Kermit grew up with thousands of siblings, and has talked occasionally about other members of his family. His childhood adventures were chronicled in the 2002 video Kermit's Swamp Years to discover he has some more friends like Croaker, Goggles and Blotch, also he has a nephew named Robin.
Miss Piggy insists that she and Kermit got married in The Muppets Take Manhattan and that they're very happy. Kermit disagrees, claiming that it was just a movie and that in real life, they have a "professional relationship" (meaning he thinks they're professionals and she thinks they're in a relationship).
Kermit's most well-known catchphrase is "Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here!" He typically introduced acts on The Muppet Show by waving his arms wildly and shouting "Yaaaay!" (a technique he learned from his old acting coach, Mr. Dawson).
Kermit has been credited as the writer of three books: For Every Child, A Better World; One Frog Can Make a Difference; and Before You Leap.
The earliest version of Kermit first appeared in 1955 on Sam and Friends, Jim Henson's five-minute puppet show that aired twice daily on WRC-TV. The soon-to-be-famous frog had humble origins, as Henson explained in 1977: "I'd paint the scenery, and Janie would carry it in the station wagon. We made the first Kermit from one of my mother's old coats with Ping-Pong balls for his eyes."
In the early days of the character, Kermit wasn't yet a frog -- he was more of a lizard-like, abstract character. As Henson explained, "Kermit started out as a way of building, putting a mouth and covering over my hand. There was nothing in Kermit outside of the piece of cardboard -- it was originally cardboard -- and the cloth shape that was his head. He's one of the simplest kinds of puppets that you can make, and he's very flexible because of that... which gives him a range of expression."
In later years, Henson said that Kermit didn't become a frog until the 1971 special The Frog Prince, a claim that made its way into the 1993 book Jim Henson: The Works.
However, Kermit's froghood asserted itself as early as 1965, when Johnny Carson referred to him as "Kermit the Frog" on a December 31st Tonight Show appearance. The 1966 Montgomery Wards catalog which featured the Ideal Muppet puppets refers to Kermit as a "fanciful frog". Kermit refers to himself as a frog in the 1968 special The Muppets on Puppets. The special Hey Cinderella!, which was recorded in 1968, featured a redesigned Kermit puppet; his round feet were replaced with flippers, and he was given a fringed collar with thirteen points. By the time that Kermit appeared on the Sesame Street Pitch Reel, he was a full-fledged frog.
Kermit sported a double collar for a brief period in the early 1970s, including in the TV special The Frog Prince and several early seasons of Sesame Street, but by the time he took over as the level-headed but often exasperated host of The Muppet Show, it was changed to the trademark single collar with eleven points that he still wears today.
The Muppet Show
Kermit became a star when he hosted The Muppet Show, acting as the host and the person ultimately in charge of what went on during the show. During the first season, it seemed as if he treated his fellow cast and crew members more like employees, but later on, as the characters developed, it became clear that they were his friends as well.
In addition to hosting, Kermit regularly got to chat with the guest stars, in the Panel Discussions and Talk Spots, as well as backstage and in some numbers. Some of the guest stars whom Kermit has sung duets with have included Linda Ronstadt, Connie Stevens, Andy Williams, and Debbie Harry.
Kermit also sang on his own on the show many times, singing songs such as "Happy Feet", "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," "Disco Frog," and, of course, "Bein' Green." His duets with other characters include singing "Friendship" and "Octopus' Garden" with his nephew, Robin; he also participated in many group numbers.
Being the main character, Kermit interacted with most of the main cast of the show. He was often pursued by Miss Piggy, who made no secret of her love for him, but Kermit generally rebuffed her advances. Although Piggy loved him, that didn't stop her from karate-chopping him whenever she got mad at him. Miss Piggy unsuccessfully tried to make Kermit jealous of guest star Avery Schreiber, but on some occasions Kermit actually has gotten jealous of male guest stars who Piggy liked, including Peter Ustinov and Christopher Reeve. Kermit has also performed a few duets with Miss Piggy, such as "Waiting at the Church", "Ukulele Lady", and "I Won't Dance". They even danced together in an At the Dance spot in episode 123.
There have also been many episodes that revolved around Kermit and Miss Piggy. Episode 107 revolved around Miss Piggy persuing Kermit. In episode 211, Miss Piggy had Scooter pay the audience to cheer at her so that Kermit would notice her more. In episode 423, Miss Piggy got some shoes that were too small for her feet, but when Kermit complimented on the shoes, she reluctantly kept them. One of the biggest episodes for them was episode 502, in which, after being annoyed over Miss Piggy telling the gossip papers that they were secretly married, Kermit fired Miss Piggy. However, Kermit eventually did hire her back. In episode 310, Piggy tricks Kermit into a wedding sketch with a real minister she secretly booked. He realized the minister was a real one in the nick of time, however, to Miss Piggy's rage.
He was also good friends with Fozzie Bear. They have appeared together in acts such as "Any Old Iron" and Kermit has reluctantly joined Fozzie for some of his monologues, such as "Good Grief! The Comedians a Bear!" and Fozzie's phrenology act. Kermit let Fozzie help him plan the show for episode 201, and when Kermit suddenly became sick in episode 206, Kermit chose to put Fozzie in charge of hosting.
Other episodes illustrating Kermit and Fozzie's relationship include episode 122, in which Fozzie brings his agent, Irving Bizarre, to the theater to negotiate Fozzie's contract with Kermit; episode 303, in which, after Fozzie mistakenly sends the stagehands to the country, Kermit makes Fozzie do their work, threatening to fire him if he blunders; and episode 105, where Kermit kept asking Fozzie who the many phone calls to the theater were from.
Although he generally functions as the "normal" and calm center of the show, at times, Kermit would panic or become annoyed and frustrated with the chaos around him. Sources of his frustration include the antics of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's teleportation device (in episode 219), the presence of Mickey Moose (in episode 220) and a robot version of himself (in episode 104), and the various pranks pulled by Fozzie in episode 115. Kermit expressed annoyance at the acts proposed by Gonzo for the show and Crazy Harry's many explosions, and was discomfited by Scooter's frequent reminders that his uncle owned the theater.
Kermit has had major parts in many episodes of the show, and many episodes revolved around Kermit. In episode 112, Kermit became jealous of Peter Ustinov when Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Hilda, and Scooter all talked about how great Peter is, especially since Fozzie and Scooter were saying things about Peter that they had previously said about Kermit. In episode 310, Miss Piggy attempted to wed Kermit by writing a sketch in which they got married, and then tricked Kermit into signing a marriage license; she even booked a real clergyman to play the part of the minister. In episode 410, Kermit hurt his flipper after falling off a trapeze, getting hit by a faulty light fixture, and later catapulting into Statler and Waldorf's box (this episode put Piggy in the "over-protective mother" position). In episode 523, Miss Piggy was jealous because Kermit had a crush on guest star Linda Ronstadt and decided to lock Kermit inside a trunk. Kermit's birthday was celebrated in episode 406, although at the end of the episode, it was revealed that it was actually a few months before his real birthday.
Awards and Honors
He was awarded an honorary doctorate of Amphibious Letters on May 19, 1996 at Southampton College,where he also gave a commencement speech.
- Kermit received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.
- Kermit's song "The Rainbow Connection" was nominated for an Academy Award, as was "The First Time It Happens" from The Great Muppet Caper.
- Kermit has also received fictional awards, such as the aforementioned Fred Award, and in The Best of Kermit on Sesame Street, The Frog of the Year Award.
- "Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here!"