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For the Monty Python characters, see Gumbys.
Gumby in the episode "Lost Treasure".

Gumby is a green clay humanoid figure who was the subject of a 233-episode series of American television which spanned over a 35-year period.[1] He was animated using stop motion clay animation.



Gumby's principal sidekick is Pokey, a talking pony voiced by Art Clokey and Dallas McKennon at different times, and his nemeses are the Blockheads, a pair of humanoid, red-colored figures with block-shaped heads, who wreak mischief and havoc at all times. The Blockheads were inspired by the Katzenjammer Kids, who were always getting into scrapes and causing discomfort to others.[2] Other characters are Gumby's dog Nopey (who responds to everything with a gloomy "nope"); and Prickle, a yellow creature often mistaken for a dinosaur but who was proved to actually be a dragon in the installment titled "The Big City" where he breathed fire at the vicious dog of a man trying to mug Gumby for a recently purchased guitar. Prickle often declares himself as a detective, sporting a pipe and a hat in the likeness of Sherlock Holmes. Also featured are Goo, a flying blue mermaid who spits blue goo-balls and can change her physical shape at will; Gumby's mother Gumba; Gumby's father Gumbo; his sister Minga; Denali (a mastodon); Tilly (a hen); King Ott; and Professor Kapp.

Origins of Gumby

Gumby was created by Art Clokey while a student of Slavko Vorkapich at the University of Southern California. Clokey and his wife, Ruth (née Ruth Parkander), invented Gumby in the early 1950s at their Covina home shortly after Art finished film school at USC. Clokey's first animated film was a 1953 three-minute short called Gumbasia, a surreal montage of moving and expanding lumps of clay set to music in a parody of Disney's Fantasia.[3] Gumbasia was created in a style Vorkapich taught called Kinesthetic Film Principles. Described as "massaging of the eye cells", this technique of camera movements and editing was responsible for much of the Gumby look and feel. In 1955 Clokey showed Gumbasia to movie producer Sam Engel, who encouraged him to develop his technique by adding figures. Of the three pilot episodes of Gumby, the first was done by Clokey on his own, and the next two were done for NBC and shown on The Howdy Doody Show to test audience reaction. The second 15-minute pilot, "Gumby Goes to the Moon", was initially rejected by NBC executive Thomas Warren Sarnoff. The third Gumby episode, "Robot Rumpus", made a successful debut on the Howdy Doody Show in August 1956. Gumby was an NBC series starting in 1957.[4] [5]

Gumby was inspired by a suggestion from Clokey's wife Ruth that he base his character on the Gingerbread man. Gumby was green simply because that was Clokey's favorite color. Gumby's legs and feet were made wide for pragmatic reasons: they ensured the clay character would stand up during stop-motion filming. The famous slanted shape of Gumby's head was based on the hair style of Clokey's father Charles Farrington in an old photograph.[6]

Female performers (among them Ginny Tyler and Nancy Wible) supplied Gumby's voice during the initial episodes. New episodes were added from 1961 to 1963, at which time Dallas McKennon became the voice of Gumby. Production continued through 1966-1968, by which time Norma MacMillan voiced Gumby.

The Lorimar-Telepictures Years

Mr. Stuff gives Gumby all the goodies he can hold in "Grub Grabber Gumby."

By the 1980s, the original Gumby shorts had enjoyed a revival, both on television and home video. This led to a new incarnation of the series for television syndication by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1988 that included new characters such as Gumby's sister Minga, Tilly the chicken, and Denali the mastodon. Dallas McKennon returned as the voice of Gumby in new adventures that would take Gumby and his pals beyond their toyland-type setting and establish themselves as a rock band.

In addition to the new episodes, the classic 1955-59 and 1961-68 shorts were re-run as part of the series, but with newly recorded soundtracks, including new voices and synthesized musical scores (Clokey's rights to use the original Capitol Records production tracks could not be renewed at the time, due to legal issues.)

Art Clokey reportedly gave many movie industry talents their first break in the business. A number of the clay animators who worked on the new series went on to work for Pixar, Disney and other studios.

The movie and beyond

Screenshot of the video game, Gumby vs. the Astrobots.

