Art Clokey is Gumby Creator

January 9, 2010

Art Clokey, Gumby co-creator, has died at the age of 88. Get the story here, along with photos and video below.


Most people probably don’t know his name, but they sure know Gumby. The bizarre green fellow has been a part of popular culture in America starting back in the 1950s, when the character first made its debut on ‘The Howdy Doody Show.’ Being a child of the 80’s, I remember the peculiar stop animation shorts as they aired on Saturday mornings.

Gumby himself is as likable as he is pliable. Even today, in the era of Sponge Bob Squarepants, kids could most likely identify him in a character line-up.

Here are a few interesting facts about Art Clokey, and the creation that would come to define him:

It turns out that he and his wife imagined up the character in the 50’s soon after he graduated from film school at the University of Southern California. The concept eventually made its way onto television and even into its own show called ‘The Adventures of Gumby.’

The LA Times reports that the show was relatively successful, and somehow managed to make comebacks in the 60’s and later in the 80’s after being mocked by Eddie Murphy on SNL—you know, back when he was funny (sorry Eddie).

It seems fitting that Clokey created something that could make children smile—indeed there were moments in his own childhood not worth smiling about. After the tragic death of his father, his mother actually abandoned him, leaving Art to fin for himself in a halfway house.

After finishing up school he served in the Second World War, and upon his return, he eventually met his wife Ruth Parkander. Working together, the two created Gumby, and the rest is history. He passed away at home this week at 88-years-old. May he rest in peace.

Check out some photos of Art Clokey here. I’ve also included a video of the notorious stop animation series below.

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