‘Kermit: Prince of Denmark,’ ‘Big Bird Goes to Russia,’ & More Muppet Specials That Almost Got Made

The Muppet Movie The Rainbow Connection Kermit Fozzie Rowlf
The Muppet Movie

It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time to meet the Muppets shows that never got it right!

The Muppets is a property notorious for the many TV shows and specials that never made it past development, got quietly canceled, or just never saw the light of day. So while the Muppets Haunted Mansion special is coming to Disney+ this fall with an “all-new terrifying tale of total scariness,” as Gonzo said in the announcement, we can’t help but think of the shows we’re never going to see. For example, did you know about a presidential bid from Miss Piggy or other Halloween specials?

Scroll down for some Muppet-ational flops!

Muppets Take Manhattan Miss Piggy Joan Rivers Perfume Counter
Muppets Take Manhattan

The Muppets' Run for President

This unmade Muppet television special coincided with the 2008 election. The plot, revealed in episode #89 of The MuppetCast, explored Miss Piggy’s run to be President of the United States, a position previously held by the Muppets’ resident drummer, Animal. Although the small screen never saw the run of our first pig presidential candidate, a photograph of Miss Piggy running for President graced the cover of Life Magazine in August of 1980.

Muppets The Frog Prince Kermit Sir Robin
The Frog Prince

Kermit, Prince of Denmark

Far from the bloody tragedy of Hamlet, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, was planned to be an original story where Kermit traveled to Denmark to find he was an exact look-alike of Prince Hamlet. In 2000, the eight original songs, composed by Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez (including bops like “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Doing the Mambo”) were sent to the Jim Henson Company. Still, Brian Henson “said he wasn’t interested,” according to composer Marx. However, Kermit, Prince of Denmark was not entirely for naught, as Lopez and Marx later wrote Avenue Q, the Broadway musical that parodied the characters and themes of Sesame Street.

Muppets Most Wanted Something so Right Green Pig Pink Frog
Muppets Most Wanted

Untitled Miss Piggy Pregnancy Movie

After the release of Muppets Take Manhattan, Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl brainstormed an idea for a Muppet movie where Miss Piggy is pregnant. Miss Piggy and Kermit have fantasized about having kids, saying in Muppets Most Wanted, “we’ll settle down and start a family, have a mini-you and a mini-me. A little pink frog and a little green piggy.” Even after their interspecies marriage in Muppets Take Manhattan, the pregnancy project did not make it past the ideas stage. As detailed in Jim Henson: The Biography, Henson called the concept, “a little too specific and explicit.”

Big Bird Goes to Russia Big Bird China Russia
Big Bird In China

Big Bird Goes to Russia

Who could improve Cold War tensions better than the Muppets? After the success of the 1983 television special, Big Bird in China, the Children’s Television Workshop began scouting locations in Russia to film a similar project. Though producers hoped to air the special in both America and the Soviet Union, it never came to be. Although Big Bird Goes to Russia was not intended to be an American and Russian co-production, Russia’s version of Sesame Street, Ulitsa Sezam, premiered as a co-production post-Cold War.

The Muppet Movie The Rainbow Connection Kermit Fozzie Rowlf
The Muppet Movie

Noah’s Ark Musical

After the debut of the London musical Dr. Dolittle, creator Leslie Bricusse approached Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop about creating a musical based on Noah’s Ark. Although the Creature Workshop provided dynamic animal puppets for the stage show, this biblical series never came to fruition.

The Muppet Show - Vincent Price with Fozzie, Gonzo, and Uncle Deadly
The Muppet Show

Muppet Halloween Specials

Despite many attempts, Muppets Haunted Mansion will be the Muppets’ first-ever Halloween-themed standalone television special. The Muppet Halloween Show was conceived in the ’70s but ended up as the foundation of one of the pilots for The Muppet Show. In the ’90s, the team predicted holiday specials to be the way the Muppets would be reimagined for TV after the passing of Jim Henson. Early treatments showed Muppets as classic movie monsters (Kermit as Frankenstein, Miss Piggy as Frankenstein’s Bride, and Fozzie as The Wolfman). While that never came to be, the future looks bright for the Muppets at Halloween!