Gumby to celebrate 60th birthday with 3-day festival, museum in Glendora

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Claymation icon Gumby will be celebrating his 60th birthday this September with a three-day festival and a museum display at Citrus College in Glendora.

Before SpongeBob SquarePants and Homer Simpson, animations fans were dialed into a green, clay humanoid known to the world as Gumby.

"Every generation of kids connects with Gumby," Joe Clokey said.

His dad, Art Clokey, created Gumby in the 1950s. The big-hearted, celery-stalk-looking kid saved the day with a long list of clay friends.

At 60 years old, Gumby has racked up more than 200 Claymation episodes as well as a Claymation motion picture. Now, America's favorite, pliable character even has his own festival.

The first Gumby Fest was held last year in Glendora, but this year Gumby will be celebrating his 60th birthday with a three-day festival and a Gumby Museum at the Hayden Memorial Library Art Gallery at Glendora's Citrus College from Sept. 1 to Oct. 16.

The museum display will feature a unique behind-the-scenes look at how Gumby came to life through stop-motion animation. The festival will be held at the college on Sept. 18-20.

"This is where Gumby made all of his episodes in the 60s and 70s," Clokey said.

Now, Gumby has evolved a bit over his 60 years -- different eyes, eyebrows, shape of his head. But the biggest changes came in the early 1980s when comedian Eddie Murphy parodied Gumby on "Saturday Night Live."

"I was a young kid and I said, 'Hey, wait a minute. Gumby doesn't smoke a cigar and talk like that,' but it was really popular. My dad thought it was hilarious," Clokey said.

Meantime, Clokey says Gumby's got a new TV series and a movie in the works. The Claymation icon is back on the road to fame.

For more information on Gumby Fest and the Gumby Museum, visit http://gumbyfest.net.

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entertainmentarttelevisionGlendoraLos Angeles County
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