Movie News

Muppet Engineer Kermit Love Is Gone...

Published at: June 26, 2008, 11:01 p.m. CST

Merrick here...
When we think about Muppets and SESAME STREET, names like Jim Henson and Frank Oz instantly (and understandably) pop to mind. But, as with many technical endeavors, there are numerous other folks behind-the-scenes whose names aren't as quickly connected to their creations. One such person is Kermit Love (full name Kermit Ernest Hollingshead Love), who was claimed by congestive heart failure on Saturday. He was 91.
Among his chief contributions to Muppet mythology, Love was instrumental in the creation & fabrication of characters like Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Oscar the Grouch. His work on SESAME STREET ultimately continued into THE MUPPET SHOW, THE MUPPET MOVIE, and the SESAME STREET spin-off film FOLLOW THAT BIRD. But Love's career transcended Muppets. He brought us the La Choy Dragon...

...and Snuggle Bear.

He was a costume designer for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, and collaborated with dance gods like George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Twyla Tharp. You can learn much more about Love's career and creations in THIS LA TIMES ARTICLE, or THIS NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE. Love never had children of his own, but acknowledged his indelible connection to countless families in a 1991 interview with Newsweek. "I have a million children."

Readers Talkback

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  • June 26, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Sad

    by mr_l_74

    Sad lost

  • June 26, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by coen_fan

    YEAH!!!!

  • June 26, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    When you said Kermits love i thought Frank OZ had died.

    by eric haislar

    I almost screamed NOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • June 26, 2008, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Shit, I'm sorry.

    by coen_fan

    And RIP Mr. Love.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    RIP Kermit Love

    by just pillow talk

    As with just about everyone else, I grew up on their wonderful creations. My daughter now watches these from time to time. <p>Thanks for everything you've done Mr. Love.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon = Awesome

    by Larry of Arabia

  • June 26, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    could well be something in the water

    by thinboyslim.

    www.boilcheck.com

  • June 26, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Was he Kermit's namesake?

    by JediRob

    Seemed like a really nice guy. What a nice charmed life he led. These are the guys I'm jealous of, not the movie stars.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST

    The La Choy Dragon is horrifying

    by Alkeoholic77

    I seriously am going to have nightmares of that things head flopping around and knocking over cans while trying to drag me back to hell with him.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Kermit Love

    by MRJONZ72

    I absolutely love that name...no pun intended..after all these years Im a little surprised that I never heard of the guy. Rest In Peace.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    The Snuggle Bear is pretty creepy too..

    by tonagan

    "Hi, I'm Snuggle, and I'm going to carve you like a turkey!"

  • June 26, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    That dragon is fucking nutty...

    by pencil-man

    and for some reason I want to eat Chinese now.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Snuffy was my favorite.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    when Big Bird tried to count his feet, and just kept walking around and around him, counting and recounting legs.<p>so great.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    all the cool people are dying

    by seabiscuits

    cause the world has become a cesspool of non talented yet famous shitmongers, haters and terrorists.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    thanks for those memories, Mr Love.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    this message brought to you by the letter T.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon..

    by DarthScotland

    that is probably the best thing I have ever seen. Makes the Smash Martians look rubbish. A Sad day.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    He looked like Father Christmas,

    by tomdolan04

    worked with insanely talented people, created timeless pieces of art and was called Kermit Love. <p> The guy is all kinds of win. Seriously it's the guys like this behind the scenes who deserves the appraisals, and as was said by jedirob it's this type of man who makes me envious. RIP.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon...

    by EriamJH

    There must be a movie greenlighted NOW based on this creature.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    What a wonderful

    by skimn

    legacy he has left us all to love. Rest In Peace indeed Mr. Love.

  • June 26, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    HE IS NOT KERMIT'S NAMESAKE

    by rutgerman

    Many people have said this INCLUDING Jim Henson, it's just a coincidence. But his contribution to the muppets was indelible nevertheless. His presence will be missed I'm sure.

