In an attempt to dispel anti-swine stereotypes and send a message of good nutrition to kids, Mike Marine created The Pig Club, a pilot for a new children’s TV show.
BY HILLARY WASCH
The Miami Herald
Slim Piggy, the Hogfather and Sgt. Pork are dedicated to hogging the most out of life, and hope kids will follow in their hoofsteps.
The three pigs are characters in a pilot episode of a new children’s television show, The Pig Club, which was shot Saturday in a Fort Lauderdale studio, with about 40 local kids participating.
”We get to sing, we get to make new friends, we get to play and we get to throw mud,” said an enthusiastic Taylor Abbott, 6, of Boca Raton.
The show opened up with Sgt. Pork, played by Jeff Kitain, ordering kids to do the pig salute — placing their thumbs to the tips of their noses and pushing them up so they look like pig snouts. He then asked them to give ”three snorts” for King T-Bone, the leader of the club.
Mike Marine, the show’s creator who also plays King T-Bone, said The Pig Club’s mission is to teach kids to eat healthy and stay active.
But why use a pig to represent good eating habits?
”Pigs are denigrated in society, but they are actually one of the smartest, cleanest animals,” said Marine, 50.
The Weston man was a certified public accountant in the healthcare industry for 20 years before creating The Pig Club.
”They are even smarter than dogs,” he said. “There are too many stereotypes out there. We shouldn’t take things at face value, and pigs are a good example of that.”
The show centers around a competition between five weekly contestants. The kids are tested in four areas: mud slinging, pig knowledge, pig poise and a pie-eating contest.
How can a pie-eating contest teach kids about healthy eating? ”We use low-fat, low-sugar pies,” Marine said.
The show also will have skits involving four characters, all played by Marine’s four children. Lenny Marine, 24, plays Lenlard, a pig who enjoys working out and eating healthy. Karen Marine, 20, plays Karham, a pig who loves attention. Rachel Marine, 17, plays Rachsow, the smartest pig around and Rebecca Marine, 13, plays Rebacon, the cheerleader pig.
Mike Marine said he came up with the idea for a children’s show four years ago.
”I love kids and I love acting,” he said. “It was a dream of mine.”
So much of a dream that Marine put $40,000 of his money into the production of the pilot.
Marine hired David Berman from Primetime Video Production Services, and Alan Taffel from Idea Factory as the producer/directors. Both Berman and Taffel spent the past two months putting together a team to help with the pilot, including a set designer, production truck, set crew and lighting director.
”We are puting together an eight-minute promotional video to send to TV networks, agents and distributors all over the country,” Taffel said.
The show has not yet been bought by a network, but Marine said he thinks The Pig Club has a shot.
”I think there is a need out there for a wholesome show that focuses on educating kids in a fun and clever way,” Marine said.
Marine has been coming up with ideas for future episodes.
”I had this idea to have a character called Sad Ham Insane, and I would have Sgt. Pork ask him where his weapons of mud destruction were,” Marine said. “But I figured it wouldn’t be good for the kids.”