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Up to date as of February 02, 2010
(Redirected to President of the United States article)

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Vote for Big Bird!
Baby Piggy as Commander in Chief
Cookie Monster for President
Robot Abraham Lincoln, from Muppets Tonight.

The President of the United States is the chief executive of the United States of America. The office of President was established upon the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789, and the President serves as chief executive and head of the executive branch of the United States government. The President is also designated as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and has powers to sign bills into law, grant pardons or reprieves, and appoint officers, ambassadors, and judges, amongst other powers. The White House is the official home and principal workplace of the President. To date, there have been forty-four Presidents of the United States; the current president, Barack Obama, took office on January 20, 2009.

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Muppet Candidacy

The post of President has been a highly sought one since its inception. Candidates, in addition to politicians, generals, businessmen, lawyers, and other real-world figures, have included several fictional personages. From Pogo to Winnie the Pooh, colorful icons have tossed their hats into the rings, and the Muppets are no exception. The most notable candidates have been Big Bird and Miss Piggy.

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Big Bird

Big Bird, average resident of Sesame Street, first ran for President in Episode 0797, and learned that being President is a big responsibility. The story was the kickoff for the show's Bicentennial celebration. Big Bird lost in that episode, despite having an elaborate campaign and even a presidential seal.

However, Big Bird's ambitions to become President were eventually fulfilled, albeit on a much smaller scale. In 1988, special elections were held for President of Sesame Place, with no age restrictions or pre-registration required. Big Bird was a leading candidate, with the slogan "Birds of a feather flock together." He faced stiff competition from Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie, Bert, Prairie Dawn, and in an unprecedented attempt to launch a collective into office instead of an individual, the Honkers. Big Bird won, carrying 24% of the vote. Details of his administration and subsequent activities, and how much executive government a children's theme park would need anyway, remain undocumented. Back on the street, Big Bird later became an outspoken supporter of H. Ross Parrot.

Miss Piggy

In contrast to the unprepossessing, modest Big Bird, Miss Piggy has been far more open about her ambitions. In 1980, she graced the cover of LIFE magazine, openly announcing her intentions. Buttons were also distributed. Not long thereafter, a running storyline in the Muppet comic strip covered her campaign in great detail; Scooter served as manager. Though that bid was less than successful, Miss Piggy remained dedicated. In 1992, she again made a bid, facing off against Gonzo in a televised debate on Good Morning America. It's possible that these ambitions may have occurred to Piggy in her formative years. The Muppet Babies episode "What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?," in a fantasy song sequence, depicted Baby Piggy as President (introduced by Baby Rowlf in Uncle Sam garb).

Other Aspirants

The Bird and the Pig have not been alone in their politicking, however.

  • In 1999, pundit Gregory Freeman urged Kermit to run in earnest:
An entire generation has grown up with Kermit the Frog. So why not run Kermit for president? With Miss Piggy by his side and Fozzy Bear [sic] as his campaign manager, he can't lose. [2]
  • At least one Muppet has apparently succeeded in reaching the office, however. A Whatnot appeared as President in Muppets Tonight episode 202, undergoing therapy with Meepzorp in the Independence Day spoof "Co-dependents Day: CD4."
  • The "shifty-eyed" variant of Sam the Eagle Action Figure Series 8 by Palisades Toys includes a book titled Strategies for the All-American Campaign: Sam the Eagle 2004. Inside the book is a draft campaign speech, a list of "Important people to mention in speeche (sic)" (including Wayne and Wanda), and a "Note to self: Remember to select a running mate." Furthermore, one of Sam's stickers reads "Sam the Eagle 2004" has the slogans "honesty, integrity, patriotism" along the circular border of the sticker.
  • Meanwhile, in the realm of Creatures, the Dinosaur universe sports the Chief Elder as president analogue. In the second season episode "And the Winner Is...," Earl Sinclair and B.P. Richfield enter a fierce political battle for office. Though Earl briefly leads, he ultimately sabotages his own campaign, for the good of the country, and voters instead elect political analyst Edward R. Hero, who was not in fact a candidate.

List of Individual Presidents

Of the 44 Presidents to date, 15 have either been depicted, referenced, or in some cases, personally interacted or collaborated in Muppet projects. These office-holders are listed below, with the dates of their terms. For a complete roster, see List of Presidents of the United States

First Ladies

The First Lady of the United States is the unofficial title of the hostess of the White House. The following First Ladies have worked with the Muppets.

Presidential Candidates

Several politicians who have announced their candidacies for president have also appeared with or been referenced by Muppets.

Group Appearances

Mount Rushmore, from The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.

Connections

The figure of President of the United States, whether a portrayal of a historical president or a wholly fictional creation, has been prominently featured in countless film and television productions over the decades. Several Presidential portrayers have also worked in Muppet/Henson productions.

As real presidents:

  • F. Murray Abraham played Abraham Lincoln in Dream Quest (1986, film)
  • Simon Russell Beale played John Adams in "John and Abigail Adams," The American Experience (2000, TV)
  • Robert Beatty played Ronald Reagan in Breakthrough at Reykajavik (1987, TV)
  • Kenneth Branagh played Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Warm Springs (2005, TV movie)
  • Henry Fonda played Abraham Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln (1939, film)
  • Michael Gambon played Lyndon B. Johnson in Path to War (2002, TV movie)
  • Pat Hingle played John Adams in Independence (1976, film)
  • Tom Selleck played Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004, TV movie)
  • Martin Sheen played John F. Kennedy in Kennedy (1983, TV mini-series)
  • Robin Williams played Theodore Rooseveltin Night at the Museum (2006, film)


As fictional presidents:

Wikipedia has an article related to:

Sources

  1. Wald, Matthew. The New York Times. December 7, 1980.
  2. Freeman, Gregory. "We Need Character, Not a Bunch of Characters, in the Race for President." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 10, 1999.

This article uses material from the "President of the United States" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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