Made in Michigan
1:29 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Did you know that 'Gumby' has Michigan roots?

You know this guy, right?

Gumby in the episode 'Lost Treasure.'

The beloved Gumby was created by animator Art Clokey. His son Joe Clokey joined us on Stateside today to describe how Michigan inspired his dad to come up with Gumby.

Listen to our interview with him here:

"He was working on a student film called 'Gumbasia,'" Clokey said. "'Gumbasia' was clay animated to the beat of jazz music. It blew the mind of the president of 20th Century Fox. He said, 'Art, I'd like to improve children's television. Can you make clay characters?' My dad said, 'Yeah, sure.' So my dad went home and came up with the characters."  

Clokey said the name was inspired by his dad's great memories on his grandfather's Michigan farm. When the cars would get stuck in the mud on the farm they called it "getting stuck in the Gumbo."

The name stuck with Clokey and the characters were born.

We want to hear from you. What surprising things do you know of that were invented or made in Michigan? We want to feature them as part of our "Made in Michigan" series.