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Miss Piggy and other female Muppets

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    On The Muppet Show, Miss Piggy was the most major female character, and all of the other female Muppets were supporting characters at best. Do you think that this might have been a deliberate choice? Do you think that, once Miss Piggy became very popular, that the writers and/ or producers didn't want any other females to become more popular than Miss Piggy?

    During the first season, Hilda was probably equally major/ popular. The main difference is that she was almost exclusively used backstage, while Miss Piggy was regularly used both on-stage and backstage, and there were definately more first season episodes that revolved around Piggy than Hilda. The other female characters -- Janice, Wanda, and Mildred -- were mainly just used on-stage, with minimal significant backstage appearances. Who knows whether Hilda would have remained a main character if Eren Ozker had stayed on the show?

    Also, throughout the shows run, it seems like Miss Piggy didn't interract with the other women very much. She would normally interract with female guest stars, but she didn't have many conversations with the other female characters. She and Janice reglarly interracted in Veterinarians Hospital but rarely spoke to each other outside of those sketches (the closest thing to them interracting in a movie was when Miss Piggy addressed Janice by name in The Muppets Take Manhattan). It would have been great if they ahd performed some duets togetehr, or if they interracted backstage on a semi-regular basis.

    While Miss Piggy was often jealous of the female guest stars, the only female Muppets she was jealous of were Annie Sue Pig and Miss Mousey. When Annie Sue Pig was introduced there were a few episodes that revolved around Miss Piggy's jealousy of her, but this soon became a background thing, though there were still tiems when Piggy was jealous of her (in the John Denver and Roger Moore episodes). I don't think Piggy even had any conflict with her in the Wonder Pig sketch (though any niceness she had could have just been acting). Miss Piggy was only jealous of Miss Mousey in the Bernedette Peters episode (and I know there was some sort of mention in The Muppet Movie screen test), but she never talked to Miss Mousey in that epsiode, and in the Julie Andrews episdoe, she doesn't seem to notice or care that Kermit is dancing with Miss Mousey in the same sketch (Miss Piggy was dancing with a male pig, but would that stop her from beign jealous of any girl Kermit might be romantically involved with?).

    Aside from these, the onyl other female Muppet that Piggy had a conflict with was Mildred in the Candice Bergen episode, but I don't think their arguing had anything to do with jealousy. Miss Piggy didn't seem to have any conflicts with Janice, Camillia, Wanda, or Hilda, but she also didn't interract with them much. Of course, all of them, except for Hilda, already had love interests/ relationships with other characters, and it would be too weird if Kermit and Hilda were romantically invovled, or if Piggy thought they were. And I haven't seen enoguh of Gladys to know if Piggy had any kind of conflict with her.

    Then again, maybe it would have been too hard for the writers to have had Miss Piggy interract with other regular female characters on a regular basis. it would probably be hard write for her getting along with other women, and it may or may not be hard for her to regularly be jealous of other women on a regular basis. Or maybe the writers didn't want too many characters to dislike Piggy. Annie Sue didn't seem to have anything against Miss Piggy, and it's unclear what Miss Mousey thought of her. Or maybe the writers or producers thought that one major female characetr was enough, and all other females should only take on supporting roles in various productions. Annie Sue wasn't used in many productions after The Muppet Show, though she probably could have. Since Louise Gold performed in The Muppets Go to the Movies and The Great Muppet Caper, she should have had big parts in those. I think she also should have been in The Muppet Christmas carol, since Louise Gold performed in that production. I think that if Link Hogthrob portrayed Fred Scrooge, then Annie Sue would have probably played his wife (and although they weren't romantically involved, I think she could have played Fred's wife if Scooter played the role of Fred).
  2. Tim

    Tim Well-Known Member

    Some of that, I'm sure came from the original writers and voice performers being all male (I have an article from a 1970's TV Guide where Fran Brill brought that up). And Jim's ability to find many qualified female performers until more recent years.

    Of course not all characters-male of female make it anyway, so statisticly there woudl be few female Muppet stars.
  3. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I always thought Miss Piggy wasn't jealous of Janice or Camilia because they had boyfriends already, they weren't interested in Kermit. Further, Kermit would never be interested in them. The only Muppet who ever seems interested in chickens is Gonzo. And Janice is too "easy going" for Kermit's temperment. Kermit wouldn't have much interest in flower child/surfer girl stuff. Piggy only gets jealous when she preceives a real threat.

    As for the lack of female characters, that's something nearly every TV show and movie seems to go through. The actor who played Uhura on Star Trek said in an interview once, "Television doesn't know how to use women. We're just fill in."

