Interview: Kermit the Frog

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Yes, you read that headline right ladies and gents.  I recently got to correspond with Kermit, the star of ‘The Muppets’, and all around childhood icon of mine.  It’s a surreal moment to be sure, and I may have freaked out just a bit to my girlfriend, former AC writer and current close friend Myles Hughes, and just about every member of my family when I got the email asking if I was interested in this opportunity, but I did my best not to embarrass myself while composing these questions.  It’s a pretty quick back and forth as Kermit is understandably a busy frog, so it’s hardly as long as I would have liked, but I think I would have had 100 questions to ask if given the chance.  Anyway, enough stumbling over myself.  Here’s my chat with Kermit the Frog..I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Joey Magidson: What does it feel like to be back in the public eye after a number of years somewhat on the back burner of many people’s minds?

Kermit the Frog: I tell you, it’s never easy being on the back burner of people’s minds.  You tend to boil over back there. But we’ve been keeping busy with lots of appearances, TV specials and several Webby award-winning  internet videos, including Muppets’ “Bohemian Rhapsody” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY and Beaker’s “Ode To Joy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnT7pT6zCcA&feature=relmfu .  Still, it’s great to be back on the front burner and  percolating on the big screen.

Joey: Well played.  What was it like being back on set with basically all of the old gang?

Kermit: It was fantastic. We’ve worked together for a long time, so when we got back on the set, we all fell back into our natural rhythms: Miss Piggy threw a tantrum, Gonzo threw out his back, Statler and Waldorf threw tomatoes.  Chaos reigned supreme – as always!

Joey- Were there any initiation rituals that Walter had to go through to be considered one of the gang?

Kermit: No, Muppets don’t go in for initiations or hazing. If you want to be one of us, you’re welcome, come right in. Of course, Walter did have to wait on Miss Piggy and meet her every demand  — but that’s true for all of us.

Joey: I’ll be submitting my resume to you shortly.  Did you have any hesitation working with Jason Segel due to his reputation being for more perverse fare?

Kermit: Not at all. Jason is a huge Muppet fan (both physically and metaphysically). And he wanted to capture the spirit of the Muppets in his script and in the movie. We think he did a great job!

Joey: I think so too.  Was it emotional to be singing “Rainbow Connection” in front of a camera again?

Kermit: It always is.  It’s kind of our anthem, the song about the dream all of us – Muppets and humans alike—share.  Paul Williams, who wrote it, is still one of my all time best friends—and not just because I’m almost as tall as him.

Joey: It honestly brought a tear to my eye.  Speaking of music, of the new songs in the film, which one is your favorite?

Kermit: I love “Picture in My Head,” “Are You a Man or a Muppet,” “Me Party” and the others, but I think  my favorite is “Life’s A Happy Song”.  It’s sensational and celebrational, which is the way we show biz frogs like ‘em.

Joey: Agreed.  How hard was it to actually get celebrities to appear in ‘The Muppets’ this time around?

Kermit: Not difficult at all. Actually, we’ve worked with so many big stars over the years, a lot of celebrities are excited to be there.  (Miss Piggy insists it’s because they want to meet her, and who am I to tell her “no”?)

Joey: Is there any chance of actually bringing back ‘The Muppet Show’?  I know I can’t be the only one who wants it bad after the third act of this film and how perfectly it captures that magic!

Kermit: Thank you. You don’t happen to run a network do you?   We’d love to do a new show, something fresh and new and yet still as totally ridiculous as ever.  We’ll let you know as soon we know more.

Joey: I wish I did, and I certainly hope so.  Do you think Jim Henson would be proud of this new Muppet movie?

Kermit: Jim loved to make people laugh and to make sure they left each show feeling a bit better about themselves and the world. I kinda think we were able to do that in this new movie, so I’m sure he’d be very proud.

Joey: I’m sure as well.  Well, where do the Muppets go next from here?

Kermit: I don’t know about the other Muppets, but I’ve got to go Christmas shopping for Miss Piggy. I’m only up to page 32 on her Wish List and there’s 142 pages more to go.

Joey: Enjoy that Kermit, and thank you!

Well, there you have it!  It was a pleasure having Kermit take the time to chat with me, and I hope you all enjoyed this.  ‘The Muppets’ is one of the most entertaining films of the year, so I’m thrilled that Kermit and company made such a great flick for all of us fans…

Thoughts?  Discuss on the Forum!