Academy Awards, or "Oscars," are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizing excellence in the film industry. The ceremonies have been held since 1929, and the celebration has been televised beginning in 1953. Jim Henson and the Muppets have received several nominations.
Additionally, the Muppets have made several appearances at these ceremonies.
After over thirty years since their first nomination, the Muppets finally won their first Academy Award in 2012. The trophy was awarded to Bret McKenzie in the Best Original Song category for "Man or Muppet" from 2011's The Muppets.
Nominations & Awards
- Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects: Jim Henson, director
- Lost to Le Poulet, by Claude Berri
- Best Music, Original Song: Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher (for "Rainbow Connection")
- Lost to Norma Rae, David Shire (music), Norman Gimbel (lyrics) for the song It Goes Like It Goes
- Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score: Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
- Lost to All that Jazz, Ralph Burns.
- Best Music, Original Song: Joe Raposo (for The First Time It Happens)
- Lost to Arthur, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen for the song Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
Submissions for The Muppets
In 2011, Disney submitted three songs from The Muppets for consideration by the Academy:
- At the 52nd Academy Awards on April 14, 1980, Miss Piggy and host Johnny Carson converse about her failure to garner a Best Actress Nomination for her work in The Muppet Movie. To her question whether or not he thought her to be "Oscar material," he replies "Oscar Mayer, maybe." Kermit the Frog appears and performs his nominated song, "The Rainbow Connection." (Carson also references The Muppet Movie in his opening monologue for the ceremonies, stating that Miss Piggy "had to keep one loin on the floor" to preserve the film's G rating.)
- At the 54th Academy Awards in 1982, Kermit and Miss Piggy perform "The First Time It Happens" live on stage. As host Johnny Carson quips, Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti were supposed to perform the number, but they were otherwise engaged. Near the middle, Kermit and Piggy dance elegantly and let the pre-recorded background vocalists handle the lyrics, joining in for just a line or two before resuming their duet. The pair also succumb to the sentimental nature of the song, showing greater tenderness and emotional closeness (from both pig *and* frog) than in most appearances. At the end, Miss Piggy gives Kermit a kiss. The cameras cut to the applauding audience (including a shot of Dudley Moore) and then the Muppet stars take a bow, as Miss Piggy blows "Kissy kissy" kisses to all with her handkerchief.
- At the 58th Academy Awards in 1986, Kermit, Scooter and Jim Henson present the award for "Best Short Film, Animated" to Cilia Van Dijk, Producer of Anna & Bella. Kermit gets a bit frazzled when Scooter is physically unable to open the envelope to announce the winner. An appearance by Jim Henson quickly rectifies the situation. Statler and Waldorf also make appearances from the audience during the broadcast of the show.
- During the 68th Academy Awards on March 25, 1996, Miss Piggy intercepts a video conference uplink between host Whoopi Goldberg and nominee Babe in order to assert her porcine ranking in Hollywood. Piggy offers to save the show with one of her sensational production numbers she titles "Porkahontas," but instead the audience is saved by the recovery of the initial connection.
- Dom DeLuise appeared in the In Memorial segment of the 2010 Academy Awards. The broadcast used a clip from The Muppet Movie.
- Kermit and Miss Piggy made an appearance at the 84th Academy Awards on February 26, 2012. They spoke of their first movie experiences and introduced a Cirque du Soleil act which featured music by Danny Elfman. The duo wore designer clothing to the show. As mentioned in a press statement:
- For more on Miss Piggy’s jewels:
- 1940s amethyst and diamond ring in gold (70.0 carats) –lavender is her signature color after all
- 1950s diamond and platinum swirl necklace (55 carats) with matching swirl bracelet (40 carats)
- Celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble (Beyonce, Shakira, Kerry Washington) put the finishing touches on Miss Piggy by adding a diamond and platinum headband (approx. 10 carats) and 1040s clip in the back.
Hosting fan campaign
In February 2011, one Facebook user started a campaign called The Muppets Should Host the 2012 Oscars, after a largely panned ceremony hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco. In November 2011, after co-producer Brett Ratner stepped down and Eddie Murphy subsequently resigned as well, the Facebook page went viral. By late afternoon on November 10, when Billy Crystal announced on Twitter that he was hosting, well over 20,000 had "Liked" the page.
Some media outlets labelled the page as a publicity stunt, officially run by Disney.
At the London press conference for The Muppets, at the May Fair Hotel, Kermit commented: "I am going to be presenting but not the way you think. I will be at the coat check, presenting people with their coats. It's a whole different job. So yes, I think Billy Crystal is taking all the glory. But you know, Billy's a good friend and we'll wait and see how that works out. Hear that, Billy? I'd love to work with you!"
Later, in December 2018, Miss Piggy tweeted, "A little birdy (aka Twitter) told moi that @TheAcademy still needs a host for the #Oscars. Coincidentally, I’m available for a very reasonable fee: an Oscar of my own to take home." The fan campaign was rebooted after planned Oscar host Kevin Hart quit a few days later.
- Oscar the Grouch bestows Slimey with the "Wormie Award" in Sesame Street Episode 2187. Oscar asks Maria, who chuckles at the name, if she has something better to call it. She suggests the "Oscar" award. Oscar responds, "Great name. Wish I'd thought of it."
- In The Muppet Spotlight pilot, Fozzie Bear does a report on the Oscars, lamenting that comedy films were overlooked in favor of "any movie long and really sad." His report specifically references Million Dollar Baby and Jamie Foxx's Best Actor win for Ray; indicating that the pilot was produced in 2005 following that year's Oscars.
- In The Muppets episode "Walk the Swine", Uncle Deadly says Piggy has a grudge over Reese Witherspoon winning an Oscar for Walk the Line.
- In The Muppets episode "Little Green Lie", Piggy offers an Academy Awards gift bag to Robin to make him feel better.
Hosts of the Academy Awards ceremony have included the following:
- CAMPO: The Committee to Award Miss Piggy the Oscar
- Academy Award winners
- The Fred Award
- Oscar Envelope
- The Best of Kermit on Sesame Street
- GoldDerby - News Nuggets: A very merry Muppet Oscars?
- Lizzie Catt with Lisa Higgins and Jack Teague, "The Muppets star Kermit the Frog reveals his Oscars role", Daily Express, 28 January 2012.
- Miss Piggy Twitter (3:29 PM - 4 Dec 2018 Tweet)