14 Surprising Facts About Peppa Pig

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

From a nugget of an idea to a $1 billion empire, it's been 15 years since Peppa Pig was first brought to life. Here are some facts to celebrate.

1. Peppa was created by three out-of-work friends.

The idea for Peppa Pig came to Neville Astley and Mark Baker in 2000. The pair were animators, but without work. Or money. So they enlisted the help of producer Phil Davies, and the three had to borrow money from friends and family to make Peppa happen, given how short on funds they were.

2. For the BBC, Peppa Pig is the one that got away.

The trio founded Astley Baker Davies and were originally working on a different show for the BBC. But when scheduling issues arose, they instead took Peppa Pig to Channel 5 in the UK, and Nick Jr. in the U.S.

3. It was an instant hit.

Some shows take their time to find their feet, but not Peppa Pig. Instead, 12 months after its first episode aired in May 2004, the show had won a BAFTA and earned more than $1.5 million in merchandise sales.

4. Peppa has been voiced by three different people.

Since Peppa Pig first debuted in 2004, three people have voiced the title character. Child voice-actors Lily Snowden-Fine (season 1), Cecily Bloom (season 2), and Harley Bird (beginning in season 3) have all contributed to the show. In 2011, when she was just nine years old, Bird won a BAFTA for the role, making her the youngest performer ever to earn the honor.

5. Early scenes of the show have been re-edited.

George Lucas isn't the only filmmaker who tinkers with his work once it's released. In seasons 1 and 2 of Peppa Pig, when the family went on a drive, they weren't originally wearing seatbelts. This led to complaints from concerned parents, and so the relevant episodes have since been re-edited. Fresh edits have also taken place to add helmets to scenes where characters go bicycling.

6. Peppa has gone global.

Though Peppa began her adventures in the UK, she is now a big deal worldwide. Peppa Pig is seen in more than 200 countries worldwide and is believed to be worth over $1 billion in sales worldwide, a number that is expected to double by 2020.

7. Peppa is not into politics.

During the UK's 2010 general election, Britain's Labour Party invited the "megastar of children's television" to attend an event announcing family policies, but Peppa passed on the opportunity in order to appear politically neutral (or, more accurately, so that the show's distributor could avoid any controversy). Still, that didn't stop some members of the public from making assumptions about the 5-year-old pig's political leanings. (Specifically: that "she is unquestionably from a long line of well-bred, well-fed Conservatives.")

8. One episode of Peppa Pig was banned in Australia.

The episode "Mister Skinnylegs" features the perennially useless Daddy Pig talking about how spiders can't really hurt you. This is contrary to advice in Australia, however, where fear of deaths from spider bites mean children aren't exactly encouraged to make chums with the eight-legged arachnids. ABC in Australia thus deemed the episode "unsuitable for broadcast."

9. Miss Rabbit does so many jobs, she received an award from the Queen.

One of the running jokes in Peppa Pig is the range of jobs Miss Rabbit takes on. Nurse, fire fighter, helicopter pilot, librarian, bus driver … you name it. In season 4 of the show—and the subsequent book tie-in—Miss Rabbit wins the Queen's award for industry. The downside? A national holiday had to be declared so she actually had the time to collect her prize. The episode and book were created in order to get children to participate in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, and Queen Elizabeth herself is said to be a fan of the series, which she watches with her grandchildren.

10. There are two Peppa Pig theme parks.

Peppa Pig World is a theme park within a theme park. It's found at Paultons Family Theme Park in Hampshire, England and features seven kiddie rides with all of the popular characters. In 2018, a second park—Peppa Pig Land—opened at Italy's Gardaland Resort.

11. A woman named Gabriella Capra is decidedly not a fan.

Speaking of Italy: In Italian, the word capra means "goat." In 2014, a 40-year-old Italian woman by the name of Gabriella Capra decided she couldn't handle the ribbing from her friends and coworkers based on the similarities between her name and Peppa Pig's friend, Gabriella Goat, and sued Peppa's creators for roughly $125,000

12. A film was released in British cinemas, but not a proper one.

In February 2015, what looked like the first Peppa Pig movie, The Golden Boots, was released in UK cinemas. However, it wasn't a full-length feature. The release included a new 15-minute Peppa adventure and five favorite existing episodes, and it grossed just over $1 million.

13. Peppa has been hacked.

Parents were outraged when hackers targeted the Facebook page of Peppa Pig World back in 2013, posting messages like "go to hell." The page was flooded with spam pictures and messages and eventually had to be taken down.

