“Gumby” Creator Dies…

– – Gumby’s creator Art Clokey died Friday at the age of 88.  The shape-shifting little green flexible guy grew out of a student project Clokey produced at the University of Southern California in the early 1950’s called Gumbasia, which led to shorts featuring Gumby and his horse friend Pokey, who seemed to be a practical, reality-based equine.

Gumby’s swooping head was based on the cowlick hairdo of his father, and Clokey’s wife suggested that he give Gumby the body of a gingerbread man.    Gumby eventually became one of the most familiar toys of all time, although his creator didn’t allow merchandising for seven years after Gumby was on the air, not wanting parents to think they were exploiting their children.   Clokey also created the moralizing and often satirized claymation duo, “Davey and Goliath” for the Lutheran Church, using the money gained to help bring a Gumby series back to television in the 1960’s.  “Moral Orel” on Adult Swim is one such satire of the Lutheran Church contracted work, described as “Davey and Goliath meets South Park.”

Eddie Murphy brought a surge in Gumby’s popularity in the 1980’s with his send-up of the character on Saturday Night Live, who Murphy depicted as profane and cigar-smoking.  Clokey, however, said he enjoyed Eddie Murphy’s portrayal.

As Eddie Murphy’s character might have said , “My creator dead?- -Dammit!” (pardon my French…)   😉

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2 Comments on ““Gumby” Creator Dies…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    As Willis O’Brien was to Ray Harryhausen, so was he to Will Vinton and the creator(s) of WALLACE AND GROMIT.

    R.I.P., Mr. Clokey. And, thank you for a good portion of my most beloved childhood memories.


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