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“Get Animated!” Explores the History of Animation from Pencils to Pixels
The new “Get Animated!” exhibit, created by Stage Nine Entertainment, includes a number of elements focused on the iconic Gumby and his creator Art Clokey. The exhibit, which opened at the Arizona Science Center in summer 2017, moved on to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu from September 2017 through January 2018.
“Get Animated!” is a journey through the history of animation, and it allows visitors to experience every step in the animation process. It brings to life the evolution of animation from traditional hand-drawn cels to exciting breakthroughs in stop motion and CGI. Gumby is highlighted along with other famous characters from well know animated cartoons and films, including the Simpsons, Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Porky Pig, Tom and Jerry, Tweety Bird and many others. This traveling show is an exciting interactive, hands-on exhibit.
Gumby – The Symbol of Stop Motion Animation
The Clokeys worked closely with Troy Carlson and his team at Stage Nine Entertainment to create and develop the Gumby portion of the exhibit. A brand new Gumby stop-motion short, animated by Anthony Scott, Premavision/Clokey Productions’ Animation Director, introduces the exhibit. Get a sneak peek here. Anthony got his start in stop motion with Gumby on the 1980’s series and went on to work on Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach and a long list of other highly acclaimed feature films.
The Gumby portion of this large exhibit includes:
- A reconstruction of Gumby’s stop-motion studio with animation area, puppet making area, prop area complete with vintage toys like those in the episodes of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘80s.
- Videos showing various aspects of Gumby and the stop-motion process. They include snippets such as, “Meet the Animator,” “Making a Clay Puppet, and an interview with Art Clokey.
- Real clay Gumby puppets, including “Gumby through the Years,” showing how he’s changed with each new TV series. Vignettes of your favorite characters: Pokey, the Blockheads, Prickle, Goo, Professor Kapp and Minga are also on display.
- The set of 1963 episode “Hidden Valley” has been reconstructed.
- Another display (the Web of Influence) shows how Art Clokey taught, mentored and inspired many of today’s world-famous animators, artists, and crew.
- A giant Gumby sculpture is on hand for photo ops.
- Kids can create their own stop-motion video using Gumby, Pokey and pals bendable toys.
This Fantastic Educational Experience May be Heading to Your Area
Kids and adults alike have been enjoying this exhibit tremendously and finding it fun and informative.
Our teacher fans who love Gumby (and the animation) are encouraged to use this exhibit as a learning tool. Field trips to the exhibit are encouraged and there is a Teachers’ Guide available to use before, during and after the visit. The Guide explains that “Get Animated!” takes students on a journey through the history of animation, from pre-film animation devices to the computer-generated animated films of today. Discover the men and women who have contributed to animation through the ages and learn what films, tools, or characters they introduced to the world. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of your favorite animated shows and movies, and view old drawings, sets, and notes used in these productions. You can even try your own hand at animating!
The exhibit will travel throughout the county and be in each location for about 3-6 months. The exhibit name may change at each museum, so we will keep you informed of where you can experience the Gumby fun firsthand.
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Watch Gumby on Amazon Prime
You can now enjoy all of the great, remastered Gumby episodes from the 1950s and 1960s as well as The Gumby Movie streaming on Amazon Prime. For the first time ever, the complete Gumby Show has been remastered from its original camera rolls and soundtracks, with the brilliant and full-length formats as first aired. These imaginative surrealistic, stop-motion animated masterpieces will mesmerize children and adults of all ages.
Gumby Fun for the Entire Family
One reviewer wrote: “What fun!!! I love watching these stories told with clay alongside my 4-year-old son! He is in hysterics seeing Gumby get into trouble and have adventures. My mom loves the cartoons too, as does one of my toddler twins. If you are tired of the soulless didactic computer-generated animation that little kids are supposed to consume these days, do yourself a favor and put on a Gumby cartoon.” – Maryl S.
