New Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Makes His Flawless Debut Following 'Muppet' Puppeteer Controversy
By Zach Seemayer
The Muppets/Youtube; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Kermit the Frog has a new voice, and it sounds comfortingly identical to his old one.
Matt Vogel -- who is stepping in to replace long-time Kermit puppeteer Steve Whitmire -- made his debut as the iconic Muppet earlier this week in the adorable YouTube video "Muppet Thought of the Week," and fans can rest easy that his portrayal of Kermit is almost spot-on to his predecessor.
"Dreams are how we figure out where we want to go. Life is how we get there," Kermit shares in the clip. "I’m headed this way."
In the short clip, the famous frog was introduced by the Muppet Uncle Deadly, who Vogel has also been voicing for several years.
Vogel has been working with the Jim Henson Company since 1996, when he was cast as an ensemble puppeteer on Sesame Street. He joined The Muppets in 2008 for the NBC special A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa.
Apart from Kermit and Uncle Deadly, Vogel has also been providing the voices of Floyd Pepper, Camilla the Chicken, Lew Zealand, Robin the Frog, Crazy Harry and Sweetums, among others.
The studio claimed Whitmire was fired for "repeated unacceptable business conduct" that was over "a period of many years." However, the puppeteer denied those claims and said that he was never given any indication that he was going to be fired after being part of the Jim Henson Company for 27 years.
"I had had no advance warning on that. Nothing had ever been framed to me as a career-breaking problem," Whitmire told the Today show in July. "In fact, we had been talking prior to that… about me being sort of a creative producer with them, working alongside the two executives whom I spoke with, where I would have been really part of the day to day decision making on The Muppets."
To hear Whitmire's take on the beloved character, check out the video below of ET's sit-down with Kermit in 2015, where he gave his first interview since his split from Miss Piggy.