Art Clokey, creator of the beloved animated clay characters Gumby and Pokey (plus Davey and Goliath), has passed away at the age of 88. Gumby was actually first seen on television in 1956 on The Howdy Doody Show before NBC gave him his own television series in March of 1957. Gumby grew out of a short film titled Gumbasia that Clokey completed in 1955 as a student at the University of Southern California, which you can watch courtesy of the Internet Archive:
Clokey created the wholesome Davey and Goliath characters in the late 1950s/early 1960s for the Lutheran Church, but Gumby his best-known creation. An obituary can be found at The Hollywood Reporter.