The Diva Files: Miss Piggy

All eyes on Miss Piggy, just as she likes it, this diva extraordinaire is our first pick for The Diva Files, naturally. Since hitting the public eye in 1974 this prima donna has always kept her eyes on the prize in terms of success and almost 40 years later her career sees no signs of slowing down.

Back then she was a young ingenue, coming from humble beginnings, first hitting the scene when she won the Miss Bogen County beauty contest, a victory that saw her meet Kermit for the first time.

This spotlight saw her become a member of the chorus on The Muppet Show in 1976. Not happy with swaying in the background her charisma saw her being promoted to lead chanteuse, and later the female star of the show altogether.

As well as her diva antics, Miss. Piggy soon became known for her volatile temper which resulted in the popularity of her unrestrained flip outs. Once enraged (which is surprisingly easy for this pig) she karate chops, or kicks her assailant, making incredible threats of violence.

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By 1979 Miss. Piggy had swapped the silver screen for the big screen, starring in her first motion picture The Muppet Movie that debut at number one at the box office and was nominated for two Oscars, not for best actress though, shockingly.

To coincide with the theatrical release, she also featured on the accompanying soundtrack, that entered the Billboard charts at number 32 and later won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children.

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Following the shows wider success gained from the movie, Piggy saw herself eclipse Kermit, and the rest of the cast, to become the audience favourite. By 1980 she had graced the covers of several magazines such as Life and People, TV Guide even named 1980 ‘year of the piggy’.

In 1981 the star released her debut novel Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life a self-help book in the vein of what was popular in the 70’s and 80’s, that stayed on the New York Times best seller list for 29 weeks, peaking at number four.

That same year the sequel to the Muppets sensational first outing was released, another box office smash that received critical praise. Piggy could do no wrong, and due to the triumph of the first two movies the Muppets swapped tv for film full-time, and The Muppet Show aired its finale episodes.

It was only the following year however, that she snagged her own hour-long special The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, that saw her ditch her fellow stars instead joined by celebrity guests. Also in 1982, she released her Jane Fonda-esque exercise CD Miss Piggy’s Aerobique Exercise Workout Album so that others may hopefully be able to gain her physique.

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For the remainder of the 80’s she starred in a third fairly successful Muppet movie, three ad campaigns and a few tv specials, as well as releasing a second book but her star of the early days was not as bright and her career had begun to wane.

By 1990 the public were no longer pig crazy, so a marketing campaign was thought up to reinvigorate her public image by her production agency The Jim Henson Company. This year long plan would span May 1990 to the fall of 91 to include interviews, public appearances, tv specials and heavy media focus culminating in a whole separate brand for Miss. Piggy away from the Muppets.

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The new career path would have incorporated a solo design and logo for Miss. Piggy products that were to include apparel, jewellery, and collectibles.

The Pig of the Ninties manifesto ended: “By this time, the Piggy juggernaut will begin to take on its own momentum — fueling new production, product, and publishing opportunities.”

The plans were all scrapped once Henson passed away, however now 25 years later and Piggys personal life seems to be taking a familiar turn.

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The aftermath of the Muppets creator passing away ricocheted through the future of their careers as the quality seemed to dip as well as a lack of creative direction. Two story retellings were released in the form of A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island.

Now the year is 1996 and she has found her way back to tv with Muppets Tonight that saw a whole host of the biggest celebrities feature, however it was not enough to keep the show afloat and it was cancelled after two seasons.

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Piggy tried to bounce back releasing two more books, In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy and Miss Piggy’s Rules but the sixth movie Muppets From Space seemed to be the final nail in the coffin after it was a box office bomb. Not quite ‘magnifique’.

For the years since Piggy was relegated to television movies with roles in It’s A Very Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets’ Wizard Of Oz, and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. If her fall from grace wasn’t indignified enough, she then starred in commercials for Pizza Hut and Denny’s.

After a long quiet stretch she tried her hand once more in 2009 penning her fifth and latest book The Diva Code, that while great was largely ignored. Joining with her Muppet crew they were relegated to creating content for Youtube.

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With her career in tatters and all hope seemingly lost, hope came in an unlikely source of Jason Segel. A longtime fan of the Muppets he pitched an idea for a comeback movie in the style of their old-school roots.

Over 10 years since her last theatrical release, Miss Piggy starred in The Muppets which received widespread critical acclaim, and the largest box office gross since the original. She was back, and better than ever.

Due to the unexpected success of the movie, a sequel was rush-released that while not doing badly, was not as successful as anticipated.

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Now it’s 2015 and Piggy has reunited with her friends in mockumentry The Muppets, in the style of popular shows The Office, Modern Family and Parks and Recreation.

Revolving around the running of Up Late with Miss Piggy the crew seemed to not only be back doing what they do best, but in a new and updated way. We’ll see where her career goes from here.

What started out as crush for Piggy turned into much more as through the course of the  films he began returning her effect ions before officially becoming a couple.

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A super couple for decades they rocked the world when they announced their breakup a month before the premiere of their new ABC show. Piggy said in a statement that “Dating moi is like flying close too the sun. It was inevitable that Kermit would drop down to the ground while I stayed in the heavens.”

Their relationship has seen much publicity throughout the media, with numerous websites and magazines detailing their conscious uncoupling.

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Like all divas, Miss Piggy is not without her celebrity feuds, last year in March, 2014 a video emerged of her having a physical altercation with Joan Rivers that made its way through publications across the world.

The shocking fight and ramifications saw a documentary released by E! titled Behind the Feud: Joan Rivers and Miss Piggy that recounted their long standing rivalry since they worked stand up before Miss Piggy hit the big time up to the present.

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On being a gay icon, Piggy commented in 2014: “I love being anybody’s icon. I’m an icon to all who will have me.”

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