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Sam and Friends: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

From Muppet Wiki

Jim Henson and Jane Nebel at work.

Sam and Friends was Jim Henson's first television show, a five-minute show that aired twice daily on WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. The show ran from May 9, 1955 to December 15, 1961.

The series was heavily reliant, particularly in its earliest installments, on puppet characters lip-synching to records, usually novelty songs or comedy routines from the likes of Stan Freberg, Bob and Ray, Spike Jones, and Louis Prima, amongst others. The title character was a humanoid named Sam. However, of the surviving episodes, Sam's sole appearance is lip-synching to Prima's "Old Black Magic." A more enduring star of the series was Kermit, not yet a frog, and often performing in a wig. Other characters included the voracious Yorick, beatnik Harry the Hipster, excitable Professor Madcliffe, Chicken Liver, and utility players Hank and Frank. Other characters possessed more ephemeral personalities, and in many cases, their existence is defined only by photographs and surviving puppets; this roster includes Mushmellon, Icky Gunk, Henrietta, Moldy Hay, and the earliest Muppet star, Pierre the French Rat, amongst others.

While lip-synching was a staple of the series, Henson experimented with character voices in such sketches as "Powder-Burn," and in commercials for the show's sponsor, Esskay Meats. Though the earliest skits were in black and white, later sketches such as "Poison to Poison" were transmitted in color.

Some of the show's original puppets were on display in the Muppets and Mechanisms: Jim Henson’s Legacy exhibit at The Smithsonian Institution.

According to the Jim Henson Company Archives, very few of the original shorts have survived over the years. Existing spots can be viewed at The Paley Center for Media.


External links

  • Kaptain Kidshow's extensive page on Sam and Friends
  • Rare Sