NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Muppet Kermit the Frog and his operator Steve Whitmire take questions from the audience at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Triangle on November 14, 2003,in New York City. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Steve Whitmire Had Real Fear Taking Over Kermit For
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Voicing an iconic character after the long-time voice actor has passed away can be difficult, as you have to uphold the legacy of a beloved figure. After the 1990 death of Muppets creator and original Kermit, Jim Henson, Steve Whitmire was chosen to take over as the famous frog.
Whitmire, a seasoned Muppeteer, debuted Kermit’s new voice in 1992’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” but he was nervous about his ability to live up to Henson’s legacy. The voice actor shared, “I was taking over from Jim as Kermit, which was a little scary, as you might imagine. It was important not only to match Kermit’s character, but also his voice.”
It wasn’t until Whitmire had a dream about Henson the night before recording the movie’s songs that he became more confident in his new role. Whitmire explained that in his dream, he told Jim Henson, “I’m really nervous about taking over Kermit,” and Henson did one of his signature finger-on-the-lip motions and said, “It’ll pass,” before walking away.