Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 11, 2010

Art Clokey, Animator Who Created Gumby, Dies at 88


Art Clokey, the animator who half a century ago created Gumby, that most pliant of pop-cultural figures, died on Friday at his home in Los Osos, Calif. He was 88.

His son, Joe Clokey, said he died in his sleep.

Asparagus green and fashioned from clay, Gumby made his television debut in 1956 on “The Howdy Doody Show.” The next year, he became the star of “The Gumby Show,” in which he embarked on a string of gently quixotic adventures with his supple steed, Pokey. The series was one of the first extended uses of stop-motion animation on television.

Though the 1950s show was fairly short-lived, Gumby reappeared in new series in the 1960s and in the 1980s and continued for years in syndication. He also starred in a feature film, “Gumby: The Movie” (1995), directed by Mr. Clokey.

Gumby is now firmly ensconced in popular culture. He dangles from rearview mirrors, appears in video games and crops up ubiquitously in references in film and on television. Millions of Gumby dolls have submitted to their owners’ manipulations. The character has been satirized, notably by Eddie Murphy, who played him as a cigar-chomping vulgarian — “I’m Gumby, dammit!” — on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s.

With his first wife, Ruth, Mr. Clokey also produced “Davey and Goliath,” the adventures of a clay boy and his dog, broadcast in the 1960s and ’70s.

Mr. Clokey was the subject of a documentary film, “Gumby Dharma,” released in 2006.

Arthur Charles Farrington, as Mr. Clokey was first known, was born in Detroit on Oct. 12, 1921. After his parents divorced when he was about 8, he lived with his father; when Art was 9, his father was killed in an automobile accident. Rejoining his mother in California, the boy was banished by her new husband and placed in a children’s home.

At about 11, Art was adopted by Joseph Waddell Clokey, a well-known composer of sacred and secular music. By Art’s later account, Joseph Clokey was a loving father who opened up a world of books and culture.

Art Clokey earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and later attended Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, intending to become an Episcopal priest. He left before graduating and settled in California, where he and Ruth planned to make religious films.

Entering the University of Southern California, Mr. Clokey studied with the modernist filmmaker Slavko Vorkapich. In 1955, he made a student film, “Gumbasia” — the title was a nod to “Fantasia” — in which clay shapes dance to a jazz soundtrack. (The film is included on the DVD “Gumby Essentials,” released in 2007 by Classic Media.)

Mr. Clokey created Gumby soon afterward. As he often said, Gumby’s asymmetrical head, resembling a rakish pompadour, was a tribute to his biological father’s prominent cowlick.

“The Gumby Show” had an undercurrent of tender, if slightly surreal, spirituality. (A lifelong seeker of enlightenment, Mr. Clokey tried LSD — but only once, under medical supervision and not till long after he created Gumby, his son said in a telephone interview on Sunday.)

“Davey and Goliath” was spiritual by design. Underwritten by what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the series was meant to teach values like charity and tolerance.

Mr. Clokey’s first marriage, to the former Ruth Parkander, ended in divorce; his second wife, Gloria, died in 1998. In addition to his son, Joe, from his first marriage, he is survived by a stepdaughter, Holly Harman; a sister, Arlene Cline; a half-sister, Patricia Anderson; and three grandchildren. A daughter from his first marriage, Ann, died in 1974.

With the rise of slick, titillatingly violent cartoons in the 1970s, Gumby’s popularity waned. According to many published accounts, Mr. Clokey struggled financially. Then along came Mr. Murphy, and suddenly Gumby was everywhere.

Mr. Clokey adored Mr. Murphy’s performance, his son said. But he was also gratified that it was broadcast late at night, when no child was awake to see it.

Slime Bucket

Guess what I found out, Nickelodeon still makes toy slime!!! Last week I started watching this game show, on Nick, called “Brainsurge” and one of the prizes after the first round was a ‘bucket of slime’! I almost flipped out when I saw it. But now the problem is finding it somewhere around here. Naturally Walmart doesn’t have it so I’m having to look elsewhere but so far no luck. You know that I wish? That I could get a hold of someone at the Nickelodeon Network and have them send some over for the fan meet.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

876 Votes!!!

Oh my gosh you guys I am SOOO excited.

