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Miss Piggy on UK TV

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by jusnic, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Don't be ridiculous. Had they found 'perfect' replacements before Eric, why in heavens name would they hire Eric? He was the person who they were convinced held the best chance of continuing Piggy and Fozzie as they should be continued. They didn't just pick his name out of a hat, or find him wondering a hall somewhere doing Piggy impressions.

    These mysterious magical "Perfect Jim and Perfect Frank" people, frankly, don't exist. Besides, if they did, we'd still pick holes in them and saying, "Well, they should have had Eric, blah blah blah."

    Frank is gone. Should they just pack Piggy up and let her never see the light of day again, **** no. She shined in her appearences here. On Loose Women, she rolled over those women and managed to pick her way through their contemptious slights against her and Kermit with a dignaty that even Frank may not have found.

    Sure, her voice does not have the full-body (and her body is not as full) as it used to be...but the heart is there. They can't do better.

    They recast Superman many many times in many different prductions. Is he always Christopher Reeve? Of course not. Is he Superman? **** yeah! Of course he is, and always will be. Whether he is Smallville, Lois and Clark, Superman Returns, or some cartoon guy. Piggy is the same. Give her some breathing space for crying out loud.
  2. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    I was in full agreement till you mentioned Lois & Clark ;)

    Jacobson has some pretty big shoes to fill.... and with that in mind, I think you would go that extra mile to ensure a snug fit. Im sorry, but from what I have seen, he is going to need more than just a shoe horn...

    Its not whether he sounds like her.... he has to be her. Where as Superman has many different guises, that is all due to the fact that the brand Superman has been launched many a time... black and white serial, Motion Picture, cartoon, tv series, tv prequel and the most recent Brian Singer version.

    Piggy on the other hand has been a constant. The only thing that has changed is the hand that goes inside. She looks the same... and that is why you must go that extra mile to ensure that you give a performance worthy of that accolaide. Its a tall order, for sure. But if you are going to walk in those shoes, you have to be able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

    Case in point: Waldorf and Statler did some little Web review things a while back.

    I thought they were really poor.

    The characters went through some changes, yes... when Jim and Richard passed on, they were deemed ideal for Marley and Marley...

    Dave and Jerry did a great job! Awesome. The magic had been preserved....

    Now? Well, its gone. They look the same and that's about it. Even the wit has gone, instead replaced by below the belt jibes as opposed to well thought out gags.

    Anyway, found these pics. I snapped them one sunday when we were doing Marley & Marley.

    Im sure you will get a kick out of them.

  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The Muppets, Muppet Show, Muppet Movies all generate a lot of money in international distribution and licensing. Just because we don't see much Muppet exposure in the USA doesn't mean the old stuff isn't being re-run elsewhere. The major aspect of Disney buying the Muppets was for the tape library so it definitely creates new income. I wouldn't disagree that the whole brand does seem to have aged with the times but they are "evergreen" and will always be known and loved by the public to an extent.

    As for Disney, they have ultimate control. Henson's don't run the Muppets, although they have been involved with a lot of the projects. If things were wrong with Oz Disney should have sorted them, they have auditioned for people to Muppeteer on cruise ships, and they licensed the Muppets off to France to create a show that was less than impressive and probably didn't do the actual Muppet brand much good over there. The whole Muppet operation is now run by Disney's head of events - i think it says a lot. I'm not saying Disney is totally to blame but i think they don't really know what to do with them, the thing about Henson's was the Muppets were in their blood and even if they weren't a patch on Jim himself, they at least understood things somewhat.
  4. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

  5. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Thanks for showing us the pics Craig, brilliant. Must have been a brilliant experience to do that and you worked on the ice skating Penguins right?

    I'm not sure those Piggy clips are even Eric, although if it is him maybe he's just not as comfortable with adlibbing as much, as he has turned in some good scripted Fozzie and Piggy performances, especially in the Very Merry Muppet Xmas movie. They are tough trotters to fill what with the original puppeteer being Frank but he's doing well, infact all the Muppet re-casts haven't been quite as good as the originals but then i don't think thats surprising given the original talent. The Piggy puppet (and i could be wrong) looks similar to the updated one from the French Muppet TV show that was made a year or two back, some of the puppets looked like over-exagerated versions of the originals and you can see clips of it here and here. Worth checking out the last one at about 2 mins 30 onwards - Fozzie wearing a Rubiks Cube and Piggy playing Keyboard - just plain wrong! It's nice they got the Muppets out there actually working but technically it was bad and although my French isn't fluent the scripting was poor, someone from Henson's was sent to advise them but impossible job maybe.

