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Art Clokey produced this series of clay-animated shorts for NBC in the 1950s after screening his student film Gumbasia for Twentieth Century Fox. Clokey also performed some of the character voices.

Gumby himself was portrayed as a young boy capable of changing his shape at will. He also could walk into books and participate in the stories therein. His friends included Pokey, a red horse; Prickle, a "prickly" yellow dragon... except for the episodes where he self-identified as a dinosaur, and Goo, a blue female character who rather resembles a small sea lion with a blond wig (Word of God said she's a "gooey blue mermaid"). Gumby's foes, the Blockheads, never spoke.

The original Gumby shorts aired on NBC in 1957. After the series' network run ended, Clokey bought back the rights to his characters and produced new Gumby episodes for Syndication in the 1960s and the 1980s. A Gumby direct-to-video movie was released circa 1995.

Gumby's 1980s resurgence in popularity was most likely attributable to a series of sketches on Saturday Night Live depicting Gumby (played by Eddie Murphy) and Pokey (played by Joe Piscopo) as actually being old-time Jewish vaudeville stars themselves playing parts. These sketches birthed the Catch Phrase "I'm Gumby, dammit!"

Bizarrely, Gumby was turned into the mascot for a pizza chain catering to college towns. They name a fair amount of stuff after characters in the series (e.g., Pokey Sticks), and the green, stretchy one himself appears on their boxes.

Tropes used in Gumby include:
  • The Ace: Gumby, naturally.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: One cartoon has Father Time accidentally causing various time-related problems for the world because he ate too many sweets before bed.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population
  • Animated Series
  • Art Evolution
  • Big Eater: Pokey.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Literally occurs in "The Elephant and the Dragon". Both creatures work for a storybook king (the Elephant as manual labor, the Dragon as a castle guard), but the Elephant keeps picking arguments with the Dragon. This pisses off the Dragon, who torches people's houses with his his breath. To stop their arguing, Gumby uses a back-hoe to do the Elephant's job just as efficiently and without arguing with the Dragon (and without torched houses). The Elephant takes the hint and apologizes for causing so much trouble.
    • As for what they were fighting about, the Elephant keeps asserting that dragons are mythological, and therefore shouldn't exist. The Dragon torches houses to prove that he's real.
    • Another instance is in "Prickle's Baby Brudder", where Prickle's little brother (who is a giant dragon from the book 'Saint George') comes to hide from the angry villiagers, who accuse him of burning down the villiage. They soon realize it's actually lightning doing the scorching, and set up a lightning rod to fix the problem.
  • Catch Phrase: Pokey's "Holy Toledo!" and Prickle's "Oh, dinosaur chips!"
  • Cute Monster Girl: Gumby has roughly the same slab-shaped body as his father, but his mother has a round head with blonde hair on a body that has breasts. And she wears clothes. She's not cute by the standards of most entries on this page, but she's far more human-shaped than the rest of her family.
    • This is actually entirely justified. Gumba has a human mother, which explains why she's human-shaped, but she married an entirely clay man, so producing basically entirely clay offspring really isn't unusual. (This gets even freakier when Gumbetta, Gumby's aunt, arrives with her human husband and their very creepy mostly-human children.)
  • Deranged Animation: Art Clokey briefly experimented with LSD in the 1960s.
    • After he made the classic Gumby shorts and had sworn off drugs by the time he returned to film-making. The claymation was still weird though.
  • Descended Creator: Art Clokey himself voices Pokey and Prickle, as well as Gumby's father Gumbo.
  • Drunk on Milk: Gumby ends up stunned and stiff as a board if he drinks too many... milkshakes, since his clay body can't handle the cold.
  • The Eeyore: Pokey, but it depends on the episode.
  • Era Specific Personality
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: "A Dolly For Minga", "The Best on the Block", "Mirror-aculous Reocovery" and many more.
    • Takes a turn for the disturbing in "All Broken Up" ... The Blockheads develop a method for shattering Goo to pieces. Gumby manages to get her back together and shatters the Blockheads in retaliation, only to find out he re-shattered Goo into a pile of clay pieces. Cue Pokey Gumby and Prickle laughing over the shattered remains of their friend.

 Gumby Oh, no! This is a day when everything's gong wrong!"

Pokey, Gumby and Prickle Ha ha ha ha ha ha!


The 1995 movie provides examples of:

  • Anime Hair: Lucky Claybert.
  • Blinding Bangs: Nobuckle.
  • Body to Jewel: Lowbelly, a skateboard-riding dachshund, cries pearls whenever his master, Gumby, leaves or changes shape when he performs with his band. This fuels the Blockheads' latest get-rich-quick scheme, which for some reason involves making robot duplicates of Gumby's band.
  • Development Hell: There was a sequel in the works being planned by Joe Clokey, Art Clokey's son, entitled "Gumby 2", which would likely be followed by a brand new revival of the series, but it never caught on.
  • Disney Death: This happens to Goo, when she was kidnapped and frozen by the Blockheads, and later was saved by Gumby at the end.
    • At the end of the lightsaber fight between Gumby and his robot clone, the latter finishes it by slicing Gumby into pieces. Upon seeing this death, the Blockheads rejoice by dancing happily, but just then, Gumby comes back to life by transforming into miniature versions of himself, much to the Blockheads' surprise.
  • Down on the Farm
  • Epic Fail: The robot waiter at the café always does this.
    • At the end, before the music video "Take Me Away" begins, Nobuckle accidentally jumps into a wagon after waking up, and rides on it crashing into the Clayboys.
    • Also, after "Take Me Away", Lowbelly rides his skateboard over to the Clayboys, but accidentally jumps in front of Gumby and pushes him on Fatbuckle's drum.
  • Idiot Ball: The movie borders on Idiot Plot . The characters could practically end the plot about halfway into the movie. Goo ties them up, they shut down the Gumby robot and the fake clayboy robots. It could end there, right? But nooo, they literally leave the blockheads tied up and allow them to escape.
    • The characters were tossing an Idiot Ball back and forth before that, too.

 "But shouldn't we call the police?"

"No time for that now."