Smithsonian recently interviewed Bonnie Erickson, the woman who designed and built Miss Piggy in 1974. Erickson says the character was actually inspired by the singer Peggy Lee. "When I first created Miss Piggy I called her Miss Piggy Lee—as both a joke and an homage. Peggy Lee was a very independent woman, and Piggy certainly is the same. But as Piggy's fame began to grow, nobody wanted to upset Peggy Lee, especially because we admired her work. So, the Muppet's name was shortened to Miss Piggy." But Erickson's favorite characters? "Statler and Waldorf, the two old men who heckled from the balcony in the Muppet Show. I could picture them in the Yale Club sipping brandy, surrounded by portraits of their predecessors." [Smithsonian, via BoingBoing]