Frank Oz hasn't been asked to work with The Muppets for a decade
- Bang Showbiz
- 21 March 2018
Frank Oz has said he hasn't been asked to work with 'The Muppets' for a decade despite being one of the original puppeteers behind Jim Henson's creations
Frank Oz would love to continue working with 'The Muppets' but no one has asked him.
The 73-year-old American puppeteer was one of the original stars working with 'The Muppets' creator Jim Henson - who died in 1990 - and in its peak, the TV show 'The Muppet Show' - which ran from 1976 to 1981 - pulled in around 245 million viewers.
However, despite controlling and voicing iconic characters including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Cookie Monster and Grover, Oz hasn't laid his hands of one of the Muppets for a decade after Disney bought the rights to the hit franchise.
In an interview with The i Paper, Oz said: "Disney owns the characters now so I couldn't [perform] even if I wanted to.
"Really, the reason I'm not performing is because no one is asking me to. I believe it's difficult to have Muppets performed by new people as they have none of the history."
Although he hasn't worked with some of his own Muppets, there is one character the puppeteer managed to get to work with again - the 'Star Wars' fan favourite Jedi Master Yoda in the eighth instalment 'The Last Jedi'.
And Oz said that although the little green character requires four people to control, it was an "absolute joy" to voice him again.
He said: "Yoda is like putting on an old pair of shoes that are very difficult to walk in - it's not just me but a total of four people controlling the puppet and that's tough.
"But it was an absolute joy doing Yoda's voice again."
Oz - who is married to Victoria Labalme - also said that he would love to return to the franchise to voice the puppet once more and accepted that 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas used CGI for the character in the prequel movies.
He said: "When George had Yoda in CGI it was the best thing for the story as a puppet couldn't do backflips fighting Count Dooku.
"I'm a slave to the story so if they think the puppet is right for the picture then I'd love to come back."
Oz also went on to say how the Muppets allowed the actors to transform themselves into anything they "wanted to be".
The puppeteer said: "The truth is that underneath it all that's three years of training and it's extremely physical work as you're not just controlling Fozzie Bear but also giving him a voice.
"But when as an actor am I ever going to be cast as a ballerina or a dog? Those puppets allowed us to transform our bodies into anything we wanted them to be."