Children who grew up watching “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Show,” and the “Star Wars” series all remember the distinctive voices behind characters like Yoda, Grover, Miss Piggy, and more, but few may realize that they all came from the same man: Frank Oz.
Indeed, Oz originated all the above characters, as per his IMDb page and numerous reports and profiles detailing his career. Oz was behind Yoda’s unique syntax, which led to quotes like “Try not! Do, or do not, there is no try,” in “Star Wars” movies.
“I was just looking at the original script of The Empire Strikes Back the other day and there was a bit of that odd syntax in it, but also it had Yoda speaking very colloquially. So I said to George [Lucas]: ‘Can I do the whole thing like this?’ And he said: ‘Sure!’ It just felt so right,” Oz told The Guardian.
He was also the original voice of Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy from “The Muppet Show,” as well as the voice of Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster on “Sesame Street.” He played many more characters on these shows, as well, providing both the voice and puppeteering them as well.
But Oz told The Guardian he hasn’t been involved with either “Muppets” or with “Sesame Street” over the last few years, nor can he bear to watch the shows. “I’d love to do the Muppets again, but Disney doesn’t want me, and Sesame Street hasn’t asked me for 10 years. They don’t want me because I won’t follow orders and I won’t do the kind of Muppets they believe in […] The soul’s not there. The soul is what makes things grow and be funny. But I miss them and love them.”
“Frank Oz.” IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000568/. Accessed 2 May 2022.
Freeman, Hadley. “Frank Oz on Life as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Yoda: ‘I’d Love to Do the Muppets Again but Disney Doesn’t Want Me.’” The Guardian, 30 Aug. 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/aug/30/frank-oz-on-life-as-fozzie-bear-miss-piggy-and-yoda-id-love-to-do-the-muppets-again-but-disney-doesnt-want-me. Accessed 2 May 2022.
Sauer, Patrick. “A Theory About Muppet Master Frank Oz.” Smithsonian Magazine, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/theory-about-muppet-master-frank-oz-180969981/. Accessed 2 May 2022.
“The Muppet Show (TV Series 1976–1981).” IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074028/characters/nm0000568. Accessed 2 May 2022.