Kermit the Frog Talks ‘The Muppets’

We've got a one-on-one interview with the legendary star of The Muppets on his near-marriage to Miss Piggy, why he never wears pants and which Muppet shall be his successor.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

I have interviewed a lot of celebrities in my time as an entertainment journalist, but Kermit the Frog has to be the most famous. This guy has been around for decades. He’s had a TV show, movies, albums, even a theme park attraction. I got to interview the legend for his latest movie, The Muppets. The only weird thing was that guy sitting next to him the whole time. I don’t know what his deal was, but Kermit was a very engaging interview, right from his initial comments about my green sweater.


Kermit The Frog: That’s not a frog skin shirt I hope. It looks a little like my skin.


CraveOnline: Don’t worry, it’s cashmere.

Looks like me in the wintertime when I lose my tan.


Well, Kermit…



Was your on screen marriage to Miss Piggy in ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan’ legally binding?

Turns out no. But she sure tried by golly. She actually hired a real minister to marry us and that’s true. I didn’t know until afterward. Fortunately, fortunately for me, what they say is he wasn’t vested to do that. He couldn’t actually marry us. And frankly, between you and me, I’m not sure a frog and a pig can actually legally get married anyway. I think it’s illegal in most states.


We hope civil rights corrects that someday.

Well, I have no problem with interspecies dating. I’m cool with that. To each his own, but marriage? I’m not convinced that I’m the marrying kind, you know. I’ve got to think about it for a few more decades.


After you took Manhattan, did you give it back?

Yes, I did. I found out that you can’t actually take it anywhere because it’s attached to the earth. I didn’t really want to stay there. I wanted to go back to the swamp. If I could’ve taken it, I would have though. It’s not a bad place.


How do you divide your time between that fabulous mansion we saw in the movie, and the swamp?

Well, it’s kind of a weird thing. I don’t actually live in that mansion. That was just part of our story in the movie and I’m okay with that. It made a good story, but I always go back to the swamp. I’ve never felt the need to settle down in Hollywood and I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve worked in lots of places, and it’s never been something that I had to do.


That mansion looked like a great place to bring single Muppets back to after a show.

Listen, I don’t know how many Muppets I’d bring back there but you could bring lots of other people back there, sure. Sure, I’m not a puritanical frog. I am a single frog in Hollywood although I just don’t live here.


There’s still oil under your studio. Do you have access to that?

Yeah, I think that’s only because the oil is leaking out of the studio though. I don’t think there’s actually oil there. We got a new filter on the thing and it’s going to be fine now.


Have you found the Rainbow Connection?

Well, I’m still looking for it. Someday I’ll find it, but I will tell you it was very cool to get to sing that song again. I’m not sure what the connection is exactly. I think the song is still relevant and I think we’re all still looking, the lovers, the dreamers and me. I like that song.


Why are there fewer songs about rainbows these days?

Yeah, I don’t know. I’m afraid that the way things are at the moment in the world, perhaps maybe the world has lost a little color for people. If I could do anything, I’d love to be a part of bringing that back.


I didn’t realize your studio’s been next to Jimmy Kimmel all these years. What was it like when he moved in as a neighbor?

I didn’t realize that either. It’s sort of a weird thing that happened. Again, it’s sort of part of the story. Actually, we shot The Muppet Show in England. We were there for about five years in this very strange place called Borehamwood. So named because it’s kind of a boring little town, but we loved being there. Everyone in England thought we were from there we spent so much time there.


And none of you picked up an accent?

Piggy was a little affected. She went around saying “Ta” a lot. She never said awesome, she always said brilliant, but that’s Piggy. That happens.


Why are there not more famous people named Kermit?

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s an unusual name. There’s a Kermit, TX, a little town but that wasn’t named after me. I think one of the presidents, either Roosevelt or Grover Cleveland or somebody like that had a son named Kermit. More celebrities, I’m all for it. At least there’s no confusion. I am a practicing paid up member of the Screen Actors Guild and I think I may be the only Kermit there.


So someone else would have to be Kermit J.

Kermit J., not Kermit the.


When will you wear pants?

Yeah, well, I have worn pants. I can tell you, it’s not comfortable either. I am in favor of no one wearing pants. What’s the point? I mean, it makes it so much easier to get through the airport screening. Why wear pants?


Have you had any encounters with the TSA?

I have. It’s funny, I often actually just jump right on the belt and go through the X-ray. It’s easier. I look sort of like a folded up little person in there.


Does that save you on medical bills? You can use the X-ray.

Sure, I just get them to print it out for me. That new scanner where you stand and put both arms in the air, yeah.


How are the iTunes royalties from all the Muppet songs?

I have no idea. I would love to know because I suspect there are royalties out there. It’s not that easy making green and I’ve got no pockets to put it in anyway. That’s the pants thing again.


Do you ever look at American Idol and X-Factor for new talent?

Well, I look for totally different reasons because I actually am very attracted to Paula Abdul. She’s an old friend. I think it’s cool. It’s really interesting to watch shows like that because back when we did The Muppet Show, it was variety and there was a lot of variety shows. That sort of went out of fashion but that’s sort of what it is. It’s sort of a new way to bring Variety shows back by making them a contest. Maybe there’s hope. Maybe there’s hope for another Muppet Show.


Have you ever seen Avenue Q?

I have, I have.


What do you think of it?

Well, I think it’s cool. I know a lot of those guys. They’ve been in show business for a long time and I think it’s fine. I think it’s not quite the humor that I would do, me personally, but I think it’s fine. I think they make a lot of people happy, and at the end of the day, that’s all I’m trying to do as well.


Are you on Twitter?

I’m trying to learn to Twitter. My hands are too wet to hang onto a smart phone so I keep dropping the phone. Then I actually hit send and it autofills the message. Very frustrating for a frog.


If you ever retire, what Muppet would you name the leader in your place?

Ooh, wow. That’s tough. The Muppet that would most like to be named leader would probably be Piggy, but with all due respect, I’m not sure she’d be the best leader. I don’t know. It’s interesting to see somebody like Walter come along. He’s not there yet but Walter certainly knows a lot about The Muppets from the outside as a fan. Once somebody like Walter learns The Muppets from the inside, then that makes a good leader.


Maybe it’s Scooter’s turn to step up.

Well, possibly. Scooter has come a long way. He’s always sort of been my gofer, my assistant. I don’t know, I never thought about it. I’m hoping that I don’t have to make that decision.