Muppet Highlights Include:
- The Muppet Show Theme included as part of a special "TV Theme Medley" musical number.
- Kermit and Piggy on stage to present the Viewers’ Choice Award.
- Kermit in his reporter trench coat and Miss Piggy in her evening gown reporting from back stage. The Muppet's backstage coverage was available on TVland.com during (and after) the show. TVland.com also had sit-down interviews with some of the Muppeteers “behind” the Muppets.
The following is a transcript of an exclusive press interview with Muppeteers Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson in the backstage press tent. The video interview was posted on TVland.com for a limited time after the 2006 award ceremony, along with backstage interview conducted by Kermit.
Steve Whitmire: I'm Steve Whitmire, I'm the performer who does Kermit the Frog
Eric Jacobson: And I'm Eric Jacobson, and I do Miss Piggy.
Steve Whitmire: Each character is performed by a particular person. Jim Henson performed Kermit for 35 years before he passed away in 1990. I've been consistently the only Kermit since that time.
Eric Jacobson: And with Frank Oz's characters, I've been performing them since he's gone off to directing movies and such.
Steve Whitmire: If you play my voice, next to Jim's voice, they are not the same – they are very close, and the attitude is very close. And because I had the experience of working with Jim very closely and knowing him, I think I gained some insight on where this character came from from within Jim. So the number one goal in trying to continue a character like Kermit is to make sure the character stayed true and consistent, but didn't become stale and just a copy. We wanted him to be able to grow a bit, but have this foundation of what Jim started.
Steve Whitmire: We've always been dubbed the Muppet performers. It involves acting and it involves the puppetry and, you know, all those skills combined – the voice is all part of that.
Eric Jacobson: It's not like animation where the voice is something separate from the animators who animate the character.
Steve Whitmire: We tend to think of the puppets as sort of tools. And we don't really think of them as living breathing things because obviously we don't take them home at night and stuff like that.
Eric Jacobson: There's too much effort that's involved in bringing them to life to forget that they're not just, you know, tools of the trade.
Eric Jacobson: I grew up watching the Muppets, and was a rabid fan myself and to carry on this legacy is really important to us,.