Goofy first appeared in Mickey's Revue, first released on May 25, 1932. Directed by Wilfred Jackson this short features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow performing another song and dance show. Mickey and his gang's animated shorts by this point rutinely featured song and dance numbers. What would make this short notable was the appearance of a new character, whose behavior served as a running gag. Dippy Dawg, as he was named by Walt Disney Studio's artists, was a member of the audience. He constantly irritated his fellow spectators by noisily crunching peanuts and laughing loudly, till two of those fellow spectators knocked him out with their mallets. This early version of Goofy had other differences with the later and more developed one besides the name. He was an old man with a white beard, a puffy tail and no trousers, shorts or undergarments. But the short introduced Goofy's distinct laughter. This laughter was provided by voice actor Vance DeBar Colvig, better known as Pinto Colvig (September 11, 1892 - October 3, 1967). He would serve as Goofy's voice actor till 1965.
A considerably younger Dippy Dawg then appeared in The Whoopee Party, first released on September 17, 1932, as a party guest and a friend of Mickey and his gang. Dippy Dawg made a total of four appearances in 1932 and two more in 1933, but most of them were mere cameos. But by his seventh appearance, in The Orphan's Benefit first released on August 11, 1934, he gained a new name as Goofy and became a regular member of the gang along with new additions Donald Duck and Clara Cluck.
Mickey's Service Station directed by Ben Sharpsteen , first released on March 16, 1935, was the first of the classic "Mickey, Donald, and Goofy" comedy shorts. Those films had the trio trying to co-operate in performing a certain assignment given to them. Early on they became separated from each other. Then the short's focuse started alternating between each of them facing the problems at hand, each in their own way and distinct style of comedy. By the end of the short the three would be reunited to share the fruits of their efforts, failure more often than success. Clock Cleaners, first released on October 15, 1937, and Lonesome Ghosts, first released on December 24, 1937, are usually considered the highlights of this series and animated classics. The later short has the trio as members of the agency "Ajax Ghost Exterminators" or as, oftenly described later, pre-cursors of the Ghostbusters. They are hired by phone to evict a number of ghosts from a haunted house. Unknown to them they were hired by the ghosts themselves, four lonesome ghosts who are bored because nobody has visited the house they are haunting for a long time. They wish to play tricks on the mortals. And they do through a series of inventive gags, but by the end the trio has managed to scare the ghosts out of the house. As Donald observes "You're a fine target, ya big sissies!". But Goofy offers what is considered the short's most memorable quote while warily looking around him:"I'm brave but I'm careful".
Progressively during the series Mickey's part diminished in favor of Donald and Goofy. The reason for this was simple. Between the easily frustrated Donald and the always living in a world of his own Goofy, Mickey -who became progressively gentler and more laid-back- seemed to act as the straight-man of the trio. The Studio's artists found that it had become easier coming up with new gags for Goofy or Donald than Mickey. To a point Mickey's role had become unecessary.Polar Trappers, first released on June 17, 1938 was the first film to feature Goofy and Donald as a duo. The short features the duo as partners and owners of "Donald and Goofy Trapping Co.". They have settled in the Arctic for an unspecified period of time, to capture live walruses to bring back to civilisation. Their food supplies consist of canned beans. The focuse shifts between Goofy trying to set traps for walruses and Donald trying to catch penguins to use as food. Both with the same lack of success. Mickey would return in The Whalers, first released in August 19, 1938, but this would be the last short of the 1930s to feature all three characters.
Comic strips first called the character Dippy Dawg but eventually his name changed to Goofy by 1939.
In the comics Goofy often assisted Mickey on his sleuthing expeditions.
Goofy also had a secret identity known as Super Goof.
On the TV show Goof Troop Goofy lives with his son Max and his cat Waffles, and they live next door to Black Pete and his family. Goof Troop led to A Goofy Movie (1995) and An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000).