Joe the Legal Weasel first appeared in early publicity for the upcoming Disney+ series Muppets Now. The first press release for the series, released to the public on August 23, 2019, was a signed letter from Kermit the Frog with edits made by Joe; including certain sections redacted in black marker, and a stamp saying "Restricted Until I Say So."
Joe made his first physical appearance in the Muppets Now teaser video that was screened during the Disney+ panel at the D23 Expo on August 23. Joe listens intently as Kermit announces the new series and constantly stops him from divulging specific details about the show. Joe is shown to speak in a low monotone voice and laughs uproariously at his own jokes.
Joe also appeared in a 2019 "Talk Like a Pirate Day" video published to The Muppets social media accounts on September 19. Kermit, Gonzo, Pepe, and Fozzie Bear celebrate the holiday until Joe pops in, declaring "I infringe on copyright." When Kermit comments that he doesn't sound very pirate-y, Joe replies "Copyright infringement is today's most common type of piracy." His obnoxious laughter drives the others away. He then appeared solo in a 2020 video celebrating Groundhog Day.