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SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : A conversation with the Divine Miss P and her 'Classic' co-star


Those plushy superstars Kermit and Miss Piggy took some time out of their busy schedules to chat with The Times about their latest video, Muppet Classic Theater, which treats audiences to six Muppetized interpretations of favorite fairy tales: "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Elves & the Shoemaker," "King Midas," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Whose idea was Muppet Classic Theater?

Kermit: Well, the whole gang got together and . . .

Piggy: Let's not be modest, mon cher . It was Kermit's idea, and wasn't it a wonderful one?

It sure was. But is this really a forum for Miss Piggy's play at stardom?

P: PLAY AT STARDOM?! Were you raised on the moon? My dear ignorant journaliste, moi have been a superstar for quite some time. If you keep asking dumb questions, you'll never win that Wurlitzer Prize thingie.

Why is your take better than any other previous version?

P: Because moi am in it, of course!

K: Piggy! I wouldn't say that we're better than the other versions, but I can say that this is probably the first time the emperor in 'The Emperor's New Clothes' has actually been a bear emperor (Fozzie).

How did you decide who gets to play who?

K: It was very democratic. Whoever could fit into the costume played the part.

Why isn't "The Frog Prince" one of the stories?

K: We talked about that, but I didn't want to give a certain pig any additional reasons to try to kiss me. Besides, I like to finish a story the same species I was when I started it.

What are your favorite stories?

P: Moi adores the story where a humble young woman uses her talents, natural beauty and sparkling personality to become a legend in her own time.

K: I'm not familiar with that one. What story is that?

P: The story of moi 's life, of course.

Why will families want to watch the video?

P: What else would they do with it?

"Muppet Classic Theater," Jim Henson Video's first direct-to-video production, was called "very fast and very funny with a noisy, raucous madcap cast and scripts to match . . . hilariously original" by The Times Syndicate; The Times' Lynne Heffley recently pointed out that "there are important lessons to be learned" through the tales.

"Muppet Classic Theater" is currently available from Jim Henson Video for $20. For ages 2 and up.

More Family Shows

Seattle Mariners hotshot baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. guests on this week's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Monday at 8 p.m. NBC). Griffey, who plays himself, shows up at little Nicky's (Ross Bagley) school fund-raiser. Meanwhile, Will (Will Smith), embarrassed by girlfriend Lisa's (Nia Long) expertise in the martial arts, seeks guidance from a karate teacher (Pat Morita, of course). For ages 6 and up.


Life & Times (Wednesday 7:30 p.m. KCET) reports on agencies that specialize in African American adoptions in "A Home for Good: African American Adoption." For parents.

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