Joe Clokey, son of creator Art Clokey, painstakingly, and lovingly, remastered all of the episodes from the original film rolls, so the episodes look as though they were just shot. The bold colors and incredible texture of real light hitting real sets draws us in and makes us part of these miniature worlds. Joe is thrilled that Gumby is available on Amazon Prime: “It has been my dream that a new generation of kids will get to see the wonderful world of Gumby. Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, can watch the shows together with the kids. With the remastering, the episodes will be ‘new’ for all. Kids will be delighted and brought to a land of wonder while watching the episodes.”
A fan reviewed the ‘50s series, “This show is a classic, and it’s amazing how the quality holds up to this day! I keep forgetting this series is over 60 years old because of how well this was remastered. This is one of my favorite shows, so I bought the box sets in a heartbeat. Now that the series is on Prime, I can watch it anywhere and that makes me so happy!” – Shannon G.
About the ’60 series, a fan wrote, “Excellent series! They don’t make them like they use to, and that so terrible for the younger generation.” – Mike R.
If you don’t have Prime, you can purchase the DVDs produced by NCircle Entertainment here. The ‘50’s series and two volumes of ‘60’s episodes are currently available in DVD gift sets, which include fun bendable toys! The Gumby Movie is now available on Blu-ray for the first time. It’s re-mastered, and all of its original scenes are intact in the fall 2017 DVD release.
Now let’s go enjoy the show….Read More »
We are thrilled to announce that Gumby has an all-new series of comics by Papercutz, the #1 publisher of kids’ graphic novels. Three brand new issues launched beginning in July 2017, and Gumby’s first graphic novel, Fifty Shades of Clay, debuted in November. In the true spirit of Gumby, these comics are for all ages. Each issue features three unique stories that harken back to the spirit of the original Gumby shows. The books were created by talented comic all-stars, who infused their own unique perspectives on Gumby. Printed in very limited runs, these comics are bound to become collector’s items. >Get yours here before they are gone.
“Gumby is such a singular entity in the pop culture landscape that his re-introduction back into the popular consciousness here packs a strong, nostalgic punch while retaining the vintage, innocent sheen of the early morning cartoons.” – Comics Beat
“Why do I have a feeling that Gumby will be a dark-horse contender for an Eisner next year? Because weirder things have happened. The premiere issue has a Kyle Baker story and that’s an incredible start.” – 13th Dimension Hot Picks for the Week
“Funny, well-rendered, and the right kind of weird and sure to call back memories of a simpler Saturday morning kind of fun.” – Newsarama
The first story is Issue #1, “An Alien Abundance,” is written by Papercutz Assistant Managing Editor (and resident Gumby fanatic) and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Jolyon Yates. Gumby once again meets the triangle people from the very first Gumby episode, “Moon Trip.” Eisner and Harvey Award-winning cartoonist Kyle Baker has written and illustrated (in his unique art style) a story entitled, “Model-y Crew” in which Pokey brings home a model he meets at the supermarket. Acclaimed writer Ray Fawkes and Jolyon Yates worked together to create a fun adventure about Gumby and Pokey in the land of ice cream for the third story. Veteran Gumby comics illustrator Rick Geary (who contributed to Gumby Comics in 2005) created the whimsical cover illustration.
Issue #2 follows with “Goos’ Gone,” in which our hero and his friends take a whirlwind tour of Paris in search of the Goo, who’s missing. Jeff Whitman (writer) and Jolyon Yates (artist) teamed up for this opening story. Mike Kazaleh’s story, “The Sour Note,” refers to a character from the ‘60’s Gumby series, who is a throwback to Paul McCartney. Next, Gumby and Pokey become Ninja in “All That Nin-Jazz” in this third story by Sholly Fisch and Jolyon Yates. The cover features a well-known painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir with some comical updates by Ryan Jampole.
In Issue #3, Gumby turns “Green with Envy” when a fellow musician woos Tara. Yes, even Gumby can lose his cool once in a while. Eric Esquivel, a true-green Gumby fan, put pen to paper in this opening story, while Jolyon Yates whipped up these dramatic illustrations. Andy and Veronica Fish wrote and illustrated, “The Treasure of the Obellos” in which Gumby goes for a deep sea dive. In “Gumby’s Gran Adventure,” written by Jeff Whitman and illustrated by Jolyon Yates, Granny takes Gumby on a trip to Hawaii orchestrated by the Blockheads. You won’t believe what those troublemakers are up to now. Art Baltazar created the whimsical cover art.
