In 1970, a meeting took place that changed Muppets history. Bonnie Erickson, a young costumer, met with Jim Henson, who was looking for someone to fashion the costumes for The Frog Prince. Erickson got the job, and went on to create some of the most famous Muppets, including Miss Piggy and Statler & Waldorf.
Currently a trustee at the Jim Henson Legacy, she lives with her husband Wayde in their New York City home of forty years, where the two are still creating magic under their company Harrison / Erickson, Inc. Together, they have designed mascots (from the Phillie Phanatic to the underrated Dandy), stuffed animals, and even the toys for Where The Wild Things Are.
Gothamist met with her at her home recently—which is filled with art and creations from her past and present, as well as one room that’s built out to be a partial replica of her childhood home, complete with a front porch and American flag—”when Bush was President,” she told us, “We had the flag upside down. And when he left in the helicopter, I came in with champagne and turned it right side up.”
Her life, which includes tales of riding from her apartment Uptown down to the Village on the back of a Hell’s Angels’ hog, is worthy of a full length documentary. Below, an introduction: