Gonzo's family has long been a canonical conundrum within the Muppet universe. Members of Gonzo's family are rarely seen or even mentioned, and the family history of Gonzo is a bit of a mystery—even to Gonzo himself.
Muppet Babies showed an infant Gonzo, like many of the Muppets, raised exclusively under the care of Nanny. No parents or other relatives were visibly present in the little weirdo's life. However, a fantasy segment in the third season episode "Fozzie's Family Tree" showed Gonzo tracing his family tree back to the planet of Crouton located in the Soup Galaxy. In that sequence, a parody of Superman's backstory, Gonzo learned that Crouton, where millions of weirdos lived, was in the process of quickly becoming normal, so his parents Sor-Elbow and Weirda sent him in a rocket to Earth to be raised by chickens.
However, according to the Muppet Kids book series, an adolescent Gonzo was raised by his grandmother and his aunt. Gonzo's grandmother is the same species as Gonzo, as is his aunt, and cousin Gander. Gonzo's parents are not shown or mentioned nor is there a stated reason as to why Gonzo is in the care of his grandmother.
In both Muppet Babies and Muppet Kids, the young Gonzo seems to have no contact or interaction with his mother and father. However, other productions imply otherwise.
It was in episode 210 of The Muppet Show that Gonzo first mentions his parents. Gonzo explained that his mother died before he was born. However she left a note to Gonzo’s father regarding Gonzo's name.
His father and grandfather were mentioned by Gonzo in a panic during a 1994 Larry King Live appearance: "I've always been pre-recorded, my father was pre-recorded, and my grandfather before him was transcribed!" Another appearance around this time on Pebble Mill alleged that his parents were an anteater and a toaster, but Gonzo insists on not talking about it.
But the issue of an absent mother in Gonzo’s life (especially a deceased one) was contradicted in episode 108 of Muppets Tonight when Gonzo claimed his mother liked the unique interpretation of Death of a Salesman he produced during his years at college. Later in episode 210, Gonzo says his mother wouldn't let him go to Lollapalooza.
Gonzo's mother is referenced in The Muppets episode "Hostile Makeover." Gonzo mentions that he gets junk emails from his "mother" who's "stuck overseas" and "needs money." Kermit points that Gonzo's mother is on a South American cruise, causing Gonzo to realize these might not have been spam messages. At the end of the episode, Gonzo shares the good news with Kermit that they found his mother. He starts to explain that the cruise ship had an expedition where you ride goats up Machu Picchu, and, as Kermit knows, his mother is a terrible goat-rider. The elevator doors close and the episode ends before Gonzo can finish his story.
When asked "what exactly is Gonzo?" in an Ask Henson.com, Dave Goelz responded stating, "Nobody knows except his parents, and they're not talking. It was always one of those taboo subjects around the dinner table."
However Muppets from Space showed a very different take on Gonzo's entire family situation and backstory. Similar to his situation on Muppet Babies, Gonzo lamented that not only did he not know where he came from but he also didn't truly know what he was. Contradicting other mentions of Gonzo's youth, it is established that Gonzo has never known any member of his family (or anyone else of his species).
In the 1999 film, Gonzo is contacted by aliens channeling his breakfast cereal, and a pair of Cosmic Fish soon reveal to him that he is, in fact, an alien from outer space. It is later revealed that many "zotons" ago Gonzo was lost, and his family has ever since been looking for him. These alien bretheran has been trying to contact him for sometime and finally make plans with Gonzo (via a sandwich) to reconnect with their long-lost brother and take him home. They arrive at Cape Doom in their giant spaceship (guided by an egg-like light beacon). These aliens displayed the same general physical characteristics as Gonzo's. They are a musical culture, and their "most ceremonious of ceremonies" includes blowing the honoree out of a cannon. Gonzo is ecstatic to discover what he is and, for the first time, meet others of his family and species. He does consider going with them, however in the end he realizes his true home is on Earth with his Muppet family.
Despite Muppets from Space's seemingly definitive answer as to Gonzo's origin, the movie, as with any other Muppet movie, leaves some room for interpretation. Interviews with Gonzo and Dave Goelz suggest that the events of Muppets from Space were "just a movie" and his classification and backstory is still up in the air.
- Sor-Elbow - Gonzo's Father
- Weirda - Gonzo's Mother
- Grandma - Gonzo's Grandmother
- Grace - Gonzo's Aunt
- Gander - Gonzo's Cousin
- Kevin - Gonzo's Cousin
- Alien Gonzos
Others of Gonzo's species
- Admiral Bronzo
- Dr. Donzo
- The Flying Flonzos
- The Great Garbanzo.
- Professor Ronzo
- Gonzo sung "Dancing with Myself" and danced with multiple versions of himself on episode 207 of Muppets Tonight.