'Muppets Now' on Disney+: Meet Matt Vogel, Eric Jacobson, David Goelz and rest of the puppeteers behind the Muppets

Meet the puppeteers behind the Muppets, all of whom have been working in the puppetry industry for decades


                            'Muppets Now' on Disney+: Meet Matt Vogel, Eric Jacobson, David Goelz and rest of the puppeteers behind the Muppets
Still from 'Muppets Now' (Disney+)
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The Muppets are all set to launch their all-new series titled 'Muppets Now' on Disney+ featuring special segments and celebrity guests, all in an unscripted format that is sure to take the chaos up to eleven. Ahead of the show, it's worth taking a closer look at the hands behind -- or below -- the Muppets themselves, bringing the characters to life.

Matt Vogel

Matt Vogel as the voice of Count Von Count performs onstage during the 'PBS Kids Update/Sesame Street 45th Season Anniversary' panel discussion at the PBS portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at Langham Hotel on January 21, 2014 in Pasadena, California (Getty Images)

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Matt Vogel will be voicing and puppeteering the Muppets' ostensible leader and harangued organizer, Kermit the Frog, as well as Uncle Deadly. Vogel auditioned for the Jim Henson Company in 1993, and joined 'Sesame Street' in 1996 as an ensemble puppeteer, and has served as director and puppet captain on the show since 2008. Additionally, he has been the official voice of Kermit the Frog since 2017, which has not been limited to series Kermit has been in, but advertisements, guest appearances, and even interviews. 

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Eric Jacobson

Eric Jacobson 'Grover & Bert' attends SiriusXM's Town Hall with original cast members from Sesame Street commemorating the 45th anniversary of the celebrated series debut on public television moderated by Weekend TODAY co-anchor Erica Hill on October 9, 2014 in New York City (Getty Images)

Eric Jacobson has been the roles of major Muppets characters since the early 2000s, starting out voicing the characters of Miss Piggy -- Kermit's off-again, on-again girlfriend -- and Fozzie Bear, Kermit's best friend, as well as several other characters. He will reprise these roles, voicing Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the wild drummer known as Animal on 'Muppets Now.' Jacobson has also done puppetry work for 'Sesame Street', and has appeared as Grover on the show as well as making several other appearances as the character across film and television.

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Dave Goelz

Puppet operator/actor Dave Goelz attends a special 20th-anniversary screening of 'Labyrinth' at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on July 20, 2006, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

Dave Goelz is an industry legend, having worked with The Jim Henson Company from its early years. Although he wasn't the first person to voice his most famous character, Gonzo the Great, he is the one who made Gonzo an official part of the Muppets' cast, and has continued to voice him since. He will naturally be voicing Gonzo on 'Muppets Now' in addition to Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf, and new character Chip the IT Guy. Goelz is also a puppet designer, having built several of the Muppets characters himself, such as Animal, Floyd Pepper, and Zoot. He also portrayed one of the leads of 'Fraggle Rock', Boober Fraggle, and has worked with Jim Henson on more fantasy epic films that employed puppets, such as 'Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal'.

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Peter Linz

Actor/Puppeteer Peter Linz and director James Bobin arrive for the premiere of Disney's 'Muppets Most Wanted' at the El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2014, in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

Peter Linz has been working in puppetry since the start of the '90s, and introduces the new character Joe the Legal Weasel to the show. He also will be playing Walter -- another new character, introduced in 2011's 'The Muppets' -- Link Hogthrob, and Statler. He has appeared as several minor characters for 'Sesame Street' and 'The Muppets' over the years, with Walter being his big breakout role. Linz has been quoted as saying, "Apart from my wedding day and birth of my children, being cast as Walter was one of the greatest moments of my life. I was beyond happiness."

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'Muppets Now' also features David Rudman as Scooter and Beaker, and Bill Barretta as Rowlf the Dog, Pepe the King Prawn, The Swedish Chef, Big Mean Carl, and Howard Tubman. The show premieres July 31 on Disney+.