|Created by Art Clokey, Gumby was an amiable green putty-like boy-creature who, with his orange pony pal Pokey, went on many strange and wonderful adventures in a bizarre 3-D Claymation world of imagination. Clokey first presented a Gumby-like character in his 1953 short film Gumbasia. Four years later, Gumby landed a steady job appearing on Howdy Doody. Eventually, the little green boy was given his own show, simply titled The Gumby Show, hosted by Howdy Doody's Bobby Nicholson with Buffalo Bob Smith as the commercial announcer. This incarnation of Gumby only lasted six months, during which Pinky Lee succeeded Nicholson as host.
Mr.Nicholson mc'd the program as "Scotty McKee" the owner of"The Fun Shop", a music store where he performed songs, musical numbers, comedy skits and he would engage his customers to "The Fun Shop"in craftmaking, hobbies, games, informational segments and interviews with guest performers and perrsonalities inbetween the screenings of Mr.Art Cloakey's"Gumby"puppet films.
Mr.Nicholson would host the show from Saturday March 16,1957 to Saturday June 1,1957. Mr.Pinky Lee would succeed Mr. Nicholson as the show's second and last host/performer on Saturday June 8,1957.
Set against the backdrop of "The Fun Forrest", Mr.Lee would engage his viewers and his studio audiences in songs, musical numbers, games and comedic banter with Paul Ashley's animal puppets, "Wooley Rabitt and Filbert Frog" inbetween the screenings of "The Gumby" Puppet Films.
Lee and The Paul Ashley Puppets would mc NBC TV's "Gumby Show" until Pinky left the show on Saturday November 16,1957.
Gumby might have faded into the netherworld of obscure childhood memory along with his puppet contemporaries were it not for the show's syndicated resurrection in 1966, with all-new episodes added to the originals. New characters were added, such as Prickle the dinosaur; Goo, a blue female blob; and Nopey, a cute dog who could only say, "No!" Also added were G and J, the blockhead twins, who would eventually become Gumby?s resident nemeses. The syndicated series was well received, and Gumby became a staple of daytime kid's TV.
In the 1980's, a wave of Boomer nostalgia and a hilarious spoof by comedian Eddie Murphy brought Gumby to the forefront again, and a whole new line of merchandise was launched. Eventually, this new interest led to a new series for the clay hero entitled The All-New Gumby.
The rumors surrounding Gumby?s creation are interesting to say the least. Clokey insists his creation?s green complexion was chosen to match the color of grass, because Gumby is a free spirit like "Leaves of Grass" poet Walt Whitman. The name comes from the southern term "Gumbo," which was used to describe the stickiness of the soil after a good rain. Presumably, Gumby is as flexible as the soil itself. Lastly, Gumby?s trademark sloped head was inspired, simply, by the haircut of Art Clokey?s father. These bits of character and hundreds more are what helped make Gumby so popular with children and adults alike.
In 1995, Gumby finally made it to the silver screen in Gumby: The Movie. And he is still with us today.