Art Clokey's first clay animation film was Gumbasia (1953), a short film showcasing a series of clay shapes twisting, turning and contorting in kaleidoscopic patterns. Clokey showed the film to producer Sam Engel, who suggested that Clokey apply the technique to form children's stories. Although Gumbasia didn't originally air on television, it is usually considered to be the first pilot episode of what would become The Gumby Show. Soon afterward, Clokey completed an official pilot for NBCthrough the financial assistance of Engel. Entitled "Gumby on the Moon", this marked the first appearance of Gumby. The pilot was then shown on Howdy Doody to much success, and NBC ordered Gumby his own series.
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