Goelz is one of the few Muppet performers to have no prior puppetry experience before the Muppets. He got his start as an industrial designer and pursued that career while remaining interested in the design process of puppets, as a hobby. During a vacation to New York, where he visited the 'Sesame Street' tapings, he was able to showcase his design portfolio to Henson, who hired him as a part-time puppet builder. Goelz moved away from his previous career and began to dedicate his time to the craft of puppet building; he soon became a full-time member of the Henson team and built the first models of Animal and other members of the Electric Mayhem. With the premiere of 'The Muppet Show,' Goelz was promoted to "Principle Muppet Performer" and given his own character to develop: Gonzo the Great. Goelz's nervousness and discomfort performing in front of the character, infused his portrayal of Gonzo as an out-of-place misfit; as Goelz's confidence grew, so too did Gonzo's daredevil bravery.
Over time, Goelz became a major Muppet performer, and after Henson's death and Frank Oz's move into directing, Goelz became the senior performer in the company's 90s productions. To this day, he continues to work in Muppet productions, and developed an especially fruitful creative relationship with fellow performer Steve Whitmire.
'The Muppet Show': Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Various Characters
'The Muppet Movie': The Great Gonzo, Zoot, and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
'The Great Muppet Caper': The Great Gonzo, Beauregard, Zoot, and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
'The Dark Crystal': Fizzgig, SkekUng
'Fraggle Rock': Boober Fraggle, Various Fraggles and Doozers
'The Muppets Take Manhattan': Gonzo the Great, Chester and Zoot
'Labyrinth': Sir Didymus, Various Characters
'The Muppet Christmas Carol': The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens, Waldorf as Robert Marley, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Betina Crachit, Zoot
'Muppet Treasure Island': Gonzo, Waldorf, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot
'The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland': Humongous Chicken
'Muppets From Space': Gonzo, The Birdman, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf, Zoot
'The Muppets': Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Waldorf, Beauregard, Kermit Moopet