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Gumby Show, The

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Created by Art Clokey, Gumby was an amiable green putty-like boy-creature who, with his orange pony pal Pokey, went on many strange and wonderful adventures in a bizarre 3-D Claymation world of imagination.

Clokey first presented a Gumby-like character in his 1953 short film Gumbasia. Four years later, Gumby landed a steady job appearing on Howdy Doody.

Eventually, the little green boy was given his own show, simply titled The Gumby Show,, hosted by Howdy Doody‘s Bobby Nicholson with Buffalo Bob Smith as the commercial announcer.

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This incarnation of Gumby only lasted six months, during which Pinky Lee succeeded Nicholson as host.

Gumby might have faded into the netherworld of obscure childhood memory along with his puppet contemporaries were it not for the show’s syndicated resurrection in 1966, with all-new episodes added to the originals.

New characters were added, such as Prickle the dinosaur; Goo, a blue female blob; and Nopey, a cute dog who could only say, “No!”

gumbyblockheadsAlso added were G and J, the blockhead twins, who would eventually become Gumby’s resident nemeses. The syndicated series was well received, and Gumby became a staple of daytime kid’s TV.
In the 1980’s, a wave of Boomer nostalgia and a hilarious spoof by comedian Eddie Murphy brought Gumby to the forefront again, and a whole new line of merchandise was launched. Eventually, this new interest led to a new series for the clay hero entitled The All-New Gumby.

The rumours surrounding Gumby’s creation are interesting to say the least. Clokey insists his creation’s green complexion was chosen to match the colour of grass, because Gumby is a free spirit like Leaves of Grass poet Walt Whitman.

The name comes from the southern term “Gumbo,” which was used to describe the stickiness of the soil after a good rain. Presumably, Gumby is as flexible as the soil itself.

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Lastly, Gumby’s trademark sloped head was inspired, simply, by the haircut of Art Clokey’s father. These bits of character and hundreds more are what helped make Gumby so popular with children and adults alike.

In 1995, Gumby finally made it to the silver screen in Gumby: The Movie. And he is still with us today.

Gumby
Ruth Egelson (1)
Nancy Wible (2)
Hal Smith (3)
Dallas McKennon (4)
Dick Beals (5)
Pokey
Art Clokey (1)
Dallas McKennon (2)
Prickle
Art Clokey (1)
Dallas McKennon (2)
Goo
Norma MacMillan
Other Voices
Art Clokey
Ginny Tyler
Norma MacMillan

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