Miss Piggy takes on reality TV
The kooky and crazy Muppets are back on the smallscreen for more laughter and mayhem.
After being off TV screens since 1998, The Muppets (2015- current) return and this time Jim Henson’s world-famous felt creations have a modern, updated look. The new show is filmed in an upbeat mockumentary style with commentary from the characters about their daily lives and their behind-the-scenes challenges while making the fictional late-night talkshow Up Late With Miss Piggy. Think The Office (2005-2013) meets Modern Family (2009- current), but with puppets and jokes for the entire family.
THE BIG BREAK-UP
There’s even a storyline. Says executive producer Bill Prady, “What we really want to do is tell people stories. We want to talk about what it’s like to be at work with somebody where the situation is a little rough. We want to tell relationship stories with The Muppets.”
And as relationships go, they don’t come bigger than Miss Piggy and Kermit (voiced by Eric Jacobson and Steve Whitmire) who’ve broken up. The once-inseparable couple have called it quits after 40 years together – well, Kermit did the dumping, leaving high-maintenance diva Miss Piggy heart-broken as we see in episode 1. While Miss Piggy’s single, seems that Kermit’s got a thing for pigs as he’s now dating new character Denise (Julianne Buescher), who’s the head of marketing for network ABC. With Kermit being the executive producer of Up Late With Miss Piggy, things are awkward and tense (but hilariously so) at the office.
A-LIST GUEST STARS
The show has roped in some famous guests – in the first two episodes alone there’s musician Josh Groban, former talkshow heavyweight Jay Leno and actors Lau-rence Fishburne (Hannibal’s Jack Crawford from 2013-2015) and Elizabeth Banks in a hilarious homage to her famous roles on Hunger Games (2012- current) as Effie Trinket and Pitch Perfect (2012 and 2015) as Gail Abernathy-McK-adden – watch for her to feud with Miss Piggy in the first episode.
Plus, playing themselves, are the likes of Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and film star Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games movies), who helps Up Late With Miss Piggy headwriter Gonzo (Dave Goelz) try online dating in episode 5 (30 December).
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
But the show’s real stars aren’t the guests – it’s the Muppets themselves, characters who’ve been around in some cases since the ’50s. Along with Kermit and Miss Piggy, there’s show announcer Fozzie Bear (voiced by Eric Jacobson) who meets his human girlfriend Becky’s (Riki Lindhome) parents for the first time in episode 1, staff writer Rizzo The Rat (Steve Whitmire), stage manager Bobo The Bear (Bill Barretta), receptionist Big Mean Carl (Bill Barretta), audience hecklers Statler and Waldorf (Steve Whitmire and Dave Goelz) and loads more. Says Bill, “The perception of the Muppets has changed and the environment has changed. The ability to bring these characters to a modern world is remarkable.” And funny too, Bill – don’t forget funny…
From left: Gonzo, Miss Piggy,
Kermit and Fozzie Bear.
Rizzo The Rat.
Kermit’s new babe Denise.