Linkhog
PERFORMER Jim Henson 1977-1990
  Steve Whitmire 2000-2016
DEBUT 1977
DESIGN Calista Hendrickson
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Link Hogthrob in "Bear on Patrol", with Patrol Bear and multiple Beakers

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Link Hogthrob as performed by Jim and Jane Henson.

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From The Muppets Go to the Movies.

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Link (back, left) making a brief appearance in The Muppet Christmas Carol

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In The Muppets in 2011.

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As part of The Muppets Barbershop Quartet.

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Link on QVC

Link Hogthrob is the blonde, cleft-chinned pig with a high opinion of himself on The Muppet Show. He debuted in the second season as the not-so-fearless captain of the Swinetrek, where his unbridled machismo was often a source of conflict with his co-star, First Mate Piggy.

Unlike Dr. Julius Strangepork, whose role on The Muppet Show would be primarily relegated to the Pigs in Space sketches, Link would feature regularly both in the show's on stage acts and backstage mayhem. When numbers were consisted of assorted pigs, Link was usually with them.

His singing talents were first featured in his second appearance, where he sang "I Talk to the Trees." Other musical numbers included solos ("Sonny Boy"), duets with Miss Piggy ("La Ci Darem La Mano"), and group numbers ("Sea Chantey," "The Rhyming Song").

Link's bravado was often challenged by various scenarios. For example, in episode 524 it is revealed that he wears a toupee and a girdle to bolster his vanity. Other times, he would drop his composure and call out to his mommy while sucking his thumb, such as in episode 103.

Starting in the show's third season, Link was also featured as the police chief in the recurring "Bear on Patrol" sketches, where his dimwittedness was often the source of physical trauma to Patrol Bear.

Link was later one of the few classic Muppet Show characters to be used in the Muppet Central control room on The Jim Henson Hour. His most notable appearance was in the episode "Fitness" where he believes that he has a disease called Canadian Snout Fever after reading a book of silly diseases and by coincidentally encountering a number of things related to the book's symptoms. Other notable appearances include "First Show" (where he tested the Response-O-Matic, a device used to change television programs based on what the viewers want), and "Food" (in which he appeared in a sketch as a food critic at a restaurant).

For a time after Jim Henson's death, Link was largely retired, appearing in occasional silent cameos such as in The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. His few speaking roles included the video games Muppet RaceMania and Muppets Party Cruise, as voiced by Steve Whitmire. Whitmire continued to perform Link in his return to puppet form in The Muppets (where he sang "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as a member of the Muppets Barbershop Quartet), and Muppets Most Wanted (singing a verse in "Something So Right," and conversing with Usher at the wedding). Link also appeared during the Muppets' appearance on QVC. Link also appeared in The Muppets Take the Bowl concert, taking part in the live Pigs in Space sketch "The Suits Awaken," where he was performed by Peter Linz. Linz also performed Link at the PuppetPalooza festival.[1]

An action figure of Link was produced in 2003 as part of Series 4 of Palisades Toys' line of Muppet action figures.

Behind the scenes

According to Brian Henson in one of his generic introductions for The Muppet Show, Link's voice was one that Jim Henson used in real life:

As a kid, whenever my dad did some stereotypical fatherly chore, like carving the Thanksgiving turkey, that would be the voice he would use. I guess when the character of this pompous, not-too-bright pig came along, he figured well that voice would fit just perfectly.

Dave Goelz, who spent time in the Muppet Workshop in addition to performing, described Link's conception in a 2018 interview with Splitsider:

When Bonnie Erickson built Link Hogthrob, we all sat in the shop together and had these discussions about what a male chauvinist pig would be like. We added the gold chain and then somebody said Link would feign chest hair, even though he was a pig. So that got added. Jim would come by every morning and saw these things and thought, “That’s great, that’s great.” It all became bigger than the original idea because of the collaboration.[2]

Though Link was primarily a Live-Hand Muppet, a Hand-Rod Muppet was used occasionally on The Muppet Show.

Notes

  • According to the wedding scene in Muppets Most Wanted, Link is related to the groom (a frog) by marriage.

Filmography

Book appearances

Sources

  1. Interview for Independent
  2. Splisider "The Sound of One Muppet Guy Talking: A Conversation with Dave Goelz" by Kevin Smokler, March 15, 2018

Start a Discussion Discussions about Link Hogthrob

  • Steve Whitmire as Link

    7 messages
    • Right. That makes sense. So, it stays as 2000-2016, but if more Pig in Space videos were released now, it wouldn't change to 2000-2018. Right?
    • Yeah, I think we'd treat that as a post-tenure case.