14. Peppa has appeared on British stamps.

In 2014, Peppa got the ultimate seal of approval when the British Royal Mail announced that some of the public's favorite children's TV characters would appear on official UK postage stamps. So, sitting alongside Bob The Builder and Paddington Bear, there was Peppa herself, jumping in one of her trademark muddy puddles.

12 Facts About Revenge of the Nerds For Its 35th Anniversary

Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

In the summer of 1984, nerds were mainly perceived as guys who wore pocket protectors and had tape on their glasses. But in Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs was inventing the type of nerd culture we’re familiar with today. Decades later, nerds rule the world.

Revenge of the Nerds starred then-unknowns Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong, James Cromwell, Larry B. Scott, John Goodman, and Timothy Busfield. In the movie, the jock-filled Alpha Beta fraternity bullies the geeks on the campus of Adams College, so to fight back, they form a frat chapter under black fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda (Tri-Lambs), and take down the jocks. The movie’s plot and title come from a magazine article published around that time about Silicon Valley innovators—who just happened to be nerds.

The film, which was budgeted at $6 million, only opened on 364 screens (it eventually expanded to 877). Somehow the movie had legs and grossed $40,874,452 at the box office and ranked as the 16th highest-grossing film of 1984. It was successful enough to spawn three sequels, none of which were as popular as the original. To celebrate Revenge of the Nerds' 35th anniversary, here are some geeky facts about the underdog comedy.

1. Greek officials at the University of Arizona objected to the movie being filmed on their campus.

The movie filmed at the University of Arizona, and involved the college’s Greek system. The Greek officials didn’t want the movie to be another Animal House, so they threatened to halt production. “We meet with the sororities, and we’re worried we’re about to deal with a bunch of feminists who are pissed because this is a fairly sexist movie,” the film’s director, Jeff Kanew, told the Arizona Daily Star. “I just say to them, ‘Look, I have kids, and I’ll tell you now, I’d let them see this movie. It’s about the triumph of the underdog, not judging a book by its cover. This is a good movie.’” The filmmakers won, and the Greeks allowed them to film there.

2. The set was one big party.

Ted McGinley—who played Alpha Beta honcho Stan Gable—told The A.V. Club: “I was so embarrassed to say Revenge Of The Nerds.” Kanew cast him because he saw him on the cover of a Men of USC calendar, sold at the University of Arizona bookstore. His good looks attracted “hot girls” from the UofA campus to watch the dailies with the cast and crew. “They had beer and pizza and sandwiches,” McGinley said. “I mean, you just don’t do that on movie sets. It was just so much fun, and I thought, ‘It can’t be better than this!’”

3. Curtis Armstrong knew it would be a good movie, even though his character wasn't fully fleshed out.

Curtis Armstrong filmed Risky Business but then was unemployed for a year before he got Revenge of the Nerds. “You have to realize the character of Booger in the original script was non-existent almost,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “What was there was just, ‘We’ve got b*sh!’ and ‘Mother’s little d**chebag’—those kinds of lines. I was looking at it and thinking, ‘How do I take this and even begin to make it likeable or accessible?’”

With its strong cast, writers, and director, Armstrong said, “It has to be a good movie. But I wasn’t sure how it was going to be taken as opposed to Risky Business, which was sort of an art-house-type movie. This was very much broader and very much cruder, but it had a message that went beyond sex jokes.”

4. The scenes between Booger and Takashi were improvised.

The actors would bring ideas to the director and vice versa, creating a lot of improvisation in the movie. In one scene, Booger and Takashi (Brian Tochi) engage in a friendly game of cards. But unbeknownst to Takashi, Booger tricks him. “We ran and got our cots, and Brian and I were next to each other,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “It wasn’t planned that we would be next to each other. It just happened that way.”

The production asked the guys to “come up with something” for them to film. “We had nothing at all!” Armstrong said. “We went to the prop people, and they had a deck of cards. And that’s where that scene [and Booger’s whole bit about taking money from Takashi] came from. And they liked it so much that, every time Takashi and I were in the room together, we would have to come up with something else.”

5. Lambda Lambda Lambda exists in real life.

On January 15, 2006, the University of Connecticut founded the co-ed social fraternity. It’s “unaffiliated with Greek Life” and is “dedicated to the enjoyment and enrichment of pop culture and to the brotherhood of its members. Tri-Lambs does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, class, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

6. Booger's belch came from a camel.

In one of the film's more memorable scenes, Booger and Ogre compete in a belching contest. Booger takes a swig of beer and lets out a robust seven-second belch and wins the contest. But the effects were added in post-production. “I can’t even belch on command,” Armstrong told USA Today. “If you said to me, ‘Can you belch now?' I couldn’t do it.”

