It has recently come to this journalist’s attention that, in an obit for Art Clokey, the writer mentioned Ty Templeton‘s portrayal of Gumby on Canadian Television in the 1980s, second only to Eddie Murphy’s SNL portrayal in fame and infamy. This scandal, which Templeton had hoped was long-forgotten, came about when he portrayed Gumby on CityTV on a number of episodes of Late, Great Movies. Pretending to be Gumby walking through a book, Templeton remembers, “The host, Bob Segarini asked me what book I was next planning to walk through next, and I answered, “The Joy of Sex and Portnoy’s Complaint.” Within 24 hours, Clokey Productions called our show and said I was never to play Gumby again.”
Templeton points out that, unlike Eddie Murphy‘s unofficial portrayal, he was an officially-sanctioned Gumby performer. The costume had been supplied by Clokey Productions to promote Gumby. (The show had to supply Pokey, the horse.) Templeton is unclear as to why there was a promotional push for Gumby at this time, but it might have been linked to the comic book.
The obituary for Art Clokey (and reference to the shameful Templeton Gumby Scandal) can be found on www.comicmix.com.
This journalist shudders to think of the repercussions if any actual video footage of the offending incident were to be found and put on the internet where any innocent member of the Gumby-loving public could encounter it.