So Gumbyâ€™s really been around for fifty years? I didnâ€™t believe it at first, since I grew up on the Lorimar series where Gumby and pals lived in a barn and had a rock band, leaving me to think he was much more modern. But yeah, as it turns out, Gumby premiered in 1956 on Howdy Doody, of all things. The Gumby I grew up on, the Lorimar Gumby, was essentially the same as the Classic Gumby, mostly since 50% of the show consisted or reruns. Still, the reruns had new soundtracks and voice-acting and a new opening sequence replacing the trippy 60â€™s beat with a more kid-friendly jingle. Itâ€™s been a long while since I subjected myself to some Gumby nostalgia. In fact, I havenâ€™t watched Gumby since I was a kid. So, through the miracle of You Tube, I managed to resurrect a few of my favorite episodes. Hereâ€™s what I thoughtâ€¦
Aw crap, I just realized some of you might not know who the **** â€œGumbyâ€ is, considering his shorts havenâ€™t been regularly rerun on American television in quite a while. Okay, hereâ€™s the general run-down: Gumby is a blob of deformed green clay who lives either in some sort of playroom/library or on a farm somewhere that still uses a rotary phone. Despite the fact that Gumby fights monsters and terrorists on a daily basis, he is, in reality, a teenager who lives with his parents and goes to school. Of course, he goes to one of those cartoon schools that only has class for about 10 minutes each day.
â€Good morning, class. Alright, todayâ€™s lesson will be about ancient Egypt. *BRRRING!* That was the bell, children. Your homework assignment is to write an essay on the Pharaohs. Have a good weekend, Iâ€™ll see you all on Monday.â€
I was pissed off when I went to kindergarten and found out school was nothing like Gumby.
Anyway, since Gumby didnâ€™t spend any time at home or in school, heâ€™d go inside of random books to learn about history or just cause general mayhem. Gumby was joined by his best friend, Pokey, an orange horse that was sort of wimpy but always did whatever Gumby told him, probably because he had no special abilities, unlike the rest of the Gumby crew, and felt inadequate. In later years, Gumby was joined by Prickle, a yellow dragon/dinosaur with a big ego who could breathe fire. Funny, if he ever breathed fire on Gumby wouldnâ€™t that harden him into some form of pottery? There was also the token female, Goo, an amorphous blob with yarn for hair that could morph into anything. She also had a thing for Pokey, who thought girls were icky, and I distinctly recall one episode where she chased Pokey around, molesting him. But my memory could just be screwing with me. Gumbyâ€™s arch-nemesis was the Blockheads, a terrorist cell bent on ruining life for everyone and kidnapping random people for no good reason. The Blockheads werenâ€™t very smart, though, and Gumby routinely beat the mortal hell out of them. In the 80â€™s, Gumby formed a rock band and probably opened for Jem and the Holograms.
There, now that thatâ€™s out of the wayâ€¦
The original opening sequence from the 60â€™s has some trippy music at the beginning; made me think I was about to hear â€œPaint it Blackâ€ when I first started the video. The Lorimar opening is essentially the same but with more content to include the newer characters (Gumbyâ€™s family) and a different theme song. I donâ€™t hate the Lorimar theme, as thatâ€™s the one I was raised on, but I will agree, the 60â€™s theme is a lot better. Besides, the lyrics in the Lorimar theme are a bit pretentious. “If you have a heart then Gumby’s the pal for you”? So if Gumby isn’t my pal then I don’t have a heart? Up your’s, Lorimar!
One of the more psychedelic episodes from the 60â€™s. Gumby goes to â€œMusiclandâ€ with a pair of anthropomorphic musical notes (the hell?) to make mischief and perform some sort of unholy black Sabbath. As soon as Gumby gets there, pianos start moving around with a mind of their own, levitating into the air. Then Gumby somehow splits into dozens of clones, driving pianos of all shapes, sizes and colors around like they were cars, crashing them into one another and generally making as much havoc as possible. Vandalism and devil worship usually werenâ€™t one of Gumbyâ€™s trademarks.
â€In the Doughâ€
Now hereâ€™s a bat-s*** crazy episode. Gumby is trying to bake a surprise batch of pastries for his parents before they come home. Pokey shows up to help but they screw it up and the dough explodes out of the oven. After they clean the thing out, a sentient blob of dough beckons them inside the blazing hot cavern. Pokey is hesitant at first until Gumby yells at him, â€œWTF is wrong with you? Letâ€™s follow him, this guy seems legit!â€ So they both crawl inside the oven and discover a world inhabited by living pastries. Itâ€™s fun at first, until the giant blob of dough reveals the horrifying truth; Gumby and Pokey are actually in some sort of Hellish alternate universe where pastries eat people! Gumby and Pokey try to escape but end up being baked inside a pie and a jelly roll. And thatâ€™s how I learned not to trust strangers, especially if they live inside my oven.
So Gumby, Pokey, Prickle and Goo all go into an antiques shop run by a grizzled old pirate with a hook for a hand. He offers them an unopened treasure chest that was torn from the deathgrip of his Grandfather who had died mysteriously while trying to open it. Ignoring all warning signs, Gumby buys the chest and opens it. Four Mexican jumping beans leap out, apparently leading them to the *real* treasure. The group chase after the beans only to find that the treasure was just more Mexican jumping beans. What a load of crap.
While joy-riding in his Dadâ€™s fire engine, Gumby and pals notice a sign offering free hot fudge sundaes to anyone who will walk through a mysterious mirror of untold doom. Gumby tells Prickle to go help Goo find her hairbrush while he and Pokey â€œinvestigateâ€ the hot fudge sundaes (greedy asshole). Of course, itâ€™s actually a dirty trick by those murderous Blockheads, who shatter the mirror as soon as Gumby and Pokey walk through it, trapping them within it for all eternity. Of course, once the mirror is shattered, all the homes and buildings within the mirror also crumble to pieces, killing untold thousands in the devastation. Prickle and Goo take the mirror fragments to some flaming old scientist who manages to reconstruct the mirror and free Gumby and Pokey. The Blockheads were never brought to justice.
Apparently, like most teenagers, Gumby uses robots to do his chores on the weekend so that heâ€™ll have more time to drink milk and eat crackers. Well, as we all know, every robot is destined to rise up against their claymation oppressors and go murderously berserk. The robots start tearing up the clay people’s property, painting â€œrobotâ€ all over their house and doing other unsavory activities. Gumby, Pokey and Gumbyâ€™s Mom are trapped helpless within the confines of their own home until Gumbyâ€™s Dad shows up to deal with the killbots. He manages to deactivate most of them but the last two start beating him up, tearing holes in his chest with a wrench and hurling him onto nearby rooftops. Eventually, Gumby defeats the last rogue robot and is sentenced to doing his chores the old fashioned way. Pokey is given no such punishment and watches Gumby suffer for the shear fun of it.