Muppet Wiki
Muppet Wiki
PERFORMER Jerry Nelson
DEBUT 1983
DESIGN Michael K. Frith designer
  Caroly Wilcox,
Tim Miller builders


Gobo as a child.

Michael Frith's concept sketch.

Gobo Fraggle is one of the five main Fraggles in Fraggle Rock. In Gobo's earliest appearances, he wore a yellow sweater with a purple cardigan. After the first twelve episodes, he would trade in this outfit for a yellow sweater with purple stripes and a brown vest.

Gobo Fraggle is an explorer, just like his Uncle Traveling Matt. Whereas Matt explores Outer Space, Gobo devotes himself to the exploration of Fraggle Rock's many caverns and unchartered regions. Gobo is also the only Fraggle who is brave enough to go into Doc's Workshop to pick up his uncle's postcards while evading Doc's dog Sprocket. Whenever the Fraggles are in trouble, Gobo finds inspiration in these postcards.

Personality and History

Gobo is adventurous, clever, and kind. Although he is a good leader, he has a tendency to be conceited and domineering on occasion. He shares a room with his best friend, Wembley Fraggle and is close friends with Red Fraggle. Gobo has an accomplished singing voice and plays the guitar. His dialogue is occasionally peppered with a Canadian-sounding "eh," a likely reference to the show's being filmed in Canada. He is allergic to radish bars.

In the first season, flashbacks of Gobo as a child, being raised by Uncle Traveling Matt, appeared in "The Garden Plot" and "Gobo's Discovery." The young Gobo wore a yellow tank top with the same stripe pattern as his later sweater.

In "The Honk of Honks," Gobo ends up making himself known to Doc.

Outside Fraggle Rock

In A Muppet Family Christmas, Gobo (along with the other main Fraggles) meets Kermit the Frog and Robin the Frog when they enter a Fraggle Hole in Ma Bear's house in Grizzly Farm. Later, during the Muppets' carol medley, Gobo leads his friends into outer space to investigate.

Gobo also appeared as part of the salute to Jim Henson on The Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. Jerry Nelson reprised the role of Gobo for the "Just One Person" performance at Jim Henson's Memorial. Gobo appeared next to Wembley in the background of the same number in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.

In his first speaking performance in over 20 years, Gobo (performed by John Tartaglia[1]) appeared in commercials promoting The Hub's "Fraggle Rock-A-Thon" in April 2013. Gobo made similar live appearances at The Spare Room and the Museum of the Moving Image.

Behind the Scenes

"Gobo" (short for "go between") is a lighting term used in film, television and theater. In the context of the show, Gobo is named after his great-uncle Gobo, Traveling Matt's uncle. In the language of the ancient Fraggles, "Gobo" means "Take off your hat!"

Gobo was puppeteered by Steve Whitmire during the audition tapes. During the series announcement in Toronto, Jim Henson puppeteered an early build of Gobo. (YouTube)

When the Gobo puppet was redesigned halfway through the first season of Fraggle Rock, it was changed to represent a more mature Gobo. For the first two episodes after his look significantly changed, he wore a hat, possibly to hide the fact that his hair was now shorter. Throughout the show's five seasons, occasionally he wears different hats.



Gobo as seen in a 2013 Hub promo.

See also