At Survivor Series 1990, out from a gigantic egg that had been carted to WWF events for weeks - which fueled tons of rumors about a new wrestler debuting, or something even bigger - came Hector Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero's brother) dressed in a gigantic turkey costume, complete with googly eyes and a muted, garbled speech upon being interviewed by Okerlund. The crowd response was a Stunned Silence, followed swiftly by a section of boos. Okerlund carried on with the segment by dancing in the ring with the Gooker (to "Turkey in the Straw") while Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper tried to remain enthusiastic on commentary, which did little to conceal the awkward silence from the Hartford, Connecticut crowd. Perhaps they were expecting the egg to hatch out anything other than a poorly executed segment that was poorly conceived in the first place note . Or maybe just anything that was less of a turkey than a dude in a turkey costume coming out of an egg. To the Gooker's credit, some people did join in for Okerlund and Gooker's dance, though that did little to actually improve the situation.
The character was rumored to be something of a mascot for the WWF, and Gooker segments with Koko B. Ware, Tugboat and The Bushwhackers were taped around the same time. Almost immediately after this reception, however, the Gooker gimmick was canned by the WWF, and not mentioned again except as a bit of Self-Deprecation on the part of the company. The Gooker made a return at WrestleMania X-Seven for the Gimmick Battle Royale (played once again by Hector, who was the second wrestler eliminated, after Repo Man.) WrestleCrap's yearly award for the worst gimmick/storyline in wrestling is referred to as the Gooker Award, and RD Reynolds made the whole incident the first chapter in the inaugural WrestleCrap book.
During Survivor Series 2020, thirty years after his debut, the Gooker (this time portrayed by Drew Gulak) returned to a much more positive reception, briefly managing to win the 24/7 title from R-Truth during the pre-show before losing it to Akira Tozawa later in the event, who in turn immediately lost it back to R-Truth.
Tropes associated with the Gobbledy Gooker include:
- Aborted Arc: Whatever was planned for the Gooker, and there was definitely something planned, it wasn't followed through with.
- Alliterative Name: Gobbledy Gooker
- Blatant Lies: "They didn't know what to think of him at first, but I think he's won the heart of Hartford!" Uh... sure, Piper.
- The Bus Came Back: Given a relatively triumphant return at Survivor Series 2020, where he was able to briefly become the 24/7 champion.
- Dance Party Ending: Between the Gooker and "Mean" Gene Okerlund at the end of the segment. There were a few audience members who stopped booing and imitated the Gooker's dance before the camera cut off.
- Egg MacGuffin: A giant egg that hatched but ultimately amounted to nothing but material for jokes about how useless it was. One could have replaced it with a giant box, a truck with tinted windows and achieved the same effect.
- Enemy Mine: Was the second wrestler eliminated from the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven, after Repo Man, with all of the 17 other guys all lifting him up to eliminate him, with the honors going to Tugboat. Made even funnier by the fact that he was a fairly normal sized guy, since in battle royals the usual approach is to get the biggest guys out first.
- Epic Fail: Perhaps the most infamous one in Professional Wrestling history.
- Expy: Jack Swagger's Swagger Soaring Eagle, which was another Guerrero in a bird costume.
- Fun Personified: At least, that's what WWF brass were hoping, but Hartford didn't see it that way.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Sort of... it was on Thanksgiving.
- Non-Action Guy:
- Many of the men who have donned the suit in the years afterwards for one-shot gags have been great wrestlers, or at least intimidating ones not afraid to get physical. The Gooker itself has no wrestling ability.
- Averted in his 2020 return, where The Gooker managed to pin R-Truth long enough to get his title.
- Punny Name: The Gobbledy Gooker's name is a pun on "gobbledygook", a term for unintelligible speech or gibberish, which... really says anything that there is to say about the character.
- Put on a Bus: For over a decade. After Survivor Series, the gimmick did not appear again on live television until the Gimmick Battle Royal...in April 2001.
- Shoo Out the New Guy: Months of build up, seconds to tear down, years before it was ever acknowledged again.
- The Unintelligible A Turkey that communicates through sign language, apparently.