What is Gonzo Muppet’s Gender? Light on the Non-Binary and Gender Issues in “The Muppet Show”
Gonzo is one of our all-time favorite muppets, from The Muppet Show, which is considered the most widely watched TV program in the world. Gonzo muppet first debuted in the 1970 special show The Great Santa Claus Switch, developed and performed by Dave Goelz.
In The Muppet Show, where he’s a muppet character known for his weird and odd love for stunt performance. His species was unclear in the show and even referred to him as some unknown alien with indigo fur, wide eyes, and a long crooked nose. Gonzo takes pride in his uniqueness and enjoys everything he does with an optimistic view.
The Muppet Show has a total of five seasons that aired from 1976 to1981, it’s a comedic show where the muppets put on a variety of weekly shows at their puppet theatre. But for them, things never go the way they plan. The show is targeted not only at kids but has a blend of live-action with puppetry to entertain both the adults and kids with very family-friendly content.
What is Gonzo, The “Whatever”?
Muppets, the term was coined by the popular puppeteer Jim Henson, who is the pioneer of the muppets of television and motion picture. Muppets first were seen in the 60s and are still haven’t lost their value. Gonzo the muppet from The Muppet Show, has always been viewed as a weirdo and nobody really knows about his real origin. It’s a running gag related to Gonzo that nobody has any answer for it, not even his creators thought much about his identity while designing him.
We can see this from the various show and how the muppets characters referred to Gonzo as “whatever”. In The Muppet Movie (1979), Kermit thinks of Gonzo as a thing who is a bit like turkey but not much and calls him whatever, and in the Muppet Babies (1984-1991), Gonzo is simply referred to as a weirdo by Baby Piggy. In The Great Muppet Caper(1981) when Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo were shipped in crates to England each one of them was labeled according to the species they belong to.
Kermits as a frog, Fozzie as a bear, but Gonzo was labeled as “whatever”. This is where he formally classified himself as “whatever”. Then in Muppet From Space (1999), Gonzo has revealed to be an alien, where his long-lost family tracked him down and asked him to return to space with them.
Does Gonzo Reveal to be Non-Binary?
There was a time when everybody was talking about Gonzo’s species and its origin but now it has made many of us question his gender. In one of the Muppet’s Comic Strips, Gonzo has been shown walking ahead of a men’s and women’s bathroom to enter whatever tagged door. Which has made us all question his gender. Recently with the new animated version of the Disney Junior series Muppet Babies with the episode, Gonzo rella has shed a positive light on the subject of non-binary and gender diversity and the whole LGBTQ community.
The episode shows how Gonzo yearns to wear a sparkling dress to miss Piggy’s royal ball. But what his friends think, is that dresses are for the girls and not for the boys, which creates a line for gonzo not to cross otherwise he won’t be accepted. Though later, Gonzo stunned everyone at the ball with his sparkly gown with the help of Rizzo the fairy rat father’s wand.
At the end of the episode Gonzo proudly reveals to his friends that he was the mystery princess from the ball and tells them that, he doesn’t want to upset them all with him, but he also doesn’t want to do things because that’s the way they’ve always been done either and that he just wants to be himself. After hearing him the muppets felt guilty for their words to Gonzo for telling him what to wear and asserting to him that they love him regardless of how he looked.
Check out these links for the Gonzo-rella episode:
The Muppet Babies episode has highlighted the neglected subjects about gender and the LGBTQ community that still have less respect in our society. This type of show can help the children to find their true identities and can relate the character to themself. The children can learn freely about themselves without anyone forcing them to accept a particular societal custom.
Many audiences have praised the show for introducing the idea of gender to the children to expand their knowledge more in the field and not be only bound by societal rules.