Terry on fraggle rock?

          1. Xavier, with all going on, I’m not certain it’s fair to ask Steve to give personal opinions on other puppeteers. It’s like being put on the spot. Perhaps he may share some history of working with the Muppets, elbow to elbow with friends (puppeteers) as in fun times behind the scenes while creating the magic.

            Anne Terri

  5. Steve— I share as with everyone previously that I hope your cat is on the mend and that the house issues are getting taken care of. When calamities collide it becomes overwhelming, but glad you were able to take the time away.

    A few of us in here aren’t going to be surprised at the list of names attached to the same IP address as it is what we had thought. Lone wolf with only his drum. Hope this abates things at least for now.

  6. Uggg sounds like you have had about as rough of a week as I have. You’ve had house plumbing isdues and I’ve been sick with plumbing issues as well.

    I want to publicly say that I’m sorry Steve, I feel that in trying to help denounce the “trolls” I just added more fule to the fire. I in all honesty was just trying to help. Matter of fact since the news of all this with you has happened all I’ve wanted to do is help.

    Anyways, I hope your cat is ok, and if anyone in the area that was affected by Harvy is reading this You all are in my thoughts.

    1. And all you’ve DONE is help, believe me. It is greatly appreciated. I actually do have to run for now, but I plan to get back to my purpose on this blog going forward. We will discuss soon….

  7. I’m so glad to hear from you again, Steve, but so sorry to hear about your most recent problems. As though you don’t have enough to worry about…

    I’m especially sorry to hear about your cat. My kitty is just turning twelve; two years ago she had a nasty bout of pancreatitis and cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) and between her emitting variously colored fluids on the carpet and the incompetent vet who gave me the scary-sounding but inaccurate news that her lymph nodes were enlarged on ultrasound, I was out of my mind with worry.

    Thank you for taking care of the sockpuppeting troll(s). I admire your dedication to free speech and giving everyone a chance to have their say, but there’s a difference between free speech and verbal abuse. I seem to remember a wise little Fraggle once saying, “You can’t just do whatever you want, not if it wrecks things or hurts people!” 🙂

    And you’re right that all this pales in comparison with the horror and devastation going on in Texas. Thank you for helping us keep things in perspective.

    Much love to you.

  8. Oh Lord, you just detailed my septic nightmare. We are hoping to someday route everything we can to some kind of “grey water” system and hoping to avoid disaster in the meantime. I also keep meaning to put a composting toilet together in case of emergencies. There are definitely some downfalls to “self sufficiency.” I hope the problem is fixed soon and not too expensive.

    I appreciate your willingness to allow differing opinions, but I also support banning people who just trash talk, particularly when they are mean to other posters.

  9. Steve,

    Great to hear from you Steve, and I’m so sorry about your cat!

    Thank you for pointing out those nasty trolls. They just don’t understand the point of this blog and why you opened it up in the first place. It’ your right to voice your opinion and not care what the haters say. I look forward to your future posts and I hope you’re doing okay! We’re all here for you and supporting you all the way!

    Valerie

    1. Nicholas, This is a Muppet’s masterpiece. So great to get up in the morning knowing we are all together here on the same page. After watching, now I know how Steve’s septic system got clogged.

      Love Anne Terri.

    2. Steve; If you haven’t noticed already. – Anonymous – is also one who never says anything nice to anyone, and is often posting against you. Another ISP, or a different one?

      I too was surprised they were not on the list for the plumbing snake.

  10. Dear Steve,
    great to hear from you again, but so sorry to hear about your cat. I have lost a lot of dear animals in the past or dealt with their illnesses, so I know exactly what it feels like.

    On the other hand, great news about the troll being banned! I already said to Mike I am sure that it is just one person using all different aliases, I could tell from the repetetive language and the same style of writing (now I am sure, if this troll comes back with a different IP address, he or she will try to sound different, haha, but we will detect him / her anyway). You are right, this had nothing to do with freedom of speech, this was just annoying for everyone. At one point I was so upset I actually thought about dis-following the threat (but I am glad I didn’t, I just kept quiet for a while because I wanted to ignore them / him).
    I am just surprised that “anonymous” was not one of the aliases, too.

    Anyway, I hope that we can all go on to more productive talk on here now.
    And as you say, all those things seem to be so small compared to people who lost their homes, their beloved, or even their life.
    Good weekend to everyone!
    Rachel

  11. Great to hear from you again Steve!

    If this isn’t asking too much (hopefully now is not a bad time), I was wondering what you think of Matt’s Kermit, since we have now heard a couple sentences out of him.

  12. Great to hear from you again, Steve!

    If this isn’t too much to ask (hopefully now isn’t a bad time), I was wondering what you think of Matt’s Kermit? It’s been almost a week since his first appearance, and today we were able to hear another sentence in an interview, so I was curious to hear your take on his rendition.

  13. It’s so nice to see your posts again. Lots of respect to both you and your cat! I love cats, hence my username. And also; good riddance to that troll. (Constantine in disguise maybe..? Haha)

    If you ever decide to get any other social media I’d definitely give you a follow.

    Me and my own cat are looking forward to your next posts, like always!!!

  14. Steve,

    THIRD TRY AT COMMENTING- It’s not showing.

    The best of all blogs, is this one.

    Dear sweet cat, can the vet fix this? Too much keeps happening. I know.

    First you find yourself covered in muck from your pipes, and then you arrive like a knight in shining armor, to clean the sludge out of your site here. Thank you, will keep an eye. Saved the list you presented for future reference. We did not give up on you!

    And yes, all we are currently encountering, especially you, seems to pale next to the magnitude of Harvey the Hurricane. Have also been doing my best to get emergency numbers out to everyone and be supportive.

    Keep your chin up and your puppet arm ready.
    Bless you, Anne Terri

  15. Glad to hear from you Steve!! Its great the trolls are banned!! Can´t wait to read more from you! and I hope to see you performing soon!!! hugs from Spain!!!

    pd: I love cats too!!!!

  16. Steve, it was great hearing from you today in a new post and knowing that after all, you are doing fine.

    I hope by now that all of your house problems are fixed and that everything is going for the best now.
    Remember, never pick again when using a “plumbing snake” ! Been there done that !

    I hope too that Streek is doing better. That particular health problem is a bit complicated, but unfortunatly common from a certain age.
    These days there´s a few treatments that can help controlling it and in some cases, stopping the desease.
    It´s always complicated seeing a pet we love like someone of our own family being sick.
    All we can do is treat them, ensure their well being and love them while there are with us, as much as they love us.

    Your reference to the Harvey and to all the people that lost their lifes, to all the people that lost their homes, their pets, and basically their whole life,
    in times like this, remembers me that there is humanity in all of us to lend a helping hand in any way we can.

    I wish you all the very best.

  17. …and the news that all those people were the same person comes a surprise to very few!

    Thank you for cleaning things up here. I applaud your efforts to go as long as you did without taking action allowing for free speech and dissenting views but there’s a difference between that and attacking other people who also access the site and post.

    Hopefully things can stay more on topic without all the distractions and we can hear your stories, views, and takes on Muppet history.

    Since one person was responsible for probably the majority of comments, hopefully it will also be easier to respond to things from those eager and anxious to actually hear what you have to say.

    I’ve asked both these questions before but of course they (along with everyone else’s questions/suggestions) got drowned by all the noise so just wanted to throw these out again and hope you’ll get around to writing about these at some time in the future:

    1) Since Disney bought the Muppets, there have been four people (or more specifically three former heads and one current team of two people co-heading) the Muppet division. I’d love to hear your take on what each one’s strengths and weaknesses were – which have been most effective/”got” the Muppets the most and which ones probably didn’t even belong.

    2) Your assessment of the 2015 series – what was good and what were the major problems – how did the change of showrunners help (while many felt the show was better after the change, it is interesting that the one that you’ve cited having one of the biggest problems with was one of the last ones)? I have my own strong opinions of the strengths and “what went wrong” and would very much enjoy hearing how they compare with what you might have to say on the subject. Do you have favorite/least favorite episodes?

    1. I wasn’t surprised by any of the names on the list, although there were one or two that I considered to be “edge cases”; i.e., they were less extreme than some of the others, so much so that they *might* have been legitimate.

      I’m relieved to find out that they weren’t, because I had some concern that, in my frustration, I might have caused some offense to one or more legitimate commenters, and I’m so glad to find that they were never legitimate, so what they think doesn’t matter.

      On the other hand, I’m a little annoyed with myself for letting myself be taken in, even if I did have suspicions and didn’t go in *too* far. I pride myself on my internal BS-detector, and from all this I conclude that it is still working, but it might need a bit of a tune-up. 😉

      1. I agree with you about the ‘edge’ aspect, and I remember a couple comments like that. They were a little critical, but not bashing or in the other fashion as aforementioned.

        1. There is a simple technique of how to do it, guys:

          Let’s take a guy, myself for example, and some subject out of thin air, say… pink socks. 🙂

          It just takes one troll posting under several names with comments like “something makes me suppose he was wearing pink socks before”, “i think i’ve read somewhere about his pink socks myself”, “hey what can you tell us all about those pink socks you always wear?”, “nobody so far argues the pink socks story”, “why do people keep asking about his pink socks?”, “too many questions about pink socks remain unanswered”, “he certainly won’t tell us anything about pink socks”, “anonymous twitter discloses ghastly pink socks details”, “something is not right here. why does it seem that the whole world is appalled by his pink socks?”

