Gingrich the Newt is a very, very distant cousin of Kermit the Frog, who made his television debut with Kermit on Larry King Live, in a special Christmas broadcast on December 23, 1994. Gingrich is a parody of Representative Newt Gingrich, who was then Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a recognizable cultural figure.

Hailing from the Georgia swamplands, Gingrich is Speaker of the Swamp. He claims that swamp politics is filled with slugs, leeches, mud slingers, pond scum, and belly-crawling, cold-blood reptiles. In other words, it's a lot like Washington, D.C.

The puppet used for Gingrich is Leon, the morals-impaired lizard from The Jim Henson Hour, who also claimed to be Kermit's cousin.

Newt Gingrich was also spoofed on Muppets Tonight as Newt, a Frogketeer who appeared alongside Cindy Crawford in "The Kermit the Frog Club".