2011-11-18

The Muppets – A Chat With Kermit The Frog

by Yo Snyder

The Muppets are back, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been a long
time fan of the show, and still watch it on a regular basis with my
kids. The Muppet Christmas Carol is an annual favorite in our home, and
one of my favorite Muppet movies was the last one, Muppets from Space.
I’ve missed Kermit and the gang in the ensuing years, so when I heard
they were coming back, I got excited. When I found out I’d have a chance
to actually talk with Kermit himself; I think I peed a little in my
excitement. And so it was earlier this morning I had a chance to talk
with one of my all-time favorite celebrities:

Yo – Well hello Kermit.

Kermit – Hi-ho, Yo. How are you my friend.

Yo – I’m doing really well. It’s such a special treat to get to talk with you, so thank you for your time today.

Kermit – Oh, no worries. I’m happy to talk with you, I really happy to do that.

Yo – Well let’s dive right in since we don’t have much time, so after
a long break after Muppets from Space, what made you decide to get the
gang back together and do a movie now?

Kermit – Well, you know, it has been a long time since we have done a
big film. We’ve done lots of other smaller projects over the years,
like television specials and stuff for the Internet, which was great
fun. But you know, there’s nothing like being on the big screen. I love
being thirty feet wide. Miss Piggy tries to slim down a bit, but she’s
about forty feet wide. But I love it, and the best part is we had Jason
Segel come along, who’s become a great friend, and he had a nice idea
for a script written really from a fan’s point of view of the Muppets,
and Jason’s a huge fan. So it was great to get to work with him.

Yo – Now I know a lot of movies today use a lot of green screen
effects, but I’m thinking that would be kind of challenging for you, so
how do you work around the whole green screen thing if you have to do
any special effects shots?

Kermit – That is a very good point, my friend. I do have to be
careful with that. I actually, a lot of people don’t know this, but
years ago I worked on green screen as a ping-pong ball model. It’s all
that showed up was my eyeballs, so it worked out very well. But mostly I
do the blue screen myself, it seems to work better in my case. I can
never do the weather on a local TV show. You know, I just disappear.
It’s what I like to say; when working on green screen, it’s not easy
being green.

Yo – (laughing) Well that’s true. So with this new take on the
Muppets and the new movie coming out, I was wondering how do you think
Jim Henson would feel about this new start for the Muppets?

Kermit – Well, you know I remember Jim well. He was such a huge part
of everything I ever did, although frankly I’m not sure what it was he
was doing. He was always there and he was a person I really enjoyed
having around. And it is a new start for us in a way, this film sort of
allows us to get a bigger audience, and part of the idea is that we
would appeal to kids again who haven’t seen us. But I tell ya, I keep
finding more and more that most of those young kids already know who we
are. I think their parents have introduced us even when we haven’t been
on a regular TV show. So in terms of what Jim would think, it’s always
hard to second-guess what someone else would think, but I believe would
still be very supportive of everything we do. And that’s what he was
looking for, for the Muppets to go on and on and on, so I think it would
be great.

Yo – You know, I still watch The Muppet Show with my kids on DVD and
they love watching The Muppet Show. What do you think the odds are of
this movie giving you a chance to once again get on TV and do like a
Muppet American Idol or something like that where you have a regular TV
show?

Kermit – Well, you know, it’s interesting. Obviously it would be
great to do another series. I’ve had so many fans, you know we’ve been
traveling all over the world doing PR for our film, and so many fans
come up to me and ask when we’re going to bring back The Muppet Show,
the original Muppet Show, you know in our little Muppet Theater with our
red curtain and all that stuff. I actually think that might be a fun
thing to do. But, you know, it all depends on hopefully the film will do
well, and if the film does well, maybe we’ll do more films and maybe a
series as well, that would be terrific.

Yo – I would love to see
you guys back on TV, personally. What is the current status of your
relationship with Miss Piggy? ‘Cause I know that from film to film that
changes, do have insight on that area you can share?

Kermit –
Well, I guess I have the ultimate insight on that. I will tell you, I
get asked that question a lot, and when someone asks about the current
status of our relationship, it’s really an hour by hour accounting. It
can change drastically within a few minutes. You guys, you all know Miss
Piggy, so you understand what I’m saying. Right now, currently, I’m in
New York City and I’m promoting the film and I’m talking to you over the
phone. Piggy is also in New York City, but she’s not here with me, she
actually already hit the streets earlier in the morning and she has my
credit card, so the status of our relationship currently will change in
the next few hours. 

Yo – I see. Well thank you for clarifying
that. What was your favorite part of making this new movie, especially
since it’s been about 12 years since Muppets from Space? What was your
favorite thing that happened during the making of this new movie?

Kermit
– Well, I tell ya, it’s hard to pick on particular event, except for
breaking for lunch everyday because I love that part. But I have to say
the best part about any project that I do with the Muppets and all my
friends is that, you know, we’re like a big family. We’re like a big rep
company. I mean, you know there’s bears and chickens and pigs and and
rats and frogs and we all come together and we all work together as
though we’ve never been apart. It’s great to have a group of friends
like that who know each other so well, and getting back together is
always the best part.

Yo – Are you going to be apart of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

Kermit – I think all I’m doing in the parade this year is being a balloon. Which fortunately I personally don’t have to do.

Yo – So you get a stunt double.

Kermit
– Well otherwise I don’t know how that would work, they’d have to pump
me full of helium and tie strings to me, so, I’m kind of glad they have
an actual balloon for that job. 

Yo – What do you hope people will
take away from this new Muppet movie? What do you hope will be the one
thing they walk away and say, “Man, I really appreciated…that”?

Kermit
– Well you know, my whole career in show business has been about
singing and dancing and making people happy. And I hope they walk out of
the theater whistling a nice song and having a nice smile on their
faces. That would be really nice if I could give that gift for the
holiday season, I would love that if I’m apart of that. And that and the
smell of buttered popcorn, I think that’s always good.

Yo – It’s always good to have that, especially when it’s on your shoes as you walk out and have that stickiness on your shoes.

Kermit – Exactly, and watch out for the gum. Some of those Muppet fans are pretty sloppy people.

Yo
– Well, Kermit thank you so much for your time. Again, it was a real
honor to talk with you, I’m a huge fan and I cannot wait to see the
movie. So thank you so much for sharing some of your time.

Kermit –  Yo, I hope you enjoyed it, it was great to talk with you this morning.