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Understanding The Hidden Messages In Gumby....
Matt - 05/01/00

Understanding the Gumby show might seem pretty easy. Bunch of clay things that moved through books. It sounds that simple, but the reality is, the Gumby universe is as culturally diverse and difficult to comprehend as we could imagine.

The key to breaking down the mystery though, is understanding the characters. What they meant - and more importantly - what they didn't mean. The Gumby show was full of misleading suggestions, so let's try to break them down.

The most obvious problem comes from the appearance of the Blockheads. Now, the Blockheads never spoke, and while they always seemed to be doing something, figuring out their exact job was pretty difficult. They would've made great vice presidents.

The real problem here is the connection between the Blockheads & evil. We were led to assume that the Blockheads were the 'bad guys', and there was reason for Gumby & friends to avoid them at all costs. But really...what made them bad? I admit, I don't have the episodes on tape so I can't go back and review, but I'm hardpressed to think of a single instance of debauchery on the Blockheads' part. I think what I'm driving at here is that, simply, Gumby and his band of minions were the clay equivalents of racists. They couldn't comprehend our friends' square faces, so they chose to ignore, opress, and insult them. Maybe the Blockheads just wanted to be friends.

The issue of sexuality exploration was definitely covered when it came to Pokey, Gumby's best friend & resident clay horse. Now, you may correct me if you feel I'm wrong, but I'd say that Pokey was certainly a little too into Gumby. Whenever Gumby wasn't around, Pokey would plead with Prickle & Goo that they had to go find him. Also, check Pokey's eyes whenever Gumby was around. It's not easy to indicate a twinkle in your eye when they're made out of clay...but whenever Gumby was in the house, Pokey pulled it off. Now, it's nigh-impossible for Gumby & Pokey to have had any type of sexual relations, considering the fact that they had nothing to work with physically. Still, Pokey can dream, right?

Bringing you up to speed now - The Gumby show already has a latent homosexual & characters facing racial predjudice. Continuing...

Gumby himself wasn't without drama. Gumby's a classic case of a person searching for an identity. Need proof? Okay...explain to me why Gumby wore a black wig for five or six episodes. No, it's true. It wasn't just for one episode - it was reoccuring. Every now and again, Gumby would have this big black poof on his head, and he seemed to feel a lot better about himself with it on. Obviously, Gumby didn't feel his natural state made the grade. Maybe his parents didn't treat him right...maybe they were partial to his annoying pink sister. Whatever the case, Gumby's having an identity crisis, and one would tend to think this could lead to a relationship with Pokey. See how it's all starting to tie together?

Next, we have Prickle. Prickle's in a bad situation. He wasn't around for the early shows, which leads us to believe he moved into the neighborhood only recently. He's a lot more mature than the rest of the gang, which leads me to believe he's a little older. Unfortunately, there's no one else around to play with besides those dirty Blockheads, so Prickle's stuck with the Gumby group. Does he seem pleased? Nope. Prickle seems to have an enormous amount of hard, dried-out clay up his ass at all times, and who can blame him? He's an intellectual, thrown into a society of people who like to put on rock concerts and read children's books. Notice how Prickle always when for the smart classic? He wasn't engulfing himself in Treasure Island or anything...he went right to the Shakespeare section. With that, we see that Prickle is upset over his obviously wasted intelligence, and one can only assume that he's biding his time before he can drop this group like flies and move on to greener pastures.

Lastly, we have Goo. The egotist. Goo is a truly classic case of a girl whose physical attributes are so lacking, she has to convey a superior image to make sure no one notices. Face it, Goo's ugly and worthless. She's two inches tall and flat as a board. She had horrible hair and no legs. There's nothing there to excite you in the shower. So what does Goo do? She pretends she's great. And she does a pretty good job of convincing our friends of it. But really...when she goes home and looks in the you think she's satisfied? Of course not. Goo's living a lie, and in the end, it's only going to hurt her.

The Gumby show was filled with angst and mischief. It was like the original 90210. You just have to look closely at that, and you'll find out that Gumby & Friends was no more than your typical teen drama series.

- Matt