Posts Tagged ‘Gumby’

Teevee Time: A story in stills — Gumby, “Balloonacy.”

May 11, 2010

Oh, my gosh, dudes — Gumby!! Turns out it’s simply all over that there ol’ youtube. I’ve had flu today and it has kept me some Excellent Company. So it’s Teveee Time!

From the late-breaking children’s nostalgic expansion series The Gumby Adventures, which aired in the ’80’s — and I am glad of being able to have at least been in on the ground level of that much of this wonderful franchise — by which time good ol’ green bendy-flexi hero Gumby had gained a sister and quite the phalanx of diverse friends. This episode was titled “Balloonacy.”


It’s Denali’s birthday, so Gumby and Pokey get some balloons for the party. As well as some normal helium balloons, they decide to pick up some magic, self-inflating balloons.

The episode begins with Granny, the neighborhood Model T aficionado, pulling up to the Gumby household, having just fetched home in her gleaming hearse of a jalopy young Minga (Gumby’s little sister, a latebreaking Material World addition to the Gumby family of characters) from a birthday party, from which Minga has clutched in her gooey little hands the souveneir of a single, crummy balloon.

Gumba, mater familias to Gumby and Minga, invites Granny in for some tea to thank her for ferrying Minga about Whatever-Its-called town (I’m sick or I’d wiki it, sorry).

Naturally bored, Minga wanders with her balloon out to the front yard, where Pokey the Pony and Gumby are playing a little frisbee.

Yikes. I have no idea why Pokey looks so unbelievably sly and spooky here. What gives, good pal?! Good gravy!

So then the worst thing ever happens, and Gumby and Pokey accidentally send Minga’s balloon back to that great party store in the sky.



Oh, shit! Minga tries to be really sweet and cool about it but you can tell (as can good brother Gumby) that she is in actuality totally bummed.

Pokey and Gumby were heading in to Town after aimless coy-eyed frisbee anyways to pick up supplies for their friend Denali the Mastodon’s upcoming hopefully-surprise birthday party — not making this up, and everyone knows how tough it is to “surprise” a mastodon …

… so have some empathy for their plight, please — and the pair secretly agree to replace Minga’s lost balloon while they’re at it, using Any Means Necessary.

Oh, my heavens. Loose cannons, these two! Gumby and Pokey, I want your guns and your badges on my desk by three o’clock, and if I ever catch you up to the shenanigans you were trying to pull at the mayor’s wife’s Tupperware party again, you’ll be on traffic patrol the rest of your natural careers! And I hope you two know another thing — I … I …. *sniff* god dang it — I’m proud of you (we all cry).

Okay, so then they pick up some balloons on the regular streets of toy Town of your expected, standard, non-magical variety in several shapes and sizes, and then Gumby does this Totally Freaky Thing where he turns his two triangle leg-thingies into a vestigial single tail-thingy and straight up slithers back into his car.


Tried to capture it fully but this is the best Science can do. Totally not okay.

Shortly after the slithering and with not even slant eyes from Pokey, who is apparently hep to his friend’s possesssion troubles, Gumby and Pokey are cruising back to their yellow dinosaur-friend thingy’s farm-place to assemble Denali’s party surprises when they pass what appears to be Just The Ticket to appease young Minga and her tragic, all-their-fault balloon loss!

They clamber from the car to go see what’s up with that. No tail visible, please note. (Look. All I want are answers. None come.)

Unbeknownst to them, Gumby and Pokey have an audience — the badassical Blockheads, “G” and “J”. (May the lord strike me dead if I ever stop rooting for them. They are red and they are good archers. What is so wrong with adoring them?! Gumby is kind of a goofy putz, you must admit: it’s not like thwarting him has ever stopped Nobel peace work or something.)


Gumby and Pokey enter the book, beautifully …

… and encounter an intriguing and powerful magician who is really frankly styled to be outlandishly Mexican (how I wish this was not so. But it is, and how — sorry.).

They explain their predicament.



