Art Clokey, who created the beloved claymation character Gumby in the 1950s, died in his sleep Friday at his Los Osos, Calif. home, the LA Times reports. Clokey’s son Joseph said his father, 88, had battled a recurring bladder infection. “At his frequent best, Clokey fashioned a canny combination of surrealist and naive art, anticipating both the David Lynch of Eraserhead and the Paul Reubens of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” EW’s Ken Tucker wrote in 1994, when the stop-motion Gumby show returned to the air in the form of Nickelodeon reruns. Clips from 1988’s Gumby Adventures can be viewed on Hulu. The character was also immortalized in a film, with toys and other merchandising, and by Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live.