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Miss Piggy

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Not technically a ‘biography’, since the wonderful Miss Piggy is a fictional character, but as close as we can get …

Miss Piggy is a Muppet character who was primarily played by Frank Oz on The Muppet Show. In 2001, Eric Jacobson began performing her, although Frank Oz did not officially retire until 2002. She was voiced by Laurie O’Brien in the television cartoon Muppet Babies and Hal Rayle in Little Muppet Monsters.

Miss Piggy began as a minor character in the first season of The Muppet Show TV series. But she gradually developed into one of the central characters of the show. She is a singing and dancing pig, convinced that she is destined for stardom …. And nothing is going to stand in her way.   She puts on a public face of the soul of feminine charm. But she can quickly fly into a rage when she thinks she’s insulted or thwarted. Kermit the Frog has learned this all too well since he is the usual target for her karate chops. When she isn’t sending him flying through the air, she is often smothering him in (usually unwanted) kisses.

Early appearances

The first known appearance of Miss Piggy was on the Herb Alpert TV Special, “Herb Albert and the TJB“, on ABC. Miss Piggy’s voice was noticeably more demure and soft. Her agent gets her an audition with Herb singing 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. She appeared 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 jumping on Kermit, the love of her life.

Miss Piggy becomes a major character

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 ’70’s and early ’80’s. Miss Piggy eclipsed Kermit and the other Muppets in popularity. She sold far more merchandise and wrote a book that wound up on top of the New York Times Bestseller List.

Miss Piggy’s personality and voice has been seen and heard in some other female characters Frank Oz performed before the character’s debut. For instance, a Sesame Street Muppet skit from 1971 featuring Snow White had the titular character performed by Frank Oz and acting (as well as sounding) like Miss Piggy. Another sound-alike came from a hysterical contestant from a Guy Smiley sketch called, “The Mystery Mix-Up Game”.

Miss Piggy’s life story

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.”

And in The Muppet Movie, she has just won such a 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. It turns out Miss Piggy is wearing Kermit’s fake mustache, and Kermit has X-marks on his upper lip.

Eventually in the films, Kermit started returning her affections and (unwittingly) married her in
The Muppets Take Manhattan. Although subsequent events suggest that it was only their characters in the movie that married.

Miss Piggy, along with Kermit, was featured on a pair of Adidas shoes under the “Adicolor” line first introduced in 1983. The shoe is generally pink and features Miss Piggy on the side along with her signature. Unlike Kermit’s Adicolor shoes, Miss Piggy’s doesn’t have a quote. (Kermit’s feature the quote, “It’s not easy bein’ green”.)

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”.

Miss Piggy recently starred in the TV-movie The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, appearing as all four witches. She also played a significant role in the 2002 Weezer music video Keep Fishin‘.


Miss Piggy was featured on NBC’s Today Show on Meredith Vieira’s first day. She told Vieira to keep her hands off Matt Lauer, and Vieira jokingly made a reference to bacon and ham.

Miss Piggy has a pet poodle, Foo-Foo.

Baby Piggy was one of the cartoon characters featured in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

Miss Piggy sang with the Jonas Brothers as “Joan S. Jonas”; with Ashley Tisdale during the number Bop to the Top dressed as Sharpay from High School Musical; and The Cheetah Girls performing “Dance Me If You Can” from The Cheetah Girls: One World as a part of Studio DC: Almost Live. A running gag from those first two episodes involved Miss Piggy looking for “Zacky” Efron.

In 2008 Miss Piggy was included as one of the many people quoted in the Qi book — Advanced Banter.

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 an intentionally made-up name on Miss Piggy’s behalf 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”

When she was asked what sign she was born under, she replied: “I wasn’t born under a sign, I was born over a sign. Beckers butcher shop. I moved as soon as I could.”

On September 2, 2009, Kermit and Miss Piggy made a guest performance on the NBC talent show, Americas Got Talent.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)


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