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Five of the Python team dressed as Gumbys, introducing the Architects Sketch
Cartoon representation of a "Gumby"
For the green clay animated character, see Gumby.

Gumbys are recurring characters in Monty Python's Flying Circus, characterized by a very distinctive appearance. If a name was listed for them, the surname given would always be "Gumby", and the first name would usually be given as two initials. Gumbys have toothbrush moustaches, wear handkerchiefs on their heads,[1] spectacles, braces, Fair Isle knitted tank tops, a 1950s shirt rolled up to the elbows (without the detachable collar), and gumboots. They would usually hold their arms in an ape-like position, speak loudly and slowly, and pronounce words syllable by syllable. Though created by John Cleese, the Gumbys were usually played by Michael Palin. The Palin Gumby voice was used to announce the show title in series three.

Many times, a Gumby or group of Gumbys would appear as a means of linking sketches, or briefly give their views in one of the Vox pop segments. Their most notable appearance was in "The Buzz Aldrin Show" episode where they introduced sketches about architects, insurance, chemists, and the end of the show. A classic line from one of these is during a segment on taxation, where a Gumby, standing knee-deep in a river, says I would put a tax...on all people... who stand... in water. (He then looks down at his feet which are knee deep in a river) OOH! They also appeared in their own sketches, such as "Flower Arranging" and "Gumby Brain Surgery".

A popular Gumby catchphrase is "My brain hurts!" which was used in the "Brain Surgery" sketch. This is also heard in the trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when the crew is supposedly "looking" for someone to voice the trailer. Whilst playing a clip of Arthur knighting a peasant, – which never made it into the final film – a Gumby, voiced by Michael Palin, auditions, and after being told to "Go away!" by the casting director, voiced by Eric Idle, he comments, "What's wrong with my voice? My voice is fine, it's my brain that hurts...". Other recurring Gumby elements are a violent and oafish clumsiness, and enthusiasm for banging bricks together.

In the Pythons' 30th Anniversary Special all the surviving Pythons played Gumbys, Chapman's role was filled in by Eddie Izzard.

Normally, no names were given for Gumbys – they invariably refer to each other as "Mr. Gumby" – but occasionally their names were listed in subtitles. Some of the names given for Gumbys were:

Notes

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