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KermitSesameStreet
Kermit letter H Sesame

Kermit presents the letter H in front of Big Bird's nest (source unknown).

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.

Early years[]

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."[1] 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."[2]

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.[3] 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.

Later years[]


Kermit made a brief cameo in Elmo's World: Frogs from the 40th season premiere.
Hifrog

"Hi frog!"

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), and when the Sesame Street cast performed at the 1982 Daytime Emmy Awards, Kermit was one of the Muppets featured.

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[4] on the show's 50th anniversary, while @SesameStreet responded in kind.[5] The same account later shared a memorial tweet to Emilio Delgado in March 2022[6] and Bob McGrath in December 2022,[7] both referencing Kermit’s time with the actors on the show.

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.

Some of his most notable songs include "Bein' Green," "This Frog," "I Love My Elbows," "African Alphabet," "A Song from Kermit," "On My Pond," and "Caribbean Amphibian" among several others.

Episodic appearances[]

While the majority of his appearances on Sesame Street were in inserts, Kermit has occasionally appeared in street scenes and plots as well.

Allusions[]

GroverColor-Kermit

Occasionally, Kermit's presence on the show would be referenced by the rest of the cast and characters:

  • Grover's Favorite Color (1977) — When discussing the color green, Grover alludes to "a certain frog, who shall remain nameless." An unseen amphibian in the nearby pond remarks, "It isn't easy being green."
  • Episode 1052 (1977) — A cow tries to finagle her way into Big Bird's variety show by doing impressions, including one of Kermit.
  • Episode 1128 (1978) — Bob asks the kids what their favorite animals at the zoo are and has them pretend to be one so they can all guess what it is. One girl pretends to be a frog and after they correctly guess it, Bob responds, "I bet Kermit would have guessed that right away, wouldn't he?"
  • Episode 1193 (1978) — Big Bird, David and the kids play a similar game, and after one boy pretends to be a frog and the others correctly guess it, Big Bird exclaims, "It's Kermit the Frog!"
  • Episode 1317 (1979) — After encountering one of native coqui frogs of Puerto Rico, Big Bird exclaims, "Wait'll I tell Kermit the Frog about this!"
  • Bert & Ernie Camp Out (1983) — While listening to the sounds of the night, Ernie hears a croaking frog in the distance. He asks Bert, "Does that remind you of anybody we know?"
  • Episode 1835 (1983) — David tells the viewer they're going to draw shapes using their "pointy finger, ya' know, like Kermit says" (referencing the series of segments in which Kermit draws something onscreen with his own).
  • Episode 2656 (1990) — One of Telly Monster's hypothetical worries is waking up one day to find his fur has turned green and he starts saying "Hi ho, Kermit the Frog here."
  • Episode 2669 (1990) — Big Bird wishes to conduct a TV interview, claiming he "[watches] Kermit the Frog all the time."
  • Episode 3607 (1997) — After the first couple of lines of dialog from Gone with the Wind, Zoe comments that "Green" in their book greatly resembles Kermit the Frog. Elmo guesses he might be Kermit's cousin from the deep South.
  • Being Green (2009) — Elmo (magically rendered green by Abby Cadabby) preludes the titular song by saying, "As one of Elmo's friends once said..."

Merchandise[]

Tycokermit

Sesame Street’s 30th anniversary Magic Talking Kermit the Frog.

Toys[]

Books[]

Fiction
Non-fiction

Videos[]

Albums[]

Other[]

Smollin-kermitmacys

From the 1979 Sesame Street Calendar

Sesame and Muppeteers

Kermit with Sesame Street Muppets and performers in a two-page spread from a 1999 issue of People.

See also[]

Sources[]

  1. Look, Sept. 22, 1970
  2. Time, November 23, 1970
  3. Jim Henson's Red Book3-8-1977
  4. @KermitTheFrog Nov 10, 2019
  5. @SesameStreet Nov 10, 2019
  6. @KermitTheFrog Mar 11, 2022
  7. @KermittheFrog Dec 5, 2022
  8. Bailey, Joseph Memoirs of a Muppets Writer page 248
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