We can only hope that the Muppet drama is now behind us — the latest Kermit the Frog, voiced by Matt Vogel, is on the scene!
You can hear Vogel for the first time in the new Muppet Thought of the Week video below — this is something that the Muppets put out on a regular basis, so it’s not that unusual that we’re getting to hear him at this time in this format. It’s also not all that much of a surprise that Disney wanted to release the first video of him in a rather low-key way — one of the things that got lost during the whole Steve Whitmire mess was that the point of the Muppets is to think about them as living, breathing characters. You’re not supposed to think about them as puppets. There’s a reason why Kermit has only been officially played by a few people over the years, and much of that is due to just how much care the powers that be have in making sure the right person is in the job.
So how is Vogel as Kermit? We do think that he does a rather good job! We’d say that his voice is just a half-step or so lower than Whitmire’s and it takes a second to adjust to that, but the rhythm of the voice is still there alongside some of that signature rasp. It’s not super-prominent, but you want Kermit to sound like an amphibian. The voice is familiar, and yet there’s also something new about it. Based on a first listen, we very much like it — and this is the time in which we would typically be the most judgmental, given that we are just getting used to the voice. (We don’t actually hear a lot of it, but we hear enough to appreciate it.)
Hopefully, we’re going to now see more Kermit, and the Muppets as a whole, in the weeks and months to come. One of the things that remains the most disappointing about the recent ABC show is that it had so much potential, but just couldn’t get the wheels moving fast enough after a slow start. We think that there’s potential in doing something more with the characters down the line, especially if they were to bring back some sort of summer variety show in the future. We think the world needs some good family-friendly entertainment, and the Muppets could be very good at helping people escape from the world — even if it is just for a moment or two.
Now, let’s turn this over to you
What do you think about the big debut here from Vogel, and do you think that he’ll be a worthy new Kermit? Sound off in the comments!
If for whatever reason you do want to read more about the Steve Whitmire saga — and we’re not sure that you do, given that this is a rather ugly story insofar as Muppet history goes — you can still do so by heading over to the link here right now. (Photo: ABC.)