Housekeeping

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.“…comment by John V on 09/06/17 at 5:25pm

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.“…comment by Fred on 09/06/17 at 2:33am

Oh, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie. Stop being such a whiny, spoiled brat.
You’re just like every other emotionally unstable (intentionally deleted) on the internet. No wonder Disney, Henson and Sesame Workshop fired you.
“…comment by ANONYMOUS on 09/02/17 at 7:28PM

A few things to talk about. First, I want to say once again how much I enjoy your thoughts and questions. Please know that I am reading your comments as time permits and can’t respond to everyone, but I did want to cover all of the above topics in this one post since these have been mentioned by several people.

Second, my cat Streek is up and moving around with new determination after a full round of steroids and continuing fluids. She’s old and this will be temporary as she is in a definite decline, but presently she is doing very well. We will do our best to keep her comfortable until it is time for her to leave us…stevewhitmire-felinepundit. Thank-you all for sharing your own stories of love and loss of these special beings who have graced our lives.

Third, many have expressed concern about not receiving notification of the last post I entitled “Pest ConTroll”. Totally my fault as I did not send them. I saw that post as a sort of ‘utility’ post that was off topic to a degree, and chose not to invade everyones email inbox over it. I figured you’d all find it as soon as I sent out notification on this one. My apologies for causing that confusion.

Fourth, guess what? “ANONYMOUS”(a/k/a kcountrybearfan@xxxxx) static IP places them squarely in Orlando through a provider called “Smart City Telecom“. Check’em out…BTW, this person is now blocked from this blog.

Finally for the record, I have never been fired by “Henson”, and prior to the media storm in July of this year I wasn’t even aware of any lingering differences with the family. The Henson Company put me under an annually renewable ‘first call’ agreement for my puppeteering services in October 1991 and that agreement was repeatedly extended until the company sold the Muppets to Disney in 2004.

This agreement transferred with the sale and continued into the first year with Disney. Production schedules being what they are, I was in essence exclusive to the Henson Company who provided my services to Sesame Workshop, the producers of the various films, and others as I couldn’t accept any other work without first clearing the time with the company holding my first call agreement.

The last time I was around any of the Henson family was at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Jim Henson Collection at The Center for Puppetry Arts Museum in Atlanta on November 14, 2015 during the unexpected hiatus from the ABC series when they changed showrunners. It felt like a family reunion as the guest list included many colleagues and friends I had not seen in years who were there to honor Jim’s legacy at this amazing new facility. It was all seemingly love, laughs, and smiles, and there was no indication of any tension between us at all. In fact, I was told by the representatives of the Center that Cheryl wanted Kermit to appear at the ribbon cutting. What happened between November 2015 and July 2017 is still a head-scratcher for me…

As to Sesame Workshop, I chose not to say anything about Ernie, and most assumed I was ‘too busy’ with my Disney work. That was never the case. So lets get this one sorted out once and for all.

In April of 2014, two Sesame Workshop producers flew to Atlanta to have lunch with me. It turned out that they were going to “recast Ernie”. The reason given was major restructuring at the corporate level due to financial issues, and I was told by the executive that recasting was “not (their) recommended course of action”. Many longtime staples of the series with far more involvement than me, including cast, crew, and production people were subsequently gone as well during 2014-2016.

The possibility of my returning to the series was also mentioned in that conversation. I have always hoped to be asked back, especially since Ernie has practically disappeared from the show altogether. That’s why I never said anything about the change because he was not being used that much anyway.

By the way, unlike virtually every other performer with a lead character on the show, I was always a day player on Sesame Street, never a series regular with a season deal. My fees and the terms of my contracts were set from day one by The Jim Henson Company who supplied both the puppets and the puppeteers for the show.

However, when the characters were sold to Sesame Workshop offers began to decrease. By the end of my time on the show, I had voluntarily cut my fees between 50% and 90%, began staying in a local budget Queens hotel, and worked closely with production to schedule banking the Ernie and Bert segments when I was already in New York on Disney trips, meaning Disney covered the airfares and ground transportations. Short of flying myself to New York, paying for my own hotel and travel expenses, and working for less than scale (all violations of SAG-AFTRA rules) there was nothing else I could do to accommodate the production’s financial woes.

I loved working on the show and always made myself available to meet any request; that is, I was never unavailable for Sesame Street. I often said that I felt Sesame was the last vessel of Jim’s pure vision, the show that made me want to work with puppets from the time I was ten years old.

It has been tough to see it lose its neighborhood feel, the relationships of all who seemed to literally live and reside on the street, the feeling that if you were to walk over and knock on Oscar’s trash can, even after an episode was over, he’d still be in there. I understand the ever changing market pressures, but much has been lost over the last three years. Ernie was a beloved part of my life for 24 years.

264 thoughts on “Housekeeping

  1. Steve,

    It’s so great to hear from you again, and I’m glad that you’re cat is doing okay!

    It’s really interesting to hear about Ernie and how much he meant to you. Especially seeing your perspective on Sesame Street now. I wasn’t really a huge Sesame Street fan as I got into The Muppets before then, but I always enjoyed seeing your performance of Ernie when you did.

    It’s these kinds of stories I love reading about and hope to hear from you again!

    – Sunny

    1. …Not sure how this website works… 🙂 Hi, would be great to write again. You can find me on http://www.Fa cebo ok dot com slash familyfriendfun . If you would rather email, your brother is on my friend network, so he could get my other email address.
      If you do email, please use an address other than Newpost@… box , as my spam filters will misdirect it elsewhere. Thanks.

      Sent this letter to you earlier. Cheers.
      Dear Steve, Saturday, July 15, 2017

      Hello! We used to talk about art and puppetry work. I would like to again, as your time permits. This is G i n a, a puppetry student from some years ago.

      Thank you again for your advice and sharing over the years. It made a great impact in my later work. It was also fun to interview you for those publications, or just chat about travel, kitties, family life, pianos, whatnot.
      `
      How have you been? I am doing alright, co-founded a rock band, and doing puppetry, stop motion music videos, comics, the like. Anyway, saw you mentioned in the national news this week. I hope you and your family take care.

      I can guess you are occupied right now. When you are interested, someday, I would like to reconnect. It would be interesting to hear what you’ve been up to. It’d also be great to talk about the future of puppetry. People, myself included, look up to your skills, professionalism, opinions and abilities. I learned and applied from your sense of voice-control, mannerisms, honest and friendly stage presence, humor, creativity, and genuineness; whether or not it’s Muppetry-branded or sans-Muppet. I remember you talked with me about how strongly you felt, in your journey furthering Jim’s legacy. Not only with his characters, but for puppetry in general.

      Perhaps you’ll consider doing something else, when you’re interested, someday. I hope so. In entertainment history, it seems we’re on a pinnacle turning point. There’s not enough community, art, optimism, education, and reality. Audiences need alternative ideas and entertainment.

      What do you think is next?

      I’ve made acquaintance over the years with many mixed-media artists, puppeteers, musicians, etc. It seems people should work together and do something. I do not know what that something is. But as you showed me, it’s all about the camaraderie behind the product. Business functionality, technology, and other limitations are relevant too. Though an art form needs people’s integrity and teamwork.

      Do you have opinions about this?
      So as we used to say: Have fun! -And- Take care!
      Best regards,
      G i n a

  2. Hi Steve,

    It’s nice to hear your civil-minded perspective on all of said topics, especially with the way your time as Ernie ended. I was devastated when you left…Us Sesame purists couldn’t agree more the changes, and miss you terribly.

    I was just wondering—do you have any favorite moments while performing him? Or a particular special/song/episode perhaps?

    A fan of yours ALWAYS,
    Alex

  3. Crikey, it always makes me so happy to get an email notification from Muppet Pundit..

    Good to know Streek is doing well. Never easy to watch a beloved pet grow old, but we always do what we can to make them as comfortable as possible.

    You directly calling out different trolls for us to check out is the social media equivalent of hiring us to make a hit on someone. You know not the power you possess, Mr Whitmire (lol)!

    And talk about two topics I was NOT expecting you to broach at this point in time! The stigma the Henson’s seem to hold against you still makes no sense to me either, but you never know, the truth may come out someday. I don’t have much to add to that particular subject other than that I’m just as confused as you.

    As for Ernie, it is a pity that no matter what sacrifices are made, there are times when circumstances get in the way of making something wonderful work. I listen to Ernie singing ‘I Wonder’ almost everyday on my iPod, the only Sesame Street song I possess due to the simple beauty of it and that fact that it’s my favourite Ernie performance from you. Hopefully one day, they might ask you to come back on the set for something. The 50th Anniversary is coming up- maybe some type of reunion.

    As always, cheers to a great weekend and can’t wait for the next one.

    1. Oh my – maybe we can all gather for a Mafia Dinner? 😉

      Here’s my best guess on what might be going on with the Hensons. As evidenced by the action of this forum’s multiple-trolls-for-the-price-of-one spammer, somebody out there has some kind of obsessive bizarre unhealthy all-consuming grudge against Steve for whatever reason. Maybe it’s somehow justified but this personality type often tends to take personal offense to situations where none actually existed or misinterpreted something and took it very personally – taking something that they felt hurt by and looking for a target to assign blame to. This same person not only had his now-deleted FleeceThroat Twitter account but probably also was talking to various media outlets as an “anonymous source” spreading negative gossip about him. Since their big bee in their bonnet tended to be “blackballing” puppeteers, i’m thinking it’s either a puppeteer who somehow felt Steve was responsible for him losing out on an opportunity(s) or someone close to them (girlfriend/boyfriend?)

      Maybe said performer hasn’t worked much with Disney’s Muppets the last several years but worked with Henson – if they were say, a regular cast member of one of their productions and/or Puppet Up shows, they may have spent a lot of time there constantly badmouthing Steve at various times, not being able to let go of whatever issue they were so psychopathically obsessed with…and Brian, Lisa, et al kept being subject to this steady stream of poison poured in the ears. Over time since the Hensons had more exposure to the rantings of a lunatic rather than directly working with Steve himself on anything, this begins to shape their opinions despite past direct experience. (This is a regular ploy of corrupt politicians and media outlets and certainly the MegaTroll’s modus operandi: Repeat a lie enough times that people start to believe it – even if it’s completely ridiculous and implausible)

      Just a theory – not based on any concrete evidence but rather an attempt to see the big picture, understand human nature and try to piece together where the truth from the middle that exists between two opposing sides’ “truths” may lie. I may be 100% wrong, totally on target or extremely close but short of the bullseye but just some food for thought.

      1. Speaking strictly of personal opinion, I could not help thinking along the same lines myself — in my opinion, while Hensons certainly would never deliberately mislead the public, the interviews seemed to have voiced rather the concerns related to Disney period, presented to them by people they had no reason to distrust from sufficiently one-sided perspective, more than their direct experiences.

      2. Frankly I just think that Disney gave the Hensons a deal. Badmouth Steve, and their floundering movie projects will get their funding under the table.

        1. My father actually speculated that Disney was paying off the Hensons. No proof, of course, but he and I were trying to come up with several scenarios, and all sorts of possibilities. When I said this, I was accused of trying to start a conspiracy theory. I don’t really think they were paid off, though. This was the one thing that I just couldn’t understand about the whole thing.

        2. This is a very serious allegation, not one to be made lightly. I’ll admit that similar thoughts (and different ones) have crossed my mind while trying to solve the Henson puzzle, which is still a head-scratcher for me too, although I don’t know much. But I’d be wanting a lot more solid information before I could commit to such an idea, because the moral implications are terrible.

          1. Got to be a good reason though, to turn like that, it’s not natural. Cheryl sounded artificially happy when she razored Steve. Somewhere, in a Disney storage depot the real Henson kids are probably being held up. The ones we are seeing now have probably been put together in a puppet workshop lol!

        3. Bryant–
          That is a very serious (and oddly specific) allegation. It sounds like wishful thinking on your part.

          Whether we like it or not, the Henson family (especially Brian, who performed and worked with Steve for years on various projects) knows Steve better than any of us do. Brian and Lisa were diplomatic in their comments, and they know Steve on a personal and professional level. They are entitled to their opinions.

          1. Yeah. Isn’t it possible they just don’t like him? Lots of people don’t like other people. And it’s common in a family or close group of friends for those opinions to become shared.

          2. Andrew, it’s clear that both Jim and Jane thought the world of Steve, and I’ve been wondering if that might factor into the second-generation Hensons’ animosity towards him. Maybe they feel somehow threatened by the affection that their parents had for him.

            I don’t know; just a thought.

          3. I blame 2015 series for most of the Kermit character concerns we heard — I often felt like lashing out at whoever is responsible for that myself. The way Kermit was written for these was a crime against humanity.
            However in all productions where Hensons were involved directly, Kermit was always his kind, charming and funny self we love.

            Knowing that in creative process the very fine line between “it would be better if we do it like this” and “you better make me happy” is mostly a matter of perspective, Steve may be taking the heat for the very same things he tried to take a stand against, indeed.

  4. Thanks for keeping us updated, Steve! Glad to hear that Streek is doing better! With the first Hollywood Bowl show being just a couple hours away, I was wondering what you think of Matt’s portrayal of Kermit? Tonight is his big debut, and as upsetting as this whole situation has been, I truly wish him the best of luck.

  5. I’m glad to hear the Sesame side of the story. Sesame Street was my first exposure to the Muppets, my most reliable–and often my only–source of Muppet material when I was just a poor kid growing up in South Dakota, so it–more than anything else–really informed my concept of who and what the Muppets signify.

    It’s nice to hear what Ernie means to you, Steve. He’s always been my favorite (well, Ernie and Bert both). When I was little, I had to share a bedroom with my sister, who is nine years older than me. It was very much a Bert-and-Ernie dynamic, especially at bedtime. 🙂

    I didn’t want to ask you about the Hensons, but I’ve been wondering about that, too. Curiouser and curiouser…

    My cat, Minerva (“Minnie” for short), just walked across my computer keyboard, which I take to mean that she’s happy that Streek is doing better and wishes her well. I share the same sentiment. Streek has been in my thoughts and prayers since you told us about her recent diagnosis, and I hope for the best for her. 🙂

  6. Steve, glad to hear Streek is doing currently well. My thoughts are prayers are with you guys. It makes sense now why you don’t perform Ernie anymore because from I read a few years ago, Sesame Workshop cut back a lot of jobs. Steve, in all the years that you did Ernie and Bert skits, I’ve been wondering…how would you compare working with both Frank Oz and Eric Jacobson doing the same character?

  7. Hey, Steve – not sure if this’ll be seen, but I figured I might as well give it a shot, haha.

    Glad to hear Streek is doing better! We have a cat who has this odd hatred for me, which I’ve yet to figure out, lol, glad that’s not always how it goes.

    Sincerely sorry to hear about the less than ideal closing with Sesame Workshop; truthfully, I stopped watching Sesame around 2013, as I really found the show to become nothing more than a product, rather than the natural, suburban feel it usually had.. it’s especially prominent in the newest installments of the show, but hey – I guess it’s nice that it’s still out there to enjoy, in some form.

    Peter Linz seems to be doing well with Ernie, though, so I suppose that’s a plus – always nice to see the character live on within another talented performer.

    Love the sort of behind-the-scenes stories you’ve been offering since day one, and I look forward to hearing more of em as the blog posts continue. Nice to know how much Ernie meant to you; I always loved your performances, specifically as Ernie. The spirit created by Jim and his wonderful team continued to live on through you (with your own small spin, of course), and I absolutely loved it.

    Nice to see that you’re staying positive – your amazing talent will easily get you work, and your generations’ worth of content prove exactly how talented you really are.

    Might as well end on a silly little question – if given the chance, would you ever consider going back to Fraggle Rock, to bring life to Wembley again (and perhaps Marlin, lol)? Wembley always was (and still is) my favorite character to come from you (so to speak, so many brilliant people contributed to his creation), perhaps because I relate to him the most. Alright, enough rambling – thanks for all the amazing work, Steve on and off screen!