  • June 26, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    Kermit Love? Sounds like Muppet Porn...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...Meet The Feebles style. Still, anyone who (literally) had a hand in The Muppets is cool in my book. Rest in peace sir.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Who's going to be next?

    by O_Goncho

    Seriously, were I a 70+ entertainment legend I'd be looking both ways at least twice before I crossed the street in 2008.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon rocks! And so does that damn cute teddy bear

    by theycallmemrglass

    When were those commercials made? early 70s? Never heard of Kermit Love but what a fucking name. RIP KL

  • June 26, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Sad News Again

    by BilboRing

    I hate to see the people who bring joy to children pass away. :(

  • June 26, 2008, 11:14 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon

    by Spacekicker2001

    I had never seen that. That commercial is awesome hahaha...way better than alot of the ones out now.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Wlkins

    by misterk360

  • June 26, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Names No Longer Used

    by Jonas Grumpy

    I know some first names fall out of fashion, but it's more interesting to note which ones go away once they're firmly identified with a certain character.<BR><BR> For instance, when is the last time you met someone named "Kermit" who was born after the frog become popular? Or "Linus"? Or "Dagwood"? Or "Clark"? Or "Elmer"? Or "Felix" and/or "Oscar"?<BR><BR> Of course, I've encountered a LOT of little boys named "Logan" since the first X-MEN movie was released. I'm certain that their dads had a lot more to do with that then their moms. (When I asked one kid if he was named after Wolverine, his mom rolled her eyes and sighed, "Yes..." Which tells me she didn't make the connection when her man suggested the name. Tee-hee!)<BR><BR> Thanks for all of the entertainment, Mr. Love. Big, heaping piles of kudos to you.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Dropping like flys............

    by ChiefRoberts

    Suck me sideways! Deaths being a real cunt lately!

  • June 26, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Witkins Coffee Comercials =Insane!

    by misterk360

    My god, those are far the evilist, most wicked muppets I've ever seen! One even gets shot in the head!

  • June 26, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST

    haha that dragon wrecking everything

    by seabiscuits

    and the mom grabbing her son for dear life. comedy gold!

  • June 26, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Why do you need a costume designer for a radio show?

    by sfzapgun

    Just wondering. This gentleman did great work. Thanks Mr. Love.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    I mentioned that in the

    by emeraldboy

    stan winston talk back.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:32 a.m. CST

    La Choy Dragon gets the award

    by smackfu

    for the most psychotic thing I've seen in a long time. I can't believe it was made in the era it was.

  • June 26, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    people used to be really talented and creative... =0(

    by The Marquis de Side 3

    ...all these people like Winston and Love, they were really committed to their craft. I highly doubt that this generation will beget anyone like them. The new generation doesn't yield as many original individuals as the previous one did...

  • June 26, 2008, 11:49 a.m. CST

    We are losing so many greats

    by rogueleader66

    It is making me sick, so much talent is being lost and yet those who churn garbage out of the Hollywood machine are still here WTF?????

  • June 26, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    I wasn't aware of Kermits work...

    by Boba Fat

    but the La Choy Dragon is genius!

  • June 26, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Fuck all first posters

    by Maximillian Roivas

    Especially when a legend has just left us. I'm looking at u, coen_fan. Let's show some class for once

  • June 26, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    I love the fucking mob mentality of the Wilkin's commercials

    by Jackie Boy

    "Something just seems to happen to people who don't drink Wilkin's Coffee, motherfucker!"

  • June 26, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST

    And now, Snuggle Bear is...

    by Kid Z

    ...CGI. (Along with Pop'n'Fresh, who, incidentally was originally drawn by Golden Age Green Lantern creator Mart Nodell). La Choy dragon??? WTF?

  • June 26, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    To answer the question of why do you need a designer for radio

    by emeraldboy

    The answer is that before he hit radio. welles was know as landmark theater director. Mercury theatre was a bonafide theatre group. Welles Production of Richard the III has gone down in history. It was controversial and it electrified the crowd. But It showed that here was a man hwo took risks, was bold and could take text, in this case shakespeare and turn it into something modern. He transposed Richard the 111 to nazi germany and his all black version of Macbeth gave harlem the biggest crowd it ever in fact when Macbeth. Before the play none of the actors couldnt even read and had never acted before. That all changed. He bullied, cajoled, marshalled, harrased and harrangued his actor. BUt the result was a firestorm. He inspired fear and awe in his actors. and they delivered.

  • June 26, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    that dragon...

    by mr_macphisto

    ...made my fuckin' day. i've never seen an ad so deliciously insane in my life. they don't make shit like this anymore, that's for sure. and for that reason, i'll miss mr. love all the more. we need guys like him. if only for more la choy dragon mayhem.

  • June 26, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    R.I.P.

    by Toby___Wong

    Muppets > any Disney shite.

  • June 26, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Frank Oz operated the La Choy Dragon...

    by MCVamp

    And he said he fucking hated it so much he never worked a full-body-suit puppet again. And I believe he DID use the word "fucking" when he described it--Mr. Oz is pretty, well, frank.

