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‘The Muppet Show’: Behind the Voice Actors AP Photo via Richard Drew
AP Photo via Richard Drew

Many people grew up with Jim Henson’s muppets entertaining them and helping teach them some of their earliest lessons and songs. The franchise has expanded to include The Muppet Show, The New Muppets, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets Tonight, Muppets Most Wanted, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppet Babies, The Muppets Take Manhattan and Disney’s new Muppets Now. Here are faces to put to the names of some of your favorite childhood companions.

Caroll Spinney

Caroll Spinney was the original voice of TV series Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. To this day, he is still doing it! How did he do that when Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch have scenes together? He let his assistance play Oscar!

Eric Jacobson

The voice actor behind muppet characters Miss Piggy, Bert, Animal, and Fozzie Bear are all credited to Fort Worth, Texas-Born Jacobson, after previously getting played by Frank Oz. A father himself, he’s adept at getting creative with voices. These big characters are all about self-expression and indulgence. Another character played by Jacobson is also Sam Eagle.

Steve Whitmire

Kermit the frog, Wembley, Sprocket, Rizzo the Rat, Ernie are all characters that belong to Steve Whitmire. Whitmire always had a thing for puppets. He once inquired about the ins and outs as a puppeteer to Jim Henson. Years later, he’s the one who took over when Henson died in 1990. Some of these late characters include Statler and Waldorf and Beaker.

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Kevin Clash

Perhaps one of the most generationally-recognized muppets characters is Elmo. However, he resigned a few years ago after a sex scandal.

David Rudman

The voice of Scooter, Janice, and Cookie monster are voiced by Rudman, who started working when Richard Hunt helped him earn a summer-long internship in 10981 at the Muppet Workshop.

Bill Barretta

The Swedish Chef and Rowlf the Dog, and Pepe the King Prawn, are all voiced by Beretta. After Jim Henson died, Baretta took over many voices, as well. Dr. Teeth also fills out his Muppet roster.

Julianne Buescher

Buescher plays a new character, named Denise. Denise is Kermit the frog’s new girlfriend. She is also a pig, like Miss Piggy. Clearly, Kermit has a type.

Matt Vogel

Count von count, Robin the Frog, Lew Zealand, Sweetums, and Floyd Pepper are voiced by Matt Vogel. He, interested Count von Count in 2012 when Jerry Nelson died. Since then he has taken over many of the Nelson Muppets, both voice acting and puppetry. On the rare occasion, he acts as Big Bird, too.

Dave Goelz

Like many other characters, Goelz plays more than one muppets character.  For starters, there is Gonzo, Boober Fraggle, and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, all characters that have been around for quite some time. He was also given a new character, Chip, who appeared on the show in 2015.

Kathryn Mullen

Kathryn Mullen was known mainly as Gaffer the Backstage Cat. She worked as a designer for the Muppet Movie and has also worked on many other Jim Henson projects.

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