Gumby in 50 Shades of Clay
The stories from Issues 1-3 were compiled into a graphic novel format to create, 50 Shades of Clay. Gumby’s first graphic novel!
Papercutz publisher Terry Nantier explained, “Whether you fell in love with Gumby’s classic TV show years ago or if you’ve always been curious about Gumby and Pokey, but never explored their world, Gumby, 50 Shades of Clay is for you. While some comic book characters have changed drastically with the times, Gumby has remained consistent, colorful, creative fun. His core of goodness, his heart, his innocence will never change. The world may have become a much darker place, but Gumby can deal with it. He’s Gumby, dammit!”
Writer Jeff Whitman shared his Gumby wisdom with an interviewer with Freaksugar.
You can read more about these incredible artists and writers on the Papercutz’ website.
More Great Reviews from Publications and Fans
“The art is fantastic and illustrates Gumby and Pokey beautifully. They are just how you originally remember them.” – First Comics News
“Captures the feeling of old cartoons. There is a strong emphasis on friendship, energy, and a touch (or several) of the charmingly weird.” – Adventures in Poor Taste!
“Papercutz is putting some major talent on the book.” – The AV Club
“As someone who grew up with original old-school Gumby adventures, and then raised a second generation Gumby fan through the new adventures, we have collected all the Gumby comic books over the years, the 3D issues and Gumby Gang stories, but we are happiest with this new series from Papercutz that really gets back to the heart of Gumby! All the old characters we know and love are back, along with the new generation favorites, the Clayboys, Lowbelly, Tara and Ginger.
Each story is uniquely handled by fun contemporary artists like Kyle Baker, Eric Esquivel, Andy and Veronica Fish, and Jeff Whitman’s stories are spot on classic Gumby! The right blend of old and new is there as we catch up on what Gumby, Pokey, Prickle and Goo are up to nowadays, imaginative and clever, this collection is a great way to introduce your kids to Gumby.” – Brenda R.
“Great stuff! The creative teams behind these stories really show off their passion for all things Gumby. As a newcomer to the Gumby-Verse, this was a great jumping-on point for a new generation of fans to fall in love with Gumby. I’m sure older fans will also enjoy all of the callbacks to more obscure characters and how these teams have captured the essence of the series. Can’t recommend it enough!” – Megan N.
You can get yours at gumby.com.
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Gumby Imagined, Story of Art Clokey and His Creations is in Bookstores Now
Gumby, the world’s original clayboy and legendary pop icon is the subject of a new retrospective art book. Gumby creator Art Clokey was an animation pioneer, and his characters Gumby and pony pal Pokey, along with Davey and Goliath, have shaped generations of childhood memories and have touched the hearts of fans worldwide. In celebration of Gumby’s 60th anniversary, Art’s son Joe and his wife Joan have written Gumby Imagined, a comprehensive biography of Art and his characters. At 300 pages and packed with hundreds of photos and fascinating stories, this is the ultimate compendium. It’s an amazing pictorial history with never-before-seen photos. Get yours here.
“This is the Gumby-lover’s dream come true! The writing is so honest and compelling, and what a life story your family has had, Joe! Hats off to you, Joan for the very loving and deeply honest vibe to the writing,” writes Martin Olsen, Lead Writer for Phineas and Ferb. Olson continues, “You two collaborated so beautifully on this project. Reading the book feels like going into the heart and soul of your family and hearing how Gumby emerged from it, in all Gumby’s incarnations. The photos are absolutely amazing, and what a journey your family had through life. The fun and the love and the creativity are apparent on every page, but especially apparent is the honesty. That’s the unique beauty of this book; everything is told in such a kind, heartfelt way, no holds barred.”
An anonymous fan wrote: “Wow. A big and beautiful retrospective of everyone’s favorite flexible friend! I’m really enjoying the deep dive into the history of this classic character and the people who brought Gumby (and other great characters) to life! Outstanding!”
