On a Clay Icon

For those wanting to sing along, the lyrics are below the video

He was once a little green slab of clay. Gumby!
You should see what Gumby can do today. Gumby!
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.

I wasn’t a big fan of Gumby Adventures, but it is interesting that he has achieved cultural icon status (and the Gumby blow-ups make me laugh)

Gumby is #16 on TV Guide’s Greatest Cartoon Characters

Green clay character inspired by a gingerbread man, created and modeled by Art Clokey in the early 1950s

Made with rolling pins and cookie cutters

Clokey, a stop-motion clay animation pioneer, created Gumbasia, his 3 ½-minute take-off with jazz music on Disney’s Fantasia (Note: I can’t find the music’s composer)


Google dedicated this Doodle to Clokey on October 12, 2011 honoring what would have been Clokey’s 90th birthday (he died January 8, 2010)

Originally voiced by Ruth Eggleston (art director’ wife) – voiced by Dallas McKennon in the series

Debuted on Hoody Doody Show (NBC) with “Robot Rumpus” in 1956

Own series in 1957

22 episodes created in 1956-57; 85 episodes created in 1962-1968; 233 episodes created to date

Associated with movies, video games, and toys

Main sidekick is Pokey, a talking red pony

The third episode shows Gumby and Pokey meeting when Pokey had a hoof caught in a railroad track’s switch mechanism, and Gumby saved the day just before the train.

Other Characters

  • Nopey, Gumby’s dog
  • Gumbo and Gumba, Gumby’s parents
  • Others include Professor Kapp, Prickle, Goo, and the Blockheads (nemeses)

Gumby World, a site dedicated to Gumby, provides much information, a blog, and a store

Enjoy In the Dough

61 thoughts on “On a Clay Icon

  1. I loved Gumby! He was one of my favorites–enough so, that I’ve often wished it was still a regular. I’d love to see if my granddaughters cared for it. LOL! And Pokey was wonderful, too. I didn’t really remember that the character originated on Howdy Doody, but I loved that show, too, so maybe that was my first introduction. I could still sing the song. 🙂


    • Debra,
      Cheers for finding one of your favorites. I hope you sang along with the opening clip. When you see the girls this weekend, bring them back to this post for a sing-a-long!


  2. I certainly remember the ol Gumbo.
    Actually it brought back to mind another animated show that we watched faithfully growing up. The adventures of a boy and his dog – DAVEY & GOLIATH. I think it was produced by the ELCA. That would be another fun feature.


    • Mobius,
      If memory serves me Art Clokey was involved … and yes, it came from the then Lutheran Church in America (LCA). I didn’t watch it, but I’ve added it to the list …. ah yes … the power of reader requests.


  3. I love Gumby, Frank. My sister used to sing me that song all the time. I have only a faint memory of watching it, but I know I did. Thanks for the memories! I didn’t know that was how Gumby met Pokey. I always learn something new with your posts.


  4. Good choice Frank! When I was a kid, I liked the concept of Gumby and I watched the show, but I hated the stories. They were all crap. I had to wait another ten years for Will Vinton (who you might remember more for the California Raisins) to use the technique in a story with depth when he co-directed “Closed Mondays” with Bob Gardiner. It won the Academy Award. This isn’t the greatest quality YouTube video and by today’s standards, with the ascent of Nick Park, the mastermind behind Wallace & Gromit, the technique is quite crude. But it’s light years beyond Gumby and Pokey.


    • Lame,
      Lousy stories is an understatement, but the show helped establish your interest in animation. With that in mind, I’ve been wondering what you would add to this post … and (of course) you came through in flying colors.


  5. i watched gumby often. pokey was annoying. the blockheads were creepy. even more creepy were the “mirror” episodes, in which gumby would go through a mirror and into some other kind of twisted world where things were strange or backwards or something like that. i liked how naive gumby was at times, how well meaning, even though things didn’t always turn out well.

    i wonder why his head was slanted.


  6. Pingback: On Super Monday | A Frank Angle

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