In 1987, the character appeared in The Puppetoon Movie. In 1995, Clokey's production company produced an independently released theatrical film, Gumby I (aka Gumby: The Movie), marking the clay character's first feature-length adventure. In it, the villainous Blockheads replace Gumby and his band with robots and kidnap their dog, Lowbelly. The movie featured in-joke homages to such sci-fi classics as Star Wars, The Terminator, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Starting in 1992, Cartoon Network aired re-runs of Gumby episodes.

The Library of Congress had Gumby as a spokescharacter from 1994 to 1995, due to a common sequence in his shows where Gumby walks into a book, and then experiences the world inside the book as a tangible place. By the end of the decade, Gumby and Pokey had appeared in commercials for Cheerios cereal, most notably Frosted Cheerios.

Although no new animated Gumby material is planned for the foreseeable future, most of the episodes (with a few exceptions) of the two series are available on home video and DVD.

In August 2005, the first video game featuring Gumby, Gumby vs. the Astrobots, was released by Namco for the Game Boy Advance. In it, Gumby must rescue Pokey, Prickle and Goo after they are captured by the Blockheads and their cohorts, the Astrobots. Also in the summer of 2005, an event produced by TheDeepArchives/TDA Animation was held in New York. The exhibit featured props, storyboards and script pages from various Gumby shorts over the past 50 years, as well as toys and other memorabilia that had appeared during Gumby's "career," including a reproduction of Eddie Murphy's Saturday Night Live Gumby costume. The centerpiece of the show was an actual complete set used in the production of a TV commercial for Gumby vs. the Astrobots.

In San Francisco, California, Studio Z held "Gumby's 50th Birthday Party" with Gumby creator Art Clokey. The bands Smash Mouth and Remoter played at the party, hosted by comedian Kevin Meaney. The party/comedy tribute was written by comedy writer and stage director Martin Olson and Gumby's creative director and composer Robert F. Thompson. It was produced by Missing Link Media Ventures and Clokey Productions.

In 2006, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the most comprehensive Clokey/Gumby exhibition to date. Entitled "Gumby: Art Clokey - The First Fifty Years," the exhibition was curated by writer/animator David Scheve, and featured over one hundred puppets and many of the original sets from the 1980s television series, as well as the 1990s full length theatrical film. The exhibition ran from August 2006 until March 2007.

Bob Burden wrote the Gumby comic series with art by Rick Geary, colors by Steve Oliff and Lance Borde, edited by Mel Smith and published by Wildcard Ink. The first issue dated July 2006. It won an honor for Best Publication for a Younger Audience at the 2007 Eisner Awards.

The Gumby images and toys are registered trademarks of Prema Toy Company. Premavision owns the distribution rights to the Gumby cartoons (having been reverted from previous distributor Warner Bros. Television), and has licensed the rights to Classic Media.

On March 16, 2007, YouTube announced that all Gumby episodes would appear in their full-length form on its site, digitally remastered and with their original soundtracks. This deal also extended to other video sites, including AOL.[7]

In March 2007, KQED-TV broadcast an hour-long documentary "Gumby Dharma" as part of their "Truly CA" series.[8]

On January 8, 2010, creator Art Clokey died of natural causes at his home in Los Osos, CA.

Toys and merchandise

Early versions of bendable figures:
Pokey & Gumby

Various Gumby merchandise has been produced over the years, the most prominent item being bendable figures. Several single packs and multi-figure sets by Jesco, as well as a 50th anniversary collection, have been made of the Gumby characters. Also included in the Gumby merchandise catalog are plush dolls, keychains, mugs, a 1988 Colorforms color foams set, a 1995 Trendmasters playset, and a Kubricks set by Medicom.

A tribute album, Gumby, was released in 1989 by Buena Vista records.

See also


External links

Simple English

Gumby is a dark green clay figure who starred in 233 episodes of an American television series called The Adventures of Gumby. The series went on for 35 years. Gumby was animated using stop motion clay animation. In the series Gumby has a sister called Minga. In the commercial, this is Frosted Cheerios in 2 episodes cameo appearance of Gumby and Pokey and Butterfinger in 26 episodes in 2009 starring Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, Minga, Nopey, Yellow Goat, Gumbo, Gumba, Blockheads, Granny, Clayboys, Denali, Chilly the Chicken, Sad Kind Ott, Baby Gumby, Ginger, Tara, Roger the Penguin, Walus and Teacher Horse. In the movie, this is "The Puppetoon Movie", "Gumby: The Movie" and "Mickey Mouse: The Movie".