A Riveting Tale
Gumby Imagined is a complete biography that chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of Art Clokey’s life. It’s a true “American Dream” tale. In the book you’ll see how Art’s life shaped the characters and stories he invented. Hard-hitting childhood struggles resulting in placement in a home for abandoned boys during the Great Depression. A dramatic turnaround. Adventure. World War II photo reconnaissance behind enemy lines. A lucky break. Partnerships made and dissolved. Spiritual seeking. Creative freedom. Art films. Hard work and play. Success and loss. Talented artists and crew…. This personal and inspiring story brings it all together.
“The most fascinating life story I’ve ever known just happens to be about my dad, mom and the world famous characters they created. Art Clokey’s journey intersects and influences major touchstones of our American life. The sixty-year, behind-the-scenes story of Gumby and Davey and Goliath, interwoven with a rich tapestry of photos and rare anecdotes, weds perfectly with Art Clokey and his amazing life,” says Joe Clokey.
“Gumby Imagined is a fascinating ‘page-turner’ with never-before-told stories about this clay animation pioneer beginning with his childhood tragedies. Learn about how Art got his start in the biz, his groundbreaking stop-motion TV commercials, trippy art films, and the most comprehensive look ever presented of the beloved shows. Explore Art’s fascination with the counter-cultural creative winds of the late ’60s and ’70s, infused with his spiritual learning from Christianity, Zen Buddhism and Eastern avatars. All of which provided the foundation for Art’s creative works,” continues Joe.
Having entertained generations of fans since his introduction in the early 1950s, Gumby–unforgettable, kind-hearted, flexible–is firmly rooted in American culture. Art Clokey made an indelible mark in the world of animation and influenced thousands of artists. A teacher at heart, he mentored many creatives who went on to be stop-motion superstars known for their work on iconic films such as Star Wars, Terminator, Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas, Toy Story, Kubo, and many other blockbusters.
Dynamite CEO and publisher, Nick Barrucci, said “Art Clokey and Gumby are as important to the history of American animation as the creations of Walt Disney…to be able to tell the story of this man and his incredible cast of characters is a high watermark, both as a publisher, and for me as a fan. Looking through these incredible photos and reading such rich history is guaranteed to make each and every one of us feel like a kid again.”
“Gumby Through the Years” Presentation and Book Signings
Joan and Joe are available for presentations and book signing events. Their “Gumby Through the Years” video/live presentation has sold out at Comic Con, Gumby Fest and other venues. Please contact us here for more information.
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Leading Comics Publisher Papercutz Develops Monthly Comics & Kids’ Graphic Novels Featuring Iconic Character
Joe Clokey, President of Premavision/Clokey Productions and son of Gumby creator Art Clokey, is proud to announce that Papercutz, “the #1 Kids’ Graphic Novel Publisher” will launch a series of new comics and graphic novels featuring the legendary character Gumby–the stop-motion animated TV star and top-selling toy. The first issue debuts on July 5, 2017.
Papercutz is creating new material based on the original hit Gumby television series. The episodes have found a new generation of fans through TV broadcasts, streaming services, YouTube and DVD releases. Gumby has millions of fans worldwide, and toys, DVDs and other merchandise are sold through mass-market retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, and specialty stores. This resurgence in popularity is driving the creation of new media. Premavision recently announced development of a new television series (in partnership with the Jim Henson Company) and a feature film. With the recent 60th anniversary of the Gumby TV show, the timing is perfect for the character to return to comics.
“I’m always delighted by how the character my father created has touched the hearts of so many people,” observed Clokey. “The proliferation of user-generated content online, the emergence of Gumby centered fan conventions and the huge reception we’ve received at places like Comic Con International show just how important Gumby is to so many people. We wanted to make sure we found a publishing partner who not only appreciated the property but also shared the approach and values that have made Gumby such an enduring character. Papercutz shares our commitment to creating great stories. And they also have some of the biggest Gumby fans I’ve ever met on staff. That made them the ideal choice for a publishing partner.”
