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Gonzo's stunts


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The stunts of The Great Gonzo frequently attempted to combine bizarre performance art with high culture on The Muppet Show. They are terrible acts, but Gonzo considers them artistic. Dave Goelz, performer of Gonzo, recalled that Jack Burns, the show's original head writer, who during an early meeting suggested Gonzo perform "these crazy acts like eating a tire to 'Flight of the Bumblebee!'[1]

See also: Gonzo's stunt gear


The Muppet Show Season 1

Picture Theme Episode Description
Flight of the Bumblebee
Gonzo Eats a Rubber Tire
Episode 101: Juliet Prowse
Gonzo eats a rubber tire to the music of "Flight of the Bumblebee," and gets booed off the stage after a few bites.
1812 Overture
Gonzo Grows a Tomato Plant
Episode 102: Connie Stevens
Gonzo grows a tomato plant to the tune of the "1812 Overture." The plant later captures Hilda, Scooter, and himself.
Gonzo Demolishes an Automobile
Episode 103: Joel Grey
Gonzo demolishes an automobile to the tune of the "Anvil Chorus."
Gonzo Does a Rock Act
Episode 109: Charles Aznavour
Gonzo does a rock act: hitting a rock with a mallet.
Gonzo Impersonates a Female
Episode 109: Charles Aznavour
Gonzo dresses as a little girl.
Gonzo Does a Balloon Act
Episode 111: Lena Horne
Gonzo has planned a balloon act, but Animal ruins it.

The Muppet Show Season 2

Picture Theme Episode Description
Gonzo Wrestles a Brick
Episode 207: Edgar Bergen
Gonzo, blindfolded, wrestles a brick.
210 fiddles
Gonzo Fiddles While George Burns
Episode 210: George Burns
Gonzo fiddles while George burns.
Gonzo Plays the Bagpipes Atop a Flagpole
Episode 217: Julie Andrews
Gonzo performs "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" on the bagpipes while sitting atop a flagpole. A beaver chews the flagpole down, ending Gonzo's act.
Gonzo Plays a Solo Trumpet to "Flight of the Bumblebee"
Episode 218: Jaye P. Morgan
Backed by Rowlf on the piano, Gonzo plays "Flight of the Bumblebee" on his trumpet while Animal chases the bumblebee.
Peter Sellers
Gonzo Does a Knife-Throwing Act
Episode 219: Peter Sellers
Gonzo throws knives at Peter Sellers in character as Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
Gonzo Recites Shakespeare While Hanging by His Nose
Episode 222: Teresa Brewer
Gonzo recites Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice while hanging by his nose from a feather boa nine-feet in the air, but sneezes in the middle of it.
Gonzo Catches a Cannonball
Episode 223: John Cleese
Gonzo catches a cannonball with his bare hand.

The Muppet Show Season 3

Picture Theme Episode Description
Gonzo Recites the Seven Times Table
Episode 301: Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge
Gonzo attempts to recite the seven-times tables while standing on a hammock and balancing a piano.
303 pogo stick
Gonzo Yodels While Riding a Motorized Pogo Stick
Episode 303: Roy Clark
Gonzo yodels Rimsky-Korsakov while riding on a motorized pogo-stick. The pogo-stick goes out of control, acting as a jack hammer through the floor.
Gonzo Rides a Motorcycle into Statler and Waldorf's Balcony
Episode 315: Lesley Ann Warren
After a failed attempt, Gonzo rides his motorcycle into Statler and Waldorf's theater box.
Gonzo Hypnotizes Himself
Episode 324: Cheryl Ladd
Gonzo hypnotizes himself into holding up a 5000-pound weight with one arm. He snaps his fingers and becomes crushed by the weight.

