Gumby - Am I The Only Person Who Thought Gumby Was Completely Warped?
Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby, died the other day. The LA Times ran an article yesterday which depicted the Gumby series as some sort of innocent children's show.
Even as a child, I thought that show was off it's fucking rocker. The claymation never fooled me. I never thought of it as a children's-type show. I thought it was the creation of a warped adult, who was depicting his fevered obsessions and horrors.
Am I the only person who thought this of Gumby?
Check out this quote from the LA Times article:
As successive generations discovered the curious green character, Gumby's success came to define Clokey's life, with its theme song reflecting Clokey's simple message of love: "If you've got a heart, then Gumby's a part of you."
Really? Was I missing something?
When I was a kid, I thought that line in the song was sarcasm and irony. Was I the only one?
Let's look at a clip from Gumby, and tell me if you want this show to be "a part of you".
Some people, apparently, think I'm the nut for thinking Gumby was sick. So, I did what I always do when people disagree with me. I researched more:
Hippies always got Gumby, says Art Clokey. "They could see he was an honest expression right from my heart," explains Clokey, the soft-spoken, gently effervescent septuagenarian who created the fanciful pea-green funboy in 1953.
"I wasn't trying to exploit children or do formula television. Gumby was an honest attempt to entertain and give kids a little joy."...
And certain countercultural toonheads claim to have seen hallucinogenic entertainment qualities in "The Gumby Show." And they might be on the mark. Clokey briefly experimented with LSD in the early '60s, he said, when it was still legal, taking the mind-expanding drug under medical supervision.
"There were some pretty psychedelic scenes in the newer episodes," the affable animator confessed. But then, maybe he was just naturally high. "My original subsconscious was in touch with something," he observed.