There is a website called Blingee (
http://blingee.com/ ) that lets you add animated graphics to your pictures then allows you to save them to your hard drive or post them to your social networking sites.

So I guess it was like last week or something that I was on there and I noticed that they have different contests for you to enter you work and I thought well why not?

If you'll remember back in the 80's Nickelodeon had the silver ball logo and I have a couple different versions of that saved. So for Christmas, for my Nick group, I took one of those logos and added a Santa hat and snowflakes in the backgroud. (See pic attached.)

I liked it so much that I decided to make one for New Years and took a similar logo and added confetti to the background and a party had and called it done.

So the contest I entered was for best New Years Blingee and I entered my Nickelodeon New Years Logo (See pic attached.) but there were only two days left in the contest.

So last night I finally had the chance to go and check the results of the contest. I didn't win but in two days I got 876 votes with a ranking of 6003!!! I know that's not a lot but for a "vintage" New Years logo that's pretty darn good!!!

I know this is kind of a silly post but I was just so excited that I wanted to share my news with everyone!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year & An Announcement

Happy New Year everyone! Wow it’s 2010 can you EVEN believe it?! I know I can’t.

As the owner of “A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon” (Yahoo group) and one of the co-owners of “The Tomorrow People 6” (Yahoo group) I have always felt that the two groups were sister groups. It has never been spoken out loud but never the less that is how I have always felt. And I hope that the members of both of these groups have felt the same way.

Then about a week or so ago I was talking to my friend Grant about the fan meet and Yahoo groups and he told me about his Yahoo group “The Mysterious Cities of Gold”. He then suggested that our groups become sister groups. He also thought that if our two groups could join with a third group that between the three we could all feed off each other and become not only active groups but thriving groups with “A New Beginning” leading the charge so to speak.

I of course loved the idea and I am very happy to officially announce the sistering of “A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon” and “The Tomorrow People 6” with “The Mysterious Cities of Gold” Yahoo group.

What does that mean?
Well, simply that means that any time I have a post about a specific group show or Nickelodeon in general then I will be free to cross-post those emails to all three groups.

Also when I have a post about our upcoming fan meet or when I post a new blog on the “Classic Nickelodeon Fan Blog” then I will do a cross post to all three groups.

It also means that (about) once a month that all members from all three groups will be sent a personal invitation to join the other two groups.

– On that note, I will do my best to keep track of who is in which groups so that you do not receive an invitation to a group that you are already in. –

Why sister the groups?
The purpose of sistering the groups is to generate conversations, increase memberships, to have fun and to stand together as strong supporters of both the individual show groups and Classic Nickelodeon as a whole.

I feel confident in speaking for both Sue and Grant when I say that as group owners we would like to see our individual groups grow in numbers but what good are numbers if no one is posting anything?

For the most part our groups are fairly quiet so by joining forces we will (hopefully) be able to generate interest in two specific TV shows, namely “The Tomorrow People” and “The Mysterious Cities of Gold”, as well as introduce the members of the these groups to shows they may not have heard of; specifically the Nickelodeon programs from the 1980’s.

Fan Meet Support
As I’ve mentioned before I have been planning a Classic Nickelodeon Fan Meet for about a year now. Originally the meet was to be held from July 31 – Aug. 2,2009 but due to a lack of participation (and unforeseen circumstances) I was forced to cancel it. Needless to say this broke my heart, especially since we were scheduled to have a special guest. Actor Marty Schiff who played “Hern Burferd” on “Out of Control” along side a then unknown Dave Coulier who later became known for portraying “Uncle Joey” on “Full House.”

When I broke the news to Marty he was very gracious and told me that when I reset the date for the fan meet to let him know so that both he and Dave could make arrangement to attend.

So needless to say that I am very excited to see this fan meet get up and running and then to make them an annual event. But to do that I need help from you personally. Yes, you, the person reading this email.

I am only one person and I can plan till the cows come home but it won’t do any good if no one shows up, so you can help by getting involved. Ask questions, make suggestions, buy a ticket and just get involved. I can’t do this by myself, in fact I don’t even know what I’m doing I’m just doing it.
The bottom line to this whole long blog is that the joining of these groups will be good for all of us so let's join together and have some fun this year!!!