The Papercutz Team and Gumby Love
Chief among those fans is Papercutz Associate Managing Editor Jeff Whitman who will be one of the writers on the ongoing comic book series. “I’ve been a Gumby fan for as long as I can remember,” explained Whitman, “And I think Terry [Nantier] and Jim [Salicrup] wouldn’t have known how to deal with me if we hadn’t been selected as the publisher for these characters. Did I wear a full-size Gumby costume to the office to help convince them we should go after this property? Maybe. What I can say for sure is we’re committed to capturing the magic that Art Clokey brought to his creation and that we’ll be exploring all the different settings and characters in the Gumbyverse while staying true to the essence of Gumby. He can jump into any book (with his pony pal, Pokey, too), so the story potential is virtually endless. We’ll also be finding out more about the Blockheads, Gumby’s sister Minga, his friends Prickle and Goo, and more recently introduced characters like his ‘girl friend,’ Tara. These comic will celebrate Gumby’s past, present, and future. As the theme song goes, ‘If you’ve a heart, then Gumby’s a part of you.’”
“Jeff may be the biggest Gumby fan in the office, but he’s certainly not the only comics creator with a love for the property,” observed Papercutz Editor in Chief Jim Salicrup. “We’ve had numerous people approach us about working on the series and I think a lot of people will be excited to hear the first roster of creators we announce.”
Current plans call for an ongoing monthly comic book series to launch in July with the first issue debuting at this year’s Comic Con International. The 32 page, $3.99 issues will feature a lead story and a five-page backup story, which will provide the opportunity for multiple creators to try their hand at the adventures of the “little green ball of clay.”
In addition to the new comic books, the series will be collected in graphic novel format starting in November 2017. “Gumby certainly has a lot of adult fans, but the character is also one of the great kids’ properties,” explained Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “The graphic novels will let us place the character in bookstores, schools and libraries and reach a whole new generation of fans. It’s a brand-new format for Gumby to explore, and I’m sure he’ll prove just as popular in this category as he has in other media and toys!”
Added Clokey, “Gumby is a timeless character with universal appeal. I’m excited that we’ll be able to share his new adventures with both Gumby enthusiasts and new fans. Working together, we’ll be able to create a new chapter in the character’s rich history.”
GUMBY #1 will be on sale at comic book stores, online retailers and bookstores everywhere on July 5th.Read More »
Gumby, the unforgettable stop motion character, has entertained generations of fans since his introduction in the early 1950s. Now, Dynamite will release the essential compendium to his 60-year history in 2017, featuring an incredible retrospective on not only the characters themselves, but a look into the life of their creator: Art Clokey.
New Deluxe Collection to Pay Tribute to The Art and History of the Creations of Art Clokey
“The most fascinating life story I’ve ever known just happens to be about my dad, mom and the world famous characters they created. Art Clokey’s journey intersects and influences major touchstones of our American life. The sixty-year, behind-the-scenes story of Gumby and Davey & Goliath, interwoven with a rich tapestry of photos and rare anecdotes, weds perfectly with Art Clokey and his amazing life,” says Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creator, Art Clokey.
“This book will be a fascinating ‘page-turner’ with never-before-told stories about this clay animation pioneer. You’ll see Art’s friendship with East-West philosopher Alan Watts. His love and partnership with his wife Ruth Clokey and later with Gloria Clokey. Explore Art’s fascination with the counter-cultural creative winds of the late 60s and 70s, infused with his spiritual learning from Christianity, Zen Buddhism and Eastern Avatars,” states Joe Clokey.
Joe continues, “Discover Art’s groundbreaking stop-motion TV commercials in the early 50s (including his work with fellow stop-motion legend Ray Harryhausen), along with over 40 hours of Gumby and Davey adventures, and art films, which opened up new avenues for all of us, the texture of which will inspire. See how stop motion superstars got their start with Clokey Productions, and then went on to work on iconic films from Star Wars, Terminator and Beetlejuice to Nightmare Before Christmas, Toy Story and Kubo. It’s truly an honor to work with Dynamite Entertainment on this very special book.”
