Despite Gumby's positive demeanor, his origins stem from tragedy. When [Art] Clokey was 9, his father was killed in a car crash. He lived with his mother for a while, but when her second husband made her choose between him and her son, Clokey was sent to an orphanage. Fortunately, he was adopted by a good family. But Clokey wouldn't forget his father, whose head shape - characterized by a cowlick hairdo - would later provide the inspiration for Gumby's trademark lopsided head.
Above: Clokey animating the 1956 pilot episode of The Gumby Show. In this episode, embedded below, Gumby travels to the moon.
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