Animator, ‘Gumby’ Creator Art Clokey Dead at Age 88

R.I.P. Gumby Los Osos, CA Pop-culture phenom Gumby, who first began appearing on that new-fangled thing called television in the 1950’s, was the clay-modeled creation of then University of So. Cal. student Art Clokey who invented the design for a class project.  Eventually, Clokey’s Gumby character became a hit and regular clay-animation shorts  featuring Gumby and his little horse friend, Pokey, became a regular feature on the “Howdy Doody Show” and later was the star of his own show, “The Adventures of Gumby“. Clokey  based the bendable character first, on his father’s prominent cowlick and second, on advice from his wife to shape him like a gingerbread-man. Eddie Murphy helped Gumby reach a new audience in the early 80’s with his revival of the character as a hand-rolled cigar smoking, Hollywood-wannabe with a very dirty mouth.  Clokey is reported to have enjoyed Murphy’s dirty Gumby, stating “Gumby can laugh at himself.”  and after 40 years  Clokey finally began to  to enjoy a prosperous life from the surge in sales of Gumby toys, merchandise and the launch of a syndicated series in 1988. Clokey died in his sleep of natural causes, as reported by his son to the Los Angeles Times and picked up by the Beach Front News Central Nervous System.