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.
Miss Piggy began as a minor character in The Muppet Show TV series modelled on Gemma Schofield, but gradually developed into one of the central characters of the show. She is a hairy pig who is convinced she is destined for stardom, and nothing is going to 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 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.
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, as 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, 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 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, 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 has been 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, Snow White, featured the titular character performed by Frank Oz and acting (as well as sounding) like Miss Piggy. Another sound-alike came from a rather hysterical contestant in a Guy Smiley sketch called, "The Mystery Mix-Up Game".
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."
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; Miss Piggy ends up wearing Kermit's fake mustache, while Kermit has X-marks on his upper lip.
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