    I agree on Statler & Waldorf, which was Yerrid and Massey puppeteering. Not that they did a terrible job but it just didn't seem like the right format for S&W and the performances weren't so natural or well written. I think it was just more of a low budget test by Disney to see how the Muppets worked as web content (something they have now filmed more of for Disney Broadband, but with the actual main Muppeteers). They don't seem to be so concerned right now on getting the high standards of performance Henson once did if its just a promo TV spot to schill merchandise or something for internet content but i think it tends to reflect badly on how people remember the original characters so it's a shame that at least aren't putting the right resources in.
  6. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    Thanks for the youtube clips.

    Proves my point 100%.

    French Puppeteers lip syncing to voice actors.

    A: The Puppeteering, even without the voice is below par.
    B: They are so used to performing on their version of Spitting Image (Le Gignol (?) ) that they bring that OTT style of performance to the Muppets.

    It just doesnt work!

    Some small people in big places need their brains tested. I cant see how any Muppet fan would go Ga Ga over this tripe.

  7. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I'd add C - Directors nowadays got no idea how to shoot puppets, but yeah i think the puppeteers did come from that kinda background.

    It's an interesting show format, kinda what Muppets Tonight should have been. I think something like that if it was well done and well written could maybe work BBC1 saturday nights, kinda like a house party. I kinda think UK is a good market for them to build themselves up, better than doing a few promos now and again for a Disney broadband site.
  8. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    ...which would in theory bring them full circle, back to square one.

    Unfortunately, UK TV does not have a modern day Lew Grade.... Even his son Michael would not take such a ballsy risk.

    If ITV picked it up, it would become another Ant & Dec type show. If the BBC picked it up, it would be just another House Party. The only person who I believe could still embody the Muppet spirit enough to actually write a good, well paced show has just been freed from a custodial sentence and I think he may be un-hirable for a while to come...

    Anyway, have Kevin, Dave, Jerry and Steve ever gone on record and addressed fans concerns?

    Without wanting to bash the house of the mouse any more than I already have, I think its just a sad fact of life that the French show is a template of whats to come. Not only do Di$ney not really give a hoot about the die hard fan base (you guys) but they don't really have any comprehension of the the original spirit and ethos of the Muppets.

    Eisner did.... but now its too late... With the ping pong game of selling to emtv, buying back and then selling again, BH has played a crucial part in the demise of the brand. He should have seen this coming, but I guess he was otherwise distracted.

    Where as once they adorned every magazine and entertainment rag in the world at the height of their popularity, the only thing they can hope to achieve now is what I consider to be the death knell of any commercial brand in its last throws of life.... the McHappy Meal. Wrapped in a polythene bag so as to not get chip fat on them prior to being opened by millions of kids world wide in a last ditch attempt by Di$ney at generating brand awareness.

    If they have a master plan to ensure a return on their financial investment, now is the time to put it into action. Buying the rights should not be about pillaging the back catalogue and releasing old shows into the public domain in the hope that today's baby boomers exert their nostalgia driven spending power... The plan should be to generate original ideas for shows, multimedia and educational purposes, with the emphasis on quality, not quantity.

    Sit down
    Take stock of what you have acquired
    Look at the wealth of talent at your disposal
    and don't let anyone leave the room until you are all agreed on at least one original idea for taking the brand forward...

    Obviously with the French deal, they all sat in a room and basically couldnt wait to get back out again...

    The only time you will ever see the muppets again, prior to the McHappy Meal deal I mentioned earlier is on Celebrity squares, a pod cast here and there and if your lucky, I'm a celebrity, get me out of here! You know it to be true because of the stuff they HAVE been doing these past 10 years is just that!

    It really is as if someone just brought this really big flash car but never learnt to drive, and that is exactly why Di$ney just churn out this pap in the hope that the familiar characters is enough to pull in an audience. Still at least they had the sense to not pull a Muppets TV on an unsuspecting US or UK audience.....

    What you guys need is to get together, form one united voice and just ask Di$ney what they plan to do....

    I'd be most interested to see what they say..... if anything.
  9. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Sadly, unifying Muppet Fans has always been about as big a task as trying to organise a church picnic without hurting anyones feelings...impossible.

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