Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tail Tale (1967)

Pokey;space critter(?)/DAL McKENNON
Executive/Producer;ART CLOKEY
Synopsis: Gumby's space age expiriment goes haywire when Pokey's tail and mane keep getting transposed with a pot of
flowers and then an alien in a scienfitic test.
The space age and the jet age of the 50s-60s really showed "Gumby the Scientist" being inventive as ever, with a real
strange contraption even more odd that what we presented last time ("Do-It-Yourself Gumby").
The short has as a major gimmick two transportation booths, and a Einstein-esque couple of selection on a computer
panel rotary knob-EC=M and some variants with 3 and 4 but NO EC=M2.
The episode starts out with Gumby in his science laboratory with the familiar late 60s brass unidentified sunny music
also heard opening shorts like "Shady Lemonade" around this time, standing by his machine and myself, Pokey, as summoned
up by Gumby, answers Gumby "sending for him" (before the episode started.) Gumby tells Pokey, "You see those two cells over
there", indicating the aforementioned machine cells, to which Pokey, ever the wisecracker:"If you say so..."
Gumby then says: "Be SERIOUS Pokey"...then explains his transportation idea that Pokey's to be a guinea pig, or guinea PONY, for:
to have Pokey stand in one of the rounded cell-booths while Gumby turns the knob mentioned above, while Gumby places a flowerpot
(with flowers, natch) in the other, and wierd computer hums play, and Pokey and the flowers are transported-sort of.
Pokey says that even not being a race horse, that he's faster.
The tail is sticking out so Gumby reactivates machine, tail flies off, and then flowers on Pokey's back, with the TAIL replacing the flowers in their pot!
After Gumby tries again both Pokey, and pot with Gumby occuyping another cell,
 disappear only with Pokey's mane now replacing the tail, which is now gone, with the mane restored to
Pokey but the flowers and their pot gone.
The REAL bizzare thing is when Gumby tries yet AGAIN and one of those strange bizarre aliens that only turns up in Gumby appears, with single
curled hair, about Gumby's height, in one cell, and scoots to the machine and (to the EC=M) adds the needed "2", with Pokey then Gumby ad-
mitting that Gumby goofed, with the alien and Gumby in one cell and Pokey in the other, and now, the alien is gone but Gumby, the flower pot
and its intended contents, and in their rightful places Pokey's tail and mane are back.
Gumby explains that the weird space alien just got suddenly pulled out of the solar system by Gumby's computer and sent everyone and everything,
faster than the speed of light. "You're no racehorse Pokey, but you're the fastest horse on earth".
I'd sure like to know who did the Bill Loose-David Rose like eerie music used here when the alien appears-it's also in "Dragon Daffy" (the sequel or predecessor
to the aforementioned, unrelated "Shady Lemonade") when Gumby goes into the stone age book, in "Moon Boggles" when we first meed the 'Boggles, and in "Grub
Grabber Gumby" when Gumby has his nightmare with Pokey as a fright-mare (of the male gender) stuffing him a la "Clockwork Orange" and the earlier Warner Bros.
cartoons "Pigs is Pigs", 1937, not related to the 1905 E.P.Butler/1954 Disney story, and "Wholly Smoke" with Porky Pig, 1938); it's very similiar to the Loose-Rose-Seely music
so well known from the often-discussed shorts from Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound episode from 1960-61 "Astro-Nut Huck" that opens it, and the WB cartoons from the musicians strike
era in 1958, "Gopher Broke", that closes it; George Hormel also had a well known cue like it in HB, Clokey, and others. Seely, Hormel,etc. had a lot of spooky, beautiful cues like this. But D.M.Lackey & G.Kauer are
believed to composed for this.
"Gilligan's Island" episode for 1965-66, 4/7/66, #66, "Friendly Physician", used booths in a way similiar to the booth-rounded cells in this short.

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