I know we’re all excited about the Muppets movie, because oh, because people love puppets. I get that. I enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I liked Avenue Q. I really, really like Sesame Street, particularly Cookie Monster, Oscar and the Count. So, the best characters. I like the best characters.
I just have always hated the Muppets because Kermit is such a raging asshole.
Oh, I don’t mean “asshole at first glance.” I’m totally down with the fact that Kerit has these progressive liberal ideas that I absolutely admire. ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ is a great song. No kidding, Kermit. And he’s funny! God, who wouldn’t love Kermit? If Kermit were a man your male friends would talk about him with hushed admiration and say “he is such a good dude. He’s the kind of guy who’ll be there for you, you know?”
It’s no wonder Miss Piggy is completely in love with Kermit.
However, as far as I can tell, Kermit barely even likes Miss Piggy.
Every episode is basically dedicated to her trying to win his affections and smothering him with kisses, and him laughing at her without ever quite turning her down. I hated this premise to the show when I was a kid, because it seemed like the direct opposite of every Disney fairy tale. Because in every fairy tale, if you’re a prince, you go through all sorts of crazy adventures to win some woman, but once you do, she’s expected to be there, waiting for you, delighted to see you. Regardless of whether or not she’s ever met you before. But what about if you were a woman? Sure, Miss Piggy had all kinds of flaws. She was vain and self-involved and loved attention too much. Still, as pigs go, she was pretty talented. She came a long way for someone born under a butcher shop sign.
Basically, what I learned from the Muppets was that you can tap dance, you can sing, you can be a movie star who made a life entirely on your own terms, you can do everything cool, but if you’re female and up-front about your affections for a man, you’re an object of ridicule.
And you had better be satisfied with being “friends” because it’s all you’re ever going to get.
And really, in this one aspect, Kermit kind of sucks. He’s every dude you or a friend has ever dated who wants to keep things going without, you know, ever putting labels on anything. At least until someone better comes along. Check out this interview on Good Morning America:
David: Well, I’m supposed to interview you. Do you have a girlfriend?
Kermit: Oh! Well, uh. Me? Oh. Well. Uh. Well, no. Listen. I’m a — I’m a very busy frog, you see. However, on the show — the show that I’m — that I’m going to be doing, I do have a, uh, — I have a, uh — I have a young lady — well, actually, she’s a pig.
David: A pig?
Kermit: Yes. Who has a hankering for me. Have you been hankered at by a pig before?
David: Well… [ laughs ] Occasionally.
Kermit: It’s a strange kind of feeling. But, you see, it wouldn’t work out.
Dude, let’s say you had a friend who had told some guy he was the love of her life over and over and then he went on TV and laughed about how she was a pig and it wouldn’t work out. Not cool, right? The gentlemanly response is never “yes, I’m kind of seeing someone, but it will never go anyplace, so feel free to hit on me after the show, sexy frog ladies!” And clearly it’s taken some kind of toll of Miss Piggy’s psyche. No? Okay, look at this episode of Larry King:
Kermit: Well, we’re not going to actually get married, Larry, because that’s something… it’s kind of a touchy subject.
Larry: Are you saying that you and Miss Piggy have not had an intimate relationship?
Kermit: Well, it depends on how you define the word intimate, I suppose.
Larry: I leave it up to you to define. Do you define it as intimate?
Kermit: Well, we’re certainly good friends. We’ve worked very closely together. Right?
Larry: Miss Piggy, is he backing out?
Piggy: No, this is the usual response.
Larry: Oh, yeah?
Piggy: The truth is, we are married. And the truth is, I will not talk about intimate things. Moi am a lady. But we are married, and this is the public stance he must take for his fans. In private, we live together, and we’re deeply happy.
Larry: What is your married name?
Kermit: Guess he’s got you there, huh? What’s your married name, Piggy?
Dude. Miss Piggy. No. He’s never going to commit. He’s weird and slimy and evasive about the whole thing. He’s going to string you along with indefinite stuff about how you’re “good friends” and maybe sleep with you and mock you in public. He’s seemingly driven you insane. Cut bait, Miss Piggy. You are a movie star who speaks French and can tap dance effortlessly. Your hair is impeccable almost consistently.
And if Kermit had ever frogged up, and told Miss Piggy this was never going to happen, at all, instead of offering her just enough clues to keep her hanging for 40 odd years, well, that would have been helpful for her. Sometimes that’s what being a friend means. But it wouldn’t have helped him. Because Miss Piggy? She owned that show.