The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters known for their self-aware, burlesque, and meta-referential style of variety-sketch comedy. Created by Jim and Jane Henson in 1955, they are the namesake for the Disney media franchise that encompasses television, music, films, theme park attractions, and other media associated with the characters.
The Muppets debuted on their first television program, Sam and Friends, broadcast from 1955 to 1961. Following appearances on late night talk shows and television advertisements during the 1960s, the Muppets began appearing on Sesame Street in 1969. The Muppets attained celebrity status and international recognition through their breakout roles in The Muppet Show (1976–1981), a primetime television series that garnered four Primetime Emmy Award wins and twenty-one nominations during its five-year run.
(born July 16, 1946) is a puppeteer
best-known for his association with The Muppets
, and in particular with the Muppet character Gonzo
. His other Muppet characters include Bunsen Honeydew
, Zoot (the saxophonist
of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
), Beauregard the janitor and Tiny (the humungous chicken in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
) . He also performed the characters of Boober Fraggle and Uncle Travelling Matt on Fraggle Rock
. He also performed the puppetry for various characters, including Sir Didymus and Wiseman's Hat (both voiced by David Shaughnessy
) in Labyrinth
. Outside of puppeteering, he is the current voice actor for the Disney character Figment
. After Jim Henson
died in 1990, Goelz took over puppeteering Waldorf
He met Frank Oz at a puppetry festival in 1972, and during a vacation in New York City, he attended daily Sesame Street tapings. A few months later, Goelz showed his design portfolio to Jim Henson, and in 1973, he was offered a job with Henson Associates as a part-time puppet builder. His first assignment was to build puppets and design effects for a proposed Broadway show. However, the show was soon abandoned in favor of an ABC pilot, The Muppets Valentine Show, for which Goelz built characters and got his first crack at performing, playing Brewster, whom he also designed.
Sam the Eagle is a character from the syndicated television show The Muppet Show, performed by Frank Oz. The name "Sam" is probably derived from Uncle Sam, as the Bald Eagle is the official symbol of the United States. On the show, Sam acts as a censor and speaks as if unhip. He often gives self-important lectures in which he complains about some liberal idea only to find himself forced to stop in embarrassment. On one occasion he gives a lecture about conservationism in which he reads a list of endangered animal species that he feels are the focus of misguided efforts to save them, only to sheepishly withdraw his statement when he realizes that his own species is included. In another sketch, he lectures about the indecency that all people are naked underneath their clothes, then leaves in embarrassment upon realizing that all birds are similarly naked underneath their feathers.
As the voice of the older generation's sensibilities, he happily introduces his favorite singing duo, Wayne and Wanda, with gushing praise, calling them classy and artistic (though their routines invariably ended with typical slapstick violence). The couple sings old standards like "You Do Something to Me" and "It's only a Paper Moon". Sam's intolerance on one occasion had him throwing guest star Rudolf Nureyev out of the building in a fit of temper, mistaking him for a bum. To his credit, he becomes extremely upset when he learns of his mistake, and is forgiven.