Feb 5, 2014
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Foo-Foo
The Muppet Show Episode 404: Dyan Cannon
Most recent appearance...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Best known role...
Miss Piggy's precious pet dog
WHO IS FOO-FOO?
Foo-Foo is the precocious, precious puppy belonging to Miss Piggy. Foo-Foo first appeared in the fourth season of The Muppet Show in the episode guest starring Dyan Cannon. The episode is Foo-Foo's signature appearance, as Miss Piggy is getting ready for her big act, she needs someone to watch Foo-Foo. Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem ends up the unfortunate (and unwilling) caretaker for the dog. After getting fed up with spoon-feeding and pampering the pooch, Floyd stuffs Foo-Foo into a drawer. Of course, Miss Piggy explodes with rage when she finds out what happened, but it's hard to feel bad for the feisty Foo-Foo.
In most of Foo-Foo's appearances on The Muppet Show, Foo-Foo was both a puppet and a live dog. The shots that required the dog to perform stunts featured a real dog, while most close up shots were the puppet. This is an example of Jim Henson willingly dispelling some of the Muppets' secrets in The Muppet Show days, with an article (and the picture to the right) about the different ways the dog is portrayed appearing in The Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter in 1979.
Foo-Foo continued to appear (mostly) at Miss Piggy's side after The Muppet Show ended, with appearances in TV specials including The Muppets Go to the Movies, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and A Muppet Family Christmas. Foo-Foo's first appearance in a feature film was in the wedding finale of The Muppets Take Manhattan. She disappeared to the background and held a few different names (see: The Jim Henson Hour) for awhile after. It wasn't until The Muppets' Wizard of Oz that Foo-Foo had a featured cameo alongside Miss Piggy as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Aside from a brief appearance in "The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora," Foo-Foo disappeared for the remainder of the 2000s. Foo-Foo continued to make illustrated appearances in various books and comics, including a titular role in the 1991 book Foo-Foo, Where Are You? But Foo-Foo is nothing if not tenacious, because she returns this year in Muppets Most Wanted, again at Miss Piggy's side. Foo-Foo is featured a lot in promotional images for the film and seen in quite a number of trailers and TV spots as well.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED FOO-FOO?
Clearly, the Muppets do not need Foo-Foo, since she's always been a hassle. But it's obvious that Miss Piggy adores the yipping little dog quite a lot. It's always fun to see Piggy care for something (that isn't Kermit) and Foo-Foo can simultaneously bring out the best and worst in her. The dog is a great foil for her. But Foo-Foo's real humor comes from her interactions with Kermit and Floyd and the other Muppets who all despise her. For such a cute little thing, Foo-Foo can be quite a pain.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org