Lucas Ervin – Well here we are only nine days until The Muppets is in theaters! What’s even better is that Kermit and co. are appearing everywhere to promote the movie; from Ellen to The Tonight Show, and everything in between! We’re about to wrap up the 100 Days of Muppets series, and in these final days we’re going to cover that famous, oft troubled couple, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Kermit’s role as host of The Muppet Show mirrored Jim Henson’s own role with the Muppeteers, and Miss Piggy rose to stardom after pushing her way to the forefront after just being a simple chorus pig. Together, they make the perfect Hollywood couple. Kermit is an excellent host, trying to hold all the crazy together. When Miss Piggy wasn’t starring in sketches–such as Veterinarian’s Hospital and Pigs in Space–she would be leading a song, hitting on the male guest stars, or trying to manipulate her frog into doing something she wanted… and if that didn’t work, he learned quickly that you don’t tick off the pig. But even with all that, Kermit and Piggy really do love and care about each other (more or less). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the best of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.
9. Temptation – In the very first episode in The Muppet Show, we see the first time Kermit and Piggy work together. This is the sketch that marks the beginning of their relationship. During the first season, both Frank Oz and Richard Hunt took turns performing Miss Piggy, and Frank didn’t solidify himself as her sole performer until season two. As you can see, Miss Piggy’s looks have changed dramatically since then. During the five-year run of The Muppet Show, there were eight different Miss Piggy puppets. She really didn’t start to resemble her current look until season 4. If the glee club on that famous show was more like this glee club, I’m pretty sure I’d tune in each week…
8. Being Green – I’m almost positive that we’ve all heard this song at some point in our lives. It’s beautiful, it’s insightful, and it’s Kermit’s official anthem. Written by Joe Raposo during the first season of Sesame Street in 1970, this song was performed twice on The Muppet Show, and Kermit has sang it a number of other times as well. Big Bird even sang it while wearing a green ribbon at Jim Henson’s memorial service. In recent years, the song has been used for a number of environmental ads and even car commercials. But it is most important for people to remember the song’s message, and I believe Ray Charles said it best, “Jim Henson took a simple song and turned it into a message of great power. This song is about knowing who you are, and Jim’s message is clear; we should learn to love who we are, and be proud of it. And that’s how we learn to love each other.”
7. I’m a Woman – Miss Piggy never really had an issue with the male guest stars… but when it came to the females who came on the show, she would often get envious and find ways to remind them who the star was. There really is no better example of this than when Miss Piggy forces Raquel Welch’s solo number into a duet. Piggy is, essentially, as Morley Saver of 60 Minutes once said, “Charlie McCarthy and Mae West with roles reversed.” Her flamboyant attitude and her need to constantly be in the spotlight and upstage anyone who tried to be a bigger beauty than her solidified Miss Piggy as a Hollywood star, and that star is still burning bright today.
6. Happy Feet – Both “Rainbow Connection” and “Bein’ Green” are beautiful songs that Kermit sang, but sometimes he got into more upbeat tunes like “Lime in the Coconut,” “Disco Frog,” and of course, that famous song from the 1930s, “Happy Feet.” And this particular number is one of the most famous in the history of The Muppet Show. Kermit sang it during the second season in order to answer the age-old question: Can the frog tap dance? While it’s just as catchy as “Mahna Mahna,” the most unique thing about the number is that you never see Kermit’s feet throughout the entire song. This song has been featured on four different Muppet albums… all of them ending with Waldorf saying, “You know, on the show it wasn’t funny… but on a record, it doesn’t even make sense!”
5. The Amazing Foo-Foo – Miss Piggy was featured in a lot of guest spots and various sketches. But if there’s one sketch that always makes me laugh, it’s this act that she did with her dog Foo-Foo, backed by Rowlf at the piano. This is one of many terrific examples of how well Jim and Frank worked together. While Miss Piggy is trying to show the audience her “amazing” dog, Rowlf keeps interrupting the act with hilarious one-liners, providing the irony that he’s a dog that not only talks, but plays the piano and tells jokes, rendering Foo-Foo’s talents useless. But Piggy doesn’t take it lying down, pointing out that, “If I wanted [Foo-Foo] to do something simple, I’d have her play the piano and make dumb remarks!”
4. Lydia the Tattooed Lady – Miss Piggy has never been very good at hiding her envy whenever a female guest star like Linda Ronstadt or fellow girl performer like Annie Sue sang a song or so much as looked at her frog. In fact, her jealousy was shown as early as the second episode of The Muppet Show, and Kermit did this little ditty from the Marx Brothers. In an opening number that may or may not be suitable for young kids, Kermit points out all of the tattoos on Lydia while giving us a few lessons in history. The tattoos on the Lydia puppet were actually drawn by Jim Henson. When the number ends, Lydia chases Kermit off the stage with kisses, and when they see Piggy waiting in the wings, Kermit asks her if she’s met Lydia, to which Piggy replies, “No… have you met my left fist?” This is actually the first time we ever see her knock Kermit out, and her famous “Hiii-yaa!” came shortly after this.
Stay tuned for the final installment of 100 Days of Muppet: Part 2 of the Best of Kermit and Piggy!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org