Matt Vogel (puppeteer)

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Matt Vogel
Born Matthew J. Vogel II
(1970-10-06) October 6, 1970 (age 47)
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Matt J. Vogel II
Matthew J. Vogel
Matthew Vogel
Matt J. Vogel
Occupation Puppeteer, director, singer
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Kelly C. McDonnell (m. 1997)
Children 5
Website www.mattvogel.com

Matthew J. "Matt" Vogel II (born October 6, 1970) is an American puppeteer, director and singer who has worked for the Jim Henson Company and Sesame Workshop. He is best known for his roles with the Muppets, Sesame Street, and Oobi.

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.

Career[edit]

With the Muppets, Vogel is one of the principal cast performers with the roles of Kermit,[1] Floyd Pepper, Uncle Deadly, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Robin the Frog, Sweetums, Camilla the Chicken,[2] and Constantine under his tutelage.[1] On Sesame Street, Vogel is the performer of Count von Count, and Big Bird.[3] On Oobi, he performed Angus.[4]

Beginning his puppeteering career at the Jim Henson Company in the 1990s,[5] Vogel later served as the assistant puppeteer for Ernie on Sesame Street, performing with Steve Whitmire.[6] After studying the role of Big Bird under the performance of Caroll Spinney from 1996, he inherited the role, explaining "It takes a lot of physical exertion" and "I'm wearing the body of the bird".[7] Spinney remarked that "Vogel" is the German translation for "bird".[7] He also took over the puppetry of the Sesame Street character Count von Count, and also the voice after Jerry Nelson died in 2012.[7]

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.[8] Vogel performed the Muppets that were used in Kenneth's view of the world in the 30 Rock episode "Apollo, Apollo".[9] In 2016, Vogel voiced the character of Wilkins in Alice Through the Looking Glass directed by James Bobin.[1]

From 2017 onward, Vogel was cast as the new performer for Kermit the Frog, replacing Steve Whitmire.[10] His first official performance as Kermit was scheduled to take place during a "Muppets Thought of the Week" segment to be uploaded on the Muppets' official YouTube channel.[1] The video was uploaded in August 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Vogel is from Kansas City, Kansas, and was a fan of both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show as a boy.[2] After 1993, he moved from Kansas City to New York.[2] Vogel has been married to his wife Kelly C. McDonnell since August 31, 1997; together they have five children.[11][12]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Notes
1996–present Sesame Street Various characters
Big Bird (understudy since 1998)
Count von Count (since 2013)
Ernie (assistant, 2000–03)
1996 Elmo Saves Christmas Elf
1996–98 Big Bag Ensemble puppeteer
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
2006-2011 Pinky Dinky Doo Additional voices
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Floyd Pepper
Camilla the Chicken
Crazy Harry
Lew Zealand
Robin the Frog
Pigeon Son
2013 Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map Fred Jones
2015 The Muppets Uncle Deadly
Sweetums
Floyd Pepper
Camilla the Chicken
Crazy Harry
Lew Zealand
Robin the Frog
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Wilkins (voice)
2016 The Furchester Hotel Big Bird
Count von Count
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
Snowth
Sweetums (voice)
Live show at the O2, Jul. 13-14

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Matt Vogel". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ "Ten Minutes With Matt Vogel". Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Adam Hunt
Performer of Scooter
2000
Succeeded by
Brian Henson
Preceded by
Richard Hunt
Performer of Janice
2000
Succeeded by
Brian Henson
Preceded by
Alice Dinnean
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
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Floyd Pepper
2008 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Lew Zealand
2008 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Robin the Frog
2008 – 2017
Succeeded by
Peter Linz
Preceded by
Noel MacNeal
Performer of Sweetums
2009 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Pops
2011 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Uncle Deadly
2011 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Count von Count
2013 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Mr. Johnson
2016 – present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Steve Whitmire
Performer of Kermit the Frog
2017 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Caroll Spinney
Performer of Big Bird (understudy)
c.1998 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
None
Constantine
2014-present
Succeeded by
None