Art Clokey, creator of Gumby and Davey & Goliath , died in his sleep at 88. Read more on Art Clokey’s life and death below.
Art Clokey died in his sleep at his home in Los Osos, California.
Clokey created Gumby from a student project at the University of Southern California in the 1950’s called “Gumbasia”.
This project led to Clokey featuring Gumby and his horse friend Pokey for the “Howdy Doody Show”, which became very popular.
Clokey reveals he made Gumby’s swooping after his father who had a cowlick hairdo and died in a car accident when Clokey was only nine. Clokey’s wife suggested he give Gumby the body of a gingerbread man.
Although the Gumby doll became extremely popular, Art wasn’t certain about debuting his bendable doll.
“I didn’t allow merchandising for seven years after it was on the air,” Clokey told San Luis Obispo Tribune in 2002, “because I was very idealistic, and I didn’t want parents to think we were trying to exploit their children.”
Art Clokey also created claymation show of “Davey and Goliath.” The Lutheran Church paid him to make the “Davey and Goliath” shorts.
Interestingly enough, in the 1970s, Clokey studied Zen Buddhism, traveled to India to study with gurus and experimented with LSD and other drugs. But his son says that came after the creation of his Gumby character.
Clokey is survived by his son Joseph, his stepdaughter, Holly Harman of Mendocino County; three grandchildren, Shasta, Sequoia and Sage Clokey; his sister, Arlene Cline of Phoenix; and his half-sister, Patricia Anderson of Atlanta.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions in Gumby’s name to the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which Art Clokey was a longtime member.
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