The earliest iteration of Kermit was on local television in the Washington, DC area, on WRC-TV’s Sam and Friends beginning in 1955. Here’s Kermit with Harry the Hipster from 1959, e.g. SamuraiFrog has clips of many appearances of Kermit, and the other Muppets in his blog Electronic Cerebrectomy, many of them quite early in the frog’s career, such as this video from 1966.
The Muppets Character Encyclopedia – yes, I own the book- establishes that Kermit was born in Leland, Mississippi alongside approximately 2,353 siblings.
The great thing about Kermit is his every-man (every-amphibian?) quality, where he fit in quite well in Sesame Street, which I watched, even though I was in high school and then college at the time.
But he also fit well on The Muppet Show, which aired 120 episodes between 1976 and 1981. From the Wikia: “Kermit the Frog and the Muppets put on a weekly musical/comedy revue at the Muppet Theater. Unfortunately for them, things never quite go according to plan, for the Muppets or their weekly guest stars.”
Kermit has appeared in a number of Muppets movies over the years, a few of which I have seen. He’s also been a guest or guest host on a number of talk shows over the years.
As of September 2015, there’s a new Muppets TV show, done in a “mockumentary-style series that follows their personal and professional lives,” including the romantic breakup, after a number of years together, of Kermit and the porcine diva Miss Piggy.
Kermit was voiced by Muppets creator Jim Henson, from the beginning of the frog’s career until Henson’s untimely death in 1990. Since then, Steve Whitmire has done the job.
Kermit is particularly known for two songs. Bein’ Green, a/k/a It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green, a/k/a my theme song, was written by Joe Raposo, was originally performed on Sesame Street and subsequently on The Muppet Show. It was later covered by Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison, Tony Bennett and many other performers.
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-
or stars in the sky.
The Rainbow Connection was written for the 1979 Muppet movie The Muppet Movie. Music and lyrics were written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher. The song reached #25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1979, with the song remaining in the Top 40 for seven weeks total. Williams and Ascher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.