The Muppet Show Season 4

Picture Theme Episode Description
Gonzo Recites Poetry While Defusing a Bomb
Episode 407: Dudley Moore
Gonzo recites the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley while defusing a bomb.
Gonzo Shoots Himself from a Catapult
Episode 410: Kenny Rogers
Gonzo shoots himself from a catapult to sky-write the "Hallelujah Chorus" but ends up sending Kermit and Miss Piggy flying into Statler and Waldorf's theater box.
Gonzo Tap Dances in Oatmeal
Episode 411: Lola Falana
Gonzo sings "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" while tap-dancing in oatmeal.
Gonzo Does an Indescribable Act
Episode 424: Diana Ross
The curtain opens for Gonzo, onstage with a swinging rubber tire, a flaming torch, and a cow (she replaced the typewriter). The act goes no further and he is pelted with vegetables.

The Muppet Show Season 5

Picture Theme Episode Description
Gonzo conducts Liebesträume and battles a crab
Episode 504: Shirley Bassey
Gonzo conducts Liebesträume and battles Buster the crab and the violinist.
Gonzo Wrestles a Wild Mountain Gorilla
Episode 509: Debbie Harry
Gonzo planned a wrestling match with Quongo the Wild Mountain Gorilla, but he canceled the match when Quongo got stuck in traffic. Kermit announces the precision drill team from the Okefenokee Pack 12 of the Frog Scouts of America as a replacement. As the scouts go through their drills, Quongo enters expecting to wrestle Gonzo. Instead, the confused gorilla is trampled by the marching frogs.

Muppets Tonight

Picture Theme Episode Description
Gonzo's inverted, suborbital, rocket-powered, anti-gravity bungee jump Episode 102: Garth Brooks Garth Brooks participate in Gonzo's stunt act of inverted, suborbital, rocket-powered, anti-gravity bungee jump.
Gonzo and his Misguided Missiles of Death Episode 106: Tony Bennett Gonzo's rocket stunt sends him all around the Earth until he crashed in a living room of a retirement home where Statler and Waldorf are watching the show on TV.
Gonzo Shoots Cannonballs Episode 206: Paula Abdul To the music of the "1812 Overture," Gonzo shoots The Refined Young Cannonballs from a cannon. Unfortunately, the act knocked much of the cast and himself.
Gonzo Gets Hammered into a railway tie. Episode 210: The Gary Cahuenga Episode Lori Fetrick as the Gladiator Ice and Raye Hollitt as the Gladiator Zap, members of American Gladiators, hammered Gonzo feet first into a railway tie.

Picture Title Description
Dancin' With Danger Gonzo tap-dances on tapioca pudding and thumbtacks.
Going Up?

Additional (Non-Muppet Show)

Gonzo's aquacade act
The Muppets Take Manhattan
"I will first make a death-defying leap from the looped-de-looped ramp, spinning and hurtling my body though flaming circle of doom and landing comfortably in the imitation-leather easy chair; while my chickens do their impression of Tony Bennett singing "The William Tell Oveture."
The Great Gonzo
Head bowling
The Muppets
Gonzo's Stunt Spectacular
Kermit's Party
Gonzo balance a pole with a bucket of a great white shark swimming in finger paint on his head.
Cirque du Poulet
Just for Laughs
The Great Gonzo debuts Cirque du Poulet - an act that attempts to make chickens fly (using rocket technology and gun powder); however Crazy Harry gets carried away and blows the chickens up.
Indoor Running-Of-The-Bulls
Muppets Most Wanted
Gonzo and Salma Hayek both wear a leotard with a target on the front as running of the bulls chase them.

The Muppet Show Comic Book

Gonzo assures a nervous Osbert J. Smedley that his act is risk-free, and offers to let Smedley test out his act, which would involve Smedley getting inside a cannon. A frightened Smedley then claims that there was an error and that the insurance company owes the theater thirty-two cents, and rushes off just before the big finale, which ends up sending Gonzo to the hospital.
Skeeter agrees to help Gonzo with his cannon-shooting act, but when Gonzo trips over an anvil, Skeeter has to go on in his place. She flies form the cannon and lands safely into a vat of tapioca pudding.
Gonzo prepares to dive into a swimming pool full of custard. When a snowstorm cause the custard to become frozen and Gonzo smash his head on the icy dessert.


  1. Plume, Ken. Muppet Central Interview with Dave Goelz.

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