Davey and Goliath

After all that wonderful gratuitous violence we witnessed on Saturday mornings in the 70s, television programmers must have figured that we needed a little moral guidance the following day. To that end, there was a boy and his dog named Davey and Goliath, who had plenty to learn about life and lots of advice to share with young viewers.

Art Clokey, a pioneer in the art of stop-motion animation, gained fame in the 1950s thanks to two clay characters he created named Gumby and Pokey. At the height of their popularity, Clokey was approached by the Lutheran Church, who wanted to create a wholesome children’s program teaching moral lessons. The result of the collaboration was Davey and Goliath.

 

First airing in 1960, the series followed the adventures of a young boy named Davey who lived with his parents, John and Elaine, and sister Sally in a quiet, suburban neighborhood. Goliath was Davey’s faithful canine companion and had a secret that only Davey (and all of us television viewers at home) knew – Goliath could talk!

And talk he did, trying to sway Davey to the right path whenever the boy started screwing up. Davey rarely listened, then proceeded to get into all sorts of interesting trouble. Meanwhile, we all sat back shaking our heads and thinking “Just listen to the dog, you moron!” He never did.

 

Through the course of the series, the pair tackled issues concerning everything from vandalism to handling death and racial intolerance. In 1970, Davey befriended a boy from a neighboring city named Jonathan Reed, one of the first African-American characters to ever appear in a main role on a children’s show – a bold step for those days.

Davey and Goliath originally ran until 1965, but due to popular demand, resumed in the early 70s with some new episodes. All told, there were 72 episodes of Davey and Goliath produced, which were run for many years after in syndication. Sadly, Art Clokey passed away in 2010, but the memories of his beloved characters will live on for generations to come, thanks to the series being released on DVD.

Did you grow up watching Davey and Goliath? Do you recall learning anything from these lovable clay characters? I’d love to hear any and all of your memories of this classic television series in our comments section below, so don’t be shy!

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