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Kermit the Frog
The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Sam and Friends character
Kermit the Frog.jpg
First appearance Sam and Friends (1955)
Created by Jim Henson
Voiced by
Performed by
Gender Male
Occupation Entertainer, stage manager, show producer
Family Robin the Frog (nephew)
Significant other(s) Miss Piggy (1976–present)
Nationality American

Kermit the Frog is a Muppet character and Jim Henson's most well-known creation. Introduced in 1955, Kermit serves as the straight man protagonist of numerous Muppet productions, most notably Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, as well as in other television series, films, specials, and public service announcements through the years. Henson originally performed Kermit until his death in 1990; Steve Whitmire performed Kermit from that time up until his dismissal from the role in 2016. Kermit is currently performed by Matt Vogel. He was also voiced by Frank Welker in Muppet Babies and occasionally in other animation projects, and is voiced by Matt Danner in the 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.

Kermit performed the hit singles "Bein' Green" in 1970 and "The Rainbow Connection" in 1979 for The Muppet Movie, the first feature-length film featuring the Muppets. The latter song reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kermit's iconic look and voice have been recognizable worldwide since, and in 2006, the character was credited as the author of Before You Leap: A Frog's Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons, which is an "autobiography" told from the perspective of the character himself.

History and development

Kermit first appeared on May 9, 1955, in the premiere of WRC-TV's Sam and Friends. This prototype Kermit was created from a discarded spring coat belonging to Henson's mother and two ping pong ball halves for eyes.

Initially, Kermit was a lizard-like creature. He subsequently made a number of television appearances before his status as a frog was established. His collar was added at the time to make him seem more frog-like and to conceal the seam between his head and body. As Sesame Street is localized for some different markets that speak languages other than English, Kermit is often renamed.


Jim Henson (1989) headshot
Puppeteer Jim Henson at the 41st Emmy Awards 1989

Jim Henson originated the character in 1955 on his local television series, Sam and Friends. He continued to perform the character until his death in 1990. Henson's last known performance as Kermit was for an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show to promote The Muppets at Walt Disney World. Henson died twelve days after that appearance.

Following Henson's death, veteran Muppet performer Steve Whitmire was named Kermit's new performer. Whitmire's first public performance as Kermit was at the end of the television special The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson in 1990. He remained Kermit's principal performer until 2016. Disney announced that Matt Vogel would be taking over as the performer and voice for Kermit on July 10, 2017.

Steve Whitmire 2014
Steve Whitmire 2014

For a brief demonstration at MuppetFest (a 2001 Muppet fan convention), Muppet performer John Kennedy performed Kermit. Kennedy also performed Kermit for Muppets Ahoy!, a 2006 Disney Cruise Line stage show. Muppet performer Artie Esposito briefly performed Kermit in 2009 for a few personal appearances (an appearance on America's Got Talent, the MTV Video Music Awards, and at the 2009 D23 Expo).

Voice actor Frank Welker provided the voice of Baby Kermit on the animated Saturday morning cartoon, Muppet Babies. He also provided the voice of an adult Kermit for a short-lived spin-off, Little Muppet Monsters. Matt Danner voices Baby Kermit on the 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.

Character biography

Tops in Blue 120605-F-VX940-541
Miss. Piggy and Kermit the Frog make a guest appearance and sing for the crowd

A biography has been developed for Kermit the Frog as if he was an actual living performer rather than a puppet character. According to this fictional biography, he was born in Leland, Mississippi, alongside approximately 2,353 siblings, though a 2011 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show has him state that he was from the swamps of Louisiana.

As portrayed in the 2002 film Kermit's Swamp Years, at the age of 12, he was the first of his siblings to leave the swamp, and one of the first frogs to talk to humans. He is shown in the film encountering a 12-year-old Jim Henson for the first time.

Vintage Fozzie Bear Muppets Character Wrist Watch By Picco, 7 Jewels, Manual Wind, Henson Associates, Copyright 1980 (26674846046)
Fozzie Bear is portrayed as Kermit's best friend

Fozzie Bear is portrayed as Kermit's best friend—a fact reiterated by Kermit in Before You Leap—and the two were frequently seen together during sketches on The Muppet Show and in other Muppet-related media and merchandise.