To make up for Armstrong’s dearth of gas, “They wound up finding a recording of a camel having an orgasm,” Armstrong said. “They took this sound and blended it in with a human belch.”

7. Curtis Armstrong wrote a bio for Booger, but it turned out to be about himself.

Because his character wasn’t fully developed, Armstrong wrote a one-page bio for Booger. Years later he re-read the bio and realized he and Booger had similarities. “I’d basically retold my life as Booger without even being aware of it,” Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly. “[One detail] was that [Booger] used nose-picking and belching as a defense mechanism because [he’s] insecure. Now, mind you, I did not pick my nose and belch because I was insecure. However, I was insecure growing up. I didn’t have dates or anything like that; I was not good around girls. But I had other ways of defending myself other than being crude and picking my nose. When I look at it now with some distance, I realize all I was doing was writing about myself.”

8. A Dallas test screening almost killed Revenge of the Nerds.

The film tested well in Las Vegas—an 85—but when the Fox executives took the movie to Dallas, the number dipped. “You’re gonna send us to Dallas to screen a movie that celebrates nerds and in which the black guys intimidate the white football players?!” director Kanew told the Arizona Daily Star. The movie scored in the 60s, which caused Fox to cut marketing for the film and only release it on 364 screens. “I don’t really understand what happened, but it hung around and grew and grew and grew,” Kanew said.

9. Poindexter was originally named after a prop guy.

When Timothy Busfield auditioned for the movie, his character didn’t have many lines, so he had to read Lamar’s lines. At the time, the character was named Lipschultz, after the prop guy. All that was written for the character description was “a violin-playing Henry Kissinger.”

“There was one line Lipschultz had in the original, but our prop guy was named Lipschultz, and he didn’t like the fact that there was a nerd named Lipschultz, so they changed it to Poindexter,” Busfield said during a San Francisco Sketchfest Nerds reunion. Busfield found Poindexter’s costume at a thrift store and showed up to the audition with his hair parted, and danced to “Beat It.”

10. The sequel to Revenge of the Nerds afforded Anythony Edwards a pool.

Anthony Edwards told The A.V. Club that he didn’t want to appear in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, but acquiesced because the producers talked him into it. He’s hardly in the film, but the money he earned afforded him a simple luxury. “I ended up with a pool in my backyard that I called the Revenge of the Nerds II pool,” Edwards said. “Not that I’m complaining, but they seriously overpaid me for my weeks of work on the film, so I used it to put in a pool.”

11. A remake (thankfully) got shut down.

After two weeks of filming in the fall of 2006, a Revenge of the Nerds remake stopped production. Emory University in Atlanta pulled out of filming, but according to Variety, the real reason was because a Fox Atomic executive “was not completely satisfied with the dailies.” The cast included Adam Brody and Jenna Dewan.

12. Revenge of the Nerds pushed nerdom into the mainstream.

“I’m not going to say Revenge of the Nerds was responsible for everything in nerd culture, but I do think you could make an argument that that attitude began with the last scene in Revenge,” Armstrong told HuffPost. “The last scene—the scene I probably love above all in that movie—we’re at the pep rally and come out in front of everybody as nerds, and encourage these people of different generations to join them in their nerdness. I get teary thinking about it, and you could certainly make an argument that that was the beginning of embracing nerd culture by everybody.”

This story has been updated for 2019.

The Office Star Ellie Kemper Wants to Do a Reunion Episode

NBC - NBCUniversal Media
NBC - NBCUniversal Media

While rumors of The Office getting a reboot have been swirling around for years, the outlook on that happening any time soon doesn't look good. But a reunion episode might just be possible.

Ellie Kemper, who played Erin Hannon in the beloved series, recently stopped by Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen to dish about the sitcom and her thoughts on whether it might be making a return to the small screen: "I would love there to be a reboot, but I don't think there will be. So, that's a sad answer," Kemper admitted. "But maybe like a reunion episode? That would be fun."

E! News reports that Kemper isn’t the only cast member that wants to get the band back together. Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, also thinks a reunion episode would be a hit. “I think it's a great idea," Fischer said in 2018. "I would be honored to come back in any way that I'm able to.”

A key player in the series' success, however, is not so enthusiastic about the idea. Steve Carell, who played the infamous Michael Scott, doesn’t think a revival would be well-received. "The climate's different," Carell told Esquire back in 2018. "I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior. I mean, he's certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That's the point, you know? But I just don't know how that would fly now.”

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