  • June 26, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    But the Dragon itself looked awesome.

    by MCVamp

  • June 26, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST

    HE WAS TOO YOUNG!!!!!!

    by zom-bot.com

    ha ha ha. good life sir, rest well.

  • June 26, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    if we have learned anything

    by zom-bot.com

    it's that people with grey beards die. <P>please, go buy some Just For Men right now.

  • June 26, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    unfortunately, a lot of Jim's colleagues are

    by necgray

    freaking old. I expect to see a few other Muppet/Sesame performers in the "RIP" headlines in the next few years.

  • June 26, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    by Bulvai

    Sad news.

  • June 26, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Sad news

    by Bulvai

  • June 26, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Snuggle bear

    by Cotton McKnight

    It's funny, I was inadvertently thinking about Kermit Love the other day. I saw a new "Snuggle" commercial and I was shocked at what I saw. I was always kind of fond of the little bear but mainly, I thought the animation/whatever you want to call it was outstanding. Now I see that they have replaced that with crappy CGI. It REALLY looks terrible. An era is truly ending, I'm afraid.<p>Seriously, can this year get any worse? Gas prices going through the roof, important people in the world of the arts (no, not celebrities. If anyone should get it, it should be the talentless losers like.. I won't mention names), my ex girlfriend finding another guy, and people actually buying what Obama is selling. What's next?<p>

  • June 26, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    phoenixmagi2, aka "dummy", "jackass", etc.

    by Cotton McKnight

    It's particularly important when you look at the context. A LOT of very important people behind the scenes are passing on. Maybe they don't get the recognition that Stan Winston did, but they all contributed to a golden era of film and television that will continue to entertain long after we're all gone. It's out of respect that AICN and it's visitors take a break from the Shia Lebeouf updates just so they can slow down and remember all of Mr. Love's contributions.

  • June 26, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    look at that beard

    by Dradis Contact

    that beard is hard core

  • June 26, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    It's Quick Cooked In Dragon Fire!

    by HEADGEEK

    Fucking A! I want some of that shit right now! I've never had anything quick cooked in Dragon Fire!

  • June 26, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    i never trust a puppeteers' death

    by zom-bot.com

    it always makes me think they died a few years ago, and were being used like a puppet, but only now the corpse puppet is so worn down they have to admit death and bury it.

  • June 26, 2008, 3:23 p.m. CST

    oh, man...

    by Dollar Bird

    That dragon ad was awesome. They don't make 'em like that anymore. They don't make 'em like those Snuggle commercials, either. Growing up, I never could decide if I loved the Snuggle bear or hated it. Love the puppetry, hate the voice and that asinine little giggle. Now, if only Snuggle tore up a Walgreen's while yelling in the faces of patrons, I might have come to love him, as I love that La Choy dragon. Also, love the rediculous claim that La Choy is cooked in actual dragon fire.

  • June 26, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Man...

    by C00L DUD3

    Too bad we always seems to learn of peeps accomplishments AFTER they depart. As one of his "million children"...Thanks pops... That Dragon, and all you did for SS, and the Muppets will entertain many for ages...

  • June 26, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Snuggle is the anti-Christ

    by Det. John Kimble

    Battletanks 2 ad FTW. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48NnTQclWgU

  • June 26, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Better version of the Battletanks ad:

    by Det. John Kimble

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HXGIFPxbtk

  • June 26, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    muppets are disney shite

    by majortom25

    "R.I.P. by Toby___Wong Jun 26th, 2008 12:09:29 PM Muppets > any Disney shite. " The muppets are owned by disney now.

  • June 26, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST

    wow

    by majortom25

    This stinks. Last year i just got to meet jim hensons wife. I wonder how she feels about this.

  • June 26, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    man...

    by codymr

    never heard of this guy before, but now that AICN and other sites have noted his passing I realize how important he was to the industry.

  • June 26, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

    That dragon advert made my day...

    by brokentusk

    ... and I went on a date earlier which went really well (at least I think it did), so that's saying something.

  • June 27, 2008, 3:31 a.m. CST

    RE: Queefer Bukkake's childhood tragedy

    by That 70s Venom

    Nothing like a giant pink dragon cock to obliterate your innocence.

  • June 27, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Fozzy Hate was unavailable for comment.

    by WickedJester

  • June 27, 2008, 10 a.m. CST

    monster2Bpitied

    by brokentusk

    Good advice, I'll definitely keep it in mind. Although, I was planning to eventually propose to her over talkback... something along the lines of: "I know it's TOO SOON, but will you marry me? After all, a guy's GOTTA EAT and at least I'm not Michael Bay."