What the heck happened to Kermit?

So, my current status as stay-at-home dad has meant TV supervision of 21-month old Moonbaby (wise beyond his years, BTW). And that has meant Sesame Street and a chance to reconnect with my own formative years of TV watching.

There’s Cookie Monster and Grover and Big Bird and Oscar and… Elmo? New Muppet with an irritating voice and a few others.

But why no Kermit? Contractual dispute? Jealousy-inspired mutiny at the hands of the less popular creatures? The producers had a crazy hankerin’ for frog legs during one fateful taping? Where the heck is he? He can’t have a better gig: this is freakin’ Sesame Street?


The Walt Disney Co. bought the Muppets, except those created for Sesame Street, many of which you name above.

Kermit was Jim Henson’s frog. He created Kermit, he always performed as Kermit and did Kermit’s voice. After his death, the Frog has seen a lot less use, although his son has performed as Kermit sometimes.

Of course, there’s a ton of older Sesame Street material with Kermit, but my impression last time I saw the US version was that the “new” Sesame Street isn’t re-using old material the way it used to.

Nooooooo!!! Brian Henson has never performed Kermit! Since Jim Henson’s death, he’s only ever been performed by Steve Whitmire, who has done a very good job of it, though Jim’s inimitable humour is missing.

And most of the original Muppeteers are not performing as often as they once were, so most of the original Muppets on Sesame Street are now done by new people. Because Kermit is so central to the whole Muppet image, he is not shared around to be played by just anyone, so his appearances are now much more limited.

Kermit was never central to Sesame Street – occasional guest spots, yeah, but he was never one of the denizens of the neighborhood. His main show was The Muppets.

Sesame Street was originally designed for a preschool and kindergarten-age audience. We’re talking 4 to 5-year-olds. Since then, the audience has gotten younger, so the producers have had to adjust the show to reflect that. This is why it seems so much less sophisticated than we remember it being. It’s also more structured; the same segments happen at roughly the same times in every show; this is because younger kids thrive on routine and don’t always understand spontaneity.

Until Elmo showed up, no single character was central to the show. It was truly an ensemble, with interaction between humans and Muppets on a bigger (and deeper) level than today. Then the producers found out that Elmo was resonating with the new younger audience (remember, Elmo is 3 1/2, roughly the same age as the average SS viewer), and now they play the hell out of him. I wish they wouldn’t; Elmo is fucking annoying. (In all fairness, this isn’t the case with every episode, but the 20-minute “Elmo’s World” segment is ENOUGH!)

To its credit, SS still occasionally tackles issues that are tough for kids to understand; in 2001, a hurricane passed through SS, completely devastating it. This was intended to help kids feel better about 9/11; that disasters are temporary, and eventually, things do go back to normal. Baby Bear’s mother had another baby, so there was a story arc about getting a sibling and being a Big Brother, something many kids can relate to.


Well, a couple of notes to add: Kermit wasn’t really a “central character” on Sesame Street, but he certainly did make significant appearances. Most important, to my young mind, were the “Muppet News Flash” segments, where Kermit, in hat and trenchcoat, interviewed nursery rhyme characters.

Kermit is still my favorite muppet ever, and if they don’t still run the “Muppet News Flash” segments, they should. (Horse: “Stand back, frog! The mouse couldn’t make it!” [smashes the hell out of clock attempting to run up it])

And I for one was glad when Elmo came along, because, annoying as he may be, he’s infinitely preferable to Telly, who was being positioned as the central Muppet character before Elmo came along. Telly may be my least favorite Muppet ever; I can’t imagine what a generation of children would be like after years of having the whiny, fraidy-cat, ball of stress that is Telly for a role model.

The free format Sesame Street many of us knew and loved has been reformatted and regulated by the ‘experts,’ who kept few of the original segments but did find a place for the cash cow that is Elmo.

You mean there is no old segments left? No Jon Jon… That kid did maybe one or two segments with grover but he was the cutest thing I ever saw. Or how about the little girl who added “cookie monster” to teh alphabet just to get Kermit to react. The funniest thing about that was the graphic they added of cookie monster (A… B C… D,… E… F… Cookiemonster!)

I wonder if there is a way to watch the old shows. I miss Mr Looper… Blooper… I mean Hooper. (Hoopah, Hoopah…)

Oooooooh I need a dose of teh Grammer Slammer…

I mean to say “there is nothing left of the old segments” not "there is no more segments: :smack: :smack: :smack: :smack:

Incidentally, I discovered this while I was home with Strep Throat. That was comforting.

Now that Cookie Monster is touting good nutrition (cookies are a sometimes food,) how could they keep a guy who eats flies?

The perv.

He’s what?? That can’t be true. I’m devastasted. The Well-Balanced-Meal-Monster isn’t nearly as fun.

C is for Celery, that’s good enough for me …

I have a pair of Cookie Monster underwear–they do not have a picture of a salad on them, dammit.

IIRC, the Cookie Monster could eat anything, but had a preference for that particular category of baked goods.

(Wonder why there was never a Brownie Monster… :P)

Oh, they’re quite commonplace…you’ll usually find them slumped on sofas in college dorms, watching Sesame Street and giggling.

I wonder if anyone thought of simply replacing his usual chocolate chip cookies with low-carb cookies.

Personally, i’d like to see them introduce Cookie Monster’s long-lost relative…

the Sushi Monster

“S is for Sake*, that’s good enough for me…”

*Sake as in Salmon sushi, not the rice wine…admittedly it’d be amusing to see Sushi Monster utterly inebriated on rice wine… :wink:

I think Doc Hopper finally caught up with him.

There’s a good bit of Sesame Street out there if you’re keen to Torrent sites. The old episodes (or snippets of them) have been shown on Noggin and have made it to the interweb.

Sorry, can’t tell ya more :frowning: