(Roughly) Daily

Gumby: “Do you want to try it, Pokey?” Pokey: “No thanks, I prefer grass”…

source: L.A. Times

If you have a heart, Gumby’s a part of ***YOU!***
– Gumby Theme Song

Art Clokey, the creator of the whimsical clay figure Gumby, died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Osos, Calif., after battling repeated bladder infections, his son Joseph said. He was 88.

Clokey and his wife, Ruth, invented Gumby in the early 1950s at their Covina home shortly after Art had finished film school at USC. After a successful debut on “The Howdy Doody Show,” Gumby soon became the star of its own hit television show, “The Adventures of Gumby,” the first to use clay animation on television.

After an initial run in the 1950s, Gumby enjoyed comebacks in the 1960s as a bendable children’s toy, in the 1980s after comedian Eddie Murphy parodied the kindly Gumby as a crass, cigar-in-the-mouth character in a skit for “Saturday Night Live” and again in the ’90s with the release of “Gumby the Movie.”

Today, Gumby is a cultural icon recognized around the world. It has more than 134,000 fans on Facebook…

Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Gumby’s name to the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which Art Clokey was a longtime member.

“Gumby was green because my dad cared about the environment,” his son said.

Read the whole story in the L.A. Times (January 9, 2010), more about Art here, and more about Gumby here.

As we recall that in the end we’re all “just clay,” we might raise a toast to the Pragmatist-in-Chief– American psychologist and philosopher William James (brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James); William was born this date in 1842.  James’ theories of interrelations– recognized in his day as importantly novel, but problematically weird– seemed, on the heels of Einstein’s work, to have been positively prophetic.

William James

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