After talking about what it was like to work on The Muppet Show, puppeteer Dave Goelz was kind enough to put us in touch with one of his most famous associates, Gonzo the Great, for an exclusive Mercury interview.
MERCURY: How's your afternoon going?
GONZO THE GREAT: It's going well! I'm here in Hoboken, packing some things to take to Portland.
You'll be here in two weeks?
Yeah, I like to get all my luggage set up ahead of time.
And how do you travel?
First of all, the luggage goes first class. And I travel FedEx.
Now, you started out in show business as a performance artist. How did you get into that?
Well, I had this little plumbing business. It wasn't going that great. So I had a traffic accident and, coincidentally, it was with Kermit the Frog. I landed on top of his car, and that's how I wound up traveling with him.
Back then, a lot of people didn't get where you were coming from. There's the time, for example, when you ate a rubber tire in time to "Flight of the Bumblebee."
I know! What's wrong with them? Sometimes you just have to bring the public along with you—bring them up to your level.
On The Muppet Show, there were lots of amazing guest stars. Were there any that you worked particularly well with?
It wouldn't be fair to pick one, but the first that comes to mind is Peter Sellers. He was actually my fan and he wanted to work with me.
Did you have anything especially in common with Mr. Sellers?
We were just very good at our jobs.
So I've been very excited to meet you and I have to admit—I've been bragging to my friends a bit.
A little braggadocio!
A little, yeah. The first thing many of them said when I told them I had an interview with Gonzo was "What's with that guy and the chickens?"
It's interesting you ask me that! A lot of people would maybe want to discuss that with a chicken. But that would be a tabloid angle and that doesn't sound like the Mercury, anyway.
No, we're very much above the fray.
Well, I appreciate you coming to me directly. Because chickens aren't too articulate, and their memories aren't that good. So what's with me and the chickens? Truthfully, it's mostly physical. And between you and me, Andrew, it's the legs! I love the legs.
That's quite a revelation! Unfortunately, I think that's all the time we have.
That's a conversation stopper?
No, it's actually a starter. But we should probably continue off the record because if we go on here—
We'll both be fired!
Exactly. But thank you, Gonzo. It's been a dream come true.
Thank you Andrew. It's been a pleasure. I have to roll along now with my luggage.