    Kevin

  8. Hi Steve,

    Interesting story about “Sesame Street.” I haven’t watched any new episodes since the early 2000’s, however. I think I stopped watching it all together in 2003 or 2004 or so. I didn’t like the direction it was heading in, so I stopped watching. But I still like to go on YouTube and look up clips from it.

    What I found interesting about “Anonymous” was he/she never had any proof to back up his/her claims. That’s just something I probably will never understand. I also found it interesting that he/she never responded when I directly questioned him/her (especially with my rude comments of “grow up” and “get over yourself”).

    Glad to hear Streek is doing well. I know it isn’t easy losing a pet. My mother had to put down her cat, Snickers, a little over a month ago, and exactly one week after that, she had to put down her new kitten, Nicki (my family went through one heck of a summer this year, let me tell ya!) My baby is ten years old, and I know I’m gonna me a wreck when the time comes. Give Streek some cuddles for me!

    Live Long and Paws-Purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark, TROLL BUSTER!

  9. As someone who follows Sesame material very closely, I feel it has been a shame that a lot of what you filmed as Ernie in the last few years or so hasn’t even been seen domestically. I agree, they haven’t been using him much, but it’s not like you didn’t provide footage for them to use.

  10. Hello Steve,

    Seems Streek is the word today. Give the feline a hug from my aging dog, Mr. Speedy.

    Thank you for taking care of Anonomyous, for us, it was all I could do to hold my tongue. The Stevie thing reminded me more of a Miss Piggy comment, but alas, a country bear fan? Go figure.

    For me, there is no Bert without Ernie, and the original version of Sesame Street, was delightful.

    The best news of this post is about the bit of history you shared concerning the Henson Company.
    Why is the public news so negative, for it seems something has been blown way out of proportion? As Marni said ‘I’m confused. Could the Super Troll with a MPD have something to do with this situation from behind the scenes, passing bad rumors to the wrong ears.?

    After the Disney purchase of the Muppets. It’s not easy for me to understand now the intricacies of who now owns what? For example I saw a post yesterday on Twitter, about several puppets from the Truffles going to The Hollywood Bowl. I found myself surprised, that they were joining with the Muppets to celebrate, because I did not equate them with the Original Muppet Show, For I thought they were a Moon Media Entertainment production. Who owns what and how does this work in relation to Disney’s holdings?

    I follow one who is a performer on The Truffles and The Furchester Hotel.
    The Furchester Hotel being a British-American puppet series for CBeebies (the BBC’s preschool network) But it has also has some of the wonderful Sesame Street characters. Makes is difficult for a Puppeteer to work with Disney and also Sesame Workshop, but in two countries. I guess my Q is, who owns Sesame Workshop?

    Either way, it’s always great when you make a post Steve.

    Love,
    Anne Terri

    1. What is Truffles? I can’t find it on Google.

      Sesame Workshop owns itself. There are only so many established Henson-style puppeteering talents in the world, so they work for different companies depending on where the work is.

      1. Jeremy, The Truffles have not officially opened yet, but they do have a Trailer. They are like an adult version of The Furchester Hotel, in outer space. I’ll have to see if it’s available for public view, will look tomorrow, it’s late here right now.

        Love Anne Terri

  11. Thanks for the new post.
    I always figured the reason you weren’t doing Ernie anymore was because of something simple like that and not bad blood like those trolls were trying to make it.
    I miss Sesame Street’s skits that we’re the commercials. When I was a kid in the eighties I always thought those were the best part.
    I recently came up with an idea for my twin brother and me to do with our puppets that’s a take on Sesame Street but like I remember.

  12. I’m glad you’re keeping active with the blog- it assures me that you’re doing okay which is a big comfort.

    Other than your characters, I know you’ve done some awesome musical numbers with the Muppets over the years. Your singing voice is just…wow!
    Have you thought of maybe writing and performing your own? Maybe recording something?

  13. Hey Steve,

    I just want to say I’m very glad your cat is doing better. I hope you and your family will be safe from the storm coiming in the next few days.

    I have been keeping my ear to the ground as what’s been going on with the Muppets and the Hollywood bowl concert. It seems that almost all of your characters have been recast to your ex fellow preformers. Eric is doing The Newsman, peter is doing Link,and Lips, David is doing Beaker and we all know Matt is working Kermit.

    I have to say that I’m honestly torn here. In a perfect world you would be in LA tonight resting for tomorrows show, but sadly your not. It seems Disney, the Muppets Studios, and the Muppets have moved on to bigger and maybe even better things without you which is where I’m torn.
    Over the past few months with your blog posts I’ve felt a closer bond to you as a person, even to consider you a friend. Which is why I honestly hate that you are no longer working with the Muppets. You have given me such laughter, joy and yes even tears with so many of your prefomances , that the thought of you not working with the Muppets in any way really hurts.
    Tonight though I’ve seem bits and pieces of the concert, as I’m sure you and everyone else has. The concert as it seems has been a huge success! Which for a life long Muppets fan I can’t help but be glad. Because deep down like you and everyone else I truly do want whats best for the Muppets.
    So today as I try and get some sleep I hope that I can find some clarity into how I feel about all of this now that the concerts have started and The Muppets move on.

    1. Dwayne, I know your post is directed at Steve, but the for first time I AM NOT TORN.
      I’ve made a choice. Why, is in my post below.

      What if, what I’ve come to know and understand through my years in theater, is happening right before my eyes?

      I see a corporation, run by a group of power wielding executives who need a scapegoat, so they can run the business as they deem necessary for the future, which is primarily for raking in high dollars. Example multiple ticket sales; and viewers worldwide.

      This further can be achieved by mass productions in multiple resorts and on media streaming services, and by doing it their way, there will be little interference from any performer.

      I’ve witnessed this in the old Hollywood Studios when those such as Louis B. Mayer would coddle to their beloved lead actors or actresses to their face, all the while knowing they were not going to extend their contracts. After all, younger and more beautiful male stars and starlets -who did not need a facelift or big money salaries- were beating down the door, and were a dime a dozen, right? From around 1945 to 1950 many heads rolled, and newcomers quickly stepped into place.

      Think on this. The older, more seasoned Muppet performers are getting close to retirement age, these are those who probably knew and worked with Jim Henson directly and now have their own proteges, puppeteers who have learned at their sides. Even though they want to perform to the age of 100, sooner or later they will have to stop. Key characters will suffer if not allowed to prepare for this moment.

      In my scenario, perhaps this corporation wants to push the envelope further, in a form of control over the Muppets, by being able to cast who they want, when they want – multiple performers with their hands in the same character, cloning this beloved character to the point of a watered down soup.

      As for those who are still working from within the seasoned veterans, they are now in the do as I say mode, or you are out, and they will be told, I do not care who you are, were or knew in your past, you are no longer needed.

      As a performer in the industry of theater, live on stage, I’ve come to understand that most of the audience does not know the difference. NEITHER DOES CORPORATE. This is the sand Truth. Perfection of performance, only matters to those in the know, fellow performers and thespians who have the fined tuned eye to see it. In the fans, there may be also a percentage of them who will ascertain when the performance is pure perfection, or faked.

      Thus, is what’s happening right this very minute good for the Muppets? NO. But who will care, except for those of us who seek and want perfection, and are still Blessed to have Performers in our midst who are capable of providing this.

      I refuse to give in and compromise for this reason. No one is forcing us to swallow this new form of cloned entertainment. Free will allows those who do not care to buy tickets to the lesser performances. I choose not to. Now with Streaming available I have a choice of who and what I watch. The same is true for live theater. On a good point, this particular performance at the Hollywood bowl still contains talented Puppeteers who know how to perform their characters, such as Frank Oz. I feel bad for Matt Vogel because he’s a very good puppeteer, who has come up through the ranks, but he’s also caught between a rock and a hard place.

      The only way this scapegoat program hosted by Corporate would have failed, is if the troop had stuck together by sticking to their guns as the Muppet Family, and spoken up and out, when all this began to go down.

      Now they have not a leg to stand on, because the performance is about to go on. I for one would would feel nauseated knowing I was holding Kermit, if Steve was still capable of doing his fine tuned Performance.

      Love
      Anne Terri

      1. Yes! They even brought in Kirk Thatcher, the modern-day Jerry Juhl, for scripting and directing as well. Like I said, the Bowl just has to make a point.

        I’m glad it happened and trying not to see it as a farewell tribute to Steve and his lifetime contribution to the Muppets.

        But I must admit that it does leave a bitter and sad aftertaste. If everyone realized how important the original Muppets spirit is and how much people love it, surely they would see that there is no need to replace Kermit?

        Afraid there would be more sad things to come…

        1. Everyone, I need to apologize and make a correction.

          I live from a time long ago, and didn’t even realize Frank Oz was no longer performing Miss Piggy, for he gracefully retired in 2000, 17 years ago. Boy am I loosing time

          It’s Eric Jacobson who took over this role as Miss Piggy and performs her at the Hollywood Bowl, and he too is a seasoned veteran who has worked with Steve Performing Kermit.

          It’s written of him, that he’s known for:

          ‘Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam the Eagle for Disney’s The Muppets Studio, as well as Sesame Street characters Bert and Grover—all roles that he inherited from the characters’ original performer, Frank Oz. As of 2015, Jacobson is now Caroll Spinney’s understudy for Oscar the Grouch.’

          So much to learn and history moves forward to the present too quickly.

          Thanks for your patience,

          Love Anne Terri

          1. Anne, I really appreciate your doing some research and correcting that mistake. It actually proves that even people who really love the Muppets may not know when a recast has happened if it’s done well enough. I think Matt did a great job at the Bowl from the clips I have seen. I don’t think that Disney is planning to do multicasting. Matt is the new Kermit. I am still upset about the circumstances, but think the show was a good thing for the Muppets regardless.

    2. Hmmm…Dwayne, your comment reminds me of something that happened in 1992, before The Muppet Christmas Carol came out.

      I was talking to my eldest brother about it, and he said that he refused to watch the movie because it just wouldn’t be the same without Jim Henson performing Kermit. I don’t think that was meant to be a slam against Steve, by the way; I am not sure that my brother specifically knew that Steve would be the one doing it (I certainly didn’t). But my brother said that even if the voice was perfect, he would “just know” that it wasn’t Jim, and though he didn’t say so, I guess that he meant that it would bring up all the raw emotion that he, and all of us, had felt at Jim’s death.

      At the time, however, I thought that my brother was being unreasonable. Just because the Muppets were different doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be good, and my brother might be unnecessarily depriving himself of something wonderful.

      But now, 25 years later, I finally understand where my brother was coming from. I want the Muppets to be successful and profitable, but not at the cost of their soul; not if the money becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end.

      The Hollywood Bowl is not an issue for me; I was never going to be able to see that show anyway, even if all this had not happened. But looking ahead to the prospect of new Muppet material, I just can’t imagine how I’m going to be able to watch any of it. And it’s not to say that I necessarily think it won’t be good; maybe it’ll be fun and funny and heartfelt. Maybe Matt will improve as Kermit with time and grow into the role, and bring Kermit back to himself. But even if all that happens, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch the Muppets again without being reminded of this whole ugly business.

      If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life, it’s never to say never, but as things stand now, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be able to watch new Muppet material again. I can’t imagine how I’ll ever be able to watch and hear other puppeteers–no matter how talented they may be or how good a job they may be doing–perform Steve’s characters without being reminded that he’s not there, and without being filled with rage over the abysmal way that Disney has treated Steve, a man whom I have always respected and admired–and whom I, too, am beginning to consider a friend, if it isn’t too presumptuous of me to say so.

      (Steve, sorry to talk about you in the third person like this, and rest assured that I am well aware of–and comfortable with–the fact that, on the spectrum of “total strangers versus friends,” from your perspective I am probably still much closer to the “total stranger” end of the spectrum than the “friend” side.)

      This isn’t intended to be a judgment on anybody else, by the way. If you feel able to take in new Muppet performances in the future, then I am genuinely happy for you and hope that you enjoy. But it is just not something that I can see myself doing; the very prospect is just too painful for me to think about.

  14. “I saw that post as a sort of ‘utility’ post that was off topic to a degree, and chose not to invade everyones email inbox over it.”

    Um….Steve….mate….it’s us…

    You could write a 30,000 thesis on that one time you decided to count how many pavers make up your garden path and we would still be hankering for more.

    1. I concur, Steve. I think I speak for everyone when I say that none of us will ever be annoyed or disappointed to have a new post notification from you, regardless of how mundane or utilitarian it may be. 🙂

  15. Nice to hear your cat is doing well. Very interesting post as usual.
    Though unrelated to this particular topic, I was wondering if you would ever be willing to share some Fraggle Rock related stories; I’ve always been a big fan of the show, and it seems like it was a real joy to work on (Plus, hailing from the great white north, I have a real soft spot for it).
    Best wishes!

  16. Hey Steve! Quick question… I’ve been wondering, would you ever consider taking your years of experience working under Jim performing in a collaborative community where team-work and unity is valued… and start your own new Puppet based show? I’m sure young puppeteers would love to be mentored by you, and perhaps you could create something that reflected the professionalism and heart of the old days, while not having the constrains of the bureaucracy that comes along with a giant company like Disney? I think the world needs a new grassroots show with Puppets! We definitely need more heart.

    -Aaron

  17. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that your troll is named “countrybearfan” and is based in Orlando, home of Disney World…

  18. Thank you for another great post Steve.
    I`m honored to be a part of this and have the oportunity to hear from you more about the Muppets & Sesame Street history.
    I`ve been thinking these days of the Hollywood Bowl Muppets shows without you.😭
    Gladly i found in youtube and watched a clip from a great Kermit (yours) performance from ten years ago at the Hollywood Bowl.
    So this gave me some joy for this Bowl Muppets shows weekend, and worries faded away 😆
    Fans need something better. Muppets need something great. The fans & the Muppets need your extraordinary talent.
    That`s the best way i`m handling this for now, because i did not give up & for sure i am not done.
    I don`t know why, but i always have this present feeling that something good will come from all of this.
    I’m keeping my faith high and hoping for the best to come.
    I wish you & your family all the very best. 😉🐸
    Also for all your pet family especially Streek. 😺

  19. Hi Steve! Thanks for this post and I hope you are seriously considering a new venture. Hindsight may be 20/20 but one of my regrets is that we didn’t record your LUCKY invention, what a tremendous success for that charity!

    Best Wishes, love and hugs for you Melissa and Streek if you can catch him!

    Sincerely Ginger

  20. Hi Steve. Good to hear from you again. Thanks for telling us about the Sesame Street situation. Really hope to see you back on the 1 2 3 street again. I also really hope to see you in other projects and hopefully back with the Muppets. Nice to hear your cats doing OK. Hope to hear more and keep wemblin on.

    https://youtu.be/mBWVitEunjU

  21. Hi again Steve,

    What a relief it is to hear that Streek has improved, health-wise. One of my desires is for her to be able to live her life comfortably and to the fullest, so I’m glad that you are doing your best to fulfill that. I know if I had an animal friend, be it a cat, dog, frog, bear, or a whatever, I’d treat them the same. *Now, notice how I put an “a” in front of the “whatever” – in this case that indicates that “whatever” is a noun…identifying a blue, furry, long-nosed creature of unknown species. It also follows frog and bear in the above list – I think you’ll get the joke. 🙂 On a more serious note – Long Live Streek!

    Another one of my hopes is for Pundit to be completely rid of trolls and attackers from this day forward. Pleased to know that old “Anonymous” was taken care of. He (I think it’s a “he”) managed to sneak his way into the last post somehow and was up to no good. How one lousy pest was able to dodge ‘Pest ConTroll’, I have no idea. I think some of the replies from other visitors eventually scared him off as he didn’t show up for a while afterwards. With that, I wanted to bring up something really quick that I can’t quite call a theory as it only happens in some instances. I believe that those who unnecessarily torment a person are jealous of him/her, and do so out of frustration at their own insecurities. The trolls here, Anonymous included, didn’t seem to be an exception. Now, maybe it wasn’t insecurities bothering all of them – it could very well have been other issues like inferiority complex, or something much more different. Each person was a special case. I understand though, that inferiority complex sounds rather far-fetched and that hardly few attackers, if any, may have been puppeteers. Why in the world would they feel inferior? No matter, puppeteers or not, their own discontentment did not give them the excuse to torture you or the blog visitors. And I’ll add that even if any of them really were puppeteers, I don’t think they could be as talented as you – not even ten times as talented as you! Thankfully, Anonymous has been blocked, and I’m ecstatic that you ultimately put him back in his place (for good). Thank you, many times. You deserve NO disrespect whatsoever.

