Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In this feature we highlight a single Muppet so that each week you can meet a new Muppet, check out it's history and maybe even learn a thing or two about him/her/it. Instead of starting with the obvious ones like Kermit, Piggy or Cookie Monster we thought it'd be nice to begin with a somewhat lesser known but still popular character. Ladies and gentlemen, the captain of the Swinetrek:

Link Hogthrob

Debut:        The Muppet Show Season 2

Performer: Jim Henson (1977-1990)
                  Bob Bergen (Animated segments on Little Muppet Monsters) (1985)
                  Steve Whitmire (2000-present)

Introduced as a parody of the stereotypical brave leader the pompous Link Hogthrob was introduced in the second season of the Muppet Show starring in the Sci-Fi series Pigs in Space. Along with his first mate Mrs Piggy and resident scientist Dr. Strangepork he traveled through space in the popular sketches. 

Although mostly known for Pigs in Space Link also appeared in other sketches like the Bear on Patrol series in which he played a dimwitted police captain giving charge to Fozzy, who played the titular character. Link was also seen (and heard) in song parodies, often alongside other pig Muppets like the Muppet versions of the Beach Boys' I get around and the Village People's In the Navy.
Animated Link 

After the Muppet Show Link continued to star in Muppet productions like The Muppets go to the Movies in which he played the part of one of the Three Musketeers, alongside Scooter and Gonzo. Hogthrob appeared in animated form in the Pigs in Space segments in the Little Muppet Monsters show although he was voiced by Bob Bergen instead of Jim Henson. The short lived Jim Henson hour featured Link's last performances by Jim Henson. After Jim's death Link was relegated to non-speaking cameos in subsequent Muppet productions. His voice was heard however in the Muppet RaceMania and Muppets Party Cruise video games, provided by Steve Whitmire. 

The Muppets (2011 film) marked his big return and the first time Link has a speaking part in a Muppet movie. Steve Whitmire performed Link, continuing the recast that started with the video games. In the movie SPOILER ALERT Link appears in the Muppet Telethon and performs a barbershop quartet cover of Nirvana's Smells like Teen Spirit alongside Rowlf, Beaker and Sam the Eagle.

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