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CAMPO, The Committee to Award Miss Piggy the Oscar
In 1979, two friends, Bruce Collins, 23, and Jim Hall, 46, both businessmen from Cincinnati, were absolutely giddy when they discovered that they had a mutual love for Miss Piggy. Bruce had watched The Muppet Show regularly with the other guys of Phi Beta Kappa while a student at Connecticut College. He says, "Everybody at college watched The Muppet Show." Jim, along with his wife and two kids, also watched the show regularly.
After discovering the bond they had, Bruce and Jim decided, in all seriousness, that Miss Piggy should be awarded an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in "The Muppet Movie." Why should such a talented actress be denied a chance at an Oscar simply because she was a pig? "We think she's a fine actress and deserves the award more than anyone," said Bruce. They formed CAMPO, The Committee to Award Miss Piggy the Oscar, and announced it to the world in a news release to TV and radio stations and to the two Cincinnati newspapers, spending $1,000 on stamps and phone calls to drum up support. They called the movement, "Pig Power."
The idea quickly caught on and grass roots support followed. They received a petition from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, which had 7,000 signatures. Another one from British Columbia had 4,000. There was a group called "Cadets for CAMPO" at West Point. In all, they received over 40,000 letters of support. "The spirit is spreading," said Bruce." Hollywood is in for one big karate chop if this nomination doesn't go through!" A month before the Oscars, Bruce predicted a 70% chance of Miss Piggy winning. Support was widespread. The two were inundated with letter, posters and telegrams coming from as far away as England, Canada, France, Australia, Argentina and Trinidad! They heard from accountants, assembly line workers, housewives, you name it. Famous actors and actresses gave their support and a famous gossip columnist took Miss Piggy side in the controversy. They even had the support of the Illinois Education Association. ABC Evening News did a four minute story on CAMPO on February 15, 1980. People Magazine mentioned it in it's article on Miss Piggy in the September 3, 1979 issue.
Jim and Bruce were in direct contact with the people who ran the Academy Awards. Bruce went to Hollywood with the 40,000 letters of support. They receiving this official response, which was vague, but gave them hope: "Miss Piggy is a weighty candidate who causes her competitors to curl their tails in envy." Alas, Miss Piggy did not win in the end. However, the New York Film Critics Circle did awarded Miss Piggy a runner up place in its Best Actress category in 1979.
What was Miss Piggy's response to the efforts to get her nominated for an Oscar? "Although I am a humble actress/singer, I compliment CAMPO on its wise, perceptive, discerning, witty and tasteful campaign." And, of course, she signed it, "Kissy, kissy, Miss Piggy."
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