Saturday mornings in the 60s and 70s provided hours upon hours of kid-friendly entertainment, with every network vying for their young audience’s attention. On the other hand, when Sunday rolled around, the TV often seemed like a vast wasteland by comparison. Still, there was a charming little show that offered moral guidance to the kids that didn’t happen to be attending church, and thy name was Davey and Goliath. And, let’s face it – after a few hours the previous morning, watching Wile E. Coyote try to destroy the Roadrunner, a little moral guidance probably couldn’t hurt.
Davey and Goliath was the brainchild of Art Clokey, creator of the iconic Gumby series (and utilizing the same innovative method of stop-motion animation). Produced by the Lutheran Church, each fifteen-minute episode provided ethical lessons, put into terms that children could easily understand.
The show centered on a young boy named Davey Hanson, his obedient dog, Goliath, and their misadventures through various moral dilemmas. Davey lived with his parents, John and Elaine, and his younger sister, Sally. Also appearing in many of the episodes were two policemen, Officer Bob and Officer Dan, as well as Pastor Miller. In a rather progressive move for its time, Davey’s best friend was an African-American boy named Jonathan Reed.
When Davey would get in to trouble, or was confronted with some other moral failing, Goliath was always nearby to act as Davey’s conscience. Goliath could talk, although Davey was the only one who could hear him. When voicing his opinion, Goliath would usually begin with one of his catch phrases, “But (or “Gee” or “Oh”) Daaavey…” in his weary, low-pitched and lazy voice. Luckily, by the end of each episode, Davey had usually learned a valuable lesson about topics such as tolerance, civic duty, or the presence of God.
The series ran from 1960-1976 and produced 65 episodes, all of which are now available on DVD. Then, in 2001, the pair appeared in a memorable Mountain Dew commercial, which helped to fund a new holiday special titled ”Davey and Goliath’s Snowboard Christmas” which aired in 2004 and was produced by Art Clokey’s son, Joe.
If you spent many a Sunday morning learning a few life lessons from Davey and Goliath, we’d love to hear your memories of this classic series in our comments section.