The magician is astonished, but then assures them he can help them, and he blows their minds with some tricks. What the magician and I are now about to show you, I am not sure is legal …


… but Gumby and Pokey soldier through the guttwisting demonstration and wisely surmise it is the End to their Troubles with finding dazzling birthday gifts for Denali, because what do you get the prehistoric beast who’s literally seen it all, and young sister Minga!

(After all, why should she not also have the best in inflatable pig-anus-whosa-whatisis-thingy-balloon-dolls? just because she is a little kid and the entire inflation process looks hella ten kinds of traumatic? don’t make me laugh!)


Soon, Gumby and Pokey are on their way, with the Blockheads trailing them, all the way to Prickle’s barn.


Prickle the dino-thingy acts totally shady about the helium inflater. I don’t know if he’s a former huffer or what the deal is, but his actions and expressions around it are really weird and out of character. He seems untrustworthy in its presence. And that is a concern.

Gumby, like Lucille Bluth and your loving, flu-ridden hostess E, hella sucks at winking. Phew! There are so many more of us than I thought!

Gumby and Pokey explain the crazy magic balloons to Prickle and Goo. Why are you puzzling over Goo? Goo is a flying mermaid, duh, and she can take on any shape she chooses. Happens all the time.

Okay, now do you see what I mean about Prickle and that helium tank? Hecka shady! I haven’t seen a little yellow dinosaur looking so sneaky since B.J. from Barney and Friends knocked up Sesame Street’s Prairie Dawn. Oh, my gosh. Worst joke ever. I need to go eat glass now. I’m so sorry. Forever.

The Gang heads to Denali’s big pink mansion with the ballons (which completely dwarfs the suburban tract house that Gumby and Minga live in, where we can only assume Pokey is stabled, unless he stays on Prickle’s farm when Prickle is not busy huffing hecka all kinds of inert monoatomic gasses).


Goo is all in to the tiger, while Prickle goes for the pink elephant. Gumby, meanwhile, has slipped off to patch things up with Minga.


I’m not precisely sure into what Gumbo is trying to talk Gumba in this scene — although I have my definite suspicions — as she bemusedly washes dishes at the sink while he clearly spins a spiel.


While they are tied up in whatever exactly private-times planning they are doing, Gumby has dropped off with Minga the inflatable bunny balloon from the magician and shown her how to pump him up. (Anally. No connection, I’m sure, to their parents’ conversation.) The shock of all this sauce combined with a giant bunny, the very symbol of fertility, makes Gumba faint in to Gumbo’s arms.


Back at Denali’s place, Denali wakes up and goes out to investigate the noise from his front porch.

Oh, holy crap! A bunch of giant balloons and a banner! What a — oh, my ticker, gassssspppp…


Way to go, you guys. You killed him.

Yes, Goo, you should be perturbed, you shapeshifting blue scamp — and let that be a lesson to you about plotting to “surprise” a thing that has been around longer than sin and cockroaches.

Aw, just kiddin’, kiddos! Look: Denali is okay! Yay! — although I must grimly warn you that being a pachyderm he will Never Forget this shock, even 70 years from now when you are drooling in your oatmeal at an old folks’ home and he unexpectedly bursts through the door to yank you outside and stomp your shoulder blades in the street while you can only moan “why?” — he will know why, even as you struggle to remember how to piss your pants from the pain. That’s what you get. Anyway, happy birthday, Denali!!


The Blockheads have had just about all they can stand of this merry and cheesey, “all-gods-chillun-gots-birthdays” chicanery so they amiably start shooting arrows at the balloons, which naturally pops them.

This freaks Pokey out so bad that his eyes turn in to Shelley Duvall’s rack. (Sick left-field ’70’s burn on one of my favorite actresses!)

G and J get totally busted by Goo, Denali, and Prickle (look at Goo all flying off with her determined, shapeless little blue body to catch those bad boys) before they can do more than pop a few. Bummer.

By the time Gumby gets back from mending fences with Minga, the Blockheads have been captured and are sailing off in a balloon toward an uncaring horizon, ostensibly chastened by the prospect of cruel starvation and never setting foot on land again (just punishment? I think not).

And that’s “Balloonacy”! Sorry that went forever but I am sick as hayull. Thanks for playing!