Saturday, January 9, 2010

In Memoriam: Art Clokey 1921-2010

Stop-motion animator. Gumby. Davey and Goliath.

"Hippies always got Gumby. They could see he was an honest expression right from my heart."

(Though Clokey created Davey and Goliath for the Lutheran Church, he later became a Zen Buddhist--KJ)

13 comments:

  1. I've been wondering where you were! When I saw the headline, I imagined that you'd blog something about it. I can sing all the words to the theme song, and I was not a child during most of Gumby's time on TV. I always liked that he and Pokey pointed children to BOOKS. Imagine that! "He was once a little green blob of clay. You should see what Gumby can do today. He can walk into any book with his pony pal, Pokey, too . . . " Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I remember correctly, Gumby and Pokey would go right inside the book and become part of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's how it worked! I did a lot of babysitting and I preferred pointing children toward something that featured a book rather than 100% mindless TV.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Uh-oh, Kirk. I just spotted it. His life ran from 1921-2010, not 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Limes. I just changed it. I'll probably be doing that until Febuary.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also should spell Feburary right.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know how crazed you get when you make some slight goober. I didn't intend to be critical. ;~}

    ReplyDelete
  8. RIP, Mr. Clokey

    Gads, Gumby was hilarious! And then when Murphy morphed him into a SNL character, all bets were off, baby!

    Hiya, Kirk. How's your weather? Freezing our collective asses off down here in Texas. Brrrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dead on, Hill. Eddie Murphy understood the very essence of Gumby!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Coincidenally I saw the Art Clokey bio documentary Gumby Dharma a few days ago. His life is a fascinating story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I didn't really like Gumby when I was a kid...it moved too slow, if I'm remembering correctly. But Eddie Murphy as Gumby...now that was hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Limes--Glad you told me about the typo, and in the nick of time, too. I was just about to leave the computer. Had I found out today (Sunday) that I'd got the year wrong, and it had been that way overnight, I'd be right now on all fours chewing up the library carpeting.

    @Hill--Art Clokey is quoted somewhere as saying he thought the Eddie Murphy imitation was funny as hell, and that Gumby could laugh at himself. Murphy was actually imitating the old Catskill/Borsht Belt type of commedians of yore, and he brilliantly transferred that to Gumby. As for the weather, we in Ohio are also freezing our collective asses off. I swear, last week was one, big, five-day snowstorm!

    @Tag--I just came across that documentary yesterday on-line as I was looking for a good quote from him. I didn't watch it, but plan to, soon. I'm assuming Dharma is in reference to his Zen Buddhism.

    @Dreamfarm--I liked Gumby as a kid, but he and Pokey were far from my favorite cartoon characters (that would have been the Looney Tunes gang) I do remember being quite fascinated by his ability to walk into books and become part of the story. I wished I could do that. As for how fast it moved, I just read that, in Gumby's original incarnation, which is what most kids would have saw in 1960s and '70s, Clokey did all the animation himself. I'm surprised they moved as fast as they did! They moved at least as fast as the Hanna-Barbara cartoons of the same period (though, admittedly, the HB cartoons were a lot funnier. The real reason I wanted to pay tribute to Clokey is I find stop-motion animation a fascinating art-form, one that's kind of forgotten in these days of computer animation. Lest we forget, the original King Kong was also stop-motion. Gumby and King Kong. Strange bedfellows indeed.

    @Chinese or Japanese characters--Let me find my Berlitz book, and then I'll get back to you.

    ReplyDelete