|DESIGN||Michael Frith designer|
|Tim Clarke builder|
To document his exploits, Matt sends Gobo a series of postcards recounting his experiences with the Silly Creatures and their culture from the Fraggle point of view (such as believing skyscrapers to be edible like Doozer buildings). Uncle Matt prides himself on his bravery and resourcefulness, but also tends towards clumsiness, frequently falling backwards or tripping during his travels.
He makes a brief return visit back to Fraggle Rock in the second season episode "Uncle Matt Comes Home," but in the fourth season episode "Uncle Matt's Discovery," he returns to the Rock for good. Although he still makes a few occasional trips to Outer Space, he mostly recounts his travels to the other Fraggles orally, as flashbacks are shown.
As a boy, Matt discovered the Gorgs' Garden and, with it, a new source of food (radishes) during a mushroom blight. He was raised by his Uncle Gobo, also a great Fraggle explorer. As a child, Matt resembled his nephew Gobo, only with blond hair and tan skin and fur. His Uncle Gobo resembled Matt as an adult except his skin was orange and his hair was a faded purple.
In a 2006 interview, Dave Goelz discussed the three character flaws that define Matt's personality: his misperceptions, his clumsiness (created by Goelz to make taping Matt's segments more interesting), and his denial of the first two flaws. As Goelz later said in a 2011 interview;
Traveling Matt is the only Fraggle, and one of the few Fraggle Rock characters in general, to make solo cameo appearances in other Muppet productions, without other Fraggles. He appeared at Kermit and Miss Piggy's wedding in The Muppets Take Manhattan, and promoted the film on German television in 1984. The following year, he was the only Fraggle Rock character present when the Muppets appeared on Night of 100 Stars. In 1986, he received company in the form of Sprocket when introducing scenes in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Reuniting with his fellow Fraggles, he participated in mass appearances in the 1987 Television Academy Hall of Fame induction of Jim Henson, and in A Muppet Family Christmas (in which he took part in "The Holly and the Ivy" during the Carol Sing medley where he pops up next to Doc and Sprocket when the other five Fraggles come into view). Matt also graced NBC interstitial segments for the animated version of Fraggle Rock. He made an illustrated appearance at a dance in Volume 1 of the Return to Labyrinth manga series, asking Hana if they have any radishes. He also appeared alongside Red and Wembley at Carnegie Hall as part of the Jim Henson's Musical World concert, where he mistook the hall for "Carnegie Cave" and as a Doozer cave built for the Gorgs. Matt also made a live appearance for the 2015 BAFTA Awards, seen sitting in the audience during Jocelyn Stevenson's reception speech.
In 2020, Goelz reprised the role of Traveling Matt in the webseries, Fraggle Rock: Rock On! providing the voice while John Tartaglia did the puppetry. In Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, Goelz once again voiced Traveling Matt with two performers alternating on puppetry: Kevin Clash in episodes 102-105 and 107-112, and Frank Meschkuleit in episodes 101, 106, and 113.
A traveling matte is a technique used in television and film to insert a foreground object into a prerecorded background image. This technique was often used in Fraggle Rock, especially when the Fraggles are walking through the many underground caves, as well as the Gorg's Garden.
- Fraggle Rock
- Night of 100 Stars
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (wedding finale)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- A Muppet Family Christmas
- Do It Anyway
- Fraggle Rock: Rock On!
- Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
- Postcards from Traveling Matt
- Uncle Traveling Matt (animated)
- International Uncle Traveling Matt
- The T. Matthew Fraggle Room
- Disney twenty-three, Winter 2011 issue, page 51
- Museum of the Moving Image - "Jim Henson's World: Fraggle Rock Rocks On!" livestream (May 23, 2020)
- personal communication with Henson Company and Scott Hanson
- Postcards from Traveling Matt - Traveling Matt Postcard Transcriptions