By Jim Fanning
It’s a New Year and every swimsuit model, football player or movie star who has their own calendar this January owes it all to the biggest celeb of all. That’s right, it was none other than Miss Piggy who started the whole celebrity calendar craze.
“There were no personality calendars back then,” Michael Frith explained. “No Cindy Crawford, no guys from Chippendale’s. Piggy’s calendar was something completely new.” With this inimitable Muppet diva as everyone’s favorite calendar girl, it’s no wonder we love Miss Piggy every day of the year.
A month-by-month monument to the Muppet goddess’ magnificence, the first Miss Piggy Calendar was issued for 1980, designed and directed by Michael K. Frith. The Muppet design maven created the wall calendar after mocking up some test shots and shooting them with a Polaroid camera to demonstrate how Miss Piggy could stylishly pose in sumptuous, albeit, satirical settings.
The calendar’s enormous success demanded a fabulous follow-up. The Miss Piggy Cover Girl Fantasy Calendar 1981 showcased “the Glamorous International Superstar” in elaborately designed and photographed imaginary backdrops.
The twist is that each month featured Piggy’s dreams of cover girl fame, with parodies of magazine covers in the exact style of each periodical.
Among other prime publications, Piggy graces the cover of Time (in which she is proclaimed Pig of the Year) and Cosmopolitan, featuring a true glam shot of the fab fashionista that was also used for the cover of the calendar’s box.
Jim Henson was particularly pleased with this calendar (with photography by Nancy Moran and Donal Holway and costumes by Miss Piggy’s own stylist, Calista Hendrickson), which was another megahit, creating the celebrity calendar trend that continues to thrive today.