It was reported last week that Steve Whitmire, the voice of Kermit the Frog, was retiring after 27 years. Well, apparently The Muppets set took a turn for the Jane Pauley/Deborah Norville, because Steve didn’t retire. He was fired! Steve was let go for mouthing off, and it wasn’t even to Miss Piggy! But don’t feel too bad for Steve. I’m sure he’ll a bright future ahead as a clairvoyant invited to dinner parties on any number of the Real Housewives franchises.
Steve says Disney gave him his pink slip for running around claiming Jim Henson (who died in 1990) wouldn’t have agreed with the direction Kermit was going in. Kermit’s voice will be replaced this week by Matt Vogel, who has been brought into the Muppet mix.
One of the big issues Steve had was how the now-cancelled ABC series The Muppets had an episode where Kermit and Miss Piggy (the rich man’s Ross and Rachel) break up. On the show, Kermit lied to his nephew Robin as to why. Kevin explained to the Hollywood Reporter:
“I don’t think Kermit would lie to him. I think that as Robin came to Kermit, he would say ‘things happen, people go their separate ways, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about you.’ Kermit is too compassionate to lie to him to spare his feelings.”
I was really expecting Kevin to start talking about how Disney execs were trying to get on board the Breaking Bad gravy train by making Kermit and Miss Piggy deal meth to Zoot and Animal (they are rockstars, after all!). Maybe even run a brothel. But a white lie?! C’mon, Kev, live a little! Kermit probably has PTSD from sleeping with a hot-head pig all these years, so it’s only natural he’d want to fib in order to keep the waters calm.
Disney’s version of the story is basically that Steve has been a pain in their felt ass since they acquired the Muppets franchise in 2004, saying he was hostile and unprofessional. While we await word on whether or not Miss P notices anything slightly off in the bedroom this evening, I’m sure that slut pig (literally!) Denise (whom was introduced on The Muppets last year) is having the last laugh! “First I wrecked your home, and then I offed your Kermie! MWAHAHA!”