WASHINGTON (RNS)—Art Clokey, the creator of the animated icon Gumby and his clay Christian counterparts Davey and Goliath, died Jan. 8 at his home in California. He was 88.
His son, Joe Clokey, told The New York Times his father died in his sleep.
Although Art Clokey was best known for Gumby, his work on the television program Davey and Goliath showed “the spiritual side of my dad,” Joe Clokey told the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America news service.
A forerunner of the ELCA, the United Lutheran Church in America, approached Clokey and his wife, Ruth, in 1959 to create a Gumby-like show for the church, Joe Clokey told the ELCA.
“The Lutherans contacted them, and asked them to create a show with the theme of ‘God loves everyone,”' he said. “They put all of their hearts into it.”
The Davey and Goliath episodes, which developed a loyal following from 1960 to 1975, were 15 minutes long and known for imparting simple moral lessons.
Often Davey invited trouble by ignoring the advice of Goliath, his conscience-ridden talking dog, before repenting and returning to Christian values.