    Turning away now, from the bad and towards the good, it was nice that you mentioned Ernie and Sesame Street. I’ll admit, it hasn’t really been the same since the 2014 recasting of Ernie and the departure of some of the humans, many longtime classic characters. I understand what you mean when you say that the show has lost its neighborhood feel. On the bright side, I still have pleasant memories of 1990’s Ernie and Bert skits. Even today, if I look one up online, it makes for a good medicine. Laughter often follows, naturally. Ernie, when he was performed by you, is the one I grew up watching. There were a few Jim sketches in between, but I mostly heard your voice whenever he spoke. Of course, it initially took some years to distinguish between the two voices, but I was able to in the end. That said, I like hearing Jim’s Ernie voice, no doubt, but I think yours was a bit more prominent and made him sound youthful. Perhaps, the reason you knew how to portray that Sesame character so well was not just because of your prior Muppet experience with Jim, but because you believed that the street was real. It helped you to in a way “become” Ernie. In addition, the way your Ernie and Frank Oz’s Bert played off of each other so perfectly, both never ceased to amaze me. Though Jim was gone, I’d like to think that the two of you still felt his presence there. You made it appear as if he was still alive, and very much still a part of Ernie. Same was with Kermit. On the other hand, I wish you were given a longer run with him on Sesame as well. At least he was with the Muppets around the same time. Speaking of Kermit, remember when I said that you and Jim will always be him to me (you may or may not, and that’s alright – it’s in one of my older posts)? The case with Ernie is no different. And, as sad as it is that you’re no longer performing the frog, I wonder if you actually could go back to the ‘street’. I know what I said earlier about you possibly bringing back Otis, but if for some reason, that doesn’t work out, plan B could always be convincing Sesame Workshop to ask you to return to perform Ernie again. I’m not exactly sure what that would take, but (again) it’s something to consider – for the sake of pigeons and rubber duckies!

    Lastly, I thought I’d finish by saying that I am very grateful and fortunate to have witnessed the talents of the artist who was influenced by Sesame Street in his childhood. When you joined the series, you took over for Jim, but you were there as Ernie and Kermit for most of my life. I’m sure several fellow fans (the ‘90s kids, especially) can relate. That exact same dedication is what gave life to Rizzo, Wembley, Sprocket, and other Muppet characters. All the above have made you a significant part of our pasts. Speaking of the past, I figured there was something important you should see again as should everyone else who hasn’t already. I know I always dig up stuff from the archives and bring it here (sincere apologies), but what is below was bound to be shared at some point. How could it not be? It’s very special.

    Do you recognize this familiar face (*sorry, you might have to open it in another tab to see it as the blog wouldn’t let me post pictures here)?

    http://68.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7pxdrOR5l1qka3zuo1_500.jpg
    *Original Source: Sesame Street Behind-the-Scenes A&E documentary.

    This is a young puppeteer who, like Jim Henson, would change the world one day. To partially quote the Muppets’ creator himself, he equally made it better for his having been here, and I’m sure he’ll do us proud by continuing to. Please don’t forget all the good you’ve done. We haven’t now, and we won’t in the future, either. Thank you once again for making a difference in our lives – through acting, singing, Muppet performing, reaching out via this blog, and much, much more. May Streek be restored to good health again, completely. Give her a few pats on my behalf. All the best for you as well.

    Thank you, one final time (in this comment), for sharing your thoughts, reading ours, and everything in-between,

    – SK/Saba

  22. Steve, I’m glad to hear that your cat is doing okay, and relieved (though not surprised), that your dismissal from Sesame Street was due to financial issues and not a reflection on you, personally.

    I would also like to apologize to Anonymous for initially mistaking him/her for troll!Anonymous (whom I now know has been blocked) on the previous blog. The last thing I want is to make a bad impression on people.

    1. I wouldn’t wish anything terminally bad to happen to anyone, but I have to wonder . . . . could this be karma?

      (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I have a sick sense of humor and I sometimes enjoy black comedy, but ever since I found out the troll is in Florida, I could think of nothing but, “wow, karma’s a b*****, isn’t it?)(forgive me for censoring myself, but I don’t swear, and that’s the only way I can think of phrasing it. Call me a prude if you wish).

  23. Steve,

    Holy cow this is crazy stuff to read about. I can’t believe that you had to put up with so much bull$hit at Sesame Street. I mean, maybe its best that you left? It sounds like they were breaking the law with violating those union rules? How terrible that all of Jim Henson’s good work is being destroyed by HBO and Disney. If there was ever a time to need you, it would be now.

    P.S.
    I’m not a “cat person” but I’m sorry to hear about your feline friend.

    1. Jason,

      If you read Steve’s post carefully, you’ll see that Steve was not forced to violate any union rules by Sesame Workshop.

      Also, it seems a bit short sighted to say that HBO and Disney are destroying Jim’s work. Steve’s departure as Ernie occurred before HBO’s involvement with Sesame Street, just as most of the changes in the show’s direction. At least the HBO deal provides a financial base for continuation of Sesame Street.
      With regards to Disney and the Muppets: after Jim’s death and before the sale to Disney almost nothing was done with the Muppets. Of the few things that did happen, most had Disney/ABC involvement (Muppets Tonight, Christmas Carol, Treasure Island). You may not agree with Steve’s dismissal, but at least Disney is trying things with the Muppets. Not everything is 100% successful, but I’d say that leaving the Muppets in their boxes is much more destructive to Jim’s legacy than having them out there on the screen, in the parks, and in live stage shows.

      1. Joost,

        I did read Steve’s words. He says that they violated SAG/AFTRA rules regarding payment being below scale.

        THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

        Steve is no dummy. This allegation should not be taken lightly.

        It’s clear that we should call the AFL/CIO and let them know that we wont let OUR taxpayer monies be used to support a TV show that fires good people for speaking out against union busting thugs like PBS!

        Lets get em!

        1. Jason,

          Calm down and read again. Steve actually writes ‘short of’ working below scale and other violations of union rules, meaning that these things were not done and no union rules were broken.

          1. Joost,
            Thanks for the clarification. I had missed “short of.”
            They’ve know all along that Steve was based in ATL and not NYC. So, why don’t they just reimburse him? Why is he staying is some sleazy hotel? Why can’t they just treat him a little better than the others? He did them the favor of continuing Jim Henson’s legacy. Look how bad the guys who replaced him are? Steve did them a solid by even taking the gig. And how do they repay him? They cut his salary! Put him up in a cheap motel? I hope they at least flew him first class! If I was him, I’d take that first class ticket and then trade it for an economy ticket and then keep the change! That’d be tan easy way to right that wrong.

  24. You did a really great job as Ernie. It was definitely not exactly like Jim, but you made the character of your own while still remaining true to the character. Peter is doing a really good job as Ernie, but it is a shame you could not continue to until you decided you know longer wanted to work on the show anymore.

    As for Sesame Street itself, the show is not what it used to be. Bits and pieces of it are still really good, but overall the show was way better in the early years. I do not like the new emphasis on kindness. It is an important lesson for children to learn, but I don’t think its something that can be taught on a television series. When the show got shorter, they should have shrunk the curriculum, not added to it.

  25. I just attended the Friday and Saturday shows at the Hollywood Bowl. Yes, Matt Vogel did a fine job and is a talented puppeteer. But I felt a wave of sadness that it wasn’t you up there, Steve.

    One reason I flew halfway across the country for the show was because I thought to myself: “You never know when Dave Goelz or Steve Whitmire might retire. This could be my last chance to see them performing live.” Little did I know you’d already been let go when I bought the tickets months ago.

    Maybe you’re a jerk and hard to work with- I have no way of knowing that. You were gracious toward me and other superfans at Muppetfest, and all the points you’ve brought up about Kermit’s character are things I’ve been saying for years too. All I’ve seen is someone trying to be a good steward of the characters.

    The one thing I hope for out of all this is that a new Kermit era prompts the writers to make him more positive. The Bowl show still had evidence of what I call Kranky Kermit Syndrome. That’s the Kermit from Muppets from Space and later, who is bothered and annoyed by his friends. When the Hollywood Bowl conductor asks Kermit if all of his friends are weird, he hesitates, then deadpans, “Yes.” It gets a laugh, but where’s the follow up, “and I love ’em and we’re gonna put on a great show, yayyy!”?

    And what is the very last thing Kermit does in the whole show? Scold Animal for making noise, then frown and say, “Good grief.” That one didn’t get a laugh from the people around us.

    That’s an issue with the writing, as always. Seems like it hasn’t changed as we start a new era of Kermit.

  26. Hi Steve-
    Off topic, but I hear there might be some bad weather headed your way. Prayers and best wishes for you and yours to stay safe if it hits, along with any other readers/commenters on this site who live in the affected areas.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been concerned about that situation and watching it too. Do stay safe, Steve, and let us know you’re all right when it’s over. You and yours are always in my thoughts and prayers, but now even more so.

    2. J.S.

      Yes, I’m watching all that is happening in Florida, literally tracking the storm mile by mile in my heart. I have friends there, and I speak to God to Assist with keeping as many safe as possible. Good news is it’s been downgraded to a category 2, but caution is still Paramount.

      Steve, keep safe everyone, and I hope if you’ve had to evacuate, that your pets could also transport with you.

      Blessing Florida and the Islands who have been hit by Hurricane Irma

      On another note, one of my posts got lost yesterday. I wanted to apologize for living in the past with out knowing the current history of the Muppets, thinking that Frank Oz still held Miss Piggy. It’s Erik Jacobsen, now I believe. He probably misses working with Steve holding Kermit. Love Anne Terri
      Anne Terri

  27. I’m certainly on the same boat as everyone else here in being conflicted about how much support I want to show the Muppets. The thought of their future made me nervous even before Steve was kicked out, so now I’m really on edge about what the loss means.

    Confession: when I watched a clip of Matt singing ‘Rainbow Connection’, I actually cried out of relief. There is some hope there, even if the rest of his performance needs a HEAP of work. I’m going to support Matt because he is not the issue in this situation. Matt and the other Performers are just trying their best within bad circumstances.

    The clips that I’ve watched from the Bowl have been mind-blowing, the level of skill in the puppetry being the most outstanding of all. That being said, the show points out a huge issue in the scheme of things-Disney has proven that they know how to bring back what the Muppets have done in the past…..but what about moving forward?

    We’ve already witnessed their attempt to move the Muppets forward with the 2015 show, which was two steps from falling apart, but saved by the efforts of the Muppet Performers. I just…where do I start with incorporating Steve’s contentions into my own logic? For starters, I agree that there should never be a barrier between the performers and executives because-and this should be placed on the top-tier of importance-no one knows the characters better than their performers do!

    Look what happened when Steve was given a bit of creative license with Beaker, we ended up with ‘Flowers on the Wall’, a small sample of what we could have gotten if Steve had been made Creative Producer. It wasn’t just a music video, it was an insight into Beaker we hadn’t seen before-decent character growth. Can Disney pull this type of thing off with the way they seem to want to run things from here on in?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uIlNtonvr8

    I don’t know, there’s too many variables to analyse and this comment is already far too long…..

    Steve, what is the ideal way for the Muppets to be going onward into the future, even if you can’t be a part of it?

      1. Well stated Marni, and I thoroughly enjoyed your parallels with the Harry Potter Parody. I’m also a huge fan of Harry Potter. I have been also having many thoughts, but this time these are not in my own words. I respect that you are atheist, but we are friends.

        And when you read this, keep in mind, that Jim Henson chose God’s Way when he was so very ill in the hospital during his last moments of life.

        This happened today after I wrote my posts on Muppet Pundet. and I Received this Transcript which is about a mutual event between myself and a dear friend @realAtzeniCarlo who is also on Twitter. BTW I shared your post above on Twitter also.

        “September 11, 2017
        GOD’S LIVING BIBLE —- THE THIRD TESTAMENT —- GOD’S NEW REVELATIONS ©
        God’s Miracles of The Third Testament – The Rainbow Miracles
        The World Needs A Rainbow
        (God Speaking To Carlo Ferdnando and Anne Terri Through The Holy Spirit)

        This morning Anne could not sleep, and came down to the computer just before 5AM. Carlo joined her not long after. Both were following Hurricane Irene’s path across the Atlantic, and there was concern for all the people, the islands and mainland which were receiving high winds and massive damage.

        There have been many Disasters this year, both in Weather and Earthquakes, as well as mass Corruption, Bigotry and Deceit.

        Anne checked her mail for correspondence, and began with the various news-reports of the hurricane’s progression. Carlo did likewise.

        In addition, Anne and Carlo have also been working in earnest to help repair the world through Me. Whenever they are down, I often Bring a rainbow. Carlo who is Our Rainbow Magnet, as Anne has named him, left the apartment abruptly to take his morning walk, stating to Anne he was doing so. He did this with camera in hand. Bad weather was also expected on this side of the sea along the Belgian coast.

        His walk this morning was shortened when it began to rain, but as he was returning, right before him he saw it. A soft pale rainbow appeared in the sky, not far from home. When he returned, he didn’t tell Anne about the surprise, but did mention the rain.

        While he was away, she was interacting with others in handling a touchy topic ‘The Rainbow Connection’ on the Muppet Pundet forum, and a frog’s old friend and performer who needs support. This is a most important connection which cannot be forced, it just is.

        There are many riffs in the fabric of the earth this day. September 11 has many meanings. Firstly, Anne’s dad was killed September 11, 1953, when she was almost 2 years old. September 11, 2011 is the Anniversary of The Twin Towers tragedy, and Hurricane Irene, one of the largest Hurricanes on record in the Atlantic, is another. Too much has happened to this tired world in the past 11 months. You need a strong Rainbow Connection; leave no one out who believes in this. All should be included.

        Below is the photograph taken this morning by Carlo. It is now My gift to the world.

        https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/37165505445_7164308c81_o.jpg

        AMEN”

        Read more: http://godslivingbible.proboards.com/thread/3082/september-11-2017-world-rainbow#ixzz4sNSLGcNU

  28. Just a quick note on the reviews of Matt’s performance. Remember, Steve had to listen to all the comparisons and criticisms of how he did/did not sound like Jim, did/did not manipulate Kermit the way Jim did. Matt is going through the same thing. I would think that supporters of Steve understand that it takes time to hit their stride. Critiquing Matt does nothing to improve the situation. And if I know Steve, he is not reveling in the negative comments Matt is receiving.

    1. I know Matt is a fine puppeteer and performer, of this I have no doubt. Have not watched The Hollywood Bowl, thus my first view of Matt with Kermit was on Muppet Thought of the Week.
      He’s personally molded many fine characters. Just do not see Kermit’s personality yet, and I guess the audience will have to wait. Some have said they liked the performance at the bowl.

      I’ve chosen to follow Steve’s progress, through this evolution and beyond. I’m here to support. This is Steve’s site.

      Anne Terri

      Anne Terri

  29. Yeah I’m with everyone here about supporting The Muppets. I got to see a lot of clips of the Hollywood Bowl, and the performers did an amazing job.

    Even watching Matt performing Rainbow Connection made reality stop for me..it didn’t matter who was performing Kermit, I was just watching Kermit. He was coming alive again right in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t help but cry. That’s when I knew I had to support Matt.

    However, I still have the problem with the writing of the characters. There were times where Kermit would say some things that were very mean-spirited, like how he did comment on Piggy being a “star”, but “one star in the galaxy would be very dull.” I know they tried to write it like The Muppet Show, but to me it doesn’t feel right.

    I never blamed the performers for any of their performances. My favorite character is Miss Piggy, and I think her writing is far more worse than Kermit’s ever was. But am I gonna blame Eric for that? No. I never even saw Kermit as this “bitter” and “mean” character everyone was claiming you did to the character. You will follow scripts and doing your job. I’m still afraid that no matter how amazing Matt is performing Kermit, the writing for the character will still be weak.

