Gumby Creator Dead at 88
Art Clokey created the cultural icon in the 1950s
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2010 8:37 AM CST
Gumby attends the premiere of his namesake movie at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – If you've got a heart, then not only is Gumby a part of you, but this news is a bummer. Art Clokey, the creator of the clay animation figure, has died in his sleep at age 88. Clokey and his wife invented Gumby—and his pony pal Pokey, too—in the 1950s, and the bendy green figure has remained a fixture since then, thanks to incarnations after his hit TV show as a popular children's toy, Eddie Murphy's old SNL impersonation, and a namesake movie.

Clokey first came up with a Gumby for an experimental stop-motion movie set to a jazz tempo he showed to his school students, one of whom just happened to have a father who ran 20th Century Fox. A half-century later, Gumby has 134,000 friends on Facebook, notes the LA Times.