An international star of the highest magnitude and the world’s most famous amphibian, Kermit the Frog had the most humble of beginnings. Born one of several thousand tadpoles in a southern swamp, Kermit’s life began swimmingly. His early years were typical, the most notable event being his transformation from tadpole to frog.
Ah….but that’s another tail. Long before Kermit first appeared on the silver screen, he began his career with a dream. With only his talent, banjo, and a song in his heart, a young, green Kermit headed out to make his way in the big world of show business. His first stop was Washington, D.C. where he starred in a local television show, Sam and Friends, which earned him his first Emmy Award.
Since then, Kermit has literally hopped to the top of the entertainment pantheon, a feat honored in 2002 when the frog was awarded with his own star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. This event marked the first time an amphibian had been honored with this stellar award.
With almost 60 years in the entertainment industry under his tiny belt, Kermit boasts countless credits in television, feature film and online. He has guest-hosted The Tonight Show, met the Queen of England, been a special correspondent on Nightline and donned suspenders to fill in for Larry King on CNN. He has had his likeness created in giant balloon form for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and served as the Grand Marshall in the Tournament of Roses Parade (1996), and been the first frog to ever address the prestigious Oxford Union in England (1994).
In 1956, Kermit made his network television debut on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show. This led to many more TV appearances and specials, and then his big break in 1969, Kermit, along with his Muppet friends, joined the cast of a new show called Sesame Street.
Seven years later, the primetime hit television series, The Muppet Show, gained Kermit a legion of older fans and catapulted the mild-mannered frog to superstardom in more than 100 countries. Kermit’s success on The Muppet Show led to a string of feature films including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol (where he took on the pivotal role of Bob Cratchit), Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets From Space and The Muppets. In 2011, Kermit and the rest of the Muppets reunited to shoot The Muppets, one of the best-reviewed films of the year, and were back at it again in Muppets Most Wanted, which was released March 2014.
On Kermit’s 50th birthday, the United States Postal Service released a set of stamps with photos of Kermit and some of his fellow Muppets. The background of the stamp sheet featured a silhouette of creator Jim Henson sitting in a window well, with Kermit sitting in his lap looking at him.
Kermit added the title of author to his long list of credits with the publication of One Frog Can Make A Difference: Kermit’s Guide to Life in the 90’s (1993) as well as a memoir/self-help book called Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons (2006).
Successful music endeavors include Kermit Unpigged (1994), where Kermit sang duets with such recording artists as Vince Gill, Linda Ronstadt and Don Henley, Grammy Award-winning A Green and Red Christmas (2006) and The Muppets, the album from the film of the same name that won the first-ever Academy Award for a song in a Muppets film, Man or Muppet, written by Grammy Award-winning Bret McKenzie. In addition, he has worked with Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Jimmy Fallon and Josh Groban.
Music video credits include a re-mix of the ever-popular The Muppet Show Theme Song with alternative rock band OK Go, best known for their award-winning elaborate and quirky videos (2011). Then in 2012, Kermit partnered with Grammy-Award winning artist CeeLo Green to record “All I Need Is Love,” an original holiday song and music video performed with CeeLo and the Muppets.
Academic achievements include Kermit’s aforementioned address to the students at Oxford University and an honorary degree from Long Island University in 1996, making him Dr. Kermit the Frog.
More active than ever, Kermit has recently appeared onGood Morning America, Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, WWE Raw, The Voice, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Queen Latifah Show, Entertainment Tonight, The View, The Bachelorette, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dancing with the Stars, The 68th Annual Academy Awards and many more! He currently serves as the Executive Producer on Up Late with Miss Piggy.
As he looks to the future, does Kermit show any signs of slowing down? “Slow down?” he asks. “I just got started!”