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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kermit by Nicholas Napoli

Kermit The Frog has been in show business now for 63 years, first appearing alongside Sam and Friends, then residing in Sesame Street and finally hosting The Muppet Show, which made him a household name. Kermit was created by Jim Henson, who using his mother’s coat and Ping-Pong balls, made something that to this day, still brings a smile to people worldwide. Although at first not a frog, Kermit was simply considered more of an anything Muppet, as his character developed, he quickly became the frog we know today. Reporter Kermit was first introduced to us on Sesame Street and was usually paired off with Grover, before becoming best friends with Fozzie Bear. During his time as host on The Muppet Show, Kermit found himself trapped in a romance alongside a strong-minded pig. Miss Piggy and Kermit’s relationship developed throughout The Muppet Show, and after five seasons, when the show came to an end, their relationship continued growing.

Whilst hosting The Muppet Show, Kermit also began appearing on the big screen, his first movie debut was in The Muppet Movie (1979). It begins with Kermit playing his banjo in the swamp, eventually reaching Hollywood and meeting most of his future The Muppet Show co-stars along the way. At the end of the movie, whilst actually making the movie they hoped too all along, Gonzo crashes into the scenery, destroying the whole set. I assume having failed to make their movie, the first time around, they found themselves forced to put on a show instead. Hop over all the way to 2018 and Kermit has starred in eight Muppet movies, numerous TV shows, specials and has even been animated. This was my first introduction to Kermit, as a little animated baby cartoon character on Muppet Babies. My second introduction to Kermit, just a few months later was as an actual, living, breathing adult Frog in The Muppet Movie. At three years old this was all very confusing to me but I preferred the adult version of Kermit, as in my mind this version, unlike his animated baby counterpart, was one I could actually meet one day. 

After Muppets From Space (1999) the Muppets took a break from the big screen, making their grand return twelve years later in the confusingly titled The Muppets (2011). Die hard Fans had kept up with The Muppets throughout the years but to the more casual fans, they had basically disappeared from existence all together. Their big return to the big screen, bringing back with them aspects from The Muppet Show had most of the world excited, and because of this The Muppets were a hit. The studio considered them a valuable franchise, and so they were given a sequel, basically more of the same, even Kermit knew, the sequels never quite as good. Sadly, Muppets Most Wanted (2014) didn’t perform as expected, why do I believe this, because The Walt Disney Company has yet to give us, a third Muppet movie. 

In 2015 Kermit returned to television in the even more confusingly titled The Muppets (2015), twenty years after Muppet Tonight first premiered, again this time around, he was no longer the host of the show. Miss Piggy took over hosting duties from Kermit, what must have made this difficult for him, was the fact that they had recently broken up. After so many years the pair, or rather Kermit, decided to call it quits. After dumping Miss Piggy, Kermit began dating a younger pig by the name of Denise. As the show progressed Denise dumped Kermit and he soon began to realize he still loves Miss Piggy. Hopping over to the final episode of the series, Kermit attempts to rekindle his relationship with Miss Piggy, not before she falls asleep on a plane, on their way to Thailand, also accompanied by Pepe. From his most recent appearances, one is led to believe Miss Piggy rejected him or something happened on that plane, something that has not allowed them to get back together again. Kermit and Miss Piggy are still separated, hopefully they will find their way back to each other. Truth be told Miss Piggy is just as good for Kermit as he is for her, as it is after their breakup, that Kermit begun to change after so many years. 

After breaking up with Miss Piggy, Kermit began acting very weird, this was not the Kermit I knew from the past sixty years, who was this frog? Kermit began lying to his nephew, began belittling others, ignored protestors and basically forgot who he was. I’m glad this show ended, the way Kermit was handling himself, is not the frog I wanted to continue admiring. I hope Kermit and Miss Piggy get back together soon, as I have no other explanation as to why Kermit was so out of touch with himself during The Muppets (2015). On September 8 th 2017, Kermit remembered he should always be the host of any Muppet show, and did just that at the Hollywood Bowl. During his backstage interviews, Kermit confirmed that he and Miss Piggy were still not back together, it’s been almost three years, I’m starting to worry. This Christmas although still apart from Miss Piggy, Kermit celebrated Christmas with all his friends and Miss Piggy was no exception. 

Throughout the years Kermit has worked alongside many celebrities, as the years pass by, those celebrities pass away yet Kermit doesn’t appear to have aged a single day. In a number of years even those born the same day as Kermit was first created will eventually be gone, Kermit will outlive all of us. Kermit is not your average celebrity and is not your average fictional character, he’s able to never age yet at the same time can interact with us in our reality. This is what makes Kermit so special to me, it is important for him to remain consistent and true to who he is. For only then will Kermit appear in the eyes of others as an everlasting character, who can never be taken away from us. When Kermit forgets who he is, fans lose something, which Jim Henson created in the hopes, that it could never be lost. 

- Nicholas Napoli 

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