Voice behind Kermit the Frog is leaving after 27 years

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The news of Whitmire's departure is a surprise for Muppets fans.

Taking over for Whitmire is Matt Vogel, a current Muppets performer. His first time as the character will be in a "Muppets Thought of the Week" video next week, the spokeswoman confirmed.

Steve Whitmire has been a part of the Muppets family since 1978, and he was chosen by Jim Henson's son Brian to take over as Kermit after his death in 1990.

After 27 years, Kermit the Frog is getting a new voice.

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His main character on "The Muppet Show" was the trickster rodent, Rizzo the Rat.

According to Muppets fan site ToughPigs which first reported the news after confirmation with Disney, Vogel will begin his work in a Muppets Thought of the Week video next week.

The spokesperson who told CNN about the change didn't offer a reason why Whitmire being replaced. On Sesame Street, he is the voice behind Ernie of Bert and Ernie fame.

Longtime Muppet performer Steve Whitmire will reportedly no longer be with the famed group. Whitemire is also unavailable for comment. He lends his voice to other classic characters such as Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Uncle Deadly, Big Bird and Count von Count. Kermit looks to have been left in capable hands, though, as Matt played Constantine, an evil mastermind and near-exact double of Kermit, in the 2014 movie "Muppets Most Wanted", which also featured Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey.

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