After all the shock and outrage over the news that Kermit and Ms. Piggy would breakup on this week’s return of The Muppets, it might surprise you to find that the world’s most famous interspecies puppet couple almost split up more than 25 years ago.In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator Bill Prady revealed the Muppets Studio, the creative cabal that controls how the characters are used, had actually discussed creating a story where Kermit and Piggy broke up all the way back in 1989:
In 1989, before Jim’s death, there was a discussion about reinvigorating Kermit and Piggy. At that point, the Muppet movies had been done and The Muppet Show was off the air for a few years… We talked about staging a public break-up between Piggy and Kermit.
The “media event,” called “Pig of the ’90s,” would have included a gossipy tell-all book about Ms. Piggy that was supposed to kickstart a new phase of cross-media Muppet mania. The plan, however, was sidetracked after the death of Jim Henson:
When people talk about what would Jim think about what we’re doing [with ABC’s reboot], it’s one of the very few specifics I can say that I know what he’d think about breaking them up because I was at meetings with him where we talked about doing it.
Brady also weighed in on the abrasive media coverage of Denise, the new pig in Kermit’s life, with a surprisingly complex analysis of their relationship:
My question, if I were hanging out in a bar with Kermit and we had a couple of drinks, I might ask him if this relationship is based on who Denise is or who Denise isn’t. It’s a legitimate question: How much of the attractiveness of this new person is based on who they are and how much is it based on how much they don’t have the kinds of issues your last girlfriend or boyfriend had. There’s a weird, deep psychology to it.
People with strong feelings about the Kermit-Piggy disconnect probably won’t be dissuaded by hearing the decision was long-planned, but maybe a few Muppets fans can rest a little easier know the storyline apparently had Jim Henson’s blessing.
Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter at all, since the show apparently isn’t any good.