One of Joanna’s favorite toys as a child was a bendable Gumby. She greatly missed her flexible friend after losing him during a childhood move or illness. Hearing that story years later prompted me to find a new one for her for the next Christmas, and Gumby still sits on a shelf in our bedroom.
The green guy became a beloved cartoon figure with his own theme song, though I don’t remember ever hearing the tune before writing this. And maybe it’s just me, but I always thought Gumby’s song should be the Spinners’ “Rubberband Man” (obviously not the rap song by the same name, which might better suit the Eddie Murphy version of Gumby).
Who better than Pokey’s best friend to represent “So much rhythm, grace and debonair for one man”?
As it turns out, I am very much Pokey to Joanna’s Gumby, as described by the official website:
Where Gumby is idealistic, Pokey is skeptical. Where Gumby is trusting, Pokey asks questions. When Gumby takes chances, Pokey often gets dragged along against his will, but ends up appreciating the experience. The two save each other with regularity. …
At times Pokey is just plain cranky and pessimistic, poking and gibing at Gumby. He loves to be sarcastic. … Pokey loves to have the last word.
“The Rubberband Man” apparently was written for a child who was being teased in school. Having both experienced at least brief periods of bullying, Joanna and I could relate to that aspect of the song, too — if we weren’t simply caught up in the joy of the song.
Lyrics here, with video (with cool ’70s threads) below.