    But watching the Hollywood Bowl, I kept getting reminded that you weren’t there Steve, and it kept making me depressed that you weren’t there. There’s still this piece missing to the puzzle without you, and I can’t help and think about how you feel about this.

    And like Marni had asked, how do you feel about The Muppets moving forward? Especially since, if the Hollywood Bowl could be their way to have The Muppets do more live shows/go on tour?

    – Sunny

  30. With the Hollywood Bowl show being over now and with Matt’s first performance as Kermit being very well received, what are your plans for the future? Do you see a future with the Muppets and puppetry at all?

  31. As this is about housekeeping, I am keeping an eye on certain ones, who may be arriving as Trolls to rub in the recent performance with talons.

    I shall put the names on a private list, and see how is goes.

    My best to to those who are here in Peace.

    Love Anne Terri

  32. No doubt about any of these: Of course Matt is talented performer we all like a lot. Of course the Bowl was a big success. They finally brought in the people who get what the original Muppets are supposed to be, and they did it the way the original Muppets are supposed to be (or as close as everyone honestly could).

    So now we can confirm:

    – When Muppets are done true to their original spirit and to their original characters they are a huge success (the Bowl)
    – When Muppets are done out of the original tone and out of the original characters they are a flop (2015 series)

    So once again, WHY keep one of the very FEW remaining ORIGINAL people — who actually was PART of the true original, really knows what it IS better than most, and was outspoken about THE VERY SAME THINGS — away from the show?

    He worked with Jim, people.

    So far nobody did yet manage a passable explanation of — JUST HOW DOES IT HELP THE MUPPETS?

    1. Andrew,

      May have to wait for Steve on this one. I -for one- do not see how any of this helps the Muppets in the future to reclaim the old Spirit, even if it seems so on the surface.

      I sense an undercurrent which I can not place my finger on. I Pray that Steve may have an idea on this, for I have yet to grasp clearly what the h**l happened, but it most definitely does not seem right.

      My question is why our beloved Frog, truly get tossed back into the pond without a life preserver? You see, all exits from the pond to land were blocked, and there was not a lilly-pad in sight, only his Performer’s hand -far away- waving in the wind, while hanging on to a boat which had sprung a leak.

      Written with sadness:
      Anne Terri

  33. Steve, I’m so glad to hear your cat is doing well considering the situation and the age. My cat is going to be on blood pressure meds for the rest of his life (he’s already 16 and has one functioning kidney left). But he’s doing his thing, and like you doing our best for him as long as we can while he’s not suffering, etc.

    Thank you for the story regarding what happened with Ernie and his recasting. Ernie was always my favorite character, period of all the Sesame/Muppet/Henson characters over the years. I always thought you did a fine job with him, and I remember you mentioning your departure with Ernie in a brief passing at the Vulturefest/Breakfast with the Muppets panel I attended last May, so thank you for finally giving us the full info on that.

  34. So glad Streek is doing better, I forgot to mention celenium, during the worst stages, where mobility is affected celenium supplements can get them up and running again, just to mention.
    Okay, in regards to the ip address, Steve, you have concrete proof now that someone who works in Walt Disney world itself has been committing deliberate acts of libel/starting a hate campaign against you to bring down your reputation online. It is a static ip, meaning it’s a computer or a laptop. Nobody takes a desktop pc on holiday with them, and if it’s a laptop, well, this individual has been having a go at you on the same ip since July, who lives at Disneyworld for 3 months?! This isn’t a holidaymaker using Disneyworlds’ wifi (that’s even if they let holidaymakers use wifi), nor is it just some clown from administration, trying to get a bit of fame, they would know Disney had a unique server and they could be identified by that. This person doesn’t appear to know much about computers. They appear to be an older person late forties or fifties, who uses UK or aussie phrases. With a bit more snooping we could identify which block this pc is located in, either the hotel area (doubtful, but the servers records will tell all) or admin/executive/production/studio offices. A lawyer could ask for it to be traced to a specific office pc through legal means. That of course is up to you. A good lawyer will have a good team of investigators.
    You didn’t mention whether or not ft was the same person as anonymous. Or if they were located there too. That individual spent too much time trying to bring you down to be at work but it could be their home pc, although they obviously have access to internal communications. If either of these when traced do turn out to be Disney staff you could disgrace the company on an international stage, they’d have to fire them esp if they were subject to NDA’s. It would be nice to “clean house” before you went back (that’s if you chose to, personally, I’d want rid of these people beforehand). If all that happens, a judge could find there was enough reasonable cause to investigate their business practices, and why you were really fired. That doesn’t explain the Henson kids attitude, which is a headscratcher, but Jims daughter sounded way to happy when she slated you. Nobody should sound happy when such vicious things are being said, it sounded almost like an artificial happiness. Weird. But it could come out in the wash too.
    It’s up to you if you want to take the legal route, however I’m sure the news channels who circulated the things the trolls were saying would be very interested to know where they originated from, you could let their investigators snoop about a bit too, if not, then at least it could help repair your reputation and get more fans onside.
    Obviously being in the UK, I didn’t see the bowl, but hear Matt did okay. Thing is now we hear what another troll “thankyou” said was true. They have recast The Muppet newsman/Beaker etc. Even Mike didn’t know that! Do we know where this troll is located? It’s the one I thought might be female, I took them on in the other blog post about Rizzo, who we haven’t heard about yet as far as I know.
    If you need any help, just post. I must say you have a great knack of posting at about 2 am our time so I miss when you’re online!

    1. Serena,

      And who are you to give Steve legal advice? Why are people always telling him what to do? Sometimes its best to just listen. Its clear that Steve knows exactly what to do and thats to tell us the REAL truth.
      About Mike: He’s never wrong about Muppet stuff. You either misread his words or they decided to recast “Newsman” just to prove him wrong AFTER he posted it. We all know Disney is reading every post here.
      I refuse to watch the youtube videos of the hollywood “bowel” show, because even though Dave is still with them, without Steve The Muppets are dead.
      I hope Steve sues the pants off of Disney especially since they are using their employees to do their dirty work. It seems like he could do the same to Sesame Street too.
      We need to stop telling Steve what to do, and we need to stop acting like this is not a BIG BIG deal.
      He should sue them for the millions he’s owed and then buy the Muppets back from Disney!!!

      1. Nobody is giving anyone legal advice, its more about the techy side. Steve does what he chooses. The post was directed at him not anyone else btw.
        Who am I? A concerned muppet fan.
        Lots of things went on that Steve didn’t hear about until it was too late, it can happen to Mike too. That’s why identifying the trolls is important.

        1. Serena, isn’t it obvious? Steve already outed the mega-troll!
          F.T. just disappeared overnight. S/he obviously didn’t want to stop. S/he was FORCED to stop. Steve still has friends at Disney and he had them shut that troll up. He did the same to anonymous.

          F.T. lost.
          Anonymous lost.
          Disney lost.
          Sesame Street lost.
          Henson Kids lost.

          Steve won.

          1. Everyone,

            Chill out! No one is winning anything until Kermit is back with Steve, or he’s found a Peaceful solution both in his heart and for the good of his future. Perhaps something he truly loves to do, his choice of course.
            .
            If there are legal issues, he’ll get to the bottom of it.

            Right now the posts on this site are not going through well, meaning some are being held till the wrong moment, making them appear past the proper time. Please, keep the peace, and stop the tirades.

            If there’s a troll afoot, the list will go to Steve when he’s is here reading, as many of us are keeping track.

            Anne Terri

        2. Serena,

          It seems the one responding to you is casting stones and is advocating quite a tirade. Housekeeping means not more anger and nasties. If there’s a legal issue, Steve will figure it out. I’m keeping track of the Troll zone.

          Love ya, for trying.
          Anne Terri

    2. Serena,

      Are you sure this person works at Walt Disney World? Just because someone who sings praises for Disney and lives in Florida doesn’t automatically mean he/she works for the company. I may be missing one of his/her comments where he/she said he/she worked for The Mouse, though, but if he/she said somewhere that he/she does, I find it hard to believe. Sorry, just my two cents. If he/she DOES indeed work for the Mouse, then I apologize for antagonizing you.

      Live Long and Paws-Purr,
      Erin T. Aardvark

          1. A FROG NIGHT

            Good evening Croakers. Spent the evening watching Season 3 of Poldark and watched a man nearly get killed over putting frogs in a man’s pond to please a young child and his governess.

            Ah one who loves a frog and another who does not. I love one froggie, and his name begins with a K.

      1. Well, just saw the bowl concert. I have to say that I’m not keen at all on the black ninja costumes and seeing the performers, I hear it was Bills’ idea. It’s just too creepy for me! Matt did so-so with the voice work, but I’m almost certain that particular notes were autotuned during the singing parts which were better than his speaking voice.
        I don’t think Jim would’ve liked the ninja look!

  35. Oh just a ps,
    Now you are free from your first call agreement, are Sesame Street and The FurChester free from the Henson/Disney affiliation? Could you go back to working for them? They film The FurChester just a few miles from me, I’d love to see Ernie and Bert living there. Its supposed to be like Fawlty Towers some characters live there some work there, some are guests. Obviously if Ernie has gone from Sesame Street it’d be great to see they’d emigrated lol, could you work for them? I’m sure you’d get a great home from homecoming!

    1. Serena: The Furchester Hotel is my passion, alongside certain other projects I follow involving puppeteers. Interesting that it is close to you. I asked Steve a question on this earlier as to who owns the rights to Furchester? I know one other to ask when I speak to him.

      Yes it is just like Fawlty Towers for kids, and it’s adorable.

      Love Anne Terri

      1. Serena: A continuation of our discussion … As best as I can ascertain, Sesame Workshop is the production of The Furchester Hotel. It’s got a tangled history as do many production companies in this new world. Mitchell Stein the owner of http://www.mickeymindset.com/ ‘stated… Disney doesn’t own or have a stake on Sesame Street nor Sesame Workshop. The only reason Kermit appeared on Sesame Street is because Jim Henson company created both Muppets and Sesame Streets. Disney owned Muppets but not Sesame Street, that one belong to Sesame Workshop. The only connection I can find between the 2 is that in the UK, when Sesame Street get released on VHS, Disney handled the distribution:’

        Anne Terri

  36. So glad that Streek is doing ok! I have aging furkids myself, and although they’re all completely healthy, I am absolutely dreading the point where their bodies start to fail them. Fingers crossed you still have plenty more time with her 🙂

    I have a question that’s a total non-sequitur, but has been rumbling around my brain for a while now. One of my favorite episodes of the original Muppet Show featured Johnny Cash. Now, I had no idea who Johnny Cash was prior to seeing him on the Muppet Show (or rather, the clips from that show that ended up on the Country Music installment of Jim Henson’s Muppet Videos, as I was too young to have seen the Muppet Show when it originally aired. For what it’s worth, I grew up on those Muppet Videos and still love them to this day – Gonzo’s Muppet Weird Stuff is especially fantastic). In any case, I’d never heard of Johnny Cash until seeing him with the Muppets, and to this day, listening to the “real” versions of “Jackson” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” ALWAYS makes me think of the Muppet versions. The thing that strikes me about those performances in particular is just how much FUN Johnny seems to be having on the show. Who knew that the Man in Black could ham it up with Miss Piggy???

    So my question(s) are this: Does any guest star on the Muppet Show stand out in your mind as having an exceptionally good time on the show and/or deriving a particularly significant amount of joy from their time with Kermit and friends?

    And also, is there a guest star that surprised you in some way? How?

    Side note: for those that haven’t seen the Johnny Cash episode, I’m going to attempt to link to the songs I mention above so you can enjoy them too 🙂 Incidentally, Ghost Riders is one of my favorite Gonzo performances of all time.

    Ghost Riders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJngsDS2Pzg

    Jackson/Orange Blossom Special: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlxTVh4ZXRQ

  37. Random technical question for the group – I tried to submit a comment a little bit ago, but realized after I hit “Post” that I’d committed the cardinal sin of including more than one link within it. Is there a vetting period that will get it out of Comment Purgatory? Or do I need to resubmit with only one of the links? I don’t want to clog up the comments with duplicate posts!

    1. Greetings Emily,

      I would hope it’s not a Cardinal Sin to post more than one link. We’ve all done so from time to time. This site has Gremlins from time to time, which hold posts back for what ever reasons unknown. I’ve had one missing for days. If you re-submit, which I’ve tried in the past, you will get a auto-response saying -Duplicate post, seems you’ve posted this- Then it may appear at a later time, maybe tomorrow.
      Try a rewording and see if this works.

      Best luck,
      Anne Terri

      1. Hmmm well I’m having quite a bit of trouble today! I’ve resubmitted twice now, even without the links and my comments keep disappearing into the ether. Never experienced that here before. Oh well – fingers crossed they eventually show up!

        1. Hi Emily,

          Bad news for you: comments with multiple links do show up eventually, after a delay of about a day. So yes, all of your duplicates are going to appear at the same time. I think what happens is that after it detects the first comment as “possible spam” it then blocks all of your subsequent comments from the same username/email address, until the original one makes it through. It happened to me once.

  38. Hey Steve Whitmire. I’ve been meaning to post a reply on your blogs here. I can completely understand the whole Ernie recasting thing here. But I still can’t help but miss seeing you perform Ernie as much as you performing your Muppet Characters, especially Kermit and Rizzo.

    You being dismissed in late 2016 was as tragic as Kevin Clash’s resigning from Sesame Workshop in November 2012. Speaking of which, I want to know if you have overheard what happened to Mr. Clash in 2012 and how you felt about the scandals and resignation.

  39. So glad to hear that Streek is doing ok! I’ve got nearly aging furkids myself, and while they’re all completely healthy, I’m absolutely dreading the day their bodies start to fail them. Fingers crossed you still have plenty of time left with her!

    I’ve got a question that is a total non-sequitur, but it’s been rumbling around my brain for a while. One of my favorite episodes of the original Muppet Show featured Johnny Cash. Since I was too young to experience the Muppets on TV firsthand, I fell in love with the show through the Jim Henson’s Muppet Videos collection (Gonzo’s Muppet Weird Stuff is especially fantastic). Before seeing the clips on the Country Music installment, I had never heard of Johnny Cash – it was almost shocking to learn of his fame and body of work outside of the Muppet Show. Apparently I was sheltered haha. Anyhow, whenever I hear the “real” versions of “Jackson” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, I ALWAYS think of the Muppets (and if I’m being honest, I prefer the Muppets versions to the “real” ones, even though I love the real ones too). To this day, it strikes me how much FUN Johnny Cash seems to be having with Kermit and Friends. I mean, who knew the Man in Black could ham it up with Miss Piggy?? The ear-to-ear grin on his face in between song verses is priceless.

    Anyhow, my question is this: Did any guest on the Muppet Show strike you as having a particularly enjoyable time? As in, deriving far more joy from the experience than was the norm?

    And also, was there a guest that surprised you in some way? How?

    Ok, so that’s technically three questions. But I’m definitely curious!

    Side note: for those that haven’t seen the Johnny Cash clips I mention above, below is a link to “Ghost Riders”. This is probably my favorite Gonzo performance – it cracks me up every time!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJngsDS2Pzg

    I’ll post the link to “Jackson” in a separate comment so that I don’t get stuck in Comment Purgatory again…

  40. So glad to hear that Streek is doing ok! I’ve got nearly aging furkids myself, and while they’re all completely healthy, I’m absolutely dreading the day their bodies start to fail them. Fingers crossed you still have plenty of time left with her!

    I’ve got a question that is a total non-sequitur, but it’s been rumbling around my brain for a while. One of my favorite episodes of the original Muppet Show featured Johnny Cash. Since I was too young to experience the Muppets on TV firsthand, I fell in love with the show through the Jim Henson’s Muppet Video collection (Gonzo’s Muppet Weird Stuff is especially fantastic). Before seeing clips on the Country Music installment, I had never heard of Johnny Cash – it was almost shocking to learn of his fame and body of work outside of the Muppet Show. Apparently I was sheltered haha. Anyhow, whenever I hear the “real” versions of “Jackson” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, I ALWAYS think of the Muppets. To this day, it strikes me how much FUN Johnny Cash seems to be having with Kermit and Friends. I mean, who knew the Man in Black could ham it up with Miss Piggy??