Gumby was started by Art Clokey in 1953.[1] The first 'episode' was a 3-minute short called Gumbasia.[1] It showed moving lumps of clay set to music, and parodied Fantasia. In 1955, Art showed Gumbasia to movie producer Sam Engel, who then paid him for a 15 minute film called Gumby Goes to the Moon.

Gumby was given his own NBC series in 1957. Female actress' voiced Gumby. New episodes were added in 1962, and Dallas McKennon became the voice of Gumby.


  • Gumbasia: Baby Gumby (November 27, 1954) - First appearance.

1956 - 1981

  • The Gumby Show (December 29, 1956 - June 13, 1981) - Episodes aired on NET.

1983 - current

  • Gumby Adventures (August 6, 1983 - April 19, 1997) - 1983 - 1989 aired on PBS. And 1994 - 1997 aired on Nickelodeon.
  • The Puppetoon Movie (June 12, 1987) - Hosted by Gumby, Pokey and Arnie.
  • Gumby: The Movie (December 1, 1995) - Gumby's first movie.
  • Gumby vs. the Astrobots (August 1, 2005) - Gumby's only in the game.
  • Gumby's 50th Anneversery (December 2, 2005) - Gumby's first special.
  • Kamek's Great Journey to Yoshi's Island (April 7, 2007 - present)

List of Gumby episodes

EpisodeDateRun timeDVD release / Notes
The Eggs and Trixie & Egg TroubleDec 28, 195711 min. After finding egg, cut to "Egg Trouble" in 5 minutes.
Mirrorland & Lost and FoundDecember 29, 19566 min. "Lost and Found" ending scene of the car then cut to the coin in Gumby's Fun Fling.
The Gumby PilotNov 28, 1954 Also on the Gumby 7 DVD Set
The Fantastic Farmer & Gopher TroubleDec 29, 195611 min. Both films edited back into their original format.
Dragon Daffy April 8, 1967 7 min.
Goo for PokeyFeb 6, 1965
The Missile BirdJan 2, 1965
Birthday Party in the Middle AgesFeb 13, 19828 min., 3 sec.
Mirror-Aculous RecoveryJan 3, 19816 min., 30 sec.
Of Clay and CrittersApril 8, 19675 min.
The Music BallNov 1, 19807:12
Prickle Turns ArtistApril 6, 19684:04
Stuck on BooksSeptember 2, 1967 Also in Gumby's Fun Fling (VHS).
Gabby AnneSeptember 2, 19674 min.
Pokey a la ModeDecember 31, 19881:42
Train TroubleNovember 29, 19584:41 The episode of Gumby is 1958 version.
Gumby Business/Gumbasia: Baby Gumby/Toy FunFebruary 2, 19587 min. Both films edited back into their original format.
Lawn PartyMay 2, 19645:43 Also in VHS Gumby's Fun Fling.
The Big EyeMay 2, 19645 min.
GumbotMay 2, 19815 min., 51 sec.
How Not to Trap Lions/The Mocking Monkey/Monkey BusinessFebruary 2, 1958 Both films edited back into their format.
Gone ClayzySeptember 3, 19881:43
The Funny BathtubNov 25, 19954 min. Also in Gumby DVD Set
Chatter BoxNov 25, 199560 sec.
All Cooped UpAugust 1, 1981
Band ContestDecember 31, 19835:53
Clayfully YoursDecember 30, 19893:58 Also in The Very Best New Adventures of Gumby Vol. 1.
Lost TreasureApril 4, 1981
The Gumby LeagueApril 1, 19673 min.
A Real SealJanuary 1, 19836 min.
The Beetle and the CaterpillarApril 4, 1981
Guitar MagicMay 2, 1981
Gumby's CircusAugust 1, 19816:13
The GroobeeAugust 1, 1959 Also in Gumby Essentials Vol. 1.
The Witty WitchAugust 1, 1959
Merry-Go-PumpkinDecember 3, 1983
Clay PlaySeptember 3, 19885:05
A Minar AffairAugust 1, 1981
Dolly for MingaNovember 2, 1992
Hidden ValleyMay 30, 1959 Also in Gumby Essentials Vol. 1.
Hot Rod GrannyAugust 1, 1959
Chicken FeedMay 30, 1959
Lost ArrowNovember 2, 1992
Tricky BallApril 8, 19674 min.
Even StevensApr 4, 1959 5 min.
The ZoopsApril 4, 1959
Motor MadnessJanuary 6, 1968
Puppy Dog SchoolApril 29, 1967 An episode of Gumby "Puppy Dog School" in Eastman Color in 16mm film.
The SearchDecember 31, 1983
The AstrobotsJune 4, 1988
Grub Grabber GumbyApril 6, 19684 min.
Wishful ThinkingApril 6, 1968
Geese GriefJune 11, 1988
Fox HuntJune 11, 1988
Shrink-a-DinkNovember 1, 1980
Hatching OutNovember 1, 19806:10

