Never mind about that Grinch who stole Christmas. Have you
heard about the pig who saved a national treasure on Thanksgiving morning?
Those of you who watched last month's live broadcast of
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC surely remember this moment. To herald
the arrival of Saint Nick at Macy's Herald Square store, Tony Bennett &
Miss Piggy had just finished singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." And then
-- as the parade float that these two entertainment icons had been performing
on got ready to continue on down 34th Street -- it suddenly lurched. Which then
caused Tony to lose his balance.
Just for a second there, it looked like this 90 year-old
Kennedy Center Honoree was going to take a header. But then Miss Piggy - making
use of lightning-fast reflexes (that she says have been " ... honed from years of
karate and haute couture trunk show shopping" - quickly reached out and
steadied Mr. Bennett. Which then prevented millions of people viewing at home
from witnessing a Turkey Day tragedy.
"Oh, it was nothing," Miss Piggy said earlier this week. "And I assure you, Tony
would have done the same for moi if the situation was reversed. In fact, Tony
has kept me from falling many times - but I'm saving the details of that for my
forthcoming as-yet-unwritten tell-all memoir."
"He's a national treasure. I'd do anything for him," Piggy
Given that Miss Piggy committed this heroic act late last
month on live television ... Well, is it any wonder that Freeform decided to make
her their very first Ambassador of Cheer. Which means that Piggy and some of
her fellow Muppets will be prominently featured in promos that will air
throughout Freeform's "25 Days of Christmas" programming event.
Copyright Freeform. All rights reserved
"25DOC is Freeform's biggest annual event. Every year, 100
million viewers come to our network to watch the greatest holiday classics and
spread good cheer," explained Nigel Cox-Hagen, senior vice president of
Marketing, Creative and Branding for Freeform. "To celebrate our 20th year of
sharing the spirit of Christmas, we needed a star who could appeal to an
incredibly broad audience. A mega talent whose name is synonymous with joy,
laughter and warmth."
"Given that steep criteria, the choice was obvious. Miss
Piggy is a global phenomenon beloved by people of all ages, a film and TV
megastar, a hugely popular recording artist, comedienne and fashion icon, as
well as a highly trained martial artist. The choice could not have been clearer,"
As you might expect, when Miss Piggy learned that Freeform
wanted to make her their first-ever Ambassador of Cheer, she was thrilled.
"I'm an enormous fan of Freeform's annual "25 Days of
Christmas" celebration. So when they offered moi this Ambassadorial
appointment, I just had to say yes! It's so much fun! I get to joyfully spread the spirit of the
season, be seen on-air repeatedly, and best of all, I can practice my Ambassadorial
wave! It's exactly like my Royal wave - slow, side to side, with just a hint of
a quiver - except I don't have to wear as much jewelry," Piggy enthused.
So did Miss Piggy prove to be a bit of a camera hog while
shooting her Ambassador of Cheer
segments? Nigel was quick to dispel those nasty rumors.
"Miss Piggy couldn't have been nicer or more professional,"
Cox-Hagen insisted. "But like any great star, she is a perfectionist. Her
lighting and hair had to meet her demanding (and always correct)
specifications. Her acting process is very intense, and no one could approach
her while she was getting into the holiday spirit. Like I said, she is a highly
trained martial artist."
Miss Piggy and First Lady Michelle Obama read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" atlast year's lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
Of course, those who are familiar with Miss Piggy's resume
know that she has already appeared in a number of other high profile,
holiday-related projects. These include 1979's "John Denver and the
Muppets: A Christmas Together," 1987's "A Muppet Family
Christmas," 1992's "A Muppet Christmas Carol,"2002's "It's
a Very Muppet Christmas Movie" & 2008's "A Muppet Christmas:
Letters to Santa." Not to mention the number of times that Kermit &
Piggy took part in the lighting of the Christmas Tree at NYC's Rockefeller
Center. Miss Piggy also read "Twas the
Night Before Xmas" with First Lady Michelle Obama last year for the National
Christmas Tree Lighting.
Speaking of the Frog: Given that it's been more than a year
now since Kermit & Piggy officially broke up, I asked how that was
impacting her holiday plans.
"Well, now that I'm a romantic free agent, I'll be spending
a lot of time hanging around the eggnog bowl beneath a large sprig of
mistletoe," Piggy sighed. "Don't get too excited: It's invitation only."
Copyright 1992 Walt Disney Pictures. All rights reserved
Quickly changing the subject, Miss Piggy then began to
reflect on happier times.
"Oh, I have such marvelous memories of all those specials
and special occasions. I love them all, especially 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'
- for which I was this close to receiving an Oscar nomination and finally beating
out Streep for Best Actress," she recalled.
"But I have to say, I think my favorite holiday project was
my first: 'John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together.' I was still in
the first years of being an ingénue, and everything was new and wonderful. I
love all those projects you mentioned, but that first Christmas appearance,
spending it with John and the other Muppets, will always have an extra special
place in my heart," Piggy stated.
And speaking of other Muppets ... Don't be surprised if some
of Piggy's pals pop up on Freeform over the course of that network's "25 Days
of Christmas" to help her with her Ambassador of Cheer duties.
"I don't want to give away too much, but a few of her
co-stars did pop by and got into the spirit of the season," Cox-Hagen
explained. "In 'Mistletoe' Gonzo lent his incredible talents to the piece, but
found out very quickly that Miss Piggy no longer believes in workplace
romance. Her 'Snow' co-star 'Dr. Bunsen
Honeydew', played a pivotal role in her big 'Freeform Ambassador' announcement,
but things quickly snowballed and the announcement had to be cut short. And 'fer sure' Janice brought along some
organic treats in 'Santa Piggy' but 'organic treats' may not be Kosher for 'The
Misses'. Finally, everybody loves
'Presents', and Miss Piggy deserves them
more than most but she got so wrapped up
in the season that Animal's 'Bunny' may be filing a workman's comp claim."
And speaking of presents: As our interview drew to a close,
Miss Piggy shoves a print-out in my hand. Which - as she explained - was " ...
Moi's Christmas Gift Request List. If you can't decide what to get me, feel
free to choose more than one."
"And what exactly is on Miss Piggy's Christmas wish list
this year?," you ask.
"Well, I handed you Moi's Christmas Gift Request List. If
you'd finish this interview and read it, you'd know exactly what I want," Piggy
huffed as she pushed me out of her trailer. "Spoiler Alert: chocolate, jewelry
& handsome beaus are, once again, at the top of the list. But not in that
This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Wednesday, December 7, 2016