During the holidays I was channel-surfing when I stumbled across a commercial-free airing of The Great Muppet Caper, one of my three favorite Muppet movies- the others are The Muppet Movie and Muppets From Space– my excitement was one part Miss Piggy (she’s the star of this movie) and one part remembering my father who, if forced to admit to his favorite Muppet movie, would always say The Great Muppet Caper because he thought Charles Grodin being in love with Miss Piggy was hilarious. FYI: Charles Grodin is an actor as well as a tv commentator (i.e. 60 Minutes II), which makes his infatuation with Miss Piggy all the funnier. Anyhoo, by the time I came across the movie, which incidentally was set in England, Kermit was on Miss Piggy’s supposed doorstep; you see she was pretending to be Miss Holiday (in true Muppet hilarity, Miss Holiday is a human) an imperious fashion designer. That evening led to one of the best scenes in all of the Muppet movies: Miss Piggy’s dance in the black, white and mirrored art deco-esque restaurant dining room. While being serenaded by Charles Grodin’s character, Miss Piggy channeled her inner mermaid and performed a water show ala Esther Williams. She was rocking a tiara topped with sparklers on top of a shooting geyser of water in a silver skirted va-va-voom bathing suit avec sparkly heels. Per usual Miss Piggy was caught up in a flight of fancy and ended up being shamed in front of all the diners when she went to ‘dive’ down the shooting geyser and landed splat at the end of the runway. Miss Piggy was not just humiliated but was also set up by Grodin, who assisted in stealing the real Miss Holiday’s jewels and planting them in Miss Piggy’s jacket pocket; never one to be held back by a little thing like being accused of theft, Miss Piggy shrugs this off but flees the scene since her cover is blown in front of Kermit. He’s left behind, bewildered and still carrying one of her sparkly heels which is especially hysterical since her shoe is almost as big as he is.
I was hee-hawing the whole time I watched this because it makes me wonder about the writers for these movies; I mean these stories are so layered and detailed as are the Muppets themselves, this movie was a feast for the eyes and for the intellect, which leads to the next scene. Kermit sees the figure of what looks like Miss Piggy cloaked in a pearlescent soft pink trench coat with matching cloche hat and approaches her. When he discovers it is indeed Miss Piggy, Kermit goes off about her disrespect and lying. Typical Miss Piggy she’s in denial, but what’s especially funny here is that Kermit puts his foot down and goes off on Miss Piggy riding right over her excuses. Their argument ends with her screaming on him calling him ‘Frog!’ and him calling her ‘Pig!’ which shuts her up. I was buggin’, like ‘yo-did they really just go there?’ At the end of the day Kermit wasn’t taking any of Miss Piggy’s foolishness which is probably why in her heart Kermit is her man and she is his ride or die chick!.
The rest of the movie is the typical Muppets work together to solve a mystery/crime and end with a good musical number…although I can’t remember what it was in The Great Muppet Caper. What is it that makes the Muppets so damn magical? What makes Miss Piggy feel like your homegirl? For the Muppets as a whole my vote is the attention to detail in the set-design, the Muppets themselves and the writing. I mean this movie resonated with me at age 7 when it was first released. As for the lovely, talented, Rubinesque Miss Piggy, I remember thinking she was beautiful when I was child…in fact Miss Piggy is still doing the damn thing. She’s not a push-over, she is immaculately dressed and always stylishly cutting edge. Her hair is always done and what I love the best (and secretly wish I had the energy to do) is that her hair is an accessory to her outfits. So my Mom works at the local library and has for years and when I was kid she brought one of those huge READ posters home and it featured Miss Piggy…boy I was sooooo excited…I wish I had that poster right now. Suffice it to say I was one happy camper when The Muppets was released in theaters this year right before Thanksgiving. I rushed out on opening day…which I have not done for any movie since the first feature length Sex and the City; I was not disappointed. I still geek off of the ‘Am I a Man or a Muppet’ song and Walter’s hair, but that movie is a true throwback, allowing me the opportunity to have that magical experience now AND understand all the subtext as well… and my girl, Miss Piggy, she was beautiful and brilliant as usual.
FYI: Miss Piggy is going to be guest-starring on Lifetime’s Project Runway this Thursday evening. According to my sister, the Project Runway All Stars will make cocktail dresses for Miss Piggy and she gets to judge them…my DVR is set!
Oh yeah: If you want a good cackle, please oh please read Charles Grodin’s interview entitled ‘Charles Grodin Finally Reveals His Brief Tryst with Miss Piggy’: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/11/charles-grodin-affair-with-miss-piggy-muppets.html