Friday, September 25, 2009

Brush With Greatness: Gumby

My son and I ran into a legend today, though he appears to have fallen on hard times.

Gumby was beside Hwy 31 near the I-65 interchange in Hoover dancing erratically in front of a Halloween Costume store.

Though gracious, he had very little to say and it appears even his faithful little talking horse has abandoned him.



Gumby is a green clay humanoid figure who was the subject of a 233-episode series of American television which spanned over a 35-year period. He was animated using stop motion clay animation.Gumby's principal sidekick is Pokey and his nemeses are the Blockheads, a pair of humanoid, red-colored figures with block-shaped heads, who wreak mischief and havoc at all times.

Gumby was inspired by a suggestion from Clokey's wife Ruth that he base his character on the Gingerbread man. Gumby was green simply because that was Clokey's favorite color. Gumby's legs and feet were made wide for pragmatic reasons: they ensured the clay character would stand up during stop-motion filming. The famous slanted shape of Gumby's head was based on the hair style of Clokey's father in an old photograph.

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