Pigs in Space!

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Remember Pigs in Space? It was a series of sketches on The Muppet Show parodying Star Trek (and other 60s/70s space-themed TV shows), featuring the adventures of a crew of pigs aboard the Swinetrek. Pigs in Space became so popular that it was used to wake up actual astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia during its second mission. Muppet Wiki tells the story:

The height of pop-culture awareness for the crew of the Swinetrek occurred in 1981. As part of NASA's morning wake-up call tradition, by which the crew of the space shuttle are awakened with stirring music, familiar song lyrics, or comedy routines in order to boost morale and encourage camaraderie between the astronauts and their mission control colleagues, the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, part of the STS-2 mission, were greeted by Pigs in Space on two consecutive mornings. Specially recorded by the Muppet performers for this occasion, two separate comedy routines were heard, one on the morning of November 13, and another on November 14, where it followed a rendition of "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean" by a flight directorate band.

For the record, STS-2 happened to be the first shuttle launch during which O-ring problems were observed. We all know how that turned out.

Anyway, enough actual space trivia; here are five Pigs in Space sketches to get you through a decidedly earthbound Tuesday!

The Star Wars Crossover

Mark Hamill and company join the crew of the Swinetrek on a space voyage.

Fun With Music

The ship's computer adds dramatic music at various points throughout the sketch.

The End of the Universe

See that white glow? That's the end of the universe. "When we reach the end of the universe, we will be given the meaning and purpose of life."

The Swinetrek Lands on Koozebane

The crew lands on a strange alien world.

Fixing a Gas Lighter

"Is this the end of Pigs in Space?" Quite likely.

See also: A Brief and Incomplete History of Launching Animals Into Space, including -- wait for it -- pigs.

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July 3, 2012 - 7:27am
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