The Kid Who Just Wanted to Learn From Jim

This is what happens when you have a few hours to spare and a certain topic has been plaguing your mind since early July…

Way back in the 70’s

A kid of only 19,

Joined the cast of the wackiest show,

The world had ever seen.

The work itself was exciting,

A bright star-studded affair.

But there was something far better,

That deserved that kid’s care.


There was this guy, Jim Henson,

The mastermind of the whole thing.

When it came to being a genius,

He was incontestably the king.

The man was this kid’s idol,

Astounded to work with him.

The kid’s name was Steve Whitmire,

Who just wanted to learn from Jim.


For nearly thirteen years,

That’s exactly what Steve did.

With Jim, he created and performed,

Just as he’d dreamed while still a kid.

Through rats, and Fraggles and Creatures,

Trumpeters, Whatnots and more,

Jim’s legacy became Steve’s duty-

Not responsibility, but a law.


When 1990 struck Jim down,

Steve stepped up with true grit.

Kermit was his new lifestyle,

Not just a new character bit.

As the 90’s came and went,

The Muppet family changed and shifted.

While it was of slight concern,

New members proved to be gifted.


A change of keys in 2004,

Brought about major concerns galore.

Did Disney have tricks up its sleeve,

To leave Muppet fans wanting more?

And what of the established puppeteers,

Forced to adjust to the changing of gears?

Would Disney support them in good taste

And not reach out for the shears?


It was never in Steve’s options,

To leave such things to chance.

And so began that tricky waltz,

The Whitmire-Disney dance.

With a quick dodge and a low dip,

You tip-toe, 1-2-3-

Just enough to get your point across…

And not nudge too hard, you see?


From 2010 to 2015,

The Muppets were back on the rise.

Pleasing fans both young and old,

And every shape and size.

More importantly, the Muppets were safe,

And the puppeteers on the high of their lives,

Never could have predicted,

2016’s nasty….little…… surprise.


Once upon a grand time,

Steve was where he wanted to be.

Just being a talented puppeteer,

While preserving Muppet integrity

As his career continued its path,

Steve knew that he could cope.

Things weren’t quite like the old days,

But with progress came great hope.


But now that time is over,

And Steve’s been sent to roam,

Far away from his family,

And the world he once called home.

It’s almost been a year now,

There’s a loss for what to do.

The man is still quite displaced-

And his fans are quite lost too.


Many a thing has been said,

To destroy and to defame,

And tarnish the high standards

That once came with Steve’s good name.

Steve has done all he can,

To explain and to defend.

But it’s not his name he wants to save-

It’s the characters he must mend.


So what is left to be done,

When the world moves right along?

And Steve is left in the dust,

Like a forgetful gimmicky song?

A question must be answered,

A tricky, multi-sided goal.

Can the Muppets still be the Muppets…

After losing its loudest soul?


The answer will soon come.

As time ticks by we’ll see.

If Disney truly can be trusted,

With the characters loved by me.

Of course, not just I,

We all hold these characters to heart.

Perhaps down at ground zero,

Is the safest place to start.


So there I am on Muppet Pundit,

Ready to listen and to consume,

The information that may keep,

My Muppets from certain doom.

We’ve found ourselves a mentor,

And though things may seem dim,

Let’s listen to that young kid…

Steve Whitmire-

Who just wanted to learn from Jim.

Muppet Articles

Marni Hill View All →

Muppet Enthusiast, Film Lover, Book Adorer. No one original, but (hopefully) providing brand new perspectives for the world to process. Currently a Bachelor of Arts undergraduate at Deakin University.

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