On August 4, 2015, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy announced that they had ended their romantic relationship. On September 2, 2015, Kermit was stated to have found a new girlfriend, a pig named Denise, but around February 2016, Denise supposedly broke up with Kermit after almost six months together.


Tv sam and friends
Kermit's earliest incarnation on Sam and Friends

Kermit has been featured prominently on both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. However, he had a prominent career before the Sesame Street debut in 1969, as he starred in Sam and Friends, and numerous Muppets made guest appearances on Today from 1961 and The Ed Sullivan Show from 1966.

Kermit was one of the original main Muppet characters on Sesame Street. Closely identified with the show, Kermit usually appeared as a lecturer on simple topics, a straight man to another Muppets such as Grover, Herry Monster or Cookie Monster), or a news reporter interviewing storybook characters for Sesame Street News. He sang many songs on the show, including "Bein' Green", and appeared in the 1998 video The Best of Kermit on Sesame Street.

With the Muppets

Stage 1 Company Store-Muppet entrance (22844446404)
Stage 1 Company Store-Muppet entrance

In The Muppet Show television series, Kermit was the central character, the showrunner, and the long-suffering stage manager of the theater show, trying to keep order amidst the chaos created by the other Muppets. Henson once claimed that Kermit's job on the Muppet Show was much like his own: "trying to get a bunch of crazies to actually get the job done." It was on this show that the running gag of Kermit being pursued by leading lady Miss Piggy developed.

Kermit the Frog singing his famous song "Bein' Green"

On Muppets Tonight, Kermit was still a main character, although he was the producer rather than front-man. He appeared in many parody sketches such as NYPD Green, City Schtickers, Flippers, and The Muppet Odd Squad, as well as in the Psychiatrist's Office sketch.

Kermit also served as the mascot for The Jim Henson Company, until the sale of the Muppet characters to Disney. A Kermit puppet can be seen at the National Museum of American History.

Kermit appears in Muppet*Vision 3D, an attraction that opened in 1991 at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Kermit also appears at the Magic Kingdom at The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History.


Kermit the Frog has appeared in almost every Muppet production, as well as making guest appearances in other shows and movies.

Below is a list of his more well-known appearances:

Awards and commemorations

Kermit the frog hollywood walk of fame
Kermit's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Kermit was awarded an honorary doctorate of Amphibious Letters on May 19, 1996, at Southampton College, New York, where he also gave a commencement speech. He is also the only "amphibian" to have had the honor of addressing the Oxford Union. A statue of Henson and Kermit was erected on the campus of Henson's alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003.
  • On November 14, 2002, Kermit the Frog received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
  • On Kermit's 50th birthday in 2005, the United States Postal Service released a set of new stamps with photos of Kermit and some of his fellow Muppets on them. The background of the stamp sheet features a photo of a silhouetted Henson sitting in a window well, with Kermit sitting in his lap looking at him.
  • In 2013, the original Kermit puppet from Sam and Friends was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for display in the pop culture gallery.
  • In 2015, the Leland Chamber of Commerce in Leland, Mississippi opened a small museum containing puppets and memorabilia dedicated to Kermit.
  • Kermit's legacy is also deeply entrenched in the science community. One of the famous WP-3D Orion research platforms flown by the NOAA Hurricane Hunters is named after Kermit. The other is named after Miss Piggy.
Muppets Most Wanted poster
Muppets Most Wanted poster

Kermit in Internet culture

Kermit has appeared in a popular meme in which he is shown sipping tea. The photo is taken from "Be More Kermit," a Lipton advertisement that aired in 2014, and was adapted into the "But That's None of My Business" meme, making appearances on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

In November 2016, a new meme surfaced of Kermit talking to a hooded version of himself which represents the self and its inner thoughts. It involves captioning of a screenshot taken from the Muppets Most Wanted movie of Kermit and Constantine looking at each other.

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