Why Kermit the Frog is getting a new voice

Kermit the Frog's longtime puppeteer has left The Muppets

According to the fan site, for the past few months, several fans have noted clues which led them to wonder about Steve's absence from the show.

Since Henson's death, Whitmire told CNN he tried to keep Kermit true to his original character, while putting a little of his own experience into the amphibian actor. Matt will make his Kermit debut in a "Muppets Thought of the Week" video next week.

Steve Whitmire, the long-time puppeteer and voice of Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, and Beaker, is reportedly no longer involved with the Muppets.

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Whitmire took over the role of the beloved Muppet frog after character creator Jim Henson died in 1990. Vogel is also the Muppet Captain on Sesame Street. Moreover, he appeared in Henson movie projects as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Little is known about the reason for his departure, but at 57-years-old, perhaps he just fancied an early retirement. According to a tweet, Steve performed for Jane Henson at an airport coffee shop.

A Muppets Studio spokeswoman said the long-time Muppets performer Matt Vogel would be taking over the role of Kermit. In addition to playing Constantine, he has taken on classic Muppet characters Lew Zealand, Floyd Pepper, and the Count.

Whitmire and Kermit were inseparable for years, with the two making TV appearances on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon", "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" and in films like "Muppets Most Wanted" and "The Muppets" in 2011.

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