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Kermit the Frog gets new voice actor after 27 years

Matt Vogel will now voice the puppet

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The Muppets are going through a major change. Steve Whitmire, the longtime voice of Kermit the Frog, is stepping down from his role after 27 years, a spokesperson for the Muppets Studio confirmed to EW.

Matt Vogel will be succeeding Whitmire and makes his Kermit debut next week with a “Muppets Thought of the Week” video.

Vogel previously voiced Constantine, Kermit’s evil doppelgänger, in the 2014 movie Muppets Most Wanted. Other characters he’s tackled across Muppet properties include Floyd Pepper, The Count, and Lew Zealand. He has also been a regular presence on Sesame Street since the mid-’90s.

Whitmire, 57, voiced Kermit since the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson in 1990. He started with Muppet Studios in 1978 and voiced Statler and Rizzo the Rat, among other characters. The reason behind his departure from the voice role is still unclear.

The fan blog Tough as Pigs was the first to report the news.