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Pepe the King Prawn

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Performer:
Pepe-thumbs-up
Pepe and piggy
Pepe shares a scene with Miss Piggy in The Muppets
Pepe-doorman
Pepe in his elevator operator outfit during his Muppets Tonight days.
Pepe-the-prawn
Pepe-jacket
Nakedpepe
Pepe in a rare naked appearance, as Toto in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
Pepephone
Pepe as Toto.
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Pepe-hat
Pepe as seen in a video from Disney.com
Pepe-sweater
Pepe sports a sweater on America's Funniest Home Videos.
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Pepe seems to be especially fond of wearing tutus
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Pepecomicbook
Pepe appeared as a background character in The Muppet Show Comic Book.
Pepe Beach
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Pepe with Kermit the Frog.
For other uses, see Pepe (disambiguation)

Pepe the King Prawn, whose full name is Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzales, started life in Madrid, Spain. He worked as a chef, before moving to Hollywood and following his true calling in show business. In a TVGuide.com chat in 1999, he remarked, "There were one too many close calls in the kitchen. I was mistaken for an appetizer, okay."

The four-armed Pepe is very proud of being a king prawn, and takes great offense if anyone refers to him as a shrimp ("I am not a shrimp! I am a king prawn, okay?"). He speaks with a heavy Spanish accent, often punctuating his sentences with "...okay?" Puppeteer Bill Barretta, who created the character, based the accent on his wife's aunt, who is known in the family as "Maria Teresa Okay".[1] Due to his sometimes impenetrable accent, Pepe calls the Muppets "Muffins" or "Muppens", and he regularly calls Kermit "Kermin", Fozzie Bear "Fotzie", and Rizzo "Ritzo". He also referred to Scooter as "Scooper" in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.

Pepe is in love with Hollywood, and expects he will earn several Oscar nominations (for good looks, acting and choreography. And foley.). His influences include Dick van Dyke, Marlon Brando, Ruth Buzzi, Topo Gigio, and Mighty Mouse. He has also referred to Ricky Martin on at least two separate occasions. In his TVGuide.com chat, he challenged the pop star to a sing-off, and in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, he was invited to shake his "bon bons" at Ricky Martin's South Beach Christmas party.

Pepe is the author of the book It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp. In a 2008 interview promoting the book, Pepe announced that he is a father. He and his long-time girlfriend, Christine, have a 2-year-old baby.[2] He has a cousin named Manolo, who he mentions in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie at the sight of Rachel Bitterman's small toe. He also mentions him in a January 2010 appearance on America's Funniest Home Videos when a video is shown of a girl eating a prawn, and briefly in a blooper reel for Long John Silver's commercials.

Pepe is Robin's guide and narrator in the Muppets Monster Adventure Playstation game.

Muppets Tonight

Pepe's first appearance was on Muppets Tonight in 1996, as a companion to Seymour the Elephant. The pair worked at the KMUP studios, as elevator operators in the first season and as commissary chefs in the second season, but they always aspired to onscreen singing stardom. These dreams never came true, however, because their performances were dire. They would always sing the same song, with slightly altered lyrics:

I'm Seymour...
'I'm Pepe...
'
We're two of a kind.
'I'm a little bit forward,
'
And I've got a big behind.

The pair only appeared on stage twice -- in the Pierce Brosnan episode, when they were taken hostage by an army of lobsters in a bid to take over the studio, and in the Sandra Bullock episode, when Clifford and Rizzo were desperate for an act to keep the show's ratings above 50.

When Muppets Tonight went off the air, Pepe ditched his partner; Seymour has never appeared again.

At MuppetFest, Bill Barretta explained that originally, Pepe was going to be a mouse, but "We decided an elephant and a mouse was too easy."

Pepe goes solo

Pepe established himself as a "solo act" in the 1999 film Muppets from Space, in which he connives with Rizzo to convince Gonzo that the aliens want him to build a jacuzzi. As developed in later appearances, the smooth-talking Pepe sees himself as a crustacean Casanova. His efforts are generally less than successful, as exemplified by Rachel Bitterman's treatment of him in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.

In 2002, he became the official spokesprawn for Long John Silver's, starring in several commercials and appearing on their website. These commercials brought Pepe nationwide attention, and Long John Silver's was deluged with e-mails asking for Pepe merchandise, especially plush dolls. [3]

In a TV appearance on CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Pepe revealed to the world that he had become engaged to a girl named Christina, also from Madrid, and together they have a total of about 1,500 children. Pepe might open his own seafood restaurant chain soon.

He served as a correspondent in the early installments of the web series Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony, where - among other things - he interviewed Jodie Foster and other actors on the red carpet of Flightplan. He was performed by Drew Massey for the "test pilot" of the show.

Pepe's popularity and irreverence, along with Bill Barretta's improvisational skills, have resulted in Pepe's becoming a frequent host of DVD extra features. Pepe introduces much of the behind-the-scenes material on the DVDs for It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, while "Pepe's Profiles" of various Muppet characters are featured on the 'Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition' releases of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.

Pepe makes a brief speaking cameo in the film, The Muppets, rehearsing a dance number with Miss Piggy.

Filmography

Book appearances

Character Merchandise

Sources

  1. MuppetFest panel
  2. Pepe Interview with Author Magazine, October 2008
  3. Liebeck, Laura. "Pepe the King Prawn speaks out", Global License! magazine. January 1, 2002.

External links

Start a Discussion Discussions about Pepe the King Prawn

  • Pepe the King Prawn: Rename

    2 messages
    • I think that this should be renamed Pépe the King Prawn, since it's the actual spelling of his name. Agree?
    • 99% of the references to his name don't use the accent mark. To further confuse the above image, The Muppets Character Encyclopedia places it...

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