Who is Matt Vogel, new voice of Kermit the Frog?

Matt Vogel and Kermit the Frog
Matt Vogel and, inset, Kermit the Frog. Pics: @welcomemattv/@KermitTheFrog/Twitter

Kermit the Frog is getting a new voice after it was revealed the actor behind him, Steve Whitmire, is stepping down after portraying the puppet for the past 27.

But who is Matt Vogel, the man who will reportedly be taking over the role?

Whitmire has voiced the character ever since Muppets creator Jim Henson died in 1990.

But Vogel is also no stranger to the franchise, having also worked on the Muppets since the 1990s — including voicing several of the characters.

Vogel is a puppeteer, director and singer, but only later in his career did he start putting his vocal abilities to use with The Muppets Studio.

He used to be the assistant puppeteer for legendary Muppet character Ernie — one half of the comic duo Bert and Ernie — where he would perform the arms while Whitmire would do the head and speak for the character.

Vogel later became very good at mimicking Big Bird — who is voiced by Caroll Spinney — and his voice started to be used for the character, particularly in the Journey to Ernie segments.

Vogel has also taken over some of original puppeteer Jerry Nelson’s characters following his death at the age of 78 in August 2012.

The full list of characters Vogel performs, now including Kermit, are Camilla the Chicken, Crazy Harry, Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Robing the Frog, Sweetums, Pops, Uncle Deadly, Count von Count and Mr. Johnson.

He also lent his voice to ’80s Robot in 2011 movie The Muppets, and as Karmit imitator Constantine in 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted.

Last year he voiced Wilkins in Alice Through the Looking Glass, whose director  James Bodin was also behind the last two Muppets movies.

It has been reported that Vogel will first voice Kermit in a Muppets Thought of the Week video next week.

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