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Gonzo Through the Years


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The evolution of Gonzo.

Image As seen in / Year Notes
The Great Santa Claus Switch
Gonzo starts life as Snarl, the Cigar Box Frackle.
The Muppet Show
Season 1
For The Muppet Show, the hook-nosed Frackle puppet is rechristened as The Great Gonzo and is given a purplish-red tuxedo. His permanently downcast expression gave performer Dave Goelz little to develop with during that first season. When he realized the character worked better in a more energetic form, Goelz built a new Gonzo puppet between the first and second year with mobile eyelids, helping him become a more active character. For the rest of The Muppet Show's run, the original Gonzo puppet became sort of a substitute for the latter puppet if needed. Such rare examples include one of the second season openings, as well as episodes 207 and 419.
The Muppet Show
Season 2
Goelz’s improved Gonzo puppet has yellow-green eyelids that can raise and lower with expression, through a mechanism inside the puppet. His nose is slightly duller and isn’t as blue as before. His mouth has a more defined uvula and pink tongue, similar to other Muppets.
The Muppet Show
Season 3
Although Gonzo still wears his purplish-red tux (usually seen in the opening theme), he also begins to wear a more dazzling brighter velvet tuxedo, with purple lapels/cuffs and a magenta bow tie. He is also modified a bit, with an adjusted eye focus and a more rounded nose.
The Muppet Movie
(1978 - 1979)
Gonzo's eyelids are now orange-yellow with dark green rims. Gonzo's nose is now tan with a faint trace of blue. His plumber outfit, consisting of a light blue shirt, a black vest, and a blue visor, is occasionally worn during Season 4 of The Muppet Show, in addition to his tux.
The Muppet Show
Season 4
Gonzo is given a slightly bigger physique than previous puppets, as well as a few subtle adjustments with his eyes. His pupils become larger and are closer towards each other. In addition, his eyelids are a darker, almost brown, color. Gonzo has also lost a great amount of his ostrich-feather hair. Much of these features remain this way for the next couple of decades.
The Great Muppet Caper
Gonzo has a tan coat and a sweater vest for his role as an ace photographer in The Great Muppet Caper.
The Jim Henson Hour
Gonzo retains his sweater vest from The Great Muppet Caper, looking a bit like Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show. Gonzo sports this look in The Muppets Take Manhattan, A Muppet Family Christmas, The Jim Henson Hour, The Muppets at Walt Disney World, Muppet*Vision 3D and The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Gonzo's eyelids now overlap, giving him a slightly more demented look. His nose is variations of purple, blue, and tan. During the storybook-adaptation era for the Muppets, Gonzo usually appeared in clothing befitting the time period of the story. Gonzo can be seen in this form in The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.
Muppets Tonight
Continuing a sartorial style first glimpsed in 1990s commercials and Muppet Classic Theater, Gonzo's typical attire now includes a loud jacket, wild tie, and other "hip" and unusual clothing elements, in contrast to his earlier suit or daredevil outfit. In addition to Muppets Tonight, Gonzo appeared in this clothing again in Muppets from Space and at MuppetFest.

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie,
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
In It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Gonzo wears a suit, almost as he did during his Muppet Show days, but sports a necktie instead of a bowtie. Gonzo's nose is just tan. Beginning with A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, he gets a new eye mechanism that allows him to lift one eyelid separately.
D23 Expo
Gonzo is resculpted entirely, donning a thicker, very blue nose. His eyelids are now orange-yellow again like the late-70's puppet, and his pupil size is reduced considerably. Gonzo is also bigger, most noticeable from his head and hands. This version of the puppet was first seen at the D23 Expo, as well as some of the Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. commercials, which were filmed earlier.
The Muppets' Fan-A-Thon
For The Muppets, Gonzo returns to sporting his sweater vest from the 1980s, a consistent part of his normal apparel with some variations of ties and shirts. His nose also becomes less blue than the previous version.

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