Zoot first appeared with his bandmates in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence before securing a regular gig on The Muppet Show, where he played both in the Muppet Orchestra and with the Mayhem. He has also appeared in every Muppet movie, the most recent being The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, except Kermit's Swamp Years.
One of Zoot's trademarks is blowing small notes of music at a time. He notably blew the final note of "The Muppet Show Theme" in the closing credits on every episode of The Muppet Show (except episode 123), The Muppets Go Hollywood, and The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Although most of his appearances were with the Electric Mayhem, Zoot was more prominently featured as an individual in the early episodes, appearing with Juliet Prowse in a blackout in episode 101, and playing a reluctant duet with Mahna Mahna in "Sax and Violence" in episode 102.
Zoot was considerably more talkative during the show's first season, but he soon started speaking less, often expressing himself purely with music. Dave Goelz explained that "I found that when the writers gave Zoot lines to speak, I would always try to give them away to other characters, because I didn't know what to do with him. Maybe that helped to define the character. Perhaps it's best that he's so non-verbal." Thus, Zoot's proclivity towards speaking more in the earlier episodes may have been due to the fact that Jerry Nelson, who played Zoot's more animated bandmate Floyd, was not available for tapings of The Muppet Show's first episodes.
Is Zoot Jewish?
It is likely that Zoot is Jewish. Hints at this possibility are in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, where Zoot wishes Kermit a happy Hanukkah when he and the rest of the Electric Mayhem arrive at the Christmas party, and in the extended DVD release, where Zoot lights a Menorah.
Is Zoot Homeless?
Several Muppet Show episodes mentions how poor he is. Close to the ending of the "Bohemian Rhapsody" [Kermit's Commentary] video, Kermit finds Zoot in the phone booth. Kermit says he didn't hear him come in. Zoot replies, "Come in? I've been sleeping here for three months." Additionally, although Zoot has had about 8 outfits he's worn the most, in The Great Muppet Caper it is revealed that he has only one pair of pants. And Zoot wore the same pair of shades until 2009 (In 2009 Zoot got more modern shades). The only deviations from his original trademark shades were in Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppet Christmas Carol, where his look was adjusted to fit the time period. These factors may indicate that Zoot is homeless.
Behind the Scenes
Throughout the years, the Zoot puppet has been redesigned several times, his skin changing from gray to blue to green, the texture from exposed foam to fleece and back again, and his nose from green to yellow. Zoot's trademark shades [up until 2009], his bald spot, and his long, blue hair have always stayed with him, though. See Zoot Through the Years to track his changes.
- Zoot was designed by Bonnie Erickson after seeing Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri.
- Zoot has been around for 35 years and still has been performed by the same person ever since his 1st appearance on "The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence" in 1975, Dave Goelz.
- The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence
- The Muppet Show
- (65 episodes: see Muppet Show Episodes That Didn't Feature Main Characters)
- The Muppet Movie
- The Muppets Go Hollywood
- A Christmas Together
- I Love Liberty
- The Great Muppet Caper
- The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show
- Rocky Mountain Holiday
- The Muppets Take Manhattan
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- A Muppet Family Christmas
- The Jim Henson Hour
- The Muppets at Walt Disney World
- The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Muppet Treasure Island
- Muppets Tonight
- Muppets from Space
- Muppet Race Mania
- t's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
- Muppets Party Cruise
- The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
- Muppet TV
- A Green and Red Christmas
- Studio DC: Almost Live
- A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
- D23 Expo (2009)
- Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. commercials
- America's Funniest Home Videos
- Christmas in Rockefeller Center
- "The Muppet Show Theme" music video
- The Muppets
- The Muppet Show Book (1978)
- The Comic Muppet Book (1979)
- Muppets at Sea (1980)
- Fozzie's Big Book of Sidesplitting Jokes (1981)
- Kermit & Cleopigtra (1981)
- Jim Henson's Muppet Show Bill (1982)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
- Jim Henson's Muppet Stories (1991)
- The Phantom of the Muppet Theater (1991)
- Ask Kermit: All About the Human Body (1996)
- The Muppet Show Comic Book (2009)
- Muppet Robin Hood Issue #3 (2009)
- Muppet Robin Hood Issue #4 (2009)
- The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson (2009)
- Snow White