“Art Clokey and Gumby are as important to the history of American animation as the creations of Walt Disney,” says Dynamite CEO and Publisher, Nick Barrucci, “To be able to tell the story of this man and his incredible cast of characters is a high watermark, both as a publisher, and for me as a fan. Looking through these incredible photos and reading such rich history is guaranteed to make each and every one of us feel like a kid again.”
Dynamite Entertainment’s beautiful Gumby retrospective will be released in 2017. Look for details on pricing, format, and release in the coming weeks, along with news of other future Dynamite Gumby products!
About Dynamite Entertainment:
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
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About Premavision, Inc. / Clokey Productions, Inc.
Founded by Art and Ruth Clokey, Premavision/Clokey Productions stop motion animation studio is best known for creating the iconic character Gumby—the world’s original clayboy. The studio has produced over 200 Gumby TV episodes and The Gumby Movie, as well as the popular Davey and Goliath show. The company’s productions have aired worldwide for 60 years, and the legacy continues under the direction of Joe and Joan Clokey.
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Mark your calendars!
- Live parade, Sunday, November 27.
- TV airings throughout the season: listings available here.
Gumby will make his way down the red carpet of the Hollywood Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 27. A 60-foot inflatable Gumby joins the Gumby mascot and the Clokey family who will be presenting Gumby DVDs (compliments of NCircle Entertainment) and Gumby bendable toys (donated by N.J. Croce) to Toys for Tots.
The televised parade premieres on the CW channel in early December and will air throughout the holiday season on the CW, the Hallmark Channel, American Forces Network, KTLA and other affiliates. Check here for air times and channels in your area.
Television travel expert Laura McKenszie and household name Erik Estrada are slated to host the parade. Olivia Newton John is Grand Marshal. The parade kicks off with a concert in the grandstand area with favorites: Olivia Newton John, Kenny G, Scotty McCreery, War, Masters of Illusion, Band of Merrymakers, Julia Ara, Eric Benet, Empty Hearts and Cyndi Lauper performing!
Bands, TV/film/radio/book celebrities, floats, giant inflatable characters, equestrian teams, dancers and more… will march the two-mile route down Hollywood, Vine and Sunset Avenues.
See you there!Read More »
Gumby Central spent some quality time with Tom Sarnoff, Gumby’s Godfather. Tom, a young executive at NBC studios in the 1950s and ‘60s, greenlit the very first Gumby Show, and he’s been involved with Gumby ever since. He has made tremendous contributions to the television industry. Here’s the interview:
GC: When did you first meet Gumby creator Art Clokey?
TS: I first met Art Clokey in 1955. He had been referred to me by a producer named Sam Engel. At the time I was Director of Production and Business Affairs of NBC, West Coast. Art showed me his Gumbasia film and some film of the Gumby character. I was very intrigued by what I saw, and recommended to the Program Department, headquartered in New York, that we make a deal with Art to develop the Gumby concept. Gumby was first tested on the Howdy Doody Show, and he came across as a winner. As a result, I made a deal with Art for a series.
GC: Why are you called Gumby’s Godfather?
TS: I guess… because I recommended and made the first deal for the series, and because I have been with and have been making deals for Gumby for his whole 61 years. Also, even though Gumby was the creation of Art Clokey, I have always felt something special for him and that he was “a part of me,” too.
GC: You knew Art Clokey for more than 50 years. What was Art Clokey like?
TS: Art was completely dedicated to his creations and very serious about whatever was done with Gumby. On the other hand, he fortunately also had a very good sense of humor, which he used with great success in his Gumby episodes.
I very much enjoyed working with Art. I thought that he was extremely creative, so I gave him pretty free rein in his TV series deal; and, I think it worked out well. I was also very pleased and flattered that Art came to me after we were no longer with NBC and asked me to help him get Gumby restarted. Although we tried to get a movie made, we wound up making a deal with Lorimar for a new TV series.
GC: Tom Sarnoff has worked closely with other TV, Film and Music icons.
He negotiated all of the contracts with Bob Hope for his NBC TV specials and series and all of Elvis’ NBC deals. He worked at NBC for 25 years, and in addition to his television accomplishments, he was instrumental in producing NBC’s Disney on Parade and Peter Pan arena shows. He served as an executive producer for the Bonanza TV movies and a number of Broadway productions. After founding his own company, Tom produced his own world-touring arena shows, such as Yabba Dabba Doo, featuring Hanna-Barbera characters.
