Jarrod Fairclough – Over the past few months many comments have been made online relating to the whereabouts of Steve Whitmire, performer of Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, Beaker and many others. We haven’t seen any new content with his characters since 2016, and his absence has become increasingly conspicuous.
In news from Disney and The Muppets Studio exclusive to The Muppet Mindset and ToughPigs.com, we can confirm that after almost 40 years, Steve Whitmire is no longer a part of The Muppets.
Steve joined the Muppets in 1978 and quickly became a lead performer, with characters like Rizzo the Rat and Bean Bunny. In 1990 he took on the impossible role of performing Kermit the Frog after the sudden death of Jim Henson, and for 27 years he continued the legacy with aplomb. While this news is severely disappointing, we wish Steve all the best in whatever he decides to do next, and we’re here to support him however we can. We can’t go without thanking him for everything he’s done, both on and off camera. He has been amazing to the fans over the years, and speaking from experience, he is as big a fan of us as we are of him.
In another exclusive, we can confirm that Kermit the Frog has been recast, and will now be performed by the incredibly talented Matt Vogel. We are told Matt’s first “Muppet Thought of the Week” video as Kermit will premiere next week, and we’re excited to see where Matt takes Kermit going forward.
Matt is one of the franchises staple performers, and definitely one of the best, so, pun intended, we’re sure Kermit is in good hands. We have no word yet on any of Steve’s other characters, both original and inherited, but knowing the current crop of performers, they’ll be back soon.
There have been plenty of rumours as to why Steve is no longer affiliated with The Muppets, however the information above are the facts, coming from multiple sources (including Disney), and anything else is pure speculation at this point. This is a huge loss to the Muppet family, and we’ll bring you more information as we get it.