Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy
The Muppets character
TV the muppet show miss piggy.jpg
Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show, as the Queen of Hearts.
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First appearance October 13, 1974, on Herb Alpert and the TJB
Created by Jim Henson
Portrayed by Frank Oz (1976-2002)
Richard Hunt (1976)
Eric Jacobson (2001-present)
Information
Aliases Piggy
Gender Female

Miss Piggy is a Muppet character who was primarily played by Frank Oz on The Muppet Show. In 2001, Eric Jacobson began performing the role, although Oz did not officially retire until 2002.

She was voiced by Laurie O'Brien in Jim Henson's Muppet Babies and Hal Rayle in Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters.

In 1996 TV Guide ranked her number 23 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.[1]

Contents

History

Miss Piggy began as a minor character on The Muppet Show TV series, but gradually developed into one of the central characters of the show. She is a pig who is convinced she is destined for stardom, and nothing will stand in her way. She presents a public face which is the essence of feminine charm, but can instantly fly into a violent rage whenever she thinks she has been insulted or thwarted. Kermit the Frog is often the target of her anger. When she isn't sending him flying through the air, she is often smothering him in (usually unwanted) kisses.

The first known appearance of Miss Piggy was on the Herb Alpert TV special Herb Alpert and the TJB, broadcast on October 13, 1974, on ABC. Miss Piggy's voice was noticeably more demure and soft, singing with Herb, "I Can't Give You Anything but Love".

The first draft of the puppet was a blonde, beady-eyed pig who appeared briefly in the 1975 pilot special The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, in a sketch called "Return to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs." She was unnamed in that show, but by the time The Muppet Show began in 1976, she was recognizably Miss Piggy – sporting large blue eyes, wearing a flowing white gown, and pouncing on Kermit, the love of her life.

Miss Piggy soon developed into a major character, as the Muppet creators recognized that a lovelorn pig could be more than a one-note running gag. Frank Oz has said that while Fozzie Bear is a two-dimensional character, and Animal has no dimensions, Miss Piggy is one of the few Muppets to be fully realized in three dimensions. She spawned a huge fad during the late 1970s and early 1980s and eclipsed Kermit and the other Muppets in popularity at that time, selling far more merchandise and writing a book that, unlike any of Kermit's books, wound up on top of the New York Times Bestseller List.

Miss Piggy's personality and voice was seen and heard in other female characters performed by Frank Oz before the character's debut. For instance, a Sesame Street Muppet skit from 1971 featured Snow White performed by Frank Oz and acting (as well as sounding) like Miss Piggy. Another sound-alike came from a contestant in a Guy Smiley sketch called "The Mystery Mix-Up Game".

In The Muppet Show episode 106, Piggy is referred to by the full name "Piggy Lee", and in episode 116, Piggy tells guest star Avery Schreiber that Piggy is short for "Pigathius", which is "from the Greek, meaning 'river of passion'". However, there is no evidence to support that this is part of her name. It is more likely that this is a fictitious name Miss Piggy invents as part of her plan to make Kermit jealous. In another instance, Piggy explains that her first name is actually the more feminine-sounding version of Pigathius, "Pigathia".

In an interview with the New York Times in 1979, Frank Oz outlined Piggy's biography: "She grew up in a small town in Iowa; her father died when she was young, and her mother wasn't that nice to her. She had to enter beauty contests to survive, as many single women do. She has a lot of vulnerability which she has to hide, because of her need to be a superstar."

Miss Piggy has a pet poodle, Foo-Foo.

Movie/TV appearances

In The Muppet Movie, she has just won a beauty contest (Miss Bogen County) when she first meets Kermit and joins the Muppets.

In The Great Muppet Caper Piggy proves she has a talent for tap dancing, seemingly without knowing it. She and Kermit also kiss (on the lips, yet slightly covered) while Miss Piggy is a prisoner in jail; Miss Piggy ends up wearing Kermit's fake mustache, while Kermit has X-marks on his upper lip.

Eventually in the films, Kermit started returning her affections and (unwittingly) marries her in The Muppets Take Manhattan, though subsequent events suggest that it was only their characters in the movie that married, and that their relationship is really the same as ever.

In 1987, Miss Piggy was a guest star on Dolly Parton's musical variety show, Dolly, singing and performing with Parton, while at the same time secretly attempting to steal the show from her host, mostly by sabotaging Parton's musical segments and attempting to trick producers into giving her more solo spots. Parton, annoyed at being undermined by Miss Piggy, told another of her guests, Juice Newton, that they might be "having ham sandwiches after the show".

In The Muppet Christmas Carol, she appears as Mrs. Cratchit, to Kermit's Bob Cratchit.

In Muppet Treasure Island, the part of crazed Ben Gunn was adapted to fit Miss Piggy, and "Benjamina" Gunn was revealed to be Captain Smollett (played by Kermit)'s former lover. The two share a tender moment dueting on "Love Led Us Here".

Her part is significant but supporting in Muppets From Space, as the plucky news reporter eager to scoop the news on her friend Gonzo's bizarre alien enounters.

In the TV movie It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, a take on the classic It's a Wonderful Life, the characters are seen in an alternate universe, one without Kermit. Miss Piggy becomes a spinster cat lady, doing "psychic" readings on the phone.

Recent appearances

Miss Piggy appeared in the TV movie The Muppets' Wizard of Oz as all four witches.

Miss Piggy sang with the Jonas Brothers as "Joan S. Jonas", with Ashley Tisdale during the number "Bop to the Top", and with the Cheetah Girls performing "Dance Me If You Can" as a part of Studio DC: Almost Live. A running gag from those first two episodes involved Miss Piggy looking for "Zacky" Efron.

Miss Piggy made a special guest appearance on Take Two with Phineas and Ferb and sang "Spa Day" with Phineas and Ferb.

Miss Piggy made a special guest appearance on the Disney Channel Original Series So Random! alongside Sterling Knight (who will make a special cameo appearance the upcoming movie The Muppets).

Miss Piggy and some of the other Muppets guest-hosted the 2011 Halloween WWE Raw Supershow. Kermit and she are introduced and subsequently interrupted by Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger. Miss Piggy counters the offense by slamming into Vickie and bellowing Vickie's catchphrase, "Excuse me!" She is seen a second time backstage flirting with WWE Superstar John Morrison. When she asks John to go to dinner with her, he says he is busy. He gets Hornswoggle to take his place, who attempts to kiss Miss Piggy. She responds with her usual karate chop.

Miss Piggy was the first guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno November 4, 2011 to promote her new movie The Muppets to open November 23, 2011 in U.S. theaters.

On November 19, 2011, Miss Piggy, fellow Muppets, and Jason Segel participated in the opening monologue of Saturday Night Live by singing "I Can't Believe I'm Hosting SNL."

References

  1. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2004. pp. 596. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1. 

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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