Sarnoff has been a keen participant in many activities within the television Industry—he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and was instrumental in establishing the Television Academy Foundation, among other key roles. He has also played an active leadership role in many civic and community affairs, including the Special Olympics, for which he assisted his wife Jan (President of the California chapter, 1971-85).
GC: Your father David Sarnoff is a legend in the television industry, and he’s credited with founding NBC. He’s mentioned in all the film history books. I’m sure that he influenced your choice of career. Could you speak a bit about him?
TS: My father, who was responsible for the formation of NBC, was also the visionary who envisioned television, brought it to life, and established the television industry.
During the early years of TV development, NBC experimented with showing cartoons such as Felix the Cat. In 1931 they built a studio to experiment with live broadcasting. When they were ready to expose their accomplishment, my father gathered together a group of distinguished citizens including bankers, politicians, etc. and told them what they were going to see. He pulled off a black cloth that was covering the TV monitor and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the first broadcast of live television.” Unbeknownst to him, however, but with the collusion of my mother, I had been sneaked over to the studio. When the black cloth was removed, out popped on the screen a little four-year old boy who waved and said, “Hello, Daddy.” I’m sure that it took a while for my father to recover from that shock when he had expected some dancing girls.
I still can feel the extreme heat of the klieg lights that they used in the studio those days, and that experience will be etched in my memory forever. Unfortunately, they did not pick up my option so I never really became a TV star.
GC: You’re a star in our book. You have an amazing list of accomplishments, too numerous to mention here. We’ve heard you say that Gumby’s strength is his character, and that “he always leaves a place better than how he found it.” You’re definitely a Gumby kindred spirit.
Thank you for joining us Tom. It has been an honor to meet with you.Read More »
The iconic Canadian band RUSH has a new documentary, RUSH / Time Stand Still, which debuted in select theaters on November 3 and 17, 2016 in the U.S. and Canada. This fascinating documentary chronicles the final major tour of the legendary rock band.
Gumby – RUSH connection
RUSH members love Gumby! So much so, that they featured cuts to Gumby and pals jamming to their first big hit “Working Man” at their theater showings and in their promotions. Check out the Rush Facebook page to see the official jam.
The DVD/BluRay released on November 18. Best Buy has a special edition of the DVD that includes a Gumby keychain with Gumby wearing a RUSH t-shirt. Click here for a sneak peek.
About Time Stand Still
The RUSH Time Stand Still website explains:
“It is an intimate view “under the hood” of a historic moment from the perspective of the band, their fans, crew, and management. Featuring interviews with the band throughout their sold-out 2015 40th Anniversary Tour, the film also shows rarely seen backstage footage capturing the final moments of life on the road. Highlighted as well is the impact on the band’s fans and the world that has been built around the beloved Canadian trio.”
“Time Stand Still is not only a good story, but it helps to explain why this band has mattered to so many people, in so many countries, for so many decades. – Huffington Post
“It’s true that RUSH doesn’t mean today what it did in ’76 or even ’96. It may mean more.” – Rolling Stone
You can read more about the documentary here.
Gumby has many fans in the music world. We’re thrilled to include RUSH.Read More »
Gumby and Pokey are touring the U.S. Our dynamic duo (6” bendable toys from the ‘60s) are on display in the new exhibit: Toys of the ‘50s, 60s and 70s. Now appearing in its fifth U.S. city, the exhibit is drawing large crowds. This fun exhibit chronicles toys through three decades. And you guessed it… Gumby made the cut.
Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels.
The names of popular toys from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s capture the craziness, the joy, and the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them, and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life.
The exhibit, organized by the Minnesota History Center, has shown at the Colorado History Center and the Heinz History Center in Pittsburg, PA in association with the Smithsonian, and Museum of History and Science in Seattle.
Get a sneak peek of the exhibit in this video produced by the Heinz History Center: >>Watch now.
It’s fun for the entire family! Be sure to check it out if it appears in a city near you.Read More »