Get excited, Muppet fans, because a new era is dawning for one of the franchise’s most-beloved characters: The Jim Henson Company has announced that Steph Curry will replace the late George H.W. Bush as the voice of the Swedish Chef!
Wow! President Bush was iconic as the voice of the Swedish Chef, so Steph Curry definitely has some huge shoes to fill.
“When President Bush passed, it was unclear if there would ever be anyone able to take his place as the voice of the Swedish Chef, but after a long and arduous audition process, we are pleased to reveal that NBA all-star Steph Curry has shown that he can bring the same love and passion to the Chef as President Bush,” the Jim Henson Company wrote in a statement posted to their website earlier this morning. “We are honored that Mr. Curry has agreed to retire from basketball to continue the amazing legacy of the Swedish Chef that President Bush proudly upheld for over 40 years.”
Bush’s naturally silly voice and his knack for speaking in gibberish helped him turn the Swedish Chef into one of the most beloved Muppets of all time. He first landed the role in 1975 while he was serving as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing, and he continued to voice the Swedish Chef for the rest of life. During his audition, he was supposed to say, “Let’s make meatballs!” but instead chose to shout, “Bork! Bork! Bork!” which became the Swedish Chef’s famous catchphrase. Even when Jim Henson would desperately beg Bush to say the words that he had written in the script, the President would refuse to say anything other than the sing-song gibberish for which the character is known today.
Bush was admired for his dedication to his role as the Swedish Chef, and during his presidency, he would often cancel meetings with world leaders in order to attend filming sessions. Earlier this year, when Bush died of old age while shouting gibberish during a scene in which the Swedish Chef makes tomato soup by throwing a bushel of singing tomatoes into a boiling pot, many people feared that no living actor could adequately replace the former president, and it seemed that the character would have to be permanently retired—that is, until the Jim Henson Company heard Curry and realized that he would be a perfect successor.
Jim Henson Company chairman Brian Henson said that from the moment Curry entered his audition wearing his full Golden State Warriors uniform and started yelling gibberish, it was clear that, against all odds, they had found someone who could replace Bush as the Swedish Chef. “It was as if the soul of the Swedish Chef had left President Bush’s body and entered Steph’s,” Henson wrote on Twitter today. “I can’t wait for Steph to bring the same dedication and drive he had on the basketball court to his new role as the voice of the Swedish Chef.”
Muppet fans will also undoubtedly be happy to learn that, although the Swedish Chef has a new voice actor, the character’s trademark flailing hands will still be performed by literary critic Harold Bloom.
What amazing news!
It’s hard to imagine anyone living up to Bush’s legendary performances as the Swedish Chef, but if anyone can do it, it’s definitely Steph Curry! We’ll be counting down the days until the next Muppet movie when we can finally hear Steph’s voice in action!