Gumby - A slant-headed character with a
squeaky voice that debuted on THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW in 1956.
Created by Art Clokey, Gumby is a green clay figure with stretchable limbs
and animated by stop-action photography. His sidekick is a horse named Pokey.
Gumby and Pokey also starred on THE GUMBY SHOW/NBC/1957, a 30-minute program of
animated clay figures that premiered on March 15, 1957.
Theme Song Lyrics
He was once a little green slab of clay.
You should see what Gumby can do today.
He can walk into any book, with his pony pal, Pokey, too
If you’ve got a heart then Gumby’s a part of you
The show was first hosted by Bobby Nicholson who portrayed Scotty McKee, the
proprietor of McKee's Fun Shop where Gumby lived. Nicholson had earlier played
both Clarabell the Clown and Cornelius Cobb on HOWDY DOODY. Comedian Pinky Lee
replaced Nicholson as host in the fall of 1957.
Lee resided in the Fun Forest with his puppet pals, Wooly the Rabbit and
Filbert the Frog. A new batch of Gumby episodes were aired in 1962, 1966-67 and
TRIVIA NOTE: When Art Clokey was a USC film
student, he used a Ping-Pong table as a soundstage and churned out six-minute
Gumby features for $700 per minute.
His Gumby character first appeared in a 3-D like student film entitled
Gumbasia (1953) made in honor of Disney's 1940s Fantasia film.
The slanted head of the Gumby character was inspired by an old photograph of
Clokey's father who sported a large pompadour on the left side of his head.
During the 1980s, comedian Eddie Murphy did a profane but quite hilarious
parody of the Gumby character ("I'm Gumby, dammit!") on the weekend comedy
program NBC'S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
The name Gumby was derived from the word "Gumbo," a form of sticky mud.
See also - "Davey and Goliath"
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