Matt Vogel (puppeteer)

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Matt Vogel
Born
Matthew James Vogel

(1970-10-06) October 6, 1970 (age 51)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationPuppeteer, director
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)
Kelly C. McDonnell
(m. 1997)
Children5
Websitewww.mattvogel.com

Matthew James Vogel (born October 6, 1970)[1] is an American actor, puppeteer and director. Vogel has worked for Sesame Workshop and The Muppets Studio. He has performed for the Muppets, Sesame Street, and Oobi. He has been the performer of Kermit the Frog since 2017 and the full-time performer of Big Bird since 2018.

Career

Vogel first auditioned for the Jim Henson Company in 1993 and joined the crew of Sesame Street in 1996 as an ensemble puppeteer. He has served as a director and puppet captain on Sesame Street since 2008. He inherited many of Jerry Nelson's Muppet character roles in 2008, when he began performing with The Muppets Studio. Since 2017, he has been the performer of Kermit the Frog.

With the Muppets, Vogel is one of the principal cast performers with the roles of Kermit,[2] Floyd Pepper, Uncle Deadly, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Robin the Frog (until 2017 when Peter Linz took over to allow Kermit and Robin to still be in scenes together), Sweetums, Camilla the Chicken,[3] Dr. Julius Strangepork, Pops, '80s Robot and Constantine under his tutelage.[2] On Sesame Street, Vogel is the performer of Big Bird, Count von Count and Mr. Johnson as well as Biff, Herb the Dinosaur, Hansel, Forgetful Jones, Sherlock Hemlock and one of the Yip-Yip Martians. He also performs Alex, a Muppet whose father is in jail, for the Sesame Street in Communities initiative page on incarceration.[4] On Oobi, he performed Angus.[5]

Beginning his puppeteering career at the Jim Henson Company in the 1990s,[6] Vogel later served as the assistant puppeteer for Ernie on Sesame Street, performing with Steve Whitmire.[7] After studying the role of Big Bird under the performance of Caroll Spinney since 1997, he inherited the role in 2015, explaining "It takes a lot of physical exertion" and "I'm wearing the body of the bird".[8][9] Spinney remarked that "Vogel" is the German translation for "bird".[9] He also took over the puppetry of the Sesame Street character Count von Count, and also the voice after Jerry Nelson died in 2012.[9]

With The Muppets Studio, Vogel has been performing since 2008, and has appeared in The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, and a short-lived primetime series.[10] Vogel performed the Muppets that were used in Kenneth's view of the world in the 30 Rock episode "Apollo, Apollo".[11] In 2016, Vogel voiced the character, Wilkins in Alice Through the Looking Glass directed by James Bobin.[2]

From 2017 onward, Vogel was cast as the new performer for Kermit the Frog, replacing Whitmire.[12] His first official performance as Kermit was a "Muppets Thought of the Week" segment uploaded on the Muppets' official YouTube channel in August 2017.[2]

In 2021, Vogel performed Kermit the Frog when he competed on season five of The Masked Singer as "Snail" and was the first to be eliminated.[13]

Personal life

Vogel is originally from Kansas City, Kansas. He was a fan of both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show as a boy. Vogel interned at Messner Puppet Theater in his home town where he played his first role of Victor Frankenstein in Paul Mesner Puppets’ “Frankenstein” in 1993. [14] [3] After 1993, he moved from Kansas City to New York.[3] Vogel has been married to his wife Kelly C. McDonnell since August 31, 1997; together they have five children.[15][16]

Filmography

Year Title Role(s) Notes
1996–present Sesame Street Various characters
Big Bird (1997–present)[8]
Count von Count (since 2013)
Mr. Johnson (2014–present)
Also director (7 episodes plus various segments and other appearances)
1994–1998 The Puzzle Place Skye
Nuzzle
Season 3
1996 Elmo Saves Christmas Additional performer
1996–98 Big Bag Ensemble puppeteer
1998 Elmo's World Shade, Quongo the Monkey, Big Bird, Shelley the Turtle, Herb, Groucho Marx Muppet, etc.
1999 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Assistant for Big Bird
2000 Between the Lions Ensemble puppeteer
2002–07 Play with Me Sesame Assistant for Ernie
2003 Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic Big Bird Theme park film
2003–05 Oobi Angus
2004–07 Blue's Room Alphabet Puppy
2005–07 Jack's Big Music Show Leonard the Country Squirrel
2006 Demon Days Live Murdoc Niccals Puppetry only, uncredited
2006 Blue's Room Alphabet Puppy
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Floyd Pepper
Camilla the Chicken
Lew Zealand
Robin the Frog
Pigeon Son
2011 The Muppets Floyd Pepper
Camilla the Chicken
Sweetums
'80s Robot
Lew Zealand
Uncle Deadly
Crazy Harry
2013 Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map Fred Jones Puppetry only
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Constantine
Floyd Pepper
Sweetums
Pops
Robin the Frog
Lew Zealand
Crazy Harry
'80s Robot
Camilla the Chicken
Uncle Deadly
2015–2016 The Muppets Uncle Deadly
Floyd Pepper
Sweetums
Lew Zealand
Crazy Harry
Camilla the Chicken
Robin the Frog
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Wilkins Voice
The Furchester Hotel Big Bird
Count von Count
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas Count von Count
Constable/Mr. Johnson
Big Bird (puppetry only)
Also director
2017 The Muppets Take the Bowl Kermit the Frog
Uncle Deadly
Floyd Pepper
Lew Zealand
Crazy Harry
Camilla the Chicken
Dr. Strangepork
Snowth
Sweetums (voice)
Live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 8–10
2018 The Muppets Take the O2 Kermit the Frog
Uncle Deadly
Floyd Pepper
Lew Zealand
Crazy Harry
Camilla the Chicken
Dr. Strangepork
Sweetums (voice)
Live show at the O2, Jul. 13-14
2019 Muppet Babies Play Date Kermit the Frog (baby) Puppetry only
Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration Big Bird
Count von Count
Forgetful Jones
Kermit the Frog
Biff
Sherlock Hemlock
2020 Amphibia Crumpet the Frog Voice role, Episode: "Swamp and Sensibility"
Credited as Kermit the Frog[17]
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo Count von Count
Big Bird
Biff
Mr. Johnson
Also director
Muppets Now Kermit the Frog
Uncle Deadly
Floyd Pepper
Camilla the Chicken
Cacti
2021 The Masked Singer Kermit the Frog / The Snail[18] Eliminated in first episode
Donkey Hodie King Friday XIII
A Capitol Fourth Kermit the Frog Co-hosting with Vanessa Williams

See also

References

  1. ^ "What You Need to Know About Matt Vogel: The New Kermit". July 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Petski, Denise (July 10, 2017). "Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Exiting After 27 Years". Deadline. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Gish, Sarah (July 2017). "KCK native Matt Vogel is the new voice of Kermit the Frog". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  4. ^ The Associated Press (July 11, 2017). "Kermit the Frog gets a new voice after 27 years". CBC News. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Matt Vogel". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Romano, Nick (July 11, 2017). "Kermit the Frog gets new voice actor after 27 years". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Leane, Rob (July 11, 2017). "The Muppets: Kermit actor quits the ensemble". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (December 8, 2019). "Sesame Street legend Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, dies at 85". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Vogel, Matt (October 13, 2016). "Matt Vogel is Big Bird". BBC. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Caffrey, Dan (September 30, 2015). "The Muppets' flaws are justified, if still slightly jarring". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  11. ^ Staff (January 31, 2013). "So long, 30 Rock: We bid Liz Lemon adieu with some of our favourite show moments". National Post. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Parker, Ryan (July 10, 2017). "Longtime Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Replaced After 27 Years". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Vogel, Matt [@welcomemattv] (March 11, 2021). "This is so sweet" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ https://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article160936634.html
  15. ^ "Ten Minutes With Matt Vogel". Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Gish, Sarah. "KCK native Matt Vogel is the new voice of Kermit the Frog". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  17. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 23, 2020). "Disney Channel Renews 'Amphibia' For Season 3; Kermit The Frog, Jenifer Lewis, George Takei And More To Guest Star On Season 2". Deadline.
  18. ^ Matt Vogel [@welcomemattv] (March 11, 2021). "This is so sweet, dear Stephanie! Thanks, friend" (Tweet). Retrieved April 8, 2021 – via Twitter.

External links

Preceded by
Adam Hunt
Performer of Scooter
2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performer of Janice
2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performer of Camilla the Chicken
2008–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
80s Robot
2011–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Rickey Boyd
Performer of Crazy Harry
2008–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Floyd Pepper
2008–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Lew Zealand
2008–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Robin the Frog
2008–2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performer of Sweetums
2009–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Pops
2011–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Uncle Deadly
2011–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Count von Count
2013–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Mr. Johnson
2016–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Performer of Kermit the Frog
2017–present
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by Performer of Big Bird
1998–present
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
None
Constantine
2014–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Forgetful Jones
2019–present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by Sherlock Hemlock
2011–present
Succeeded by
None