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Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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The Evolution of Gonzo (1970-present)

Image As seen in Year Notes
The Great Santa Claus Switch 1970 Gonzo started life as Snarl, the Cigar Box Frackle.
The Muppet Show
Season 1
1976 In the first season, performer Dave Goelz underplayed Gonzo's emotions, as the puppet was designed with a permanently sad look. The producers noticed that he worked better in a more energetic form, so Goelz modified the eyes to have movable eyelids which helped make him a more active character. An altered version of this puppet with blue eyelids was used for one of the openings for the second season of The Muppet Show.
The Muppet Show
Season 2
1977-1983 Still in his tux, Gonzo's eyelids are now yellow and can move back and forth, allowing Gonzo to look more excited. This version of Gonzo was seen in Seasons 2 through 5 of The Muppet Show, as well as The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Go to the Movies, The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, and John Denver and the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday.
The Muppet Movie 1979 The puppet itself hasn't changed, but is worth noting because of his distinctive outfit.
The Great Muppet Caper 1981 Gonzo has another wardrobe change for his role as an ace photographer.
The Jim Henson Hour 1984-1991 Gonzo retained 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 1992-1996 Here, the first major change in Gonzo's actual design occurs since 1977. He has foam yellow eyelids which overlap, giving Gonzo a slightly more demented look. 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 1996-2001 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 2002-2009 Gonzo returns to wearing a suit as he did during his Muppet Show days, but now sports a necktie instead of a bowtie. His overlapping eyelid placement has remained the same.
D23 Expo 2009 Gonzo is resculpted entirely, now donning a thicker nose than ever before, while his pupil size was reduced considerably. The same new puppet was used for some of the Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. commercials, though still in alternation with the previous puppet.

This article uses material from the "Gonzo Through the Years" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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