          That’s it. A person of pink socks now. No proof required.

          A couple of guys who’d know me personally and swear that i never wore pink socks in my life would have hard time changing the public opinion.

          It’s called trolling, guys. Doesn’t really require many insults. Throw enough mud and some of it will stick.

          That’s why my favorite quote of past months is a phrase from Mr. Napoli’s blog:

          “Then I stopped listing to what was being said, sat on my balcony and listened to what I thought of this and I realized…”
          http://muppetshenson.blogspot.com/2017/07/muppets-vs-puppets-by-nicholas-napoli.html

          Wish I was doing more thinking myself!

          1. Throw enough mud and some of it will stick.

            Well see, that’s exactly why I wondered if I should give one or two of the troll personas the benefit of the doubt, because when they weren’t overtly hostile or abusive, it seemed that there was at least a possibility–not a big possibility, mind you; maybe a 5-15% chance–that they were just a confused newbie that didn’t know any better who had heard about this whole “pink socks” thing on Twitter and just came here for clarification on the whole “pink socks” issue.

            But believe me, I’ve seen more scams in this particular vein than I can begin to count, and I’m well acquainted with how they work.

          2. Yes, you can never tell — a pitfall which i apparently get into, myself (which leaves me very truly sorry each time).

            It makes total sense to respond to each personality as a genuine poster — the main thing is to not forget to ASK oneself “is there any shred of factual proof behind these statements” and not be too quick to accept what seems to be “social proof” for actual fact.

          3. Ohhhhh…I think I see what you’re saying now, Andrew. Rest assured, I NEVER gave any credence to anything that any of the troll personas said about Steve.

            My uncertainty was solely in trying to determine whether some of them were genuine seekers sincerely wanting to participate in the discussion, in which case they deserved a polite and thoughtful response, or if they were just malcontents looking to cause trouble, in which case they were not worthy of my attention. I did give some attention to some of them, thinking that they may have fallen into the former category rather than the latter, but it doesn’t seem to have helped the troll in stirring up trouble, so no harm done.

            Who knows? maybe it helped to provide some perspective for a genuine seeker with doubts who had similar questions but just didn’t speak up and ask them.

      2. Hmm, the edge cases. I know the ones you mean. A couple of those did slip by me, even though I’d pinned down most of the connected names by the end. There was one in particular that I had suspicions about, and I almost called it out but didn’t – turns out I would have been right, but how much more damage would I have done if I’d been wrong? So I’d rather have a slightly underactive BS-detector than an overactive one. There is always room for more benefit of doubt on the internet. And I don’t think the time spent responding in earnest to the edge cases was wasted, if only because the reasoning in the responses could then be read by everyone.

        1. I agree with you on all counts. I will just add, however, that it was also worth the time it took to calm down and write out a reasoned response instead of just lashing out emotionally. That’s what trolls are really hungry for; I think they find calmness and reason, facts and logic, to be less digestible. 🙂

          1. Many years back when MySpace was all the rage, I encountered a troll of sorts who clearly wasn’t happy in their life so chose to make others hell.

            One particular time this troll and I went head to head with each other, it wasn’t pretty and after our little spat a sagacious friend of mine said that trolls just want attention and thus the psychology is that where they will make some kind of disparaging remark which is bound to see a retaliation.

            ‘Don’t feed the trolls’ is a well known quote and when we HAD that problem I remembered this saying and like Kiplings IF

            ‘If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs’

            Yes. I could have lost it with some of them, but I chose to not fan the flames as it were and not make it worse, and thankfully these blog posts are now a nice and friendly place where we can chat, joke about and are able to interact with Steve 🙂

  18. Oh, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie. Stop being such a whiny, spoiled brat.

    You’re just like every other emotionally unstable —- on the internet. No wonder Disney, Henson and Sesame Workshop fired you.

    1. Not so anonymous after all… if you really think about it. IP’s aren’t the only thing that can be blocked; other variables cannot be changed.

    2. You again.
      You’re not accomplishing anything by what you’re trying to do. Deep down I think you know that.

      1. The term t*at is a term only British/Aussie people use normally. Although this individual may be in the United States, chances are they are either British or Australian. Hope it helps Steve, but remember, you can check online to see if the ip is a server or not.

    3. DisneyPhillip, as if that isn’t you!

      You call Steve a brat and yet you’re the one going from video to video on YouTube telling people how to feel about the situation!

      You could also be Duke Remington from MC, but I still have that theory that you two are one and the same.

      Either way-bugger off!

      Steve, you asked us to be on the alert; here’s one on a silver platter!

      1. I agree that Anonymous has always had a similar tone to DisneyPhillip. I think he may legitimately have some issues. The way he responds is never thought-out. He just repeats the same insulting phrases, and manages to obsessively find every Steve-related Facebook and YouTube post. I hope he seeks the help he needs, because this outlet is not a healthy one.

        1. I found this by googling the username… (warning for bad language in his comments)

          https://firemaster92.deviantart.com/journal/Rant-on-disneyphilip-622859371

          If this is the same person, which it seems like because of the typing, it’s clear that this guy is a real troublemaker, that goes beyond just the Muppet world. I hope nobody takes the vile things he says to heart. It upsets me that someone can be so mean-spirited.

          I might be completely wrong, but if not, I hope this can lead to some sort of conclusion.

    4. Seriously, Anonymous, what’s with you? Why do you like to cause trouble? It doesn’t make you look mature, I’ll tell ya that much! You are quite possibly the most immature person I have ever run across! Why don’t you learn to grow up?

  19. If there’s one thing that’s seen me smile this week it’s seeing you post and the title of this blog post.

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your puddytat, am sending out good thoughts and healing energies at this time.

    It’s unfortunate that with the way things currently are within this crazy world that there are those who like to attempt to dismantle the family unit we have here, personally I consider it a privilege that you have this blog and we get to see your words and are able to interact with you on such a personable level.

    With your Birthday coming up soon, do you have any special plans?

    Am wishing you the very best Steve.

    Love you lots 🙂 x

    P.S. I saw Muppet Thought Of The Week a few days ago, it’s gonna take quite a bit of time to get used to it… Anyways sorry to end on a solemn note so joke time.

    What’s the fastest cake?

    Scone! 🙂

  20. I had fleeting suspicions that the trolls were actually a singular troll, but at the same time I just couldn’t imagine someone having so much time on their hands or so much personal self loathing that they need to discharge on other people.

    Too bad they don’t show that same focus and devotion to a cause that actually helps others. They would get a lot done. Maybe now you are trying to block them, they will turn their eyes towards Texas or some other worthy cause.

    My heart is with you, your family, and Streek. My family lost two pets in the past two-three years. May Streek streak for many years to come.

    Sorry to hear of your potty problems, too. Hope you put that behind you. 😀

    Like many others, I continue to pray for you, both that you find the strength to move forward, and also that you and Kermit (and Wembley, etc.), find your way back to each other. Trying to cover all the bases, thinking positive thoughts both ways.

    Life often piles it on. I myself face multiple challenges. I appreciate you taking time out from yours to touch base with us. Hope this Labor Day brings happier events your way.

  21. Steve there is one question I don’t think anyone has asked…how is your wife dealing with all of this?

    Now I know for the most part the Muppet preformers wives have stayed out of the spotlight, but I’m sure that this has also been tough on her as well. Because I know that even though you where the prefomer your wife was close to people in that group as well, so I hope that she is able to handle this well as well.

  22. September is our birthday month and I wish we could all celebrate together. Anyway, thanks for posting, love your input!

  23. Man oh man- Steve, you legend. I suspected at a lot of these trolls were the same person since all of their posts read virtually identical. Kudos to you for calling them out- Whoever this person or people are/is, they clearly had some kind of obsessive vendetta against you (talk about not having a Muppetly attitude!)

  24. I’ve never had a septic yank Steve, but my parents’ house had really old plumbing, especially the pipe that connected it to the sewer, which was ceramic, and a few years ago, it just broke, so we had to have workers come dig up our front yard, pretty much all the way to the street to put brand new fiberglass pipes in, which should last at least until my parents are ready to move out, we hope. Sorry you’re dealing with literal sewage on top of the metaphorical sewage you already had to deal with, Steve. I can’t help but wonder what your former Muppet costars think about all this. I would think, if nothing else, if they had anything negative to say about you, they would have done so by now. I mean, it would probably be all over the press if, say, Frank Oz had badmouthed you publicly. And he’s been promoting a movie, so he’s had plenty of opportunity.

  25. It’s been how many hours later (?) and I’m still imagining you trying to dodge literal $#!t.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or feel nauseated by the imagery. Either way, I hope we all won’t have to put up with much more of the nonsense coming from those morons who claim to be Muppet insiders.

    Cheers to a good rest of your weekend, Steve. As always, can’t wait for the next one!

  26. It’s absolutely awesome to hear from ya, Steve. I hope all is ok for you and your family despite the recent adversity. I just want to thank you for taking the initiative to clean this place up, and allow it to be an educated forum for the good stuff in Muppet Land.

    I miss your Kermit, Rizzo, and Ernie…

    Props on being the “good stuff” in show business, as always.

    Best,
    Alex

  27. * Sorry if this appears twice.