    Anyhow, my question is this: Did any particular guest on the Muppet Show strike you as having a particularly enjoyable time? As in, deriving far more joy from the experience than was the norm?

    And also, was there a guest that surprised you in some way? How?

    Ok, so that’s technically three questions. But I’m definitely curious!

    Side note: for those that haven’t seen the Johnny Cash clips I mention above, be sure to check them out on YouTube. I’d post the links, but for whatever reason my comment won’t show up with them. Apologies in advance if this comment randomly appears in triplicate a few days from now!! Comment Purgatory is frustrating haha.

  41. So glad Streek is hanging in there

    Often the things people gossip about and speculate on endlessly have banal rather than nefarious explanations.

    And I been thinking that may be true of some of the speculation surrounding you.

    Your answers confirm that, “there’s not a lot to see here, folks!” There’s no vast history of a bitter war with the Hensons behind the scenes, no righteous firing by Sesame Execs. Just life moving forward, confusion in relationships and financial conflict.

    I do hope that at some point in the future there is some resolution with the Hensons.

    I also hope things work out with Sesame. I had very very poor PBS reception growing up in the 1970s in North Carolina, so most of my Sesame experience was records, books and toys. But I feel Sesame is a National treasure. I hate to see it decline.

    It’s awful to have a pleasant relationship turn upside down with sudden accusations, and it’s awful to have a treasured job or hobby lose relevance or otherwise force you to move on.

    I’ve been thinking about those awful days after both Jim Henson and Richard Hunt passed on, and I was wondering if there are any life lessons or truths or just coping skills that you learned from those losses in the early 90s that are sustaining you now with these new losses of 2016 & 2017?

    I know it’s been thrown at you again and again, but I can’t help but comment on how much I enjoy your writing and say that you should write a book. Even if it’s just a collection of essays on subjects like Rocky Horror, I’d buy it!

    Much Peace & Love to You & Yours.

  42. Well, just saw the bowl concert. I have to say that I’m not keen at all on the black ninja costumes and seeing the performers, I hear it was Bills’ idea. It’s just too creepy for me! Matt did so-so with the voice work, but I’m almost certain that particular notes were autotuned during the singing parts which were better than his speaking voice.
    I don’t think Jim would’ve liked the ninja look!

    1. Hi Serena,

      The ninja clothes that you speak of are a very common practice in live, classic puppetry. The hoods on the outfits do look a little creepy. My thinking is that they matched the outfits the performers use when blue screening scenes for their feature films. Jim used the same techniques for the original Happy Feet performance. I’m not sure if that’s what he would have done live. At some point the creative people carrying on Jim’s tradition will have to trust their own choices instead of being micromanaged by an anxiety of what Jim would have done. One thing he wouldn’t have done is let in so much self doubt.

      I agree that Matt’s singing was superior to his speaking voice last weekend. He’s getting much better and the personality of Kermit seems to be intact. Time will tell. I say, give the guy a chance. He was definitely autotuned for his vocals. Autotuning is also a practice that’s employed in nearly every music recording these days. Even the amazing Adele is autotuned so that she’s 100% perfect instead of 99.99%. If you listen closely, Steve is also autotuned in “We’re Doin’ a Sequel” from Muppets Most Wanted. That’s the world we live in now. I hear they can even autotune live performances. Sheesh!

      I’m sad to see Steve go. I’m also disappointed in fans not giving Matt much of a chance. He is the performer of Kermit now so we should all want him to succeed. The wounds are fresh. It’s going to take time. I get it. I love Steve’s performances of Kermit. I also love Matt’s. I think his performance is solid, more like the original Kermit and stronger right out of the gate than Steve’s was in 1990. Fans will squabble about that. Comparisons will naturally happen and they’re all really unfair. What people should be talking about is the performance. The talent dexterity it took to have Kermit dance like he did 40 years ago is something more people should be talking about.

      I hope they eventually do a traveling show. I also hope that Steve creates something special of his own now that his time with the Muppets has ended. He can write and perform. I think it’s time he did both and for himself this time. He’s got the skills and the clout.

      1. I’m fully aware of the ninja costumes in puppetry, but with happy feet it wasn’t so blatantly obvious, maybe it looked better live I don’t know.
        I have no family left now, but my whole family were in the industry, either musicians, actors, comedians, dancers producers etc so yes I know matt was definitely auto tuned, vocoders are too prevalent in the industry, killing real talent. Natural fluctuations in someone’s voice occur with time (even Julie Andrews!) But to need it straight out of the pen doesn’t fire me with enthusiasm.
        Must say matt didn’t look too happy when he took his bow.
        The head and face of Kermit are too inanimate, Steve bled real expression into every nuance.
        There is more of the artist in him, imo. What Jim said was true he knows how to bring a character to life. I feel atm we are watching a photocopy of the original. And matts’ voice is WAY too deep, the tone is okay, but the depth! He sounds like a woman in desperate need of hrt lol!
        I like matt, I think way too much has been dumped on him too quickly, but to raise the tambre of a voice and stay true to the tone is hard. It’s way better than his count and big bird though. I feel sorry for him like I said before he’s turning into Rory Bremner!
        I’d love to know how “THANKYOU” Got to know who was cast before Mike, and if Eric and Peter knew at the same time as Thank You too. These Disney trolls are thick thinking nobody is smart enough to track them even by just device ID S lol. 😂

      2. Oh yes, forgot to mention, Adele? ! She was never 99.99% perfect. Even she would say she was the poor mans’ Alison Moyet!
        Perhaps you are too young to remember 😆

        1. All of this is very condescending and rather harsh. I’m sorry to have posted a response in the first place. Your characterization of Matt’s performance, while your opinion, is technically inaccurate. Jim had an even lower register than Matt. I don’t even thing Steve would agree with your assessment of his Count or Big Bird. To each their own opinion, I guess. There is a difference between polite opinion and using a performer as a punching bag. There’s way to much Matt hate on here and none of it is coming from the great Steve Whitmire. We all should take our cue from him.

          1. I’m not too crazy about Matt’s Count myself, and I haven’t heard his Big Bird yet. As for his Kermit . . . . I found it wasn’t bad, but I also wasn’t that impressed. But I have high hopes for him, as he’s improving. Matter of fact, I thought the exact same thing at the tender young age of eight when I first heard Steve’s Kermit. I still support Steve, but I’m not going to badmouth Matt’s Kermit since he’s just getting started with it.

          2. Hi Erin. I don’t know what happened to my comment. I pressed the button, but it didn’t register. Hmmph. I forgot most of what I said except for that I liked the productive way you phrase your criticisms. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but I respect them. Here’s a clip of Matt’s Bird with Steve’s Ernie… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnRnxkX2U2U

            All of Jerry’s characters are a challenge because of the sharp rasp he had to his voice. I like Vogel’s Count. The only person to get that perfectly is John Tartaglia with his Gobo… https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=b69uNYjnWzk

            (Sorry in advance if this results in a double post.)

          3. Firstly when I said matt didn’t look happy, I meant it, he really looked like he didn’t want to be there.
            Secondly I said his kermit was BETTER than his count, that’s a compliment.
            Of course it will improve in time but I think the point is if it ain’t broke, don’t try fix it. There’s as element of unnecessary surgery here lol.
            As for Adele, she said that about Alison Moyet, she is her heroine!
            How do you know so much about the Disney audition processes hmm?

      3. Vinnie — Matt is a good guy who ended up getting a beloved character in a very bad way. It’s not his fault. At least (I’m more than willing to give him credit for, thinking) he wasn’t too eager to grab Kermit for himself, very much unlike what some other people would do. I bet he isn’t too happy about the whole situation himself — simply because it’s contrary to anything which Muppets meant to people so far.

        You can’t really argue that the Muppet did indeed take a big hit with the removal of Steve Whitmire, the Kermit most people grew up with, not to mention Rizzo and the whole bunch. His voice was strong in the harmony of what Muppets always used to be, and everybody is struggling to adjust for the loss now.

        Most of the better stuff at the Bowl (or at least the good parts of it we saw on youtube, Paul Williams, songs and all) was directly borrowed from the original Muppet Show or Jim’s original movies (where Steve was an original part of the talented team that invented these very things). Frankly, to me, in the clips I saw, Matt’s Kermit felt more like a stand-in as yet, and the performance carried through mostly by the strength of nostalgia, and willingness of the public to be a part of live Muppet gig.

        As for the other parts, we heard opinions that some of the jokes came through as too callow or mean. I’m still trying to find the clips to check the truth of that myself. However I must say that the quality of writing and characters being in character is something which certainly is a big concern for many people since 2015 series. (Again, this is something we know that Steve took a stand for.)

        All in all, if the Bowl proved anything, it is how much people love the original Muppets and how much could be gained if Steve was part of the team.

        As for myself, there were indeed some moments in past years when I thought “well, this is better than no Muppets”.
        2015 was the first time when it really seemed to me that the Muppets would indeed be better off staying in their boxes.
        Based on the ratings i wasn’t the only one.
        Even with all the nostalgia knowing that the same guys we love are there.
        Those were just not the Muppets I knew.

        More stuff like this can indeed kill the Muppets off — through no fault of Matt or Steve.
        We really need the guys who “get” the original Muppets, on performing, writing, and creative control side.
        We need to keep all the original power we can get.
        We need Steve back.
        To keep Muppets going.

        1. I wonder if the performers would be better served in the future if they worked in concert with each other when concerns arose, voted on them and approached producers as a team. That’s the most muppet-like way I can think through some of these issues. None of what I’ve heard so far from anybody has sounded anything like that and it’s a shame because it probably would have worked. You can’t replace everybody all at once. I guess you could, but they wouldn’t dare do that.

          It’s strange to me that some fans think that Disney just stuck Kermit on Matt’s reluctant hand. Once Steve’s ousting was official and it was obvious that there was no going back, he, along with many other talented people, auditioned. He worked hard and earned it. I know there’s this great mythology about how the Muppets are handed down, but that’s not something that happened until after Jim passed so it’s not a Jim tradition. At some point hard work is just hard work no matter who shakes your hand on the way up and Matt is one of those hardworking guys. It was clear someone else was going to perform Kermit and he went for it. I wish Steve and Disney could have worked things out, but I don’t see an issue with that.

          1. Hmmm.. I think we heard otherwise on Matt getting Kermit, from somebody on this blog, but you are right, can not assume we know what happened unless verified. Certainly have no issues with this version of events either — clearly Matt, like everybody else, can see that Kermit deserves the best performer he can get, given the whole sad situation.

            Needless to say, it will take (anyone!) more time to get Kermit personality right and alive, on the same level of performance as Jim’s or Steve’s — both of which took years.

            As for tradition to pass on characters, with Jim being first to go, there is no way he could… what I mean, the real tradition is and was, not to swap or outsource main characters around without a dire need — which is true to the best of my knowledge. Even if it’s another myth, it is a big part of the charm of the Muppets for me.

            Nothing against Matt, his work, and his talent as a puppeteer whatsoever (I don’t think anybody here is, we love both Matt and Steve), neither against Disney as a company (lots of great things wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t there), Steve (no need to say), or Muppets (absolutely!).
            The only thing to be against here are some pretty sad decisions which hurt all of the above.

            Agree on all the rest!

          2. The one puppet, one performer controversy is over a decade old and not something that was currently on the table. This Kermit recasting is an aberration and not the rule and we can’t know what happened. We can only take sides from the information gathered or just not do that at all. The second one is what I’m choosing to do. These Hollywood squabbles between workers, coworkers and studios happen all of the time and getting to the bottom of the real, actual truth is a fool’s errand. The only factual thing that I know about the situation is that the Jim Henson Company held auditions. They whittled the candidates down to a few, select finalists and chose from there. Whether or not Disney approached Matt separately to encourage him to try out is what’s unknown, but that’s speculation. The auditions happened. There was competition.

          3. It’s funny vinnie uses the term “fools errand”, that was one of the blocked trolls favourite expressions. But I guess it could have imprinted itself on ppls mind by reading it here right? If I’m wrong I apologise in advance.

          4. These slights seem to come from a place of anger. I don’t know why, but I’m not angry with you. I’m just freaked out by the hostility. Is everyone here treated like a troll? I haven’t yet said anything unkind. I’ve read some of the comments here, but not many because they became so vulgar. Fool’s errand is a common phrase and any Muppet fan knows that’s what they’re humor is all about. LOL! I don’t understand why you’d interpret Matt’s brief facial expression from a crude quality YouTube video as something more than exhaustion after a performance. People see different things. I’d prefer to stick with facts. People often mistake my expressions too. I won’t speculate unless hearing from Matt in an interview.

          5. Vulgar is another term the trolls used along with fools errand. In one post i think they used them together. A person’s language pattern can give them away, like the cyber footprints they leave in the sand. We are all on the lookout for trolls. Not very bright on the technical side of things trolls.
            Imo matt looked sad and glad it was over. In his eyes, not his face.

          6. I’m starting to think you’re a troll from all these aggressive, unwarranted and dogged attacks. This is not normal. It is trollish behavior.

          7. Ladies, I beg of you, if you’re going to start tearing into each other, take the bloodbath elsewhere. The rest of us don’t have to put up with it. Either put the barbs away or don’t comment at all. You’re supposed to be in the ranks, don’t fall out and become what we’ve been pushing against.

          8. Marni, I did post if I was wrong I apologise in advance. But I think one of the blocked trolls is back is all. I don’t think my remark about the ninjas or matt could be described as dogged attacks or using matt as a punchbag. I have a right to defend myself eloquently, and am not accepting the taunts as a call to battle, more an opportunity to draw out what I believe to be another troll or maybe the same one.

          9. Hello Marni. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since the first post. I don’t know how it came to this. I’ve done everything I can think of to show kindness and respect until that last post. Steve has his limits with the rudeness and I have mine too.

          10. I thought this was a place to talk to other fans. I’m a nice guy. I work hard, long 16 hour days and I don’t usually waste my time where I’m not wanted. If you want this place for you and the few people already here, Serena, you can have it. This is freaky and mean. Your blanket apology/non-apology is a rubbish excuse to treat people unkindly. I don’t know what has happened in your day to make you so angry. It’s not me.

          11. I’m not ever an angry person. Ever. It’s just not me. As I posted to marni I gave matt kudos for some things not others. As a British person you must understand terms you have used here again like “rubbish” will stand out to me, like the bad language the troll used which was exclusively british/aussie. That’s three things now that sound to me like the troll. If you’re trying to get me blocked by touting me as a troublemaker, go ahead. Anonymous was sometimes “nice” or tried to sound objective it didn’t stop people realising it was the same poster. Like I said and meant, if I’m wrong I sincerely apologise, but nobody is angry at all.

          12. LOL! Actually that’s a good point! They might have left florida because of the storm and be using a different ip address!

          13. I didn’t say vinnie was FT did I? I said he may be ONE of the trolls who were blocked get your facts straight. Troll alert indeed!

          14. Great heavens, people. I just checked in and read this whole thread start to finish with fresh eyes.

            Vinnie doesn’t set off any troll radars in my head. All I’m seeing is a few misunderstandings in tone between him and Serena, which escalated way out of hand.

            There have been accusations in the past about a vocal minority scaring off everybody with dissenting views. I’ve even defended against these accusations a few times. Now I’ve just witnessed that exact thing happen right here and frankly, I’m horrified.

          15. Hi Js as you mentioned you looked at the whole thread after they were posted, Steve removed posts from FT that were intermingled with the others. One did have a strange thing attached at the bottom which read 60106to:LizN anyone know what it means?

          16. OK, well I’m glad I missed that. It Steve really did delete some comments, maybe he will consider also deleting everything south of wherever FT interjected first, because this out-of-context run of comments as they are now looks very bad…

            My statements on Vinnie still stand, though. Unless there is very much more deleted material than I imagine, that exchange through #3-#13 is painful to read.

