He Was Once A Little Green Slab Of Clay

Yesterday claymation/animator Art Clokey died. I loved Clokey’s shows; even Davey and Goliath.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/01/art-clokey-the-creator-of-the-whimsical-clay-figure-gumby-died-in-his-sleep-friday-at-his-home-in-los-osos-calif-after-b.html

Immediately after hearing the news, I thought about the Eddie Murphy skit from Saturday Night Live. The one where Murphy played a bitter cigar chomping character…”I’m Gumby dammit!” So of course I hit YouTube for clip, but no avail. So I found this:

After Art and Ruth Clokey found success with Gumby, the Lutheran Church in America came a-calling. Somehow this religious organization had $1 million to fund Christian propaganda aimed at America’s youth. Each episode had Davey and his talking dog Goliath involved in a series of dilemmas. However, as long as these two put their faith in God, a happy ending would be bestowed upon them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_and_Goliath

Still it would be strange that such a nice Christian boy wouldn’t question on how or why his pet dog had the ability to talk. Davey wasn’t the only one with a talking dog. Didn’t David Berkowitz have the same problem? Supposedly serial killer Son of Sam dealt with a similar situation. Someone should introduce these two; imagine the conversations they would have together, about canines, mass media and the bible. (Berkowitz became a born-again Christian after he was incarcerated.) Check that Moral Orel!

Seriously though…despite the Christian overtones, it managed to be entertaining without prophesizing too much. I remember fondly watching reruns on syndication during my wee kiddie years on a local NYC television station. Within the past ten years I’ve even considered getting Davey and Goliath action figures. Quite sure these collector items would make a great addition to my home.

So before this post ends, I will leave you with the original opening credits to the Gumby show:

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