    Hi Steve and everyone else,

    First of all, I am deeply sorry to hear about what your feline friend is going through, as well as what you are in terms of life at home and life in general. I hope you get through all of it as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

    Now, I’ve been following the blog since its very beginning, reading each deep, concise, and carefully-written post to ponder over it hours later. It seemed like a good time for me to (finally) contribute to the conversation. Plus, I thought one extra person might be needed to help weed out any more trolls (apologies for not jumping in earlier, I should have). None of what I’ve seen here is far from moving. Keep it up, Steve! You’ve succeeded in making some valid points along the way (we fans think so). You covered character integrity, the consequences of multicasting, the significance of a core performer’s input in recasting of characters, Jim’s morals and overall vision (to an extent), and much more – these alone though, are some things to really think about. As far as comments go, I’m glad that most have been in some way insightful and/or positive, especially positive. Equally glad to know that the trolls (all except for one, I think) are being taken care of. That said fellow visitors, I encourage extra ‘positivity in the Pundit’ from now on (think praise without sugar-coating it). Let’s all please try our best to keep it that way. I requested nicely, not asked. To those of you with your own thoughts to share, I highly suggest you follow this advice: ‘THINK before you SPEAK’. And if you happen to come across some information that leads to uncertainty, try to get valid proof of it first before posting away on ‘Pundit’. It will leave less room for quarrels. Thankfully, the majority understands how important these lessons are. I’m not trying to call out anyone specifically. This still applies to everyone! I’m sure we may have disagreements on occasion, nothing wrong with that, but it would be ideal for us to conduct our discussions in a more civil manner. If you haven’t learned something from the friendlier visitors or the master puppeteer himself already, give yourself a chance to do so now.

    Onward, Steve, I, like you, have quite a bit to say, a lot more than I’m going to now, but perhaps a great deal of it is better off for another time (possibly in response to future posts of yours or in a blog I might potentially start). In spite of that, I still wanted to comment for once. After a while, it gets harder to stay put. And there is something in particular I wanted to discuss. Before we get to it though, I’d just like to say (again) well done with the blog so far and thank you for spreading your word. It means so much for many of us as fans to connect with one of the original Muppet Performers. You’re among the only ones left who had first-hand experience working alongside Jim, so in a way, I feel as if we’re almost connecting with him. I’ll add that were it not for you, we would be deprived of some of the best characters in the Muppet/Henson menagerie, including but not limited to: Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Wembley Fraggle, Sprocket, Liberace’s security guard, obscure characters from the “Jim Henson Hour” like CGI Waldo and a singing fish, a parrot on “Muppets Tonight”, the Scientist Skesis from “The Dark Crystal”, … – I could go on. Who else would take over Kermit, Beaker, the Newsman, Ernie, and others following Jim’s untimely demise? I take that you get it. Speaking of connecting, you can now reach out to us virtually, which is great. I’ll admit, as much as I enjoy reading your posts and everyones’ feedback, I’d like to see you reaching out physically again – physically as in, doing what you excel at, puppetry. Of course, it doesn’t have to be at this time necessarily, but if you come back at least once, to what you’re deeply passionate about and what we praise and recognize you for, it will be all that matters.

    From here, we can go to what I’d wished to bring up. As I stated at the end of the last paragraph, if you come back to puppetry, it will be enough. While my opinion is unchanged, I understand that the decision for if/when to return to it rests completely in your hands. Unfortunately, in the case of the Muppets, you weren’t really given a choice. Maybe though, it’s for the better. Yes, we’d be overjoyed (I know I would be) to see you performing puppets again, but they don’t have to be Muppet characters. It looks like a chance to tackle bigger challenges has come forth. (Whenever you’re ready) I can see you resurfacing in a puppet series featuring beings that you created – your own original characters. I would think you probably miss building puppets, so why not try doing it again for old time’s sake? Or, don’t even bother building new characters – just bring back your old ones! In fact, since no one else has asked about him, I thought that it would only be right to find out what’s become of Otis the Beach Bum. Is he still around, and can he be revived? Long before the “July incident” (I call it ‘July’ as that’s when we found out), I’d been meaning to ask, were I to ever meet you, about what happened to him, and if you’d consider bringing him back. I imagine he’d need some work, assuming he hasn’t been picked up all these years. I also remember you saying in an interview once that you still kept some of your old puppets, but they were falling apart to the point of disintegration. It made me wonder if Otis is one of them. If so, has he collected dust, and how much (or how bad) has “age” taken its toll on him? Is he in a decent-enough condition where you can restore him so that he’s ‘good as new’ again? True, he’s not Kermit (or a Muppet for that matter), but I think with time, people, most probably in the younger demographic , would grow to like him just the same. Wasn’t he, after all, your character before Kermit (and Rizzo, Wembley, the rest …)? I don’t see why he can’t be afterwards as well. When I saw him, it was for a few mere seconds, but I was definitely impressed. He just had this sparkling, lively personality as he talked to an audience. It could very well have been that Otis was a natural when it came to wowing crowds.

    Okay, I wasn’t around in the ‘70’s , so where exactly did I see Otis and when was he in front of an audience? I thought you might be wondering that (if you are). Well Steve, in case you weren’t aware, several videos surfaced (I think) 3 years ago on YouTube, of a concert at Berkmar (one of their descriptions said they were from May 1988, so they’re all old footage). To further jog your memory, I remember reading somewhere else that Mr. Huff was retiring then. I haven’t watched each one (yet), however, the first clip I came across had Wembley in it, and he mentioned having a conversation with Otis and Rizzo. Another had Rizzo scolding Sprocket. And a third showed this scrawny, hairy bearded guy, a character whose design somewhat resembled that of a Muppet Whatnot – he HAD to have been Otis! I hope I’m right. If I am, it would be nice to see him again, this time “grown up” – let’s leave that to you.

    As we delve a little deeper into the subject of Otis, I’d think it’s safe to say that only a handful of people know him. I actually wish it was more than that. Please don’t take this the wrong way, you were stellar as Kermit (he’s the Kermit I’ve grown up with), but how can we be sure that Otis hasn’t been forgotten? The ‘handful’ I refer to consists of the generation of viewers who watched “The Kid’s Show” on WATL back in the day. Again, please correct any misunderstandings. I’m saying the above based on what I’ve found in this article: https://longreads.com/2015/09/10/on-the-other-hand/. I recommend skimming through it when convenient – it’s a worthy read! Anyway, I can’t predict what sort of outcome would result from introducing a whole new cluster to Otis, but I don’t see any harm in attempting to, either. And while I’m not the most adept at judging, the way I see it he could fit right into television again today.
    Now, call me old, but I don’t really watch current kid’s shows – not only because I’m obviously not a kid, but because they simply aren’t as good as how TV (for children) used to be. Once in a blue moon, I’ll hear other people make similar complaints, and I don’t blame them. No exaggeration here – NOTHING can top classics like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show. Fraggle Rock, etc. (anyone who thinks differently, I respect your opinions). Is Otis possibly what’s missing? Does it look like he could be the next biggest thing? You never know. Say for instance he does get that far. Maybe to help him start out or at least get settled, experiment with him perchance, take it up a notch. Your options aren’t limited – you could make him older, give him an iPhone (or a regular phone) to play with/figure out (I think he did answer calls back then), build friends for him…or even turn him into a hipster! He could decide eventually that “beach bum life” just isn’t for him and become one (no offense, based on today’s standards, his beard would somewhat meet hipster criteria). Then again, one could bring up a counter-argument, saying that turning Otis into a hipster would likely violate your belief in preserving character integrity. He may experience a fate if not handled carefully, in which he transforms into something he’s not, much in the same way a Muppet character could lose his/her identity if he/she goes through multiple changes. How well Otis can adjust to change, I don’t know (hardly any characters can, and not much is known about Otis himself either). Kermit has undergone very little to almost no change, thanks to your extraordinary talent, and it has helped him thrive for the past 27 years, as if Jim never left. In that case, you could make Otis a hipster twin/clone (or son, lol). In short, it might not be a good idea. Moreover, it’s for you to consider. I by all means understand if you want to work starting from scratch again or do something totally unrelated. What you probably desire the most though, is to return to the Muppets. We the fans share your sentiments. On the other hand, it should generally not matter what you do. If you just re-emerge in some form, it will (hopefully) be enough to make us content, and that’s what counts. It might help to analyze this in free time, simply because. Although it’s not the greatest suggestion, I feel it’s one to contemplate on.

    Coming back to Otis one last time, if it’s alright with you, can we maybe learn about his origins? The article from earlier says you were stitching him together on the way to Kentucky as well as some other minor facts throughout, but there must be more to him – please tell us whatever you can as long as you’re comfortable with it. I especially would like to know how the beach bum came to exist. He appeared to be an interesting character, so I reckon he has a fascinating backstory in addition to that. Someone (aside from Jim Henson and the Muppets) or something was bound to have inspired you to create him (if I’m not mistaken). Perhaps Otis can be the topic of the next upcoming post if you’re willing. It would seriously mean the world if I knew a little more about him. No rush though, so anything else you have to say in the meantime is also fine. Your posts are never boring, and I can wait. As we wrap this up and almost near the end, here’s a link to the video of Otis (side effects may include : ‘bouts of nostalgia’): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9mtPd_eOAo . (*If the link doesn’t work, please inform me).

