kermit, new kermit, matt vogel, muppet, muppetsAfter longtime Kermit the Frog performer Steve Whitmire was relieved of his duties last year, replacement Kermit voicer Matt Vogel had some large felt shoes to fill. This week, Vogel's version of Kermit made his Muppets debut.

The iconic character finally surfaced again in a "Muppet Thought of the Week" video, which was posted to YouTube on Monday. In the short clip, Vogel-as-Kermit muses about life and dreams.

"Dreams are how we figure out where we want to go; life is how we get there," the Muppet says.

Of course, the clip wouldn't really be a Muppets production without some humor thrown in, as the character then fumbles his exit.

The new voice may be a bit jarring for those who are intimately familiar with Whitmire's version of the lovable frog, which has been around for nearly 30 years. Whitmire took over voice duties from Muppets mastermind Jim Henson himself, after Henson's death in 1990. But the performer was fired by Muppet parent company Disney last October, with the studio alleging that Whitmire was behaving unprofessionally; Whitmire, meanwhile, claims he was concerned that Disney was altering the character too much from Henson's original vision, and was let go for voicing his opinions.

As some YouTube commenters have pointed out, Vogel's interpretation of everyone's favorite frog sounds more like Henson's Kermit voice than Whitmire's did. The new voice may take some getting used to, but it seems like Vogel is doing his best to keep the lighthearted spirit of Kermit intact.

Keep your eyes on the Muppets' social media accounts for more appearances from the new performer.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]