    That's why I applaud the Muppets for even having such a strong female character like Miss Piggy and a female lead guitarist! :mad: :flirt:
  4. Skekayuk

    Skekayuk Well-Known Member

    Yes Jim Henson's difficulty in finding qualified female performers may have been part of the problem. Yet if you look at how much Louise got used in Season's II and III (especially 3) to the limits of her capabilities at the time, it clearly could have been possible.

    I think the argument about writers not known how to use women is an important one. Yes it occured in Star Trek, it's also been a big problem in TV comedy. 22 years ago in an interview in The Radio Times (27 October to 2 November 1984), one British performer (then working on a TV comedy programme called 'Laugh I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee') highlighted the problem that it was not considered sexy for women to be funny, she said

    "“No one expected Morecambe and Wise to be sexy - they’re universally loved and that’s what I want to be. I would like to be thought sexy, pretty, and funny.”
  5. Miladyelfn

    Miladyelfn Member

    Female characters or caricatures

    I loved Miss Piggy in the past-but she has become more and more a raunchy caricature of the strong, assertive Piggy she used to be. Specifically, I am thinking of the pizza commercials and MFS (nice hooker-like get up at the end). That is not empowering female characters, it is demeaning them, IMO.
    Piggy was always assertive, assured and somewhat of a femme fatal, but now she comes across as sexually aggressive and often dresses like a porn star:eek: .

  6. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I just found this thread again and thought I'd jump in. I was a huge fan of Piggy from the beginning and love, LOVE, LOVED what she did to Kermit. Kermit the diffident would become Kermit the jealous. Kermit the (mostly) calm under ridiculous circumstances would be Kermit the arm-waving hysteric. Kermit the unbribable would suddenly become Kermit the desperate to appease her. Those moments I lived for when The Muppet Show was on. Piggy was talented, liberated and opinionated--plus she knew karate and wasn't shy about making her attraction to Kermit known, which completely discombobulated him on a totally different level. Piggy certainly had bouts of jealousy--to this day, I find it hard to like Linda Ronstadt!--but Kermit, when pushed, matched her *** for tat. When you were around Piggy, she just sort of filled up the whole "femininity quotient" for the whole show--at least for me. If Annie Sue was on, you were mostly waiting to see what Piggy was going to do about it. If the guest star was lovely and flirtatious, you wanted to see Piggy take her on. There were lots of filler women--from the dance numbers to the At the Ballroom couples, but if you were going to have a female character on--Piggy was definitely the most interesting one to pick.
  7. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for this post, you articulated exactly what I love about Piggy as well. Too often female characters on TV or movies are handled with kid gloves, all perfect and sweet and supportive. But Piggy is just like the male characters in that she has flaws which make her funny. Yet she doesn't become embarrassing because she also has a lot of strength and confidence. Kermit gets frustrated with her the same as he gets with the other characters, and perhaps more so at times because he clearly does have feelings for her that he tries to fight, but knows he can't. Talk about "you can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em." Kermit's life would be a lot easier in some ways without Piggy around, but he wouldn't have it any other way. :) :mad:
  8. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I liked your post too, Herald, but forgive me one little quibble. Kermit's life would have been a lot easier if he had never met Miss Piggy, but once he had, living without her wasn't ever going to be easy!

    I think--and y'all know I'm a huge frog/pig ush-gush fan--that what really endeared Kermit to me after Sesame Street was that he fell in love and it changed everything for him. Poor thing--he's not been on an interview in what--35 years?--that someone hasn't asked him about his true love. His passion defines him. Falling is love is one of those things--like becoming a parent--that is like walking through a magical door. Once you have gone through it, you can never go back to where you were before. Love is like that--it's supposed to be.

    Jim and the amazing muppet family that evolved were all about opening magical doors for other people--opening doors and ushering us into places where--try as we might, we couldn't have found on our own, and couldn't ever forget once we got there.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  9. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Oh definitely, you've got it. :)

    Yeah I always imagine what he must have been thinking when he realizes Piggy liked him on Muppet Show. I mean he has all these pigs show up for auditions, business as usual...except that one of them has this bizzare, unexpected crush on him!

    One of my favorite Piggy moments was in Great Muppet Caper when she's taking with Nicky about Kermit and Nicky says, "He's a frog, isn't it?" Because, ya know, it's weird that a pig and a frog would be together! And Piggy just dreamingly says like, "Yes!" She doesn't care that her dream guy is from another species. In fact it's one of the things she loves about him. Very inspirational. : )

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