The photo above was taken at the recent press conference for Disney’s new film Muppets Most Wanted, directed by James Bobin and written by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller. Do you see the forced smile on my face? In truth, I was crushed that a certain frog found his way into the photo with me and Miss Piggy.

danny-piggyYou see, I was lucky enough to visit the set of Muppets Most Wanted last summer when they were filming some scenes at Union Station in downtown L.A. The moment Miss Piggy and I locked eyes, it was like a bolt of lightning. Yes, I’m happily married and Piggy was supposedly engaged to a certain recalcitrant amphibian, but you can’t fight love at first sight. The heart wants what it wants. We shared some incredibly special moments that day and I was a goner. Those gorgeous baby blues. That luxurious blonde hair. That extra-soft porcine skin. When James Bobin called Piggy to the set for a close-up, I took the opportunity to confront my main competition.

MUPPET MOST WANTEDI don’t want to be ungentlemanly but, between you and me, Kermit seemed relieved when I professed my love for Miss Piggy. Flying high on the renewed interest in the Muppets since their blockbuster movie hit two years ago, Kermit knows that this is the time to focus on his career. In addition to this new Muppets adventure that takes him and his friends on an exciting caper in many of Europe’s most exciting destinations, Kermit has been entertaining all kinds of offers from some of the world’s top directors. The Frog of Wall Street. 12 Years a Toad. Amphibian Hustle. The world is Kermit’s oyster and frankly, the guy doesn’t want to be tied down.

Before breaking the news to my family, I went to find my darling hog — but she was nowhere to be found. One of the lighting guys told me that he saw Miss Piggy getting into a limousine with co-stars Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell. What?! Next thing I knew, the entire cast had hightailed it to Madrid to shoot their next scenes. Months passed in agony until Disney invited me to the press conference for the new film. Security wouldn’t let me see my true love so I just took my seat with the other journalists and waited for my chance.

muppetpress1The stars of the film came out and took their seats: Tina Fey who plays prison guard Nadya; Kermit; Ricky Gervais, who plays the Muppets questionable new manager, Dominic; Constantine, a dead ringer for Kermit who plays the World’s Number One Criminal; Ty Burrell who plays Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon; and the fiercely patriotic Sam Eagle. But where was Piggy? Was she too afraid to face me after ignoring my calls all these months?

One of the reporters asked where my beloved was. “Miss Piggy is actually around,” Kermit said a little sheepishly. “But she insisted on being fashionably late. I don’t know when she’s going to show up, but she’s here.”

“Who cares?” said Constantine, Kermit’s Russian doppelganger. Constantine can barely hide his contempt for Piggy in the movie even though she’s convinced throughout that he’s Kermit.

Somebody asked the human co-stars what it was like to be in a full-fledged musical and get the chance to sing the great new songs by Bret McKenzie who won an Oscar last year for his song “Man or Muppet.”

rickygervais“I was okay with the singing,” said Ricky Gervais. “I’m a failed pop star. I always sneak a song into everything I do, whether it’s David Brent (his character in the original UK version of The Office) or on The Simpsons. But my dancing is a little awkward. I’m a little embarrassed about that! But I’ll do anything with a frog — that’s my motto! No one’s gonna be looking at me when we’re doing that dance!”

“Yeah, you know you have a good voice,” Tina Fey told Gervais. “But my singing sounds like if you’ve ever seen Oliver when the little boy sings and you can hear the hiss of how loud they have to turn up the microphone!”

“That’s not true!” Kermit protested. “You were great!”

“America and the world were spared my singing voice,” added Ty Burrell. “Except for two notes. I think that was by design! But I was thrilled to speak my songs, I’m a huge Bret McKenzie fan.”

“You’re selling yourself short,” said Sam Eagle, Burrell’s loyal law enforcement partner in the film. “You’re a great singer, a great actor, and a great American!”

Another reporter asked Fey why Nadya was the right woman for Kermit. Responding in her character’s perfect Russian accent, Tina replied, “Nadya is less work than Piggy. You can give Nadya bag of hot rocks for Valentine’s Day, she will not care. Is cheap date!”

Constantine was asked if he’s planning to leave his criminal life behind now that he’s found success in the new Muppets movie. “This is good question,” replied the Russian frog. “I am actually thinking about doing new Netflix original programming. I will call it House of Toads. I will executive produce and show run. So let’s take meeting, yes?”

“I love this guy,” Ricky Gervais said, putting his arm around Constantine’s cold neck. “He’s got it all. I think I melted his heart a little bit. You see he’s had a bad upbringing. You were born in a Russian pond, weren’t you?”

“Yes,” Constantine replied.

“One of 800 siblings,” Gervais added. “Many of them dead.”

“Right,” said Constantine. “Eaten by fish.”

“And he came over here and we bonded over our mutual hatred of most of the other Muppets,” said Ricky.

“Well,” Constantine replied, “a particular pig.”

“Oh, yeah,” said Gervais. “Don’t get me started.”

Huh? Was I just supposed to sit there and allow these reprobates to malign my beloved? Just then, there was some kind of ruckus backstage. Suddenly, my darling Piggy came out from behind a curtain and sat down next to Burrell. I had to get her attention.

“The show’s not over, it’s just begun,” she shouted, giving her glorious locks an alluring toss. “Hello, Kermit,” she said, looking directly at Constantine. “Oh, wait a minute! Which one is which?”

“Hello, pig,” Constantine muttered, barely concealing his disgust.


“Hi, Miss Piggy,” Tina Fey shouted from the other end of the stage. “We actually haven’t met.”

“I know,” Piggy replied. “We didn’t really do much together in the movie.”

“No,” Tina said, “You refused to meet me! You look so pretty today!”

“Thank you,” Piggy replied coldly. “You’re far away, but I’m sure you look pretty, too.”

Someone asked the humans if appearing in a movie with the Muppets impressed their kids.

“My kids are so unimpressed with me,” Burrell said. “I’m banking this one. I’m gonna pull it out in five years or so. So far, it’s still one minute of ‘Why is Daddy on the screen?’ and 90 minutes of ‘I’m hungry!’”

“I haven’t got children,” Gervais added, “but when I found out I was doing this film, I went and hung around schools telling them. Just at play time!”

“My kids are very excited to see the movie,” said Fey, “but as far as me being in it, they just want me to be Queen Elsa.”

A reporter asked Fey how high Kermit was on the list of things she wanted to lick before she died.

“You still do that list?” asked Ricky Gervais.

“Oh, yeah,” Tina said, “and I’ve done a bunch of them. The third rail on the New York subway. Anderson Cooper’s neck. But to lick Kermit, that was pretty high up there on the list.”

“Yeah?” said Miss Piggy, giving Tina a withering look. “Well that’s the last thing you’re gonna lick, sister!”

Someone asked Miss Piggy what it was like shooting the musical sequence in the film with Celine Dion.

“Well, it was a joy for her, naturally,” said Piggy. “I’m only too happy to let her ride my coattails to the Oscar stage.”

I couldn’t keep my eyes off of my sweet Piggy. But why wasn’t she looking my way? Following the press conference, I forced my way to the stage and tried to get the attention of my true love, but she only had eyes for Kermit. I grabbed a photographer and made a beeline for Miss Piggy but just before he snapped another photo of us together, Piggy grabbed the frog and thrust him in the middle.

Look, I don’t need a house to fall on my head. It probably never would have worked out anyway. She’s a famous movie star, I’m a lowly writer. Besides, I’m Jewish and Miss Piggy is…well…a pig. Sigh. But we’ll always have Union Station. And I’ll be in line this weekend for another viewing of my love’s new hit movie, Muppets Most Wanted.