The Great Gonzo is one of the major characters from the television series The Muppet Show. He is an odd-looking, unidentifiable creature with blue fur and a long crooked nose, who has been described as a "whatever", a "weirdo", or a "thing" (in the movie Muppets from Space, it was revealed that he was part of an alien species, but this idea has since been abandoned, with the official status being that the film's events were "just a movie"). Gonzo is the Muppets' resident daredevil performance artist, who takes pride in his uniqueness and enjoys everything that he does, no matter how painful or ill-advised it may be. As one of the franchise's main characters, Gonzo has appeared in almost every Christmas special featuring the Muppets since the late 1970s.
Appearances in Christmas specials
The Great Santa Claus Switch
Long prior to The Muppet Show, Gonzo originated as Snarl, one of Cosmo Scam's henchmen in The Great Santa Claus Switch. In one scene, he pops out of a cigar box to hand Cosmo Scam his cigar. Later, he appears in Santa Claus's workshop as one of the Frackles who take the Elves' place. Snarl is the only Frackle who asks Santa for a present at the beginning of the special - a baseball mitt.
In John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together, Gonzo sings along in the chorus of most of the songs, including "The Twelve Days of Christmas", with his line of course being "Three French Hens". He also has a close call with the volatile Miss Piggy during "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" when the porcine-correct diva mistakes his request for figgy pudding as "piggy pudding".
In A Muppet Family Christmas, Gonzo meets a Christmas Turkey that the Swedish Chef invited over with the intention of cooking for dinner. Gonzo warns the Turkey that he should leave while he still can because he's not safe around the Chef. However, when the smooth-talking Turkey later starts flirting with Gonzo's beloved chicken girlfriend Camilla, he makes Gonzo so mad that he happily lets the Swedish Chef deal with him. In the caroling medley at the end of the special, Gonzo, having apparently made amends with the Turkey, leads the Muppets in singing "Good King Wenceslas".
Gonzo had a prominent role in The Muppet Christmas Carol. Here, he is the story's "omniscient" narrator, claiming to be none other than Charles Dickens himself, a statement that his friend Rizzo the Rat finds dubious, to say the least. He and Rizzo are often on the set while the action is taking place, sometimes getting the worst of it, especially Rizzo. In one instance, Gonzo actively corrects a flubbed line from Sam the Eagle, who, in his patriotic fervor, forgot that the story takes place in Britain. Gonzo and Rizzo decide to wait out the sequence featuring the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as it gets too scary, but promptly return after Scrooge wakes up Christmas morning.
At the beginning of It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Gonzo is seen exchanging gifts with Rizzo at the Muppet Theater's Christmas party. In a reference to The Gift of the Magi, Rizzo reveals that he sold his collection of rare cheese to buy a crystal petri dish for Gonzo's mold collection, but Gonzo sold his mold collection to buy Rizzo a diamond-tipped cheese slicer. Later in the movie, Gonzo is among those whose lives are shown to be worse off in the alternate world where Kermit was never born. In this alternate reality, Gonzo would have become a depressed street performer who plays guitar accompaniment for a dancing brick (which ironically does not dance at all).
Gonzo plays another major role in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. Here, his mistake in not sending the letters and his determination to make it right drive much of the plot. Accompanied by Kermit, Fozzie, Rizzo, and Pepe, Gonzo travels to the North Pole in an attempt to deliver the letters to Santa Claus.
In Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular, Gonzo and his fellow Muppets perform alongside Lady Gaga as she sings songs from her newly-released album, ARTPOP. Outside of the songs, Gonzo also auditions his Amazing Hypto-stare to Kermit and Scooter, and later suggests that Gaga feature chickens in the show's finale. In the show's commercial segues, Gonzo also talks about his past holiday memories, and he and Kristen Bell also discuss what the holiday means to them.