Kermit Meets Kermit
Kermit the Frog Celebrates his 50th Anniversary in the Perfect Spot
Disney Insider: Official Disney e-Newsletter
November 8, 2005
It's not easy being green - but it does have certain compensations. For one, Kermit the Frog, who turns 50 this year, doesn't look a day over 22. For another, he got a grand welcome to kick off his anniversary celebration in a town that could have been made for him. Kermit, Texas, turned out in force to celebrate with Kermie.
Kermit coworker Debbie McClellan accompanied the famous frog on his pilgrimage to the small Texas town, population around 5,700, and told us about the festivities. "We wanted to find a place for Kermit to visit that was either green or had something to do with Kermit the Frog. When we found Kermit, Texas, it just took off from there!" she says.
The people of Kermit welcomed the birthday boy with open arms. He read stories to local school children, met the mayor, received a key to the city, and found his visage painted on the town's water tower. He also got to ride in the Kermit homecoming parade, and even crowned the Kermit High homecoming queen.
Debbie had nearly as much fun as Kermit - although there is no water tower in her honor. "There were two really special moments," she says. "The first when Kermit was introduced at the press conference and I was on the stage and the town cheered -- the stage literally shuddered from the amount of noise that was made. The second was at the end of the day when Kermit was signing autographs, a woman said to us, 'you have no idea what this has done for our town, this was so special and it was something that brought us together.' That was really moving."
Debbie assures us that the Kermit we know from film and TV is the real deal - no Hollywood hotshot. "Kermit the Frog is everything you would want him to be, cute, modest, and sweet. What you see on TV is what you get. No prima donna there ... but Miss Piggy is another story!"
Kermit's first 50 years have been eventful ones, taking him from humble beginnings as part of a Washington, D.C., local children's television show called "Sam and Friends" all the way to international stardom and his current status as part of the Disney family. His recent starring role in "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz," coupled with the DVD release of the first season of "The Muppet Show," prove once again that the plucky frog is truly evergreen.
Kermie will be taking a break from the silver screen for the time being to continue his travels - current plans include a trip to Pamplona for the annual running of the bulls ("I thought they said bullFROGS," he has confessed), a visit to the Great Wall of China, and even - gulp! - a guest appearance at a Frog Leg Festival in Fellesmere, Florida. Debbie will accompany him throughout. "Needless to say I'm thrilled," she says. "I never get tired meeting people who feel an affinity for this frog and how he can make everyone from ages 2 to 99 smile."