Bonus Features

The Adventures of Gumby had 22 bonus episodes and 16 episodes with commentary.

Bonus Episodes

EpisodeDateRun timeNotes
Weight and SeeJanuary 6, 1968
Magic MysticJanuary 6, 1968
Ricochet PeteDecember 2, 1961 Also in Gumby Essentials Vol. 1.
Northland FolliesDecember 2, 1961 Audio episode in 1995.
The Small PlanetsDecember 2, 1961 Also in Gumby Essentials Vol. 1.
Turnip TrapNovember 30, 1968
The Indian ChallengeNovember 30, 1968
Wild GirlsJanuary 3, 1981
Gumby Baby-sitsMay 6, 1967 Also in VHS Gumby's Fun Fling.
Dopey NopeyApril 29, 1967
Pilgrims on the RockDecember 4, 1964
The Blue GooFebruary 6, 1965
A Hair-Raising AdventureFebruary 6, 1965
Pokey ExpressJune 7, 195811 min. 1958 episode edited back to original 11 minutes.
Pokey Minds the BabyMarch 4, 1967
The Moon BogglesMarch 4, 1967
Hot IceMarch 4, 1967
My-O-MayaDecember 3, 1988
Pokey a La ModeDecember 3, 1988
BalloonancyApril 23, 1988
Wild Train RideMay 7, 1988
Minga SittingFeb 27, 19826 min Also on Cartoon Network.

Gumby episodes w/Commentary

EpisodeDateRun timeNotes
Foxy ProxySeptember 2, 1967
The Lost Birthday PresentMarch 4, 1989
Minga's FollyJune 11, 1988
Little Denali LostSeptember 3, 1988
Just Train CrazyMarch 4, 1989
Wickiups and BulrushesMarch 4, 1989
Kangaroo ExpressMarch 11, 1989
For the GraduateMarch 11, 1989
Sad King Ott's DaughterDecember 1, 1962
King for a DayDecember 1, 1962
Rain for RooDecember 1, 1962
Candidate for PresidentFebruary 13, 1965
A Groobee FightMarch 4, 1967
Piano Rolling BluesMarch 11, 1967
Time Kapp-SuleDecember 3, 1983
A Gumby DayApril 7, 1984

Gumby Featurettes

EpisodeDateRun TimeNotes
Moon Trip December 31, 1955 18 min. Also in Gumby Vol. 1 (VHS and DVD) and Gumby Essentials Vol. 1 (DVD).
Goo and the Queen August 6, 1988 13 min. 1988 episode edited back to 1980's 13 minutes length.
The Forbidden Mine January 7, 1989 13 min. 1989 episode edited back to 1980's 13 minutes length.
Space Oddity January 14, 1989 13 min. 1989 episode edited back to 1980's 13 minutes length.

Premavision History

  • 1950's (1954-1959)
  • 1960's (1963-1968)
  • 1980's (1980-1989)
  • 1990's (1992-1995)
  • 2000's (2007)


  • Clayzy Game
  • Make the Gumby Scene

Deleted Episode

  • Baking Cookies (2008) - 1 minute
  • Gumbo and Gumba Bumper (2002) - 9 seconds (not episode); also in Gumby Vol. 1 (VHS and DVD).
  • Gumby Goes Clayzy - 6 minutes
  • In a Fix (1959) - 4 minutes

Gumby Bumpers

Gumby Bumpers in 2 minutes is released in January 4, 1980 starring Gumby, Pokey and cameo appearance of Blue Mermaid Goo.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Was released on February 13, 1982. It is 6 minutes long.

1967 version

In 1967 version, an episode of Gumby Train Trouble is released in January 7, 1967 starring Gumby and first appearance of Nopey. This episode in 1967 is the version of 1958.


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