A Very Profane History of Kermit the Frog’s R-Rated Late Night Interviews
We all know that Kermit the Frog is really just a hunk of green felt with some dude’s hand up his butt. Nevertheless, as a society, we often pretend that he’s a genuine celebrity, as real as — or maybe more real than — anyone else in Hollywood. After all, Kermit has appeared at award shows, live public events and at least one commercial where he happily pays Denny’s to serve up his girlfriend’s dead relatives with a side of pancakes.
Kermit has also made a number of appearances on late-night talk shows, where the subject matter has been more blue than green. For example, since the average Sesame Street viewer likely didn’t stay up to catch Late Night with Conan O’Brien back in 1994, Kermit was perfectly happy to discuss Miss Piggy’s sex life, namely that she was dating Tom Arnold, telling Conan and America: “She’s a pig, what can you say?”
But arguably, Kermit’s oddest TV appearance came in 2002, when he dropped by The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. The disquietingly risqué conversation found the family entertainment icon playing to the frat-boy-like crowd by jokingly telling Kilborn, “I just wet your leather here,” after being shown a provocative photo of Kylie Minogue.
Kermit also took the opportunity to comment on a controversy involving Snoop Dogg, who had been recently cut out of a Muppet TV Christmas movie after he wrote and appeared in Doggystyle, the XXX-rated “cross between a rap video and a porn film” produced by Hustler’s Larry Flynt. Kermit claimed that, although Snoop was “stopping drugs” (oh poor, sweet, naive Kermit), he was removed from the movie for instead “starting porn.” Kermit told Kilborn, “Porn’s fine, but it’s not what we do in a Muppet movie.”
His surprisingly progressive views on adult entertainment and sex work aside, you have to admit that it’s super-weird to hear Kermit the Frog talking about porn at all.
Later in the show, Kermit played Kilborn’s “Yambo” game with Sarah Silverman, who accused the frog of groping her. “He grabbed my ass,” she exclaimed. Kermit denied doing such a thing but later seemingly muttered, “I would’ve.”
In some ways, the precedent for these more adult late-night conversations was set by Jim Henson himself. Henson routinely appeared, with his Muppets in tow, on programs like The Tonight Show and The Arsenio Hall Show. When he went on Joan Rivers’ Can We Talk? in 1986, Henson, as Kermit, talked about his relationship with Miss Piggy. When Rivers asked Kermit to rate his sexual abilities from one to ten, Kermit/Henson responded: “This is the complete Kermit that you’re looking at,” gesturing to his genital-less lower regions.
As amusing as these spots are, we can’t stress enough just how much we do not, under any circumstances, want to hear about what depraved shit Gonzo the Great gets up to once the cameras stop rolling.
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