    In summary, Otis was really the main focus of my comment. Besides that, though, I have to be honest – not chiming in on the blog earlier has hit me with pang of guilt. I initially responded to every post in my mind and it may have been that I just wasn’t sure then of how to do so via the keyboard until I realized and had fully gathered together what I wanted to say. Plus, everyone has similar thoughts and I didn’t want to repeat what other visitors asked/said. It’s a real pleasure, however, to now join the rest of the loyal fans and support one of our favorite Muppet Performers – I hope to come around here for a long time. And Steve, regardless of what the future brings, please try to keep ‘Pundit’ going. If anyone can enlighten us about his philosophies, opinions, and all his experiences (Muppet, Henson, and in-between), it is you. With that, just so you know, you and Jim will always be Kermit to me. Sincere apologies for the ongoing “novel-length” “comment” and thank you profoundly for taking the time to read it all – likewise for answering the questions relevant to Otis if/when you do. Most importantly, thank you for being there for us, reaching out to millions through television and movie screens around the world for almost four decades – we’re with you to the end.

    Sending calming thoughts, prayers, and words of comfort/encouragement your way,

    *P.S. – I promise that I myself am not a troll, but while the real ones were on here, I was hoping for the right time to respond to them with some dark humor (I had written a few things for them…) – now they’re gone. It will come in handy, though, if they rise again. And…if it were real, I’d advise sending them to the Gorg’s garden…Ma, Pa, and Junior probably haven’t thumped anything/anyone in a long time (LOL)…

    Spare the Fraggles!

    All the best for you, your pet, and everyone else (fellow fans) out there,

    – Saba

    1. That was a great read about Steve. Seeing that I’m from Ga and know that channel I wish I could say I saw that show. But I was born in 1979 so I think I missed it.

      1. Thankfully, there’s at least a video clip – could it possibly foreshadow a reboot of “The Kid’s Show” ?. One can only hope – before that, I always wondered what Otis looked like.

    2. Saba, I thoroughly enjoyed your post and honest candor. So glad you are here with this. I think this will be a trip down memory lane for Steve. Can’t wait to meet Otis. I’ve saved this link because I consider it a historical account back into the history of the Muppet and beyond.

      Thank you
      Love Anne Terri

      1. Thank you so much. It means a lot to join the Pundit circle after being a silent reader for so long. As for the article, I had to share it because if anything, every bit in it is historical and noteworthy. Otis came to mind as no one else had asked about him (though I can’t blame them because the blog mainly revolves around Muppets – Otis is more so “pre-Muppet”). Either way, glad I could contribute. There’s plenty more to come.

        1. Agreed, and very enlightening and insightful was your post.

          I think what would also weed things out, with the recent “troll” issue, is if a special section was made for the site called “Ask Steve,” and we can submit them via a contact form which goes directly to his inbox, and he can then later answer what he feels is best.

          And Otis… is a very, very good question!

          1. Thank you as well. And I like your idea – I was thinking of something similar, a ‘live’ Q&A chat, not with video (as there could be connection problems with video, and audio, actually), but basically a chat. We ask questions, Steve answers them as he sees fit, it all goes back and forth. It could be done on a specific day at a specific time designated for a particular time slot (1 hour, perhaps) – of course, if/when it’s convenient for him (fans/visitors would have to be attentive to their respective time zones). That said, it may be hard to keep the chat rid of trolls so it’s not the best idea. I can also see other potential drawbacks with it, but trolls/spammers are really the main one – nevertheless, this idea was in mind over the last few days and I thought I’d bring it up as a suggestion (your reply reminded me of it).

          2. I agree. I just think by having a contact form that’s set up to “Ask Steve” is easiest, and he could then go through them as he sees fit. Television writer Ken Levine has done this for years, and he dedicates Friday’s to answer a few questions submitted to him and he answers them in a single post. Not a bad idea. Fellow writer, Mark Evanier, does the same thing. The guidelines are pretty simple.

            The comments can get pretty full of negativity and it’d be easier to weed out.

    3. Lady Saba, let me most sincerely, if belatedly, thank you for deciding to become a presence here. I’m sure all of us here are grateful for the research and insights you bring here (and the chance to watch Steve’s old impromptu performance on youtube which is still way better than latest rehearsed productions by other puppeteers!)

      The story of Otis the Beach Bum you shared and the sad news of past days have started me thinking in WHAT IF mode — which is the reason for this rambling comment. So, WHAT IF the Muppets Studio really decides not to bring Mr Whitmire back, thinking that somehow… (i’m at loss here) …somehow it could help the popularity?

      After trying my best to carefully think about it for a while, I had to decide that, in my most honest opinion, the loss will be largely on the side of the Muppets Studio itself. The Muppets ARE taking a hit. Big one, as we see on youtube.

      As for Mr Whitmire, unjust and painful as these things are, IF what transpires indeed sets in… after giving it time to calm down and dissipate… after giving it time to heal and regrow… it is actually his OBLIGATION to all of us to be fine. And indeed he’ll probably have to try really hard to not be.

      What do I mean? Let me reiterate on the things we’ve been saying here all along —

      Here’s what one can immediately see as what Steve has to capitalize on, and what is his DUTY to share with the world:
      a. his talent
      b. his experience
      c. his biography
      d. his taste
      e. his mentoring
      f. his spark.

      A. His talent, craft, his mastery of the art. Even the trolls here agree that he’s top of the field. Whatever he decides to do, he could easily outdistance most other puppeteers. Does it bring opportunities? I’d suppose so. Jobs to do in advertising, puppet sketches for event and broadcast appearances like ‘5 minutes with Otis’ are just the first things to come to mind. Followed by miscellanea of creature roles in kids fantasy movies or series in US, UK or Canada. Maybe directed by somebody he knows?

      B. His vast experience both in art and industry is undoubtful, and he has name recognition indeed. If what he did and what he meant to people over the years does not qualify him, at least, for giving lectures on performing arts at a major university, I don’t know what does. Art, critique or business, his experience in years alone speaks tons in his favor, despite all the recent events.

      C. His unique biography and people he worked with. A book? I’d LOVE his book! I’ll sure be in the queue in the bookstore, and sure I won’t be the first one, too. Friends? We SAW these guys here. Would they lend him a hand with something he tries? I’d say, maybe yes! Contacts? Sure there are people in the industry that are not at all against him, even after everything that rumbled over our heads in past weeks.

      C. His good taste. His vision. Extremely rare commodity these days, when hundred million dollar movies flop for a simple fact of being too yucky to watch. Writing? Directing? Performing? Or creative control over these? We heard he tried all four. One thing to be sure, whatever comes out will be watchable, wholesome, and much more pleasure to experience than the latest ABC muppets series. Does it count for something with people who want to make money out of their productions? By making viewers happy? I’d say yeah — probably with anybody other than people who cut him, or rather themselves, out of these very things.

      D. His mentoring — which is second to none. Jim. Are there many people left which were privileged to be selected, trained, mentored, and allowed by fate years of work side by side with Jim Henson? Entrusted to carry on his most personal character (which i consider Kermit to be). His legacy. There is no way that Steve could, being Kermit for 27 years NOT think of what Jim’s legacy is, and what it means to everyone. Actually, once you start thinking about this clearly, the impact of it is simply staggering. This is something he simply MUST share around, to leave the traces of it in the world. Contractual or independent productions? Documentaries? Teaching career? A school or center of puppetry? A puppet theater, either adjacent to puppetry museum or on its own? Quite likely. Taped (blurayed) lectures to be treasured? Whatever it has to be. This HAS to go on!

      E. The spark. Well folks, it’s not about the tone of voice at all, right? It’s about BEING the character. A ‘professional puppeteer’ can make the puppet move, a ‘voice actor’ can emulate the vocal timbre, but it takes a real Muppet performer to create the PRESENCE, the feeling of the character himself being right here, alive and thriving and happily doing his things. That’s what most people on youtube do not get — you have to have it inside! Matt does this with Uncle Deadly, but is struggling with Kermit, who does not seem to have much personality right now (in fact, I’m afraid we might see Kermit fading into the background with Uncle Deadly becoming the spirit of the next generation of muppets in the future).
      But think of what does it take to CREATE a muppet, to invent the form, or take one bland and undefined yet, and nurture the whole personality with mannerisms, tone of voice and quirks of character, and, the ultimate feat, make viewers actually fall in LOVE with the creation? It’s not really in the number of appearances, either. It is the spark, the magic, the charm. Steve proved to us, over the years, over and over and over again, that he has it aplenty. Rizzo is a gem — if Steve could keep the rights to the character, Rizzo is already the instant and very successful brand. If not — well, the man HAS the golden touch. He just need the supporters, puppet materials and a bit of time to work his magic. The possibilities here are endless indeed — pretty much everything the eye falls on. Lizard Slab, Rat Cellar, Cats Attic, Coon Tree, Musicians of Bremen Further Adventures, Storyspinner, The Circus, Folks’n’Tails — anything!
      Bring on talented bright-eyed kids, very much like what he himself have never stopped being, to carry on Jim’s spark in the world, and the old guys who’ve seen it all to polish the productions. Maybe Mr Quinn and Mr Goelz could join in for a rare treat of performance? The old Muppet guard doing their best on their own — can you just imagine what FUN it’s gonna be??
      Think of studio, theater or singular performances, TV channels and cable, Amazon or Netflix, or even something like few-second skits on youtube to start it up, not unlike the Thought of the week, but funnier.

      WE MAY yet find ourselves switching channels from something like ‘Muppet Up Unrated’ to catch the latest episode of ‘Otis and Friends’, to laugh and relax and luxuriate in the cozy comfort of knowing we are in good hands of master entertainer we all know and love.

      This may be time to get his own thing started, not unlike what Jim did before. Oh yes, Steve will be fine. He has to be. He OWES it to us all to continue. He’s not reduced by this in any way. He is still EVERYTHING he ever was, everything he learned, experienced, and achieved. In fact — who knows — maybe being cut off now just MIGHT turn around to be the best thing that could happen to his ideals of Jim’s legacy and vision in these troubled times?