          17. It was the last few comments that related to FT posts, marys’ too that wasn’t aimed at vinnie either. Before that I think my original post didn’t use matt as a punchbag, or my second wasn’t a dogged attack either (the bit about Adele she actually said herself and the bit about vinnie being young was just a crack at myself for being an old timer lol!) It turned nasty after that and although I noticed a few words and phrases that anonymous used to use, (plus things mentioned about the casting process) the only thing that seemed odd is FT then chimed in at the almost same time and place. But the lower half of the comments were toward him not vinnie.

          18. Serena, I believe you meant well and I see where a couple of things you said early on were maybe taken the wrong way. But I’m afraid it turned nasty right about when you started implying that Vinnie was a troll based on a few common English words he used. I’m not really surprised he got upset. Speculation is mighty hazardous and can cause a lot of hurt… I think there’s a lesson there for us all.

            Anyhow: go ahead Steve, beam us up if you will. #14 right down to here. ZAP!!

          19. It wasn’t so much about the words at first, it was classing my initial two comments as using matt as a punchbag, dogged attacks, etc. It was more the reaction to it. I still stand by my comments, and as I said and meant, if I’m wrong I apologise but I still don’t think I was. FT turned up almost instantly. I don’t know if more was posted after, as it was early hours here.

          20. I’ll accept the non-apology apology from Serena even though it does not appear to be sincere. I’m not going to read into someone else’s motives. I am fact-based and will offer the grace and the benefit of the doubt that anyone should have that was not shown to me. The punching bag comment came from Serena referring to Matt’s Kermit voice sounding like an aging woman on Hormone Replacement Therapy. OUCH!!! As much as the posts of everyone else are being parsed, I wonder how that not received the attention it deserves. She stands by her comments. I do too. I stand by the comment that I’m outtahere because this is not a friendly, Muppety place. There are both anti-Steve trolls and pro-Steve bullies here and I have no power to change either. The power I have is to not participate. Muppet Pundit could end up being the twenty or thirty people already here and Steve. Growth means accepting new people. I think a lesson from Sesame Street would serve some of you well. I’m not angry. I am hurt, disappointed and no longer participating. I don’t think a lot of this aggression has a thing to do about the trolls either. I think the anxieties of life find their way to outlets. I was one. It’s my mistake of allowing it to continue. I’m not that young. I’m not that old. I’m old enough and life is short. A wise man once said something that sticks to me to this day… “Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It’s a good life, enjoy it.” That’s what I’m going to do. I hope that most of you will too. 🙂

          21. Vinnie, I put lol after that remark for a reason, it was a joke! Not everything is serious here, and expecting a scouser to be serious all the time just isn’t reality! The original muppet puppeteers all lived and worked in the UK and even though they may not get the humour after the years they spent there I’m sure they understand it. The rest of my remarks I meant, however as you disappeared before a certain individual arrived I can tell you the rest of them after about number 11 I think weren’t aimed at you at all. Steve removed that comment/s. I left after and don’t know if any more were posted.
            But there were certainly no remarks made out of anger or dogged attacks. Just constructive criticism. I got to thinking everybody, that it would’ve served matt better if he had never done Constantine before taking over Kermit, because most people on YouTube keep hearing him. If he hadn’t, they still might say he doesn’t sound like Jim or Steve s Kermit, but he sounds like a different Kermit. One that’ll take getting used to but still. If nobody ever heard Constantine and had the irony of that storyline in their head already, it would’ve gone better. Using auto tuning for the voice if it can’t reach notes or there’s the odd duff one is okay but tweaking it all the way through isn’t..

          22. There’s an inequality in what you’ve stated. I didn’t parse your words the same way you kept parsing mine and continually went for the jugular. While I’ve already accepted the apology, flimsy as it was, that’s something for you to look at. You were offended that I called you to task for a few of your descriptions. That’s not unfair. You pursued me about every single word I typed. That’s a dogged persistence, honey. Own it or discard it. The rewriting of history that’s in black and green above us isn’t okay. All throughout yours and other posts, there are these assessments of the intentions of others. I don’t know what yours are. Punching bag was harsh. Making such a mean statement about Matt, even if it’s followed with an LOL to make it okay, is really not okay. Creating entire movies on your mind about how Matt felt after the performance from your interpretation of the look in his eyes is not a great thing either. Until slip into someone else’s shoes and walk around a little, you don’t know jack about what they’re feeling. The speculation about so many things here is also why I’m leaving. It’s distasteful. I went off of the things you said. You attacked me off of what you think I said and impressions of others. I challenge you to try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before the vitriol begins. You’ve been unduly harsh to me, to Matt and to others. It’s weird. You get to have whatever last word you want. I wish the best things for you and all of the fans here. This is a pool that’s already been peed in and I am no longer comfortable here.

          23. Entire movies? I just said his eyes looked sad! They did the poor guy has had the weight of the muppet universe dumped on him why shouldn’t he feel and maybe show that in his face? He’s only human after all!
            I pursued two phrases you used, not every single word don’t exaggerate for effect.
            As for the joke, it’s our sense of humour, it’s harmless as there is no harm behind it. Loads of muppet stuff has a British sense of humour and I’m proud of it. It’s our gift to the world. If you want to deliberately misconstrue it to add weight to this pointless game of word tennis then it speaks volumes about your argument.
            For once and all, I like matt, I don’t necessarily like everything he does. I’m sure he will improve. But the fact remains it was unnecessary, Steve was there and did perfectly well, he didn’t need replacing. It’s not our fault or matts. But it’s somebody’s and I’m sure we’d really love to know who for certain and what really went on.

          24. Serena,

            I’m all parsed out. Blimy, he hasn’t left yet, even though we do love Matt too.
            Didn’t he say he was going?
            I even see Matt as equal to Steve in his own characters.
            May this bloke who likes to speak many words, go with Peace.

          25. Yup. If any *genuinely* new posters (as you said in another comment) don’t know how many real trolls we’ve had here they can look back through the blogs and see for themselves and I’m sure they’ll understand.

          26. Serena, Yes they can, but it will be a bit difficult, because our fearless leader, Steve, the Magnificent Troll Buster, has blocked and deleted them.

            All new posters who love the Muppets and what they stand for are most welcome by me, but I am not here to listen to one who wants to prove they know more than anyone else, for I know nothing, and need to take this a step at a time. Too much food pushed down my throat by a Fleece, makes me choke, as do those who are arriving for the first time to a hard journey we’ve been on together, without reading from the first point Steve has presented to us for discussion.

            Love Anne Terri

          27. Serena,

            My guess is that he did Block FT via the IP address, in the last two posts, both in House Keeping and in Pest ConTroll. However, I’m not certain of the rest. If it works as with Twitter, and Facebook, I think when you are blocked, your comments go with it, but I’m not sure. Will have to look when there is time.

            I double checked his wishes, as he stated in Pest ConTroll thus I quote Steve:

            “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. ”

            Love
            Anne Terri

          28. Well Steve or his trusted moderator are certainly on the ball! Not sure if all the other posts are deleted tho, it may start now with the past two blog posts. Either way gosh it was quick!

          29. Serena, nope it does not work like Facebook and Twitter. Just found the old Anonymous post he referred to, on Pest ConTroll. Thus all that is Blocked are the IP addresses. The comments still are there. However, he did Delete FT’s comment on Housekeeping last night. So you are right, the readers can check these out.

            Anne Terri

          30. Vinnie,

            I’m hoping that Steve will delete the comment and it will be a moot point, but in case he doesn’t, I just want to apologize for my comment in this thread. It was not directed at you; it was directed at a comment by a known troll that has since been deleted.

          31. Hi Mary, I just noticed this response. I appreciate it. I’m no longer interested in being a part of this community of fans. I couldn’t leave this unanswered, but I will stay gone. Too many trolls and too many trolls trying to weed out other trolls. It’s no wonder Steve Whitmire hasn’t posted in weeks. It looks like there’s more going on with the militant members over here than just Steve and the Muppets. It makes little oxygen for anyone else. It’s not unique. It’s rather typical for the internet. I just thought a Muppet-loving place would be different and handle things and people in the way Kermit the Frog would. I was wrong. Too many excuses for bad behavior and not enough empathy for others. Most of the people here are cool. A few bad actors, the trolls and self-anointed troll hunters, have sullied things.

          32. Vinnie — just wanted to say thank you for keeping it civil all through. (Well, 99.9% — please note on #25, when we say ‘peace’ in this pool we spell it a bit differently 🙂 ). Like I keep saying here, it is always very much appreciated!

            Serena — personally, lately I see the light in Mary Arlene’s way of treating every poster as a genuine seeker, simply because of a chance that, now or later, different folks might drop in with similar questions and no background.
            (Well, 99.9% — it’s also because I always end up very sorry whenever I act on assumptions myself, as you might have noticed 🙂 ).

            Matt — myself, I’d dearly prefer NOT to have to think of muppeteers as just another corporate bunch who immediately after “sorry old man good luck and all that” turn around and do their best to forget you were there with them for 40 years. If a shade of sadness was not there in Matt’s eyes, it certainly “il faudrait l’inventer”! (Well, 99.9% — unless you prefer to think it was the Constantine’s laugh they autotuned out 🙂 )

            All — puns aside, we really do love both Steve and Matt here! (100% on that!) Peace and all the best to everybody!

          33. I might be talking to empty space, but Vinnie – I hope you don’t stay gone. You’ll be missed. For every one like you who leaves this curious little startup community, the talkative minority gets bigger.

            Aside from that… Whatever anyone’s views on the vibe down here in the green swamp, I hope it will be remembered that Steve’s blog posts are the main event, even though there’s less volume of them. These ARE unique in the online Muppet world, and to anyone reading this I commend focusing on them. The commentary has grown into a separate beast which can either be played with or ignored altogether, whatever one finds most helpful. The stuff at the top of the page is still pretty cool in concept.

            Peace to all,
            J.S.

  43. Love these updates Steve keep them coming!

    I’m going to try and backread all the comments so sorry if it has been asked…

    Have you talked to Frank at all? I know he had a lot of the same concerns that you did over the true “spirit” of the Muppets.

    Obviously I wouldn’t expect you to post anything speaking for Frank or anything you might have said privately….I was just wondering if you had at least spoke to him at all recently (I know he is a busy man).

    Also…I always loved the Muppets In The Navy and the behind the scenes look at it which is on youtube…it just looked like you guys were having so much fun (and working hard).

  44. Hello, Steve!

    Good on you for calling out “Anonymous”. You’re so sassy, Steve. I love it!

    I too have noticed that Sesame Street’s feel seems to have changed. The street scenes now feel like repeatedly rehearsed skits, whereas the scenes in the past felt too real and genuine to be so. I get that it’s important for them to be inclusive (like with the inclusion of Julia, who has autism), but the more the show has progressed, the more it seems to focus on individual skits, rather than show long stories that chronicle the life of these different people.

    Speaking of which, you don’t have to answer this question, but do you still keep in contact with the Sesame/Muppet performers? Do they visit? Do you talk to them on the phone like friends? I’d hate for you to feel barred from them.

    Lucy

  45. ‘In fact, I was told by the representatives of the Center that Cheryl wanted Kermit to appear at the ribbon cutting…’

    Random thought….and not a pleasant one either:

    Perhaps Cheryl asking for Kermit being there had everything to do with Jim’s character being there and nothing to do with you coming along. I’ve been in situations where I wasn’t aware that someone actually hated my guts, but was able to hide it behind a strong facade. Unfortunately, love, laughs and smiles can be faked. If what Brian said was true, then the Henson’s have had these grudges against you for a long time. Absolute nonsense of course, but there you go.

    P.S I’m sorry if this comment comes up twice. I’ve been having trouble with that for the past week.

  46. Well the Hollywood Bowl Muppet shows are gone.  I`ve watched all the youtube videos available and most of the reviews from the press.
    A lot of reviews from the media, some good, some not so good, some calling Muppets fans in the shows weirdos.
    A lot of dazzle from people viewing in some cases their fist live show. It`s supposed to be that way with a real live show !
    But unfortunately many of the Bowl viewers don`t really know or appreciate the real Muppet spirit. They where overwhelmed by all of that live show experience, not by what the Muppets represent and by what they could and should be.
    And it is not true that Steve Whitmire was not missed.
    I was not there, in any of the three shows, but i had some friends in the USA that attended the Saturday show and i questioned them about it.
    They confirmed that it was more the dazzle about a huge production live show than the real Muppets essence.
    They are also Steve`s fans and they notice the difference. Like me, they are always with the ideia that Constantine was portraying Kermit and fooling Kermit real fans.
    I am sorry to Matt Vogel (a great puppeteer also) but that`s how i feel about his Kermit.
    My friends also told me that seems to be a lot of pre recorded  music, voice and videos with Muppets sketches in the live shows.  So, many things were not live.
    The script was not very good, and not all of the Muppets and specially Kermit jokes made audiences laugh.
    So, this is what we, Muppet fans around the world, are going to get with new Muppet tv shows and movies ?
    In a live show with all the dazzle many fans can be tricked and fooled, but not with mediocre tv shows or movies !
    All i can say is Steve Whitmire and many others are surely missed and needed with the Muppets.   
     

    1. Bless you times a million, J. We may be weird, but I go beyond weird to a place where no one has gone before. They can give them dazzle and fireworks, but there is only the short lived excitement of any live show. Just go to a rock concert, for instance. The people leave totally done in with excitement and lasers, but do not keep the glow. For example, I witnessed a live performance of the Beatles, in concert when I was 13 years old, and all I remember is saying to my Mom, (who would not let me go alone) ‘why can’t they be quiet, I can’t hear them sing.’ I knew the moves, the lyrics, the talent I was witnessing.

      A true Muppet fan keeps the Love, the glow, and the knowledge of performances they’ve witnessed in their hearts, long after the last firework echos into the silence, and some as we have here, know every nuance, every move of their beloved Puppeteer’s charachter.

      Love Anne Terri

  47. Julia,

    For some reason the quirks of posting are intermittent. Usually when I post it takes me to a white page of coding, and I hit the back button and refresh the Pundit page; my post then appears, or it may not until later. We’ve kinda learned to deal with it. For example, your post is here now, or I would not have seen it. My answer to you? Hope you get this.

    Love Anne Terri

    1. Thank you Anne.
      My previous comment didn’t appear after many atempts to post. Just this last one. I followed other posting guidelines placed here previously, but i will have what you said in consideration also and maybe next time everything goes fine. Thank you once more. 😃

  48. Steve have you seen the sherman brothers interview about their experiences with the Disney “suits”? About how they cut the songs (which Walt Disney wanted) and how it broke their hearts and eventually they were dumped? Interesting listening.

  49. Thanks for highlighting my comment Steve.

    Everyone,
    I have read all statements on this unfortunate matter (from Steve, the Hensons, and The Muppets Studio), and I am confident that Steve did not intend to be a problem to anyone. I am *also* confident that the Henson family and The Muppets Studio did not have any malicious intent. Remember, life is not black and white.

    I do not believe that the Hensons were influenced by anyone. They simply stated their opinions. We may not like what the Hensons have said, but they are entitled to their opinions. It should be noted that Brian and Lisa were both diplomatic in their statements. (Unlike Cheryl, with her emotionally-fueled Facebook post)

    It seems to me that everyone in this situation was just trying to do what they felt was best for The Muppets. There are no “good guys” or “bad guys” here.

    So Steve, I still hope that someday you and the Hensons can sit down privately face to face so you can ask “Hey guys, what gives?” and discuss things.

    1. Fred, I must respectfully disagree with your characterizing Brian and Lisa Henson’s statements as “diplomatic.”

      As I understand it, “diplomacy” means making concessions to parties on either side of a conflict. If the Hensons had said, “Both Steve and Disney make good points,” that would have been diplomatic. If they had said, “While we understand Disney’s decision, we are still grateful to Steve for stepping up and performing Kermit for all these years…” that would have been diplomatic.

