Saturday, January 9, 2010
Art Clokey, the creator of the whimsical clay figure Gumby, died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Osos, CA.
Clokey invented Gumby in the early 1950s at their Covina home shortly after Art had finished film school at USC. After a successful debut on “The Howdy Doody Show,” Gumby soon became the star of its own hit television show, “The Adventures of Gumby,” the first to use clay animation on television.
After an initial run in the 1950s, Gumby enjoyed a renaissance in the 1960s as a bendable children’s toy and in the 1980s after comedian Eddie Murphy parodied the kindly Gumby as a crass, cigar-in-the-mouth character in a skit for “Saturday Night Live” and again in the ’90s with the release of “Gumby the Movie.”
Today, Gumby is a cultural icon recognized around the world who enjoys more than 134,000 fans on Facebook.