      (These are just some random thoughts from a fan who knows Mr Whitmire by his performances, rare interviews, this blog, and the words form people who know him and have nothing to gain from speaking up in this situation. I’m sure that anyone who knows him better will be able to expand the list of possibilities much further than that.)

      I HAVE TO ADD HERE that the above may sound sacrilegious to anyone who loves the Muppets. Indeed, the whole thing basically IS that to me — whatever the current plans for Muppets might be, if the first step of these was firing Steve Whitmire, I really don’t see it getting any better from here.

      IT IS FOR THE SAKE OF THE MUPPETS that I still hope that something could make the people making decisions to change their minds, and keep the Muppets whole and alive and true to themselves!

      If I could quite you on a clip to conclude, this is the one I love most:

  28. Hopebou can come to Hollywood Bowl, I know an awful lot of lifetime fans would be more than thrilled to see our hero out there fighting the good fight!

  29. Steve, I wanted to let you know that even though you aren’t performing Kermit anymore, I love that you still have the heart and ideals of that character intact within yourself. Compassion, strength and perseverance. As long as you continue to carry out those ideals, you’ll always be Kermit in a way. It’s about sharing those ideals to the world, even if you can’t do that with a frog on your arm anymore.

    I wanted to also let you know that you can always carry on Jim’s legacy. Anyone can. It’s simply about being kind, creative and making the world a little bit brighter. You can still do that! I feel like Jim would have found continuing doing those things on behalf of him far more important than just having someone continue his character. After all that’s what made Kermit so beloved. So as long as you stick to what Jim’s key philosophies, you can still continue his legacy. (Just in a different way than you might have wanted.)

    Anyways, I’m not sure if that helps a lot….. I hope you can get something from it! We’re still rooting for you, Steve!

  30. Somehow I doubt all these nasty trolls were even around when Muppets Takr mNahtaan, heack even when Muppet Treasure Island came out. Go troll on Game of Thrones or Walking Dead forums

  31. I’m sorry about your cat Steve. I’m a cat lover and have some cats myself. My cat, Grace, is an older cat too. She is about 16 or 17 years old. But luckily she hasn’t had any issues. I dread the day she does because she is the love of my life. Hopefully she has a few more years left in her. I hope Streak gives you many more years of laughter.

    1. When there’s someone strange
      Hangin’ on your blog
      Who you gonna call?
      TROLL BUSTERS!

      When all they do
      Is bash our Frog
      Who you gonna call?
      TROLL BUSTERS!

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist. ;D

      1. Thank you, Anne. I’m glad you liked it. KingRichard76 said the word, and “Ghostbusters” just immediately popped into my head, and I just ran with it.

        Julia, I was hoping someone would post that after I did those lyrics!

  32. Hey me to! I think I kind of pushed that Fleece fellow into digging his own grave! He got upset when I schooled him on Muppet history, and in attempt to further sully Steve and Mike posted that private E mail. All in all I’m glad he and the others are gone!

    On to different topics: I’m so surprised how some people are so willing to easily accept Steve’s termination, and the recasting of Kermit, Link, and Beaker. Some folks are even saying they should quickly recast Rizzo, and giving suggestions on who should prefom him. I completely dissagree with the recasting of Rizzo, and as far as Matt taking on Kermit well time will tell. I do think though that we are slowly seeing a lot of the things Steve has talked about happening especially with Kermit.

    1. While many of us aren’t happy with Steve’s termination, it is pretty clear that the situation between him and Disney is not going to improve. Even though Steve performed Kermit, Link, and Beaker, they were all inherited characters. I think fans are able to accept that a lot easier than that of Rizzo, Lips, or Bean (characters he created). Also, I keep thinking back to when Steve said to not be Team Steve or Team Matt, but rather be on the side of what is best for the Muppets. I think that if these characters being recast is in the best interest of the brand, then we should support that choice (although I completely understand why some will not)

      1. I understand where your coming from, but I do dissagree. I still feel that this is not a done deal. Steve is still fighting to get back, and I truly believe that if fans rally then things might improve.

        If we are to error for whats right for the brand, then I error on the side of Steve being brought back. He is one of the last remaining core preformers, and one of the last to have worked and learned from Jim. That should not be taken lighlty. It’s not as black and white as just having the characters recast, because as Steve has said you can’t have a Puppet without thier preformer. These characters can not simply be recast at the drop of a hat or to someone who may do a good Kermit voice. Its his personally thats at stake here.

        1. I would love for Steve to come back, but with all that has come out (Henson not being happy with his performance, Disney not being happy with his behavior), I feel like the damage is irreversible. Again, I think it would be wonderful if he was allowed back, but I think too much has happened in the past couple months.

  33. Is anyone else having issues receiving the e-mail about new posts? I haven’t gotten one since August 8.

  34. Steve,

    I keep coming back to what you said about a month ago (in your post “Acceptance Fear & Hope”) about how you view your responsibility to the Muppets as being similar to that of a parent to his children. Though I am not a parent myself, it really resonated with me. I recently wrote a blog post about it wherein I expanded upon the metaphor of performer as “parent” and character as “child”.

    I know that you’re busy at the moment, dealing with a lot of literal and figurative crap in your life, but I hope that you’ll read it if you get the chance. And if you feel that I missed the mark, either in whole or in part, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I want to share it on other fan forums and such, but not if you feel that it misrepresents you and your viewpoint in any way.

    Much love, as always. 🙂

    1. I haven’t read your post yet, Mary A, but I’m reminded of a slightly different perspective on the parent/child analogy offered on this blog by someone who does have a child, which I appreciated so much that I archived it for future reference. I don’t know if the person who wrote it still lurks around (ahoy Joshua?), but I thought their contribution that day was beautiful and very thought-provoking.

      1. Hmmm…it’s interesting that you bring that up, J.S. I remember that comment, and it is partly what inspired me to write the linked-to essay…as a counterpoint of sorts. I’ll be interested to hear what you think about mine when you get the chance to compare and contrast the two. 🙂

  35. Hey Steve,

    I just wanted to say thank you. I grew up watching you on Sesame Street and The Muppets ever since I was really little. I always loved hearing Ernie singing “Somebody Come and Play” with a group of animals. That is probably one of my particular favourite moments that featured you as Ernie. Bert and Ernie were the very first characters I ever saw on the show back in 1999.

    A friend of mine really likes the insert on Sesame Street where Kermit was demonstrating light and dark, with the help of Grover, who ultimately ended up destroying Kermit’s house. There are so many hilarious moments with Grover and Kermit.

    I also enjoyed the Sesame Street video where Kermit was awarded “Frog of the Year” by Grover. I used to bring it home with me from a library close to where I live and watch it. It’s a great way for Sesame Street to celebrate one of its most iconic characters, and one of the most iconic characters of all time.

    The 2011 Muppet Movie is definitely one of my favourite movies of all time. I really liked hearing Kermit singing “Pictures In My Head.” Sometimes I listen to that song whenever I am thinking about friends of mine who have either moved away or that I have not seen in a long time (although I do keep in touch with them).

    I saw The Muppets three times in theaters back in 2011, and I have been doing a lot of looking back on my life, and I think that 2011 was probably one of the best years I have ever had. One of the reasons for that was because of The Muppet being released. Thank you for helping make 2011 an awesome year for me!

    I also loved watching you perform Kermit at the D23 Expo in 2015. My family flew down from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Los Angeles for the event. Seeing you all performing your characters right in front of my eyes was a big highlight for me.

    Thanks for all of the entertainment over the last 18 years!

    1. Now I watched “Pictures in my head” again on youtube, and it made me really sad, because it fits so perfectly into this context. I wish I could go and take Kermit into my arms and say to him that everything is going to be fine.

  36. It’s time to share my story….

    This is in response to Gavan’s post
    https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/09/02/pest-controll/#comment-2970
    and Dwayne Fletcher who also responded to him, but I want it to stand alone also for Steve to read.

    I call this story, ‘SHAME ON ME’

    In 1976, I with my theater troop attempted an audition for a local night club, which I’m glad to say we did not pass. Being the director, writer, and choreographer, I was also a performer in this, along with a very talented troop. I was only 25 years old, and wet behind the ears, in the way of understanding what it takes to do this, even though I had already taken my baton corps out to compete and they were state champions.

    Does anyone remember the old Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland films, where they say ‘Let’s put on a show’ and they did. What I didn’t realize is that behind them was a group of seasoned directors, writers, and choreographers who knew their stuff.

    Later, I would know what to do, but not yet. On the up side, we went on to do our own Dinner Theater and our show was a success, but it had to have a rewrite, and I also pulled in another director to assist, who also could do costumes.

    Now here is why I know it was I who failed, for it was my own lack of knowledge and stupidity in one particular area, which caused this.

    Allow to me say, just because I grew up loving Paul’s Puppets, and the little puppets named Mr. Bunny and Moose on Captain Kangaroo, does not mean I should be a puppeteer. Just because I loved Kermit in the Muppet Show, doesn’t mean I had any idea of how to perform him. No one taught me how, and self taught is a very bad idea when it come to a professional performance

    It’s not easy being green to be certain, especially if you have the wrong voice and also a Kermit puppet you can buy at any local toy shop, in the 70s. The tiny puppet theater I made for the audition amounted to a set more suited for Topo Gigio. NO NO NO! Can you even imagine? Yes I tried to perform Kermit in a half ass audition, singing ‘It’s not Easy Being Green’ and even though I didn’t forget the words or drop Kermit on his head, it was so far from being Kermit, that even a 2 year old would have known.