      But the Hensons didn’t make any concessions to Steve. They only made unsupported accusations and vague, irrelevant insults. I don’t call that “diplomacy”; I find it to be more akin to schoolyard bullying.

      Nevertheless, I share your wish that someday the Hensons will be willing to sit down with Steve and work out whatever differences they may have with him. I’ve been praying for that very thing ever since this sad story first broke, if for no other reason than for Jim’s sake.

      Jim’s final instructions in his last letter to “love and forgive everybody” have been quoted often in the past two months, in some contexts more appropriate than others. However, there is one person in this whole scenario who has made more effort than anyone else to honor that request…and his last name isn’t Henson.

        1. I’m glad you enjoyed the song Anne, I realized we both posted at the same time, I was probably the first one to read your post, very well said.

          Take Care

      1. This is one of my favorites! Love John Denver – to me, he was the human embodiment of the Muppets, and a perfect fit for the show. “John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together” is a staple in my house every year, and has been for the thirty-odd years I’ve been alive. I know every lyric and note by heart, and actually had the album poster hanging in my room year-round as a child. “Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913” can still bring me to tears…

        1. John Denver and The Muppets A Christmas Together is a great special, one I’ve just realized I haven’t seen in many years. I do have a copy of it somewhere, with Christmas coming up soon I think it’s time I rewatch it. Ironically a few months ago I watched John Denver and The Muppets Rocky Mountain Holiday, which I had also not seen in many years. Both such great specials.

  50. Everyone,

    It seems as if suddenly, we are covering old ground which was discussed in detail on responses to Steve, in his posts last 3 posts, Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 1, Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 2, and Pest ConTroll. Right now we are in Housekeeping. We don’t know everything, how could we, but we are doing our best to be supportive of Steve, for it is his site.

    We Love the Muppets and the integrity they stood for. I hope to God, that this returns and continues, or the legacy we leave for the new children is no longer.

    Those who are here, after doing some extra Pest Control, and Cleaning House, are not angry at Matt, and respect his long years as a Puppeteer.

    This is about supporting Steve, in his search to find out what has happened, in retrospect to the sudden change of things in relation to his Performing Kermit, and allegations about his behavior.

    Having read all the comments from this evening, let’s allow Steve to return when he’s ready to get to the bottom of all that has been stated or asked by many of us over these past weeks.

    Love Anne Terri

  51. I’m very worried about Kermit but I’m more worried for Rizzo. He was Steve’s character, as well as Lips but he was already recasted ( he doesn’t talk much anyway) but I don’t want that to Happen to Rizzo. And he’s like a main character. He was one of the main stars for Manhattan, Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, Muppets from Space, AND the 2015 show. And the Hensons will probably not let Steve do Wembley for the Fraggle movie (which is getting delayed over and over again.) because what just happened. I really want Steve back on the Muppets to protect the characters he played for decades and to protect the Muppets in general. What I really want to know is what can we do to help? I hope you are safe during the weather thats been happening.

    Thank you for your time
    Xavier Lassandro

      1. Serena, Long live Rizzo, but on Steve’s hand. Hope he has the power to get this rectified.

        Just food for thought: On my sites, I sometimes have those who arrive to argue at a high level. They thrive on it, and are very good at taunting and getting one to respond. I teach those who are a part of my groups, not to respond, when they realize they have encountered one who is only there to create a rift. It literally fills the page, and causes an out of balance mess of retort after retort. This is why I do not respond to them, by keeping silent, and by not providing more fuel.

        Time for a Steve visit for he holds the Golden Hammer.

        Love Anne Terri

        1. Give em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves. The more the trolls talk the more we can tell they are the same person. Phrases, words expressions all give them away people.

        2. I don’t have a site of my own but I can relate.On this site,THE TROLLS ARE HORRIBLE. Or should I say were horrible. Most of them are gone now thanks to Steve and I thank him for that.

          Nice talkin’ with you
          Xavier Lassandro

          1. I think one of the old ones may be back but yes they’re horrible! Not too clever though but bullies never are!

        3. I once said “Don’t Feed the Trolls.”
          Then I became a hypocrite, because I also think I’m a masochist. I don’t know. Sometimes I poke at them to see what they would say after I asked them some questions (and oddly enough, they never answered).

          In other news (and I know you all are going to hate me for saying this), I’m kind of glad the Fraggle Rock movie is being delayed. Wembley is my favorite, and at this point, I kind of don’t want to hear what they’re going to do with his voice if Steve isn’t going to perform him.

          Live Long and Paws-Purr,
          Erin T. Aardvark, Third-Class Wembler

          1. I agree. If Steve ain’t down in Fraggle Rock then we ain’t goin’ down in Fraggle Rock
            GET IT :). Also is that movie happening? There is no news on it and it has been delayed multiple times.

          2. I hope the film doesn’t happen at all. Not just because the chances of the Henson’s allowing Steve to come back is slim, but because I’d hate to see my favourite Henson universe fall victim to the same fate the Smurfs and Chipmunks have suffered.

            Wembley is my all-time favourite Henson-related character and I’d hate to see him ruined by bad-decision making. I’m already worried about Rizzo, I don’t need a mediocre Fraggle on my hands too.

          3. That thankyou poster knew about the fact all Steves characters had been recast and knew exactly who got which role too, even before Mike they said Peter got Rizzo but no word on him yet he’s who I worry for most he is too close to Steve for it to be forgotten.

          4. Marni, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You do NOT know how much I appreciate your comment! Seriously, this is why I hate remakes and reboots.

            Serena, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you on your comment about how “Fraggle Rock” would be lost without Steve. I’m going to be disappointed if they recast Wembley, sure, but I honestly think that kind of reaction is a little dramatic. It won’t be the same without Steve, I can tell ya that, but lost? Well . . . . .

          5. Wembley could be recast, but he would’ve lost a major part of his soul is all. If your happy with that, I’m not. Meh, artistic differences.

          6. “Wembley could be recast, but he would’ve lost a major part of his soul is all. If your happy with that, I’m not. Meh, artistic differences.”

            Ummmm, I never said I would be happy with that.

  52. Hey Steve how are you,
    Its dylan again I’m really sorry to be bugging you with all my emails, I just had another question to ask you involving recasts, I know exactly and understand what The Muppets’ consistancy must be based upon and I agree, its absolutely critical. However, I’ve also realized something in the past week there are rare instances where the recast has actually changed a Muppet for the better and added amazing qualities to the character, for example Janice was performed by Eren Ozker in The Muppet Show’s first season and then Richard took over her from there and added on those great qualities in the character she now has and again with Uncle Deadly who was formerly done by Jerry and then was taken over by Matt Vogel in the Jason Segel film and turned him into the hilarious brilliant sarcastic Muppet that many fans grew with in less than six years. Jerry & Eren are great performers don’t get me wrong but Richard & Matt really took flare to them! Would you happen to agree upon this philosophy? Please take all the time you want to answer whenever you want!

  53. I miss Kermit. I just went through the posts on Doing What is Best for The Muppets, Part 2, where Mike Quail assisted us with cleaning the sewers , and he was amazing. We need his brilliant knowledge, until Steve can return.

      1. Anne, FT posted and Steve removed the posts, that’s why Mary and said Troll! The end of the conversation the bits posted after you went off last night were in relation to him not vinnie.

        1. Serena: You mean, in relation to FT posting by name last night, or another alias? Steve removed them last night? Help! I need to stay up all night to keep up with this. Vinnie got caught in the middle. What is often confusing is that when we reply, not always does it follow time line suit.

      2. Hi Anne,

        I just wanted to confirm that my comment was in regard to a comment by the known troll, posting as “F.T.,” which has since been deleted. I even included a link to the comment so that there would be no confusion, but unfortunately, now that the comment has been deleted, the link doesn’t go anywhere anymore.

        It’s too bad that WordPress doesn’t have a placemarker to show where a post was deleted. That would help to alleviate some of the confusion. Do they have a virtual suggestion box of some kind?

        1. Mary, do you know if FT posted again? It was early hours here I couldn’t stay up any longer. I don’t know if Steve himself did it or had a trusted friend remove the post because of the storm.

        2. Mary Arlene, I realized it had to be something really bad for you to spell out Troll in vivid red. When I awakened if felt as if something was missing, but could not put my finger on it. Glad that Serena cleared up the confusion, to a certain extent. Sometimes new people get in on our group conversations a bit late, and do not realize what we are trying to do, or what has been said in the past. The Troll took advantage of the moment.

          Steve, he is the hero on this one, to be able to see what was happening.

          Love Anne Terri

  54. Hey Steve,

    In regard to this comment that I made in response to the now-deleted comment from FT: https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/09/08/housekeeping/#comment-3264

    It has served its purpose and is no longer relevant, and it does look sort of bad out of context. I don’t object to its being deleted, per J.S.’s suggestion. As much as I hate to lose a good Harry Potter reference, I hate even more to have my words misconstrued.

    Moreover, I deduce from the fact that you are deleting posts that you (a) made it safely through the storm and (b) have electricity. I’m glad to know it. 🙂 I hope that you sustained no property damage and that your kitties are all safe.

  55. I was going to joke that the above argument is what happens when you take forever to update, Steve, but that’s rather unfair to you.

    I haven’t been keeping up with news about Hurricane Irma, but I heard it was going in the direction of Atlanta, so I hope it didn’t have a big impact on your property. Crikey, you’ve already had an over-dramatic year, the last thing you need is to be missing a roof on top of all of that.

    Please never feel the need to rush to respond or post, whenever you’re ready to discuss something, we’ll be right here and ready to respond as needed.

  56. Steve,

    It’s very upsetting to learn that the storm has brought its awful wrath upon Georgia. I’m concerned – for you, others nearby and throughout the state, and those in the two neighboring states as well. I’m not sure how bad it is where you are, but either way, I very much hope that you get through it. Please be well and stay safe. You can return to posting whenever convenient – the blog isn’t going anywhere, and neither are we. May everything get better in no time.

    You’re always in our thoughts,

    Saba

    1. Saba,

      Good to hear from you. Wish they had hearts here to click upon for such a post you’ve sent to Steve.
      We’ve all thought about those in the path of Hurricane Irma, and some forget it went forward into Georgia after the devastation brought to The Islands and Florida.

      Love Anne Terri

      1. Nice to hear from you, too. If there were indeed hearts to click on, then from me there’d be one on everyone’s (nice) messages — including Steve’s posts. I just hope that if the hurricane is still there, it has at least subsided. I’m waiting for it to be gone. All the damage and destruction that have occurred as a result, no one deserves to undergo any of it. If only good and good things would happen from now on – I think that’s what this year in particular really needs.

        Peace and Happiness,

        SK

        1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Saba♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

          Amen to that. The Hurricane has subsided, but there is much to do to restore all the isles and mainland from the damage. The world needs the same restoration.

          Now it up to those who are with Steve. to keep this site peaceful; all of us here who care and try to post something good, as free from an ungraceful atmosphere as possible.

          Love, Anne Terri

  57. Fellow visitors and friends,

    This is a late reply to a comment made by A Muppet Fan since 70s under the previous post, ‘Pest ConTroll’. If/when they stop by again, I hope they’ll get a chance to see it. For some reason, it wouldn’t post in ‘Pest ConTroll’ (even after several attempts), so I figured I’d put it under ‘Housekeeping’. Maybe the comments for the former are closed, though I can’t say for sure. The rest of you are free to read it as well. Directly below is Muppet Fan’s comment in case. Sorry for any disturbance(s). Thanks.

    https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/09/02/pest-controll/#comment-3086

    Dear (fellow) Muppet Fan and friend,

    Very sorry for the belated reply – I was so speechless after reading the above, that I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Thank you as well, countless times for your in-depth and insightful response. You are a very kind person, very kind. Each one of you visiting this blog is (minus trolls), and the artiste, that’s right – artiste, who owns/moderates it is the epitome. I really think he has redefined what it means to be down-to-earth. His example seems to have rubbed off on some as shown by many heartfelt comments below. As for my coming to Pundit, it’s a real pleasure to be a presence here, among a sea of some of the most clever, gifted, and creative beings the world has ever known. I must add that I see some future writers and motivational speakers in our group, including Steve. The research…it was nothing, really. I just write based on prior knowledge of Steve, Muppets, Jim Henson, etc. accumulated over recent years. Many of us on here do. And the video of Otis was found as a related clip to the one of Wembley at Steve’s high school. The latter I credit Muppet fan site ToughPigs for as I came across it on their Twitter, not too long ago. It was through that one that I discovered Otis, so in a way, ToughPigs (indirectly) helped discover him. (*If it’s of any importance, I don’t really follow them as much anymore). That said, I agree with you on the Berkmar (High School) performance – it’s priceless. I’m sure other puppeteers, young and old, have just as much talent and potential, but I doubt you would be able to find another gem like that for the rest of eternity.

    While I am still disappointed that Steve’s run with the Muppets has come to an end, I sometimes remind myself that perhaps some good may come from it. In other words, it could be a ‘blessing in disguise’ as new challenges and endeavors lie ahead for him. The future only looks brighter from here. And going back for a moment to when you said you would get his book, I’m sure you would, but as we’re speaking, let’s not forget how extraordinarily talented of a singer he is – you would get his album too (same here)! *More on his voice and singing abilities later. 🙂
    Those in themselves are worth their own, separate post. Anyways, pleased you liked the Wembley video. If I find anything similar or just as special among archives, I’ll try to share it here at convenience. Thank you again, profoundly, for your touching reply and sincere apologies for not getting back to your earlier.

    *One more thing…before we finish off, you also brought up Otis. If I’m not wrong, it looks like we might be onto something… 🙂 (*there’s no “winking face” here, or I’d put that in place of the smile). We’ve celebrated and continue to celebrate and remember Jim’s life and legacy by watching his many works. Here’s to the beginning or continuation of an all-new/ongoing legacy…Steve’s.

    All the best to you good friend(s),

    Saba/SK

    1. Saba, thank you very much for your high opinion! You are being too kind — there is nothing in my posts that hasn’t been said before, and better, by all the wonderful people posting here, and I gladly pass the credit for that to them all. Myself, I am mostly recapping the things which in my opinion are worth being repeated once more, in my comments.

      Interesting thing though, after posting that comment I realized that I mostly wrote it for… myself, really. And for what the Muppets mean to me, too. And for all the good stuff I still hope to be able to watch. All done with my own personal interests in mind. (Frankly, it was a bit of a shock to realize that 🙂 )

      After all, I am pretty sure that Mr Whitmire must have enough going on already, with his charity work and all, to keep his life happy and fulfilled, with an occasional chuckle and sharp comment whenever a new ‘Original Muppets’ documentary will be made. Pretty much like Frank and the rest of these guys do.

      It is actually the Muppets that I’m afraid could face a dimmer future now. There is no doubt of who Steve is and how much he did and what he meant for the Muppets through his many years of service. The guys who think that out of all possible options cutting him off was the best one clearly have different idea of Jim’s Muppets from what ours used to be all along, and I’m afraid it might show very clearly in the future productions. So we are pleading with Steve… for our own sake mostly… to keep it going… no matter what!

      Steve does the same thing here — for the Muppets sake. I think this blog is a very samurai place indeed, and the purpose of it all is best summed up here:

      https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/08/21/doing-what-is-best-for-the-muppets-part-2/#comment-2468

      On our side, we can only keep hoping that whatever happens will work out for the best of everybody, allow us many more years of sharing Steve’s talent, and keep Jim’s spark alive in the world.

      1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Dear Saba and Muppet Fan From The 70s♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

        I believe we are on the same page in our ways of thinking. I being also from the 70s have witnessed all the joy of the the Muppets and now the woes of what’s happening. Thanks for the link above to remind us of what Mike said about Steve.

        My reply to Mike still stands, and I have not wavered from it .
        https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/08/21/doing-what-is-best-for-the-muppets-part-2/#comment-2493

        Let’s give Steve the chance to sort this out, to his satisfaction, and continue support of his decisions.

        I sit here covered in powdered sugar, because of a pastry. So if my post is too sweet, it’s intentional.

        Love
        Anne Terri

  58. Hi Steve,

    This post wasn’t particularly a delight to write, but it was important. I address you specifically for a good portion of it, so it made sense to give you a link to it.

