Kermit the Frog was a fixture in multiple Jim Henson productions and appearances throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This was no exception when Sesame Street premiered in 1969 where the frog became a significant presence all while continuing to appear in other Muppet projects.
Even before Sesame Street hit the airwaves, Kermit was being used in a pitch reel for the purposes of explaining the concept to broadcasters, and ultimately featured in the premiere episode. He would go on to star in several sketches and songs, as well as the occasional street plot.
At one point in 1970, Kermit was going to be dropped from the show due to criticism that the character was too commercial. Look magazine reported that "when the new season starts November 9, expect changes. There will be no more know-it-all frog, since Kermit, the one Muppet who is not exclusive to Sesame Street, is opting out to do commercials." Time Magazine reported with slightly more detail: "Kermit the Frog is being canned for commercialism. When Sesame Street was just a glint in Joan Ganz Cooney's eye, Kermit taped a special in Canada. When it was given a network airing, the frog was compromised. Or so Henson decided. .... He is being phased out of the show. He will be replaced by such Muppets as Herbert Birdsfoot and Sherlock Hemlock."
However, Kermit's absence from the show did not last. The frog returned in the third season, but was considered more of a guest than a regular character. In fact, Ernie refers to Kermit as a guest star in the introductory special This Way to Sesame Street, and some merchandise names him as such.
Established as "Sesame Street's #1 Guest Star", Kermit was involved in other Sesame-related media over the years. In the 1985 feature film Follow That Bird, Kermit reports on Big Bird's disappearance from the Dodos, and he appeared in the television specials Julie on Sesame Street, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Sesame Street, Special, Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting, Elmo Saves Christmas (Steve Whitmire's first Sesame performance as Kermit), Elmopalooza, and CinderElmo. He was also included among the Sesame Street Muppets as guests on the 1974 special Out to Lunch, and the 1975 special Peter Alexander präsentiert Spezialitäten (shot on the Sesame Street set).
Since Disney's acquisition of The Muppets in 2004, Kermit has made two minor appearances on Sesame Street, the first being a brief cameo for Elmo's World: Frogs in the season 40 premiere. Ten years later, Matt Vogel provided his first performance as Kermit in a Sesame-related venture with a return appearance in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration. In the special, he interacted briefly with host Joseph Gordon-Levitt, shared screen-time with Cookie Monster and Gonger, and sang "Bein' Green" with Elvis Costello. On social media, the Disney-owned Twitter account for Kermit posted a congratulatory tweet on the show's 50th anniversary, while @SesameStreet responded in kind.
Sketches and songs
One of Kermit's most famous roles on Sesame Street was that of a news reporter for the Sesame Street News Flash segments, interviewing characters from nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Kermit's lectures have covered such topics as letters, body parts, and opposites, and he has taken part in several talk spots with kids. Kermit often appeared alongside Grover or Cookie Monster in these segments.
Kermit also served as a director in several sketches including a film adaptation of Oklahoma! with Forgetful Jones, directing Forgetful Jones going through the door in a western, a stage adaptation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", working with Gladys the Cow on a dance sequence, and casting for a performance of "The Three Little Pigs". He also appeared in the "Monsterpiece Theater" segment "Gone with the Wind," as well as a "Miami Mice" sketch.
Kermit was also seen at his home on Sesame Street: Grover the Salesman would often come to Kermit's house and sell things a frog can't use (such as toothbrushes and earmuffs). He also appeared outside the home in such situations as buying a custom T-shirt and delivering a package to the post office.
While the majority of his appearances on Sesame Street were in inserts, Kermit has occasionally appeared in street scenes and plots as well.
- Magic Talking Kermit the Frog — listed on box as "Sesame Street's #1 Guest Star"
- The Sesame Street Book of People and Things (1970)
- The Sesame Street Book of Puzzlers (1970)
- The Sesame Street Dictionary (1980)
- The Sesame Street Storybook Alphabet (1980)
- Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1981)
- Follow That Bird coloring book (1985)
- Follow That Bird storybook (1985)
- Count All the Way to Sesame Street (1985)
- Sesame Street Unpaved (1998)
- Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television (2005)
- Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street (2008)
- Sesame Street: A Celebration of Forty Years of Life on the Street (2009)
- Follow That Bird — also on the back cover of the 2002 DVD
- Learning About Letters — also in the original activity booklet
- Learning About Numbers
- Getting Ready to Read
- I'm Glad I'm Me — also in the original activity booklet
- The Alphabet Game — also in the original activity booklet
- Big Bird's Storytime — also cameo in new footage
- Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
- Count it Higher: Great Music Videos from Sesame Street — also on the back cover
- Sing Yourself Silly
- Rock & Roll — brief cameo in "Forty Blocks From My Home"
- Shalom Sesame
- Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game — also in the original lyrics poster and the back cover of the 2010 DVD
- Sing-Along Earth Songs — also in the original lyrics poster
- Sesame Street: 25 Wonderful Years
- Put Down the Duckie
- Elmo Saves Christmas
- Quiet Time
- Tingo's Crush
- Bert & Ernie's Word Play
- The Street We Live On — brief clip during the opening montage
- What's the Name of That Song? — also in booklet
- Friends to the Rescue
- A Celebration of Me, Grover!
- Playtime with Ernie
- Head, Shoulders, Fur and Toes
- Animals Everywhere
- Old School: Volume 1
- Playtime with Grover
- Old School: Volume 2
- ABCs with Elmo
- Elmo's World: Penguins and Animal Friends
- Elmo's Travel Songs and Games — "Forty Blocks from My Home"
- Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey — two clips and in four photos
- Old School: Volume 3
- Fairytale Fun
- Elmo's World: All About Animals
- Awesome Alphabet Collection
- 50 Years and Counting
- The Sesame Street Book & Record — also in the booklet
- Sing the Hit Songs of Sesame Street
- Sesame Street Gold
- 60 Favorite Songs from Sesame Street
- Sesame Street Story Time
- Sesame Street Treasury
- 10th Anniversary Album
- Aren't You Glad You're You?
- 25 Greatest Hits
- Follow That Bird
- The Gang's All Here
- We Are All Earthlings
- Cheep Thrills
- Sesame Street Celebrates!
- Platinum All-Time Favorites
- Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs
- Platinum Too
- Splish Splash: Bath Time Fun
- Dreamytime Songs
- Sesame Street Best
- Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music — also in the booklet
- Old School: Volume 1
- Elmo's Dance Party
- All-Time Favorites 1
- All-Time Favorites 2
- 1979 Sesame Street Calendar (1979)
- Magic on Sesame Street (1988)
- Oscar's Letter Party (1988)
- Letters (computer game) (1991)
- Numbers (computer game) (1991)
- Vanity Fair two-page Sesame Street cast spread (1998)
- People two-page Sesame Street Muppet performer spread (1999)
- Berkshire Fashions hat (2005)
- Singing with the Stars parody poster
- iTunes downloads
- Sesame Street, Volume 1 - appears in "Do De Rubber Duck," included on Episode 4066
- Sesame Street, Selections from Season 40
- Sesame Street Classics: Volume 1
- Sesame Street Classics: Volume 2
- Sesame Street: Extra Episodes! - appears in "Everybody Be Yo'Self," included on both Episode 4173 and Episode 4205
- An achievement in Kinect Sesame Street TV is awarded if the player watches a Kermit the Frog clip from the in-game video library.