Photo Credit: John E. Barrett/Disney Enterprises
When we were asked if we wanted to interview the frog of the hour, we had a brief, Animal-like freakout, then said yes. Short, green, handsome and exceedingly witty, Kermit took a few minutes out of his busy Hollywood schedule to share his thoughts on bullies, bad gifts and lifelong bonds.
Statler and Waldorf are the ultimate hecklers. What’s the best way to handle bullies like them?
Well, Statler and Waldorf aren’t really bullies. They’re just grumpy old guys who enjoy expressing their opinion. Unfortunately for us, it’s usually not a very positive opinion. But, for real bullies, I think the best thing to do is what I did when I was a tadpole: Tell someone. It can be a teacher, a parent, a grown-up you know or, in my case, anyone higher than me on the food chain. No one has the right to bully another person…or frog.
You’ve always been a frog with big ideas. What advice do you have for parents to help their kids fulfill their dreams?
Appreciate and encourage their dreams. That’s what I try to do with my friends. I believe in their dreams and I try to help make them come true. (Even though Gonzo’s dreams usually involve rocket-propelled roller skates or something like that.) Parents are lucky: They get to be the first ones to believe in their children’s dreams. And dreams do come true; how else can you explain a frog who makes movies?
You lost touch with a lot of your pals over the years. How do you suggest parents and kids keep their friendships alive?
Well, it’s true that’s the story in our movie The Muppets. But it’s embellished a bit for dramatic effect. (That’s Hollywood talk.) I’ve never lost touch with the other Muppets, especially not Miss Piggy, who seems to know where I am every moment of every day. The key to keeping relationships alive is simple: communicate. Talk with each other, even if it’s just a few minutes. Share your feelings and your hopes…and do it every single day. It works for us.
The holidays are coming up. What’s the best gift you ever received? And what’s the worst?
The best gift: My collar. I haven’t taken it off since. The worst gift: A weekend for two at a house made out of mistletoe. (Guess who sent that!)
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
To spend more time doing what I do best, which is singing, dancing and making people happy. After years of working behind the scenes, it’s great to be back -- and we’re gonna keep it that way!