    Please keep in mind that what I write is from the bottom of my heart and that I care more about you than I probably should for someone I barely know. As far as I’m concerned, you’re my friend. Friends are honest with each other and that’s what this post is about, being honest with you, myself and everyone else.

    Until you’re ready to make your next post, please enjoy mine.

    https://justforthehalibutblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/moving-forward/

    Cheers from Down Under,
    Marni

    1. Steve, I was initially going to leave this as a comment on Marni’s blog post, but since it is directed at you, it made more sense for me to post it here.

      Like Marni, I am hopeful that you will eventually move on from all this and create something new and wonderful all your own.

      HOWEVER…

      …with that said, I hope that you don’t move on until you are READY to do so.

      In our clumsy English language, we sometimes tell people who have been through grief or loss to “get over it,” but I think that’s incorrect. I don’t think a person can “get over” a trauma such as you’ve suffered; I think a person can only get “through” it. And I speak from personal experience when I say that “getting through” something is a lot harder and takes a lot longer.

      You’ve been a Muppet performer for approximately two-thirds of your life; you’re not going to be able to work through a loss like that in a matter of months. Healing has to happen in its own time; there are no shortcuts, and it can’t be rushed.

      Do what you have to do. Take your time. We are here to support you, and we love you.
      <3

        1. Bless you, Anne Terri. I believe that you are a person after my own heart. 🙂

          Steve, I want to thank you again for starting this blog. Not only for the chance to read your stories and to communicate with you, which is an opportunity beyond my wildest hopes and aspirations, but for bringing so many people together and allowing me to make new friends from all over the world. I never would have become acquainted with Marni, Anne Terri, J.S., etc. if not for your blog, and doing so has greatly enriched my life.

          I understand that other life concerns take precedence over the blog, and I don’t begrudge you the time that you’ve spent away from it, but I want you to know that, as Bert once sang (and Jeff Moss wrote), “when you’re gone I miss you, and I’m happy when you’re here.” Every new post notification from you is a day-maker for me. 😉

          I wrote recently that “nothing is so evil that good cannot come out of it, one way or another.” I believe that very strongly, and I thank you for the good that you’ve brought into all of our lives out of the evil that’s been done to you.

  59. Hey, Steve. I know you must feel bad about loosing your job and you probably still wanna get it back, but I think it’s time to move on. I think the next few posts on the blog should be fun enlightening stories, like the time you met some celebrities or your favorite memories from filming the Muppet movies. I still support you, Steve. Also thanks for answering my question about Matt Vogel.

    1. Anthony, speaking of memories, I really liked the quotes you posted here:

      Two different times Frank Oz reflected on Steve taking over Kermit.
      CNN People Profiles: The reason Steve had a hard time was it’s not just doing another character, he had to get into the soul of Jim to be Kermit.
      Best Ever Muppet Moments: For Steve it was emotionally difficult, because Steve loved Jim and Jim loved Steve, so becoming Kermit was not just difficult for him as a performer to mimic Jim, but it was hard for him to become that character emotionally. It was very hard for him.

      Apparently it’s getting way easier these days — all peachy as long as the mole doesn’t show, huh. 🙂

      1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Nicoholas Napoli♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ What a great moment in Muppet History. I saw you posted this, and then had to take a break for dinner. I will post on another thread that which I saved.

        Love Anne Terri

          1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Hello Nicholas♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

            This is the post I promised, another good memory. I’m certain many may have seen this, but it belongs on this site for posterity.

            Behind the Scenes Muppet Treasure Island (Part 1 of 2)
            https://youtu.be/umJxHqiDqoY

            Will post part 2 tomorrow.

            Love Anne Terri

        1. Great clip Anne, this one always makes me laugh because it reminds me that I got punished by my Mom the day this first aired on the Disney Channel. I was about nine years old and remember being obnoxious at home especially with my Sisters then suddenly my Mom said I was punished and had to go to bed early without watching this and I had been waiting all day for this. If I was persistent enough my Mom usually caved especially when it came to The Muppets but this time she stood her ground and I wasn’t able to watch it. At the time there was no internet so if you missed something on TV then you had to wait until the re-aired it again, luckily a few days later I was able to watch it when they showed it again. Thanks for the trip down memory lane 🙂

          1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Nicholas♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
            It’s hard to imagine you being a bad child. Your mom raised you well. Happy you enjoyed your memory excursion.

            Love Anne Terri

          2. LOL thanks for the kind words, I wasn’t necessarily bad just very hyper and because of that I made those around me nervous (especially when I was excited, in this case it was Muppet Treasure Island). My parents always tell me that as a child the only time i’d actually relax and stay quiet was when there were Muppets/Sesame Street/Fraggle’s on TV, guess that is why they rented me a different Jim Henson VHS Tape every weekend, more for their sakes than mine I suppose 🙂

            This actually reminds me of the day I met an idol of mine, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Unfortunately I was so hyper/excited at the time that he actually told me to “Shut up”. I totally understood where he was coming from, I got that reaction a lot growing up and this was only a few years ago lol it was so embarrassing.

            This is what I like about this blog, everyone that is left is here out of loyalty, that’s very hard to come by these days. I think everybody here were raised by excellent Parents/Guardians. I’m very happy to be part of this online community and you’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever met online.

            Have a great day.

          3. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Nicholas♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
            Hyper is not so bad, my son had this in youth and used to drive his teachers crazy.
            He’s now writing incredible VR Software. He grew up on the Muppets, and I was there for all of it. I became a fan and what’s my favorite move of Kermit’s? When he goes ape! YES WE ARE LOYAL

            Love Anne Terri

  60. Dear Mr. Steve,

    First off, please say whatever you wish, and discuss it with us for as long as you wish. Thank you.

    Second: Since you like Rocky Horror, I was curious to know if you like Phantom of the Paradise as well. If you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it! It has great songs (as usual!) by Paul Williams.

    Most importantly, I am so glad that your kitty family member is doing well! All the best from me to Streek! 🙂

    Sincerely,
    FoS&BB

  61. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Everyone♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: One of my goals is to make certain some of my favorites in Muppets’ history appear on this site.

    Let us keep our spirits, up, because what’s happening in the industry is sadly overwhelming. Like today, they fired the composer -Alf Clausen, of The Simpsons, after a 27 year long run with the show.

    Money seems to talk these days, and it has no heart. The industry providing joy to the fans has collapsed. Steve, we must stick together .

    Behind the Scenes Muppet Treasure Island (Part 1 of 2) https://youtu.be/umJxHqiDqoY

    Love, Anne Terri

  62. Steve,

    (I still struggle with whether I should call you Steve or Mr. Whitmire – somehow “Mr. Whitmire” seems too formal, but “Steve” seems too casual for someone I’ve never actually met…and so the struggle continues :-)),

    I was thinking the other day about this blog, and it occurred to me (not for the first time) just how incredibly lucky I feel having a somewhat direct connection to someone I admire so deeply. I can’t think of another instance where I am able to personally thank an individual for the profound impact their work has had on my life. I know that sounds incredibly heavy, but the Muppets have been a part of my childhood and helped shape my adult life in ways that few other things have – often in ways that I don’t fully recognize. To have the chance to express my gratitude and know that you will see it is something special indeed. So whatever becomes of this blog now or in the future, that alone to me is worth the price of admission.

    I’m sure there are many others on here that feel the exact same way, whether they have commented as such or are silent admirers. Please take that for whatever it’s worth 🙂 I continue to look forward to whatever stories you have yet to share, whenever you share them! And as if it hasn’t been said enough, THANK YOU for being you and sharing yourself with all of us. There are not enough words in the English language to do justice to how much it means!

  63. Steve I found out something about anonymous that I think you should be aware of. You are a very kind soul, forgiving, tolerant and understanding. I don’t think it would be a good idea to post it here, it is a bit sensitive. I don’t think you would like me to, but I don’t have any other way to contact you. I could post it when you are online so you can read then delete it, but it’d still show up in peoples’ email notifications. Although the vast majority here are kind, the world can still see it, I honestly don’t think you’d want them to know part of it as it has put a very different slant on things. I found out a lot of information, but one aspect of it well, explains a lot more.

  64. I was reading ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green and Other Things to Consider’ and I came across a great quote from Steve. It’s quotes and inside knowledge like this that draw me to what Steve has to say about how the Muppets are run:

    “Jim was a master collaborator, not just because he allowed equal time for everyone’s input, but because he had the ability to validate that input and rank its usefulness at the same time. From big projects to individual scenes, Jim presented a group of carefully selected people with his vision and allowed us all to expand and evolve that vision. He allowed for everyone to be right, but he knew everyone couldn’t be equally right.”

  65. Oh my, I’ve only had a few moments here this evening, long enough to read the posts. Rather than add to what Andrew has said, I will focus on the earth quake in Mexico and hurricane Maria racing forward into the islands, which is taking my attention.

    Everyone stay safe, and please keep the Peace.

    Much Love to Everyone
    Anne Terri

  66. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Everyone♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
    Here we go as I promised Nicholas yesterday, ( https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/09/08/housekeeping/#comment-3335 ) I’m posting Behind the Scenes Muppet Treasure Island (Part 2 of 2) And, by the way, J.S, ( https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/09/08/housekeeping/#comment-3344 ) you are not talking to empty space.

    https://youtu.be/8tW43meBq7Y

    Much Love,
    Anne Terri

    1. Thanks for posting these. They come from my YouTube channel/my personal VHS collection. I am glad Disney allows things that are out of print to stay up and be seen.

      1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Carolyn ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

        Oh my Carolyn, if I’d know they were your own, I would have waited for you to post them. They are wonderful. My laptop crashed yesterday, and now am on an old PC. Gotta find my password for Youtube. I know I subscribed to you though.

        Love Anne Terri

        1. Anne, I wasn’t planning on posting them. Wouldn’t have thought of it. I am just glad when they get views/shares because it justifies the time my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I put in to copying and editing my old tapes. It’s weird to me that we live in a world with instant access to so many pointless things, but great older TV specials and commercials and things are only available if someone transfers them from a personal VHS tape.

          1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Carolyn♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

            You are like my daughter who has one of the largest film collection on VHS and also has an extensive DVD collection.

            Thank you for taking the time with your husband to make these available to everyone.

            Love Anne Terri

  67. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Andrew♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Bless, you and Thank you times a million. Now I have seen the Truth from the film you posted,
    ‘ The Muppets Best Ever Documentary https://youtu.be/LsKXaUcEtc4 (see at 39:30) ….’
    I know that all I’ve come to believe about Jim Henson and his friendship with Steve Whitmire is Truth.
    Yes, there are some on this site, who know this film well, but for me to see this for the first time brings clarity. Watching this film which shares the moment that Jim has passed and Steve having to find a way to bring Kermit to life, made me cry, and then the reunion gave me chills. Never again will a doomsayer or troll have power here in my heart. I’m so very tired of the conjectures, and the blue meanies.

    I am saving this link to my Muppets’ archive which is now growing on my Youtube site, with this one as the first. I am one who does not like to write on Fandom sites, because I’ve seen so much damage caused on them by misguided fans, and my Friends who are actors and actresses, show me they are very cautious. I’d like to see this site kept safe.

    Much Love to everyone who is keeping the Faith
    Anne Terri

  68. I hate to sound negative, but it feels a little like Steve stopped blogging when it didn’t get him what he wanted. I hope that’s not the case… otherwise my opinion on the whole matter changes quite a bit.

    1. There could be a number of factors for why Steve is taking a break. My guesses are that he either A) wanted to wait until the Hollywood Bowl thing died down before he said anything more or B) life just got super busy and this isn’t his top priority right now.

      That being said, I still hope to hear from him again soon.

    2. Hope he’s doing okay out there, just taking care of other things, and wasn’t flooded by Irma.

      Let’s have some basic respect here — everyone has full right to blog or not blog as real life allows. There are blogs out there with only 3 or 4 posts per year.
      One thing I must say, my own opinion of things sure does NOT depend on which side blogs more often. 🙂

      That being said, I still hope to hear from him again soon, too!

    3. If you’ve followed his recent posts, he’s had a HUGE amount of stuff non-Muppet related to deal with in his personal/home life. That all of course is before all the latest havoc from hurricanes which could have affected if not Steve personally, some close to him.

      I hardly think it unreasonable to expect blogging wouldn’t be his #1 priority right now nor should we expect/hold him to regular updates just now. I’m sure when things are a bit more under control, we’ll hear lots more.

    4. When I mentioned to my mother about the fact that Steve hasn’t posted in awhile, she said he’s probably focusing more on his cat than anything else, for now anyway. My mother, like me, is also a cat lover. Then, there’s also possible issues with Irma, and other Real Life things going on. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how people think people have to post right away, and get snippy when Real Life gets in someone’s way.

      Person A: “WHY AREN’T YOU POSTING NEW POSTS TO YOUR BLOG EVERY DAY?!”

      Person B: “Hey, sorry I haven’t been on for weeks. My cat’s been sick, my septic tank exploded, and I was in the direct path of a hurricane that knocked my power out for three days, and I haven’t been able to use my computer.”

      Person B: “THAT’S NO EXCUSE! YOU SHOULD BE POSTING EVERY DAY! YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF YOUR BLOG!”

      You see what I mean?

      Steve, if you read this, I’m just using an example. I don’t mean for Person B to be you yourself, or Person A to be anyone specific. Just for intents and purposes. Hope you’re well, hope you’re family is well, and also hope Streek is doing better, and any other furry friends you may have are well, too.

      Live Long and Paws-Purr,
      Erin T. Aardvark, who does not have a life outside of her computer, but does have the realistic expectation that other people do indeed have lives outside of their computers

      PS: yeah, I’m trying to be humorous and I think I’m failing. If you haven’t guessed by now, I do almost anything for a laugh

      1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Erin T. Aardvark♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ You have a way of making me laugh, and of showing some of these posts for what they are. I agree with you and everyone who has responded to Don. Remember when one does this, type of post, it’s reminiscent of some of those we showed to Steve earlier that poked a bit and which led to Steve’s post on Pest ConTroll .

        Love Anne Terri

      2. Funny and very true — life is not all about blogging. 🙂 I’d rather have Mr Whitmire doing some puppeteering instead 🙂

        Folks, we knew and loved Steve’s talent for most of our lives, without any blogs — and I’m pretty sure most of us here would very much love to see years and years of his future performances, whether as a part of the Muppets or on his own — no matter what’s going on with this one, right?

        1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥A Muppet Fan since 70s♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

          A thousand yeses, and may I live these many years to come, to be able to see Steve’s next performances.

      3. Hey Erin, not to be nitpicky, but I couldn’t help but notice that you have two characters in a row labeled “Person B” in the above dialogue.

        Perhaps you could clarify: two Bs or not two Bs? That is the question.
        😉 😀

        1. Hi Mary,

          That is commonly known as . . . . . a Typo. I started out with Person A being the blogger, but then decided to do Person A as the Psycho-Control-Freak-Who-Has-to-Get-His-Way-All-the-Time-Or-Else-You’re-Going-to-Make-Me-Very-Upset-and-Then-I’ll-Have-to-Tell-My-Mommy-On-You-And-She’ll-Sue-You-For-All-You’re-Worth-Because-You-Heart-My-Special-Snowflake-Feelings. I just overlooked something there. I hate having ADHD!

          1. Not too harsh at all, Mary! I didn’t even notice what I did! I dig the joke, though. It was funny.

    5. Don,

      Steve does not blog daily, but when he gets his thoughts together on that which he wants to address next, after reading all the posts for a period of time. We who are here daily have learned to be patient. He has a life and it’s busy and full with family and other needs. Thus negatives are not a part of us.

      Anne Terri

    6. Don,
      Like Steve said in a comment on his previous post from September 2nd:
      “I want to get past all the distractions and talk about that coming up soon.”
      I’m sure Steve is having a lot on his mind that’s keeping him busy. 😉

    7. The more patience, the greater the reward. Just continue to think that the next upcoming post will be worth the wait…and I’m sure it will be, whatever it’s about.

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