PERFORMER Judith Broersen
DEBUT 2003
DESIGN Ed Christie designer
  Rollie Krewson builder

Purk is a piglet from Sesamstraat, the Dutch co-production of Sesame Street.

Purk wears a diaper and a little bow in her ear. She is clumsy and messy and loves to get herself dirty. She can't walk yet and only knows a few words. She is taken care of by everybody on Sesamstraat.

Introduced in 2003, Purk is the newest of the Muppet characters, and she's very popular. She was created in order to introduce the subject of "a younger child in the family". It took three years for Sesame Workshop to approve the character: they felt that Purk should not be too fat due to the issue of obesity. The actual puppet was based on a drawing by Sesamstraat actor and mime artist Hakim Traïda.Also the project was difficult since Sesame Workshop didn´t allow as easily a new character. The Workshop became more flexible when they found out that the American Sesame Street wasn´t doing that great for several years that time and that the international co-productions were best selling products at that time.

Her Appearence

It took a lot of designing and meetings between Sesame Workshop and the Dutch team, before there was a concrete plan for the new muppet. Sesame Workshop and the Dutch designers have had quit some discussions about Purk´s looks. Sesame Workshop designed her as a piglet with hands; the Dutch wanted her to have hooves that made her a little more clumsy. Sesame Workshop then came up with a rather skinny pig. The Dutch wanted her to be fat, but that was difficult due to the issue of heavy weight childeren in the US. Nevertheless she ended up as a fat little piggy. There where made several sketches of Purk. two made by the Sesame Workshop and the thirt by Hakim Traïda. On the sketch she looked a bit like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, but then in the shape of a very messy baby pig. That sketch gave Sesame Workshop enough ideas about her personality and looks, and they based their next sketches on this scribble.

Her Debute

After a week of mysterious introductions referring to a "special surprise", Purk debuted in a Sesamstraat Sinterklaas special. In the special, Tommie runs away from Sesamstraat after he refuses to give his stuffed crocodile to Purk. After he ran away, he got lost in the forest but was found again. He had a good thought about it and desided to give Happie the crocodile to Purk. With this he was formaly crowned to be Purk´s personal knight.

Before the taping of the special, Sesamstraat organized a press convention about Purk's 'birth', hosted by Tommie and Ieniemienie. The newborn Purk came falling out of the sky during the conference.


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