Art Clokey, creator of ‘Gumby’ and ‘Davey & Goliath’: 1921-2009
Caretaker Chrisanne Wollett Clokey says Clokey died Friday in Los Osos on California’s Central Coast.
Clokey is best known for the creation of Gumby, the green clay character with his horse friend Pokey. Clokey first molded Gumby for a surreal student project at the
University of Southern California called “Gumbasia.” That led to his
making shorts for the Howdy Doody Show and several series through the
years. He said he based Gumby’s swooping head on the hairdo of his father, who died when Clokey was nine.
Clokey also created the moralizing and often satirized claymation duo Davey and Goliath, which became the direct inspriation for Adult Swim’s Moral Orel.
Eddie Murphy restored Gumby’s popularity in the 1980s with
his send-up of the character on “Saturday Night Live” as a
cigar-smoking primadonna. Other late-night revivals followed, including appearances on Canadian late-night television with Gumby being portrayed by comic-book artist Ty Templeton. Apparently, Ty’s portrayal of Gumby ended when he mentioned that one of the books he spent time walking through was Portnoy’s Complaint.
Gumby had a brief career in the comics, starting in 1986 with Blackthorne Publishing, then later Comico and Wildcard Ink.