Back in the Noughties I had the pleasure of spending a half hour in the company of the greatest frog/pig double act since Old MacDonald sold his farm. Not quite mops, not quite puppets, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Muppet superstars Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy!
“I adore London almost as much as London adores me,” says Piggy enthusiastically, “and that’s a truckload of adoration let me tell vous.”
Few people realise The Muppet Show was originally shot in our fair Capital. “I live in London year round, except when it’s raining. So it’s usually two weeks a year.”
Adds Kermit, “I’ve always loved London. Cool, damp, rainy. That’s perfect frog weather. In fact, I have a timeshare on a bog up North.”
With more than half a century of showbusiness under his green belt, Kermit reveals the secret of his ageless good looks. “First of all, in frog years I’ve only been in show business two and a half months. We work on a whole different schedule. As for my looks, that’s just good old swamp living. Believe me, if you soaked in pond scum as much as me, you’d look this green, too.”
But how does Piggy maintain her remarkable figure? “I have a personal trainer who works out for moi. It’s so much more convenient. Why get all sweaty and sticky when someone else can do it for you?”
The Burton and Taylor of the Muppet world, Kermit and Miss Piggy remember their fateful first meeting. “It was love at first sight!” swears the pig. “We’ve been together ever since…except for those rare occasions when he slips out without my noticing.”
“All I remember,” says the frog, “was seeing her across a crowded room… then running. It’s been like that ever since. Seriously though, Piggy and I are just good friends. We have great respect for each other, except when she goes around telling everyone we’re married.”
Surely, though, he feels at least a little bit jealous when she flirts with the famous? “I don’t really feel jealous of the celebrities, but I do feel sorry for them.”
How do they feel about the rest of their Muppet mates? While Piggy dismisses them as a “bunch of weirdos”, Kermit is more generous. “I like everyone I work with. Fozzie is a great best friend, Animal is the life of the party and Gonzo, of course, is… whatever. I can’t imagine having any of them leave. It might be nice if Piggy took a long vacation now and then, but otherwise, we’re a team.”
So none are more trouble than they’re worth? “Not at all”, Kermit assures me. “Then again, if you work with Miss Piggy, everyone else seems easy. She recently won the International Diva of the Year award for the third time running.” That’s quite an honour. “Just let one of those diva wannabes try to take it away from me,” yells Piggy. “Back off, sisters!”
Recently honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Kermit is an A-list frog. “It’s a thrill to have your name enshrined there on the sidewalk with all those great stars. And, as I said at the time, after years of working with Miss Piggy, I’m ready to have people walk over me every day.”
What of the future, though? Any plans? “I just want to keep doing what I do like any other talking frog,” says Kermit.
Piggy seems pretty happy too. “My plan is to maintain total dominance in the field of fabulosity and my greatest ambition is to do the same with the frog.”
A quickfire question and answer session rounds off our encounter.
What’s their favourite joke? “I don’t actually tell jokes,” clarifies Kermit. “I leave that to Fozzie Bear… come to think of it, he doesn’t tell jokes either.” Piggy steps in. “Any joke where the punchline is the word ‘Diamonds’.
What’s their favourite flavour? “Chocolate” roars the pig. Kermit licks his lips. “Mesquite-grilled Mosquito.”
What’s their favourite word? “Love”, says Kermit. “Moi”, says Piggy.
What’s their best quality? “Moi’s moiness”, insists the pig. “Being green,” says the frog. “I blend in with so many ordinary things it really comes in handy when Miss Piggy is looking for me.”
What, if anything, would they like to change about themselves? “I’ve changed everything about myself,” admits Piggy, “so why do it again?” “I’d be taller,” states Kermit, “less spindly-armed and less googly-eyed… Oh wait, that would make me Brad Pitt. Never mind.”
What do they do to relax? “Take a bubble bath,” says the pig, “then curl up with a warm frog.” The frog smiles. “Nothing takes the edge off the day like a cool dip in the Thames.”
What makes them happy? “Singing and dancing”, says Kermit. “Kermit” says Piggy.
What makes them angry? “Potentially everything”, admits Piggy. “I don’t get angry”, states Kermit. “I give warts instead.”
Finally, what makes them sleepy? “Less than 12 hours of sleep a day”, reveals the Pig. Kermit shakes his head, yawning. “Quickfire questions.”