Meet The Woman Behind Miss Piggy

Shaunacy Ferro

Introducing Miss Piggy’s mother: Bonnie Erickson, who created and named the Muppet, was also the designer responsible for some of the other iconic puppets, including the cantankerous Statler and Waldorf.

Erickson started working with Jim Henson in 1970, when she was hired to design the costumes for the Muppet special The Frog Prince (1971). She’s been in the Muppet business ever since, and now serves as a director at the Jim Henson Legacy.

Gothamist interviewed Erickson at her home in New York, asking questions about her work with Henson, as well as her collaborations with Maurice Sendak and more.

"Jim would give us sketches, very rough sketches,” Erickson told Gothamist about the Muppet design process. From there, she would get to put her own spin on the characters. For instance, she named Miss Piggy for her mother’s favorite singer, Peggy Lee. Alas, Miss Piggy Lee’s name got shortened before the character made it on to The Muppet Show. (The creator worried that Peggy Lee wouldn’t take the homage as a compliment.)

Read more inside secrets from the making of The Muppets at Gothamist.

All images courtesy Gothamist via YouTube.