The author wore green. (Actually, he arrived totally naked except for his signature pointy collar, which he had dry-cleaned for the interview. But he was, naturally, green.)
Whether dressed or in the buff, Kermit the Frog (''or Wart-boy, as Miss Piggy refers to me'') is a showbiz dynamo who has accomplished more in his career than most human superstars. Now this TV veteran, recording artist, children's author, and movie star (who stretched himself last year playing Bob Cratchit in The Muppet Christmas Carol) is hopping to a new role: author of his first book for adults, One Frog Can Make a Difference: Kermit's Guide to Life in the '90s (Pocket Books, $16), as told to Robert P. Rigerand designed by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Picón.
''It didn't start off as a book,'' explained Kermit, who seemed shorter in person (or rather, in frog) than on TV. ''It's just that Miss Piggy bought me these self-help books to read and they turned out to be pretty silly.''
With chapters like ''I'm Okay, You're a Pig,'' and ''Frogs Who Hop With Women Who Run With Wolves but Can't Keep Up,'' One Frog is a croakingly funny, extra- long-tongue-in-cheek debunking of the touchy-feely '90s. ''Calling us Amphibian Americans is going a little too far,'' he writes. ''I can see how if you were a salamander, Amphibian American would be a step up, but it seems to me you should call a toad a toad.'' So has Kermit become the Rush Limbaugh of the swamp? Not really, though he does shun anything too trendy: ''Getting in touch with my inner tadpole isn't for me.''
What is? ''I'm a simple frog. I can't wait to get back to the swamp. I have a pad there where I hang out when I'm not working...I never think of myself as a star.''
This back-to-basics approach, which Kermit attributes to ''having had to compete with thousands of siblings for my mother's attention,'' often pits him against the unbasic Miss Piggy. Repeating that the two are ''just friends,'' he said, ''She's a pig. She and I will never be together. We're too different.''