    SHAME ON ME!!! This is an apology to Kermit, to Jim Henson, and to Joe Raposo the song writer. Thank God, this audition was only seen by a few unknowns long ago.

    I Share this for Steve. I think with the showing of my own lack of judgment, I make a point here to back up Steve Whitmire, in his reactions to the recasting of any character which is already being performed by one who has knowledge of their charge, and have developed this to perfection. The only reason this should have to be done is heaven forbid, due to illness or death of a Puppeteer.

    Thus I say, understudies need to be trained and not just for a few weeks. They need also help with the voice-overs, or do not do it at all.

    *****************
    Now, I re post the link Saba Khan shared yesterday of who may be Otis and his little friend doing an announcement for a quartet in 1988 from behind a piano. https://youtu.be/a9mtPd_eOAo
    If my hearing does not fail me, I swear ‘Otis’ called his little friend ‘Rizzo’
    http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Rizzo_the_Rat?file=Swrizzo.jpg
    If this performance is the predecessor to Rizzo who is working beside Otis, it’s further proof that the concept of Rizzo belongs to Steve, and also for now, even though Kermit has changed hands, I believe Steve should still be holding Kermit. Love Anne Terri

    1. Anne,
      I think the video from Berkmar High School shows one of Rizzo`s first appearences !
      If this is Steve Whitmire’s high school, i guess he was performing Rizzo and maybe Otis on the introduction of the video !
      How great is that, watching more of Rizzo`s first appearences !
      Maybe Steve can tell us something about it.
      I hope the first Rizzo puppet is kept and preserved somewhere or even in a museum.

      1. I have been wondering, anyway, where the first and second and … thereafter … puppets are kept! If Steve has at least one of the “older Kermits” and one Rizzo at home…. I would really like to know.

        1. Me too, and RachelW, thank you for not reading me the riot act, for my latest confession. I was literally flushing my heart from its own septic tank, but did so to help Steve. If he wants to yell at me, I will sit and take it. Much Love to those of you who are looking for answers and history.

          Anne Terri

          1. Anne Terri, I am sure when you tried to do Kermit, you did not PRETEND to be the real Kermit, and you surely didn’t think “I am just as good as Jim Henson” – you were just trying your best and you didn’t know better (as you said you were not experienced and a bit naive). I am sure that many, many, many performers have done the same in the past decades, and many of them realised that it didn’t work out (some of them might not even have realised that…), but it is no crime, Anne. I am sure nobody wants to read you the riot act 🙂

        1. The first & second youtube videos are labeled as being from 1988.
          First Rizzo appearence was February 1980 i guess in The Muppet Show (with Christopher Reeve).
          The Fraggle Rock (with Sprocket) aired in January 1983.
          Both videos look previous to 1988.
          Considering that in 2016 Steve Whitmire was performing Rizzo for 36 years, even if the videos are from 1988, they were some of the early appearences of Rizzo (28 years ago).
          But hey, i don`t know nothing. I would love to know more about this.
          Only Steve Whitmire can tell us more about it if he wishes to, because it was his High School, and must have been special performing there with probably some of his teachers in the audience.

    2. I just thought I’d mention a few things:

      Yes, Berkmar is Steve’s high school. And in addition to the puppetry, it does indeed sound like he is doing the voices (*when he speaks, it’s unmistakable). My thinking is that he is performing both hands (for Rizzo AND Otis) – notice how Rizzo doesn’t speak throughout the entire interaction between the two (*unless another puppeteer is assisting, which if one is, the illusion is still flawless). Now, speaking of the concept of Rizzo, I think it’s fair to say that Steve is the one who understands it/him the most — after all, he reinvented/originated the character. Jim was right to say, “I’m going to make that rat a star”. The Muppet Show was obviously the perfect place to begin, and it isn’t surprising that movies like “Muppets Taken Manhattan” and “Muppet Christmas Carol” only helped that stardom to further rise. All that aside, I could say more about how great of a character Rizzo is, but the reality that Steve isn’t coming back to perform him or Kermit (as well as all of his other Muppets…not now, at least) is still very difficult to grasp. To this day, trying to accept the fact that it happened brings a searing pain to the heart. Away with the negativity, I frankly agree with you in that Steve should still be with the Muppets.

      On a happier note, here are two more videos from the 1988 Berkmar concert, featuring Wembley Fraggle, Sprocket the Dog, and two (more) very talented singers — most welcome. 🙂

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj9BBHz0Hwg

      1. I watched the one with Wembley earlier today. Hilarious and adorable, as always! When it got to the part where Wembley says, “What’s a mother? … We don’t get into that on Fraggle Rock because it’s a kids’ show,” I laughed so hard I could hardly breathe for about 10 minutes.

        Thank goodness it was a slow work day. 😀

      2. Just when I think Wembley can’t get any cuter than he is, he gets cuter.

        “You ate it up, and you went *ptoo ptoo ptoo* . . . .”
        (I have no idea how to spell what Wembley did there)

        I was hysterical there.

        Steve, you really have a way with a cute character!

      3. Saba Khan …. What a great surprise. I love hearing our dear Rizzo being so real, and then to watch Sprocket interacting with (hilariously upstaging) Wanda who does a great rendition of ‘I’m The Greatest Star’ from Funny Girl, made my whole day. You see great talent here early in Steve’s career. He’s a natural Puppeteer.

        1. I agree with you, Anne. Steve’s harmonies are always so gorgeous, but somehow when Wembley in particular sings harmony, it becomes something extra special.

          And as for the one with Wanda and Sprocket, Wanda’s performance is lovely, but I’m more impressed with her ability just to keep a straight face. I don’t think I could have that.

      4. All ,

        There’s another thing I wanted to bring up relevant to one of the above songs. I might be wrong (and if I am, please correct me), but I believe this is the only instance of a Fraggle covering Sinatra — we rarely ever see them outside Fraggle Rock, so it’s understandable they wouldn’t know who he is (or was)…he was one of the most “musically gifted silly creatures” on the face of the earth. On the other hand, Wembley was stellar there in the “My Way” cover, and for that we have another ” ‘blue-eyed’ singer ” to thank (he knows who he is 🙂)…yes, he did it ‘HIS WAY’!!!! 🙂

        1. Saba, you had me curious. I looked up Sinatra in relation to the Fraggles, but found only this list. The Muppets are a different story though. Even found a few fakers out there, which were not true puppeteers.

          Fraggle Rock songs… https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL064B0CBB2E39B276

          SINATRA MUSIC AND MUPPETS
          Aug 21, 2008 – Gonzo Sings “My Way” – YouTube
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdq39OYoIWk
          2010 The Muppet Show-Under My Skin – YouTube
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfg6dPJRzu0
          2011 Jim Henson Muppets Google Doodle sing Frank Sinatra “That’s Life ..
          .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1DGo3WxJPg

          1. That’s quite a list. It reminded me of one more ‘cover’. Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch did a parody (in/around 1990, I think (?)) called, “Just Throw it My Way”. Muppets of all kinds really seem to like this song, don’t you think? : )

            (circa) 1990 Sesame Street – Just Throw it My Way as performed by Oscar

          2. Saba, You made me smile. Listen to these well written, teaching lyrics for children. Brilliantly performed b.y Oscar the Grouch, with the help of Caroll Spinney, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph? Not certain if Oscar requires two puppeteers or if two separate ones performed his role over time

          3. There is another “relation” regarding the fraggles and sinatra, albeit by marriage. Forgive me if I’m wrong or speak out of turn Mike, but isn’t he Mia Farrows cousin? I remember hearing it years ago but I maybe wrong, I thought he was related to Jane from the old Tarzan movies, that’s Mias’ mum.

  37. All sounds fair to me. Banning persistent troublemakers is universal practice on forums right across the web. There’s nothing wrong with dissenting opinions, but also no excuse for not stating them civilly… and recent conduct here has obviously gone way beyond simple dissent and incivility.

    I want to say thank you, Steve, for coming back (to your own blog – lol). I feel like life has just been breathed back into the space. Reason is what suffocates in an information vacuum, and it sure did go to hell-crazy over the last couple of weeks. You’ve had much bigger things to deal with and I hope those are all on the way to being resolved, but still it’s good to see you’re back around here and taking action. The difference already is clear; look how many sane, human commenters have come out of the woodwork again now that the climate of poison and madness has been lifted. I hope it lasts. For the first time in a while, I’m starting to feel hopeful again that this might go on to become the positive space that I glimpsed in the early days.

    And hey, nothing lightens the mood like a face-full of septic system contents (long as it’s somebody else’s face, right?)

      1. The first time I saw this was when I was about four years old, one of my all time favourite Muppet scenes, I felt it was appropriate for this thread 🙂 glad you enjoyed it

        1. Oh my, Nicholas. I’m old enough to be your Grandmother. My first rat pet was named Willard, and the second was Remy. One was tamed, the other an infiltrator in our home, whom I accepted as one of the family, and gave him his own place to eat, and what a feast it was at breakfast and dinner. He respected us, and I him. Never did he take what he should not have, even up to the time he passed away.

          Rats rule
          Love Anne Terri

  38. So very sorry about the loss of your cat.. we recently lost one of our pommies rather suddenly (though not entirely unexpectedly…) never easy when they pass…
    and on the septic issues.. we’ve had lots of those over the years.. old system.. pipe from the house to the tank broke one winter while hubby was deployed… and earlier this summer we just had the tank replaced and upgraded… hoping that will put an end to issues for a while…
    Sorry things are piling up on you right now.. but, you have a large fan base, none the less and we do hope all the sewage clears soon, and you will have plenty of good things in the future, even with out the Muppets if that is how it is to be..
    And I still can’t believe they are blaming you for issues that are obviously better planted at the feet of the writers and directors over your “portrayal”…

  39. Steve I just want you to know that no matter how many people say that Matt is doing perfect with Kermit I for one disagree. Everyone keeps talking about his voice and how it’s sounds closer to Jim then you ever did, or that Matt’s voice is improving or what have you. I keep reminding people that IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT THE VOICE!!! I have read everything you have said, and I’ve heard Frank Oz talk about how little a part the voice is when establishing these characters. No matter who is preforming Kermit it’s as you have said is going to be an imitation of an imitation. Matt could sound exactly like you or even Jim, and none of that would matter when his personality is off.
    We are seeing everything you have talked about in this blog happen before our very eyes with Kermit, and yet no one is brave enough to admit it.
    Now please everyone don’t get me wrong, I love Matt as a performer. He has done wonderful with Floyd and especially with Uncle Deadly. However with Kermit it is going to be at best his own interpretation of how he will react think and evolve as a character. It’s something that dose not come easy and even Steve will tell you will take time to get right.

    1. You are absolutely right to keep pointing out that it’s not all about the voice, Dwayne. All due respect to Matt, but so far he’s given Kermit a grand total of two facial expressions, at least as far as I can see. Whereas as when Steve performs Kermit, he always gives Kermit such lovely, dynamic facial expressivity.

      I don’t know how many people here are Star Trek: the Next Generation fans, so maybe this will just come across as really weird, but in thinking about the whole situation in general, and trying to put myself in Matt’s shoes in particular, I came up with an analogy in which I compared this whole situation to the Star Trek: TNG episode “The Measure of a Man.” You can read the whole thing here, but the relevant part is that I decided that Matt is Commander Riker, forced to prosecute a case against his friend Data, an android who is fighting for his rights as a sentient being. If you don’t know TNG, it probably won’t make much sense, but it helps me a lot.

      (Hey Steve, in this analogy I decided that you are Captain Picard. 🙂 )

    2. You are so right, and I always get mad when I read in articles “he was the voice of Kermit the frog”, as if it was just a cartoon with a voiceover. I have watched the thought of the week and the new Kermit reminds me a lot of Constantine (facial expression), and yes, he used to have such a varied facial expression.
      Does anybody have a link to the recent interview with Kermit? I could not find it on youtube.

        1. RachaelW, Julia Silve, and Mary Arlene, It’s not so much the voice that irks me, as the somber way Kermit is being performed. He seems hesitant, as in taking a back seat. This is not the Kermit we know, most certainly. Is he sick? He will be swallowed alive by Miss Piggy and even Fozzie Bear if they do not fix this.

          I abhor every time they have the chance to use the media, that someone like the announcer for the Hollywood Bowl promo has to say something about Steve being let go. It’s like an after thought which is rubbing it in, which should go against Disney’s and the Henson Family’s better judgment. I do not believe for a minute their reason given is the Truth.

          Where’s Our Kermit? I miss him
          Love Anne Terri

  40. Since we’re sharing fun videos, I revisited this particular song Steve did. I’m not exactly a fan of ‘Elmo in Grouchland’, but this is definitely a highlight. I feel that sometimes we get so caught up in the major characters, we forget about the Whatnots and other bit characters the major performers have done.

    1. Marni, It’s wonderful, hearing this plant sing. I’m a great fan of Elmo, and believe it or not I also watch The Furchester Hotel. It makes me smile after a long day on here with the Trolls. Now it’s getting better. Still more weeds to pull, but not the singing plant life.

  41. Just saw the new Muppet Thought of the Week with Kermit and Fozzi video on youtube.
    Still doesn’t look the Kermit to me. Even less than the first one…
    😭

  42. So so sorry to hear about your furbaby 😢 please see if you can get a course of maybe neoplasene tablets from the vet. However, I must lyk that ip addresses are sometimes non static. If the trolls are on phones or tablets they will all be showing the same ip address as lots of innocent posters too, as you’ll be registering the *servers* ip address, or the ip address of certain browsers internal servers, such as skyfire browser. These aren’t necessarily the same people, but it will look like they are, and will look like they are located in the same place. I had a real tussle with a TV streaming service who were UK only who swore I was in california and blocked me and thousands of other users because it looked like I was in the u.s. . I’ve never been to california in my life! I was using skyfire browser! Most of the time my ip will have me listed as being in Hatfield, uk. I’ve never been to Hatfield either, but ee have their server located there. Please be careful!
    I also tried to post on a previous blog here in response to a post of mine which was taken out of context by some (massively)and was told I was a bot, this is down to time limits on how long it takes to post here, just refresh the page and it will post. Hope it helps.

  43. So sorry about your cat. Also sorry that you didn’t make it from beneath the pipe soon enough , especially when you can take a shower at home… sheesh

  44. We’ve had septic issues at various times at our house, so I know your pain, Steve! And they always seemed to happen on Saturday evenings when the plumber won’t come until Monday at the earliest.
    In lighter news, it was fun to see a clip of you as Kermit this morning on The View when they did a montage celebrating Whoopi Goldberg being on the show for ten years.
    And did you go to the Labyrinth party at the Center for Puppetry Arts last week? I saw the exhibit and it was fun. It was nice to see photos of you and some of the other “elder statesmen/women” puppeteers at the Jim Henson exhibit.

  45. Steve, first off, want to say how sorry I am to hear about your cat’s illness. I’m sure you and your wife are doing your best for him, and I know how heartbreaking it is to have our furry friends sick (we had to put one of our two down right after New Year’s this year from intestinal cancer).

    Also sorry to hear about your septic tank issues. My father in law has one, and they can be a pain to maintain.

    Onto the nonsense here, I’m sorry to hear that your informative and open discussion blog has turned into yet another place for trolls on the internet. People are absolutely brutal, and while I was badgered by people on the old Prodigy bulletin boards back in the day where we first met, social media, etc. has just gotten ruthless, and I’m sorry to see now because of you’re willingness to share your stories and insights, you’re a victim of it too, now.

    At any rate, I hope overall you are doing well and trying to stay positive and keeping busy with other things you enjoy and I do hope we get to see you back performing somewhere soon. Always thinking of you and sending my best wishes.

  46. Steve, I’ve unfortunately come across another type of pest while wandering through the internet. There are some fans who not only consider you and the other performers to be nothing more than voice actors, but also don’t care about who performs which character. As long as a character ‘sounds right’, apparently everything is hunky dory.

    In the spirit of your request for help to set things straight, I wrote a response to all of the comments I came across.
    https://justforthehalibutblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/mid-week-rant-easiest-job-in-the-world/

    1. Marni, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and your writing being so brilliant, I believe Steve will also.

      However I wish you could get past insertion of the expletives. Why? Because you are possibly also offending readers who are not the trolls you mean to see this, and some will get to these words and stop right there. I pushed past it, knowing you have researched to gain worthy knowledge in the intricacies of being a performing Puppeteer and also have chosen wonderful film footage to show your key points.

      I have a friend who is a puppeteer, currently working on a film, and he daily corroborates what has been said in these films, about how grueling it is to do this work he loves so much, meaning aching muscles and neck at the end of the day as well as even finding that the puppet fur may cause itching and sweating.

      I so wanted to share your post to Twitter. You do not have to take my advice, what do I know right? Yet I keep thinking don’t write anything, which a Muppet would not utter themselves. You may eventually have an audience of both adults and adolescents.

      Love Anne Terri

      1. Anne, I can promise you that the explicit language is not common on my blog site and it’s unfortunate that two of the articles I have left a link to on Pundit contains it. And I do apologise for your weariness of it. However, as a writer, I felt it was appropriate to be truthful to myself in this instance by using my natural vocabulary that, yes, contains colourful wording,

        I’m confident that my next post will be censored and very much appropriate for all ages.

        1. You are amazing Marni, and I know it’s your natural way, just like it is with my daughter and son. Just went a bit nutz being an old timer.

          Much Love
          Anne Terri

  47. Steve is a human being.

    I have been reading the comments here and other places since the story broke and I have to step in. Yes, Steve is a public figure, but that doesn’t mean we can be insensitive when asking questions.

    Put yourself in his place. For example, let’s say you are the chef of a restaurant, and you were unexpectedly let go of the job that you put your heart and soul into. Everything in your career led you to your dream job. Then, one day, the rug is pulled out from under you. Now let’s say you have well-meaning acquaintances. People who have eaten at your restaurant are shocked, saddened, even angry at the situation. Do you refuse to eat at your favorite restaurant? That’s your decision.

    Then you get in touch with the chef. Because of the high profile, you feel like you have a connection with this person. You may have read about the chef, but you feel you are connected to this person. You are concerned and indignant. You find out that a co-worker has replaced your acquaintance.

    Do you reach out to that chef and say, “What do you think about the new chef? How do you think they will do? Are you friends with them?” “I think your creme brulee is much better than the new chef’s. Do you still hang out with the new chef?” “How is your wife handling this?”

    Steve is a human being. He has boundaries. Give him the space and respect that you would want. Let Steve educate us, entertain us, and even engage us. But please stop with the insensitive and invasive questions. I know you are very curious and don’t mean any harm. And Steve’s heart is generous enough that he would likely answer questions we shouldn’t be asking him.

    Let’s get back to the history of the Muppets, the future of the Muppets, and back to business.

    1. Well, this is embarrassing. The “let’s say you are a chef” and “you are an acquaintance with a chef” were poorly written. Sorry – bad editing on my part.

      …stepping back into the lurking room…

  48. Steve, forgive me if this has been brought up in the past here, but I sincerely hope that there is no bad blood between you and the Henson family.

    I hope that someday soon you and the Hensons can all get together in person and work out any issues that you may have with each other.

  49. Mr. Whitmire, welcome back to the blog. I completely understand taking a break from social media and sincerely hope your cat is okay soon. I seem to have lost track of my notifications and just caught up on the recent posts. I hope that as the controversy subsides, you receive less abusive comments here.

  50. Everyone… This plumbing problem thingy is catching like a plague. Several days ago the hot water in the bathtub could not be had, because the turn nob just kept turning, both left and right. Could pull the knob right off! Luckily I was able to turn the hot water off before it began to do this. We ordered a new faucet for the tub, and just spent two hours with my friend installing a new one. Even with measurements, as usual in Belgium nothing fits exactly. Ahhhhh, what a joy to do this. NOT!

    Hope everyone stays dry and safe in the Hurricane. Makes the tub seem like a simple chore, does it not? Better call Gonzo.

    Love Anne Terri
    The Muppet Movie Still
    http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/4/42/TMM-Gonzo%27sPlumbingTruck.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/2000?cb=20150419220043

  51. Thank you so much Steve for coming back to us! I’ve missed you and hope to hear from you soon. Praying hard for Harvey and Irma victims and hope your cat gets better and things work out the way they need to.

    Lucy

    1. Oh yes, and make sure she has fresh water and hasn’t been drinking the contaminated stuff, it could comprise her immune system.

      1. Serena, Good point on the water.

        BTW, on your other question, I Don’t like to dish the dirt on Frank and Mia. I follow her on Twitter. You can Google their relationship if you choose, for the story is long. Not Muppet related anyhoo.

        1. It was just a pun on words “relation” ! Nobody is dishing dirt, just a fact that as Stephen Fry would say is “quite interesting”. Technically mike and frank were once related. Not everything I post is strictly serious! It’s gotten very heavy going here lately.

          1. Serena, I’m a bit freaked now by the Hurricanes. It sure has been heavy here and everywhere, this is why I do not want speak out on National Enquirer like stuff. I kinda grew up in the Peyton Place years, and it was heavy then too.

          2. I just meant heavy going here on the blog. What does anything have to do with national enquirer or Peyton place??

          3. Serena it’s late here. Mia was a lead on this night time soap opera during the time she was with Sinatra. Their stories were often in that paper. I’m tired after a long day, going to sleep now.

  52. I was cringing before you even got to “plumbing snake” in anticipation of what was coming. That’s just awful! And a sick cat on top of it – poor kitty, I hope she gets better soon!

    It really is a relief to see the comments full of true fans and not overrun by trolls. I hadn’t realized how oppressive it had gotten on here – and how exhausting it was to fight the urge to feed all of them on every post. Whew!!

    Glad to have you back, and can’t wait to see what more you have in store for us!

  53. Hey Steve. When I was in middle school, a beloved English teacher exposed my class to the Muppet Movie. Yes I had grown up on Sesame, but that day I saw Kermit and friends take on Doc Hopper, something about Kermit and his friends deeply impacted me. In a way, I became a student of Jim Henson, obsessively absorbing all his work I could find, even obscure stuff like MirrorMask! I couldn’t get enough.

    The running thread through everything was this: Heart. The Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock… everything Jim and the rest of you put your hands on was fun, colorful, hilarious… yet full of so much heart. It impacted me in a deep way. It’s a legacy I want to pass on to my children.

    I remember reading in a book about Jim how his co workers describe him: wise, loving, kind, and always respectful of others. Willing to make everyone feel valued and special. As a youth pastor running a small team of volunteers, Jim has been a constant source of inspiration for how I treat the people on my team.

    I still cry every time I watch you and your friends perform at his memorial service. “It’s in every one of us.” And “Just one person” get me every time.

    All this to say, I just want you to know how much I appreciated you as Kermit. You carried that legacy of Heart into every performance, right from your first appearance on that episode where the Muppets consoled each other over the loss of Jim. Your rendition of “1 more sleep til Christmas” gave so many fans hope that the spirit of Jim was alive in Kermit.

    I was born in 89. Jim passed on 1 year later. You’ve been Kermit for my entire life. I don’t know if this makes sense, but as a pastor to young people who was mentored into my current position by people who impacted me as a young man, I understand how you saw your position, not as a job, but a calling. A mission. To sing and dance and make people happy. I fully understand your desire to stay true to a legacy. I appreciate it, and I am deeply thankful for your service.

    I just wanted to thank you. All this drama is heartbreaking, and while like you I wish Matt all the best and believe in optimism for the future, losing you as Kermit feels like losing a dear friend. You don’t know me, but you’ve been there for me in a way. I appreciate that, sir. Thanks for carrying on, and for helping keep Jim alive in all our hearts.

    Sincerely
    Aaron

      1. Steve, I’m glad you chose Aaron to reply too. He says everything I’ve been feeling and trying to put into words. I hope you will stay around Aaron and give us some more of your Muppet feelings.
        I came across the Jim Henson Memorial films, and I can not even watch them. They hurt my heart.
        I feel like I’m there.

        Bless you,
        Anne Terri

      2. Steve, I join my voice with Anne’s, and I want to affirm something that Aaron said as well: “You don’t know me, but you’ve been there for me in a way. “

        That’s exactly the way I feel. Without being aware of it, you were there for me during the darkest time of my life, and your work–performing Kermit and Ernie especially, but also Wembley–helped me to come back from that traumatic experience and to heal.

        I wrote a blog post about it a month ago, but I don’t think I shared it at that time. I’m a little nervous about sharing it now because it’s so intensely personal. I hope you’ll forgive me if the wording is clumsy, and please just know that the sentiment behind it comes from the very bottom of my Muppet-loving heart.

    1. Aaron, this is how I feel, too. The films and the songs are so much more “sincere” in a way, not pretending to live in a perfect world (like other films do), but from the heart. And I feel the same about the memorial service, especially “Halfway down the stairs” and “Just one person”. I have, of course, never met Jim Henson, but his friends singing and trying to give back what he gave to them is so moving. And what you say about losing Kermit is what I said in my first post here, too ( a while ago), in a remarkable way I feel as if I am soulmates with a frog.

    2. Hi Aaron,

      I love what you wrote. The only part of Jim’s memorial I have watched was the “Jim’s Favorite Songs” segment (which was a great mix of funny and heartwarming. I always find myself clucking right along with “Baby Face”). The “Just One Person” is my favorite part of it, though, when all the Muppeteers come in (and of course, Wembley coming out and saying “hi”). Unfortunately for me, I have a cast recording of “Just One Person” from the musical “Snoopy” (where it originally comes from), and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear it again without thinking about this heartwarming moment. I also loved Steve’s tribute to Jim at the memorial as well.

      Live Long and Paws-Purr,
      Erin T. Aardvark

  54. Hi Steve,

    As more material of the ‘New Kermit’ comes out, I find myself becoming more distant from the fandom as a whole. I adore Matt, I really do. His talents are remarkable and what he has done with characters like Uncle Deadly has been astounding….That being said, adjusting to the era of his Kermit performance is going to take just about forever. I’ve been thinking a lot about the reason why for the past week and I think I’ve nailed it on the head.

    It’s going to take a while because I’m…….I’m terrified of having to miss you.

    Incredibly sappy, I know, but there are some truths that I simply can’t brush off. You’ve had too much of a presence and sense of influence within the Muppets to not feel a gaping hole now that you are no longer in the ranks. I can’t understand how other fans are so easily pushing you away and embracing what’s next, barely giving recognition to your contributions. Even if I had the chance to go to the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, I wouldn’t out of my anguish for our loss. It’s one of the reasons why I feel the need to keep writing and broaching the subject. I can’t let go because I believe it shouldn’t be dropped.

    I keep harping on about looking forward to your next post and not being able to wait to see what you do next for your career because to me, it’s comforting to know you’re still around in some capacity. A lot of people on here have said it far better than I ever could, but your contributions to your craft are what your most devoted fans live for, me included. If you decide to pursue other projects, then we’ll be ecstatic for you and look forward to watch the final result. If you decide you’ve had enough and want to take it easy from here on in, we’ll be disappointed, but will ultimately respect your choices.

    The Muppets Studio really has decided to move on. This morning, I learned that they’ve even recast the Muppet Newsman, leaving me horrified for where Rizzo and Lips are going to end up. I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it once it comes along, just as you and the rest of the fandom must. As always, I commend your choice to defend the vision of our beloved Jim Henson, even if you’re stuck on the sidelines like the rest of us. At least you’re not alone in that, right?

    I realise I’m just rambling at this point, but it’s all what I feel I needed to communicate to you. While I’ll miss you as far as the Muppets are concerned, it’s a great comfort to know we’ll never be completely out of touch.

    As always, can’t wait for your next post. It gets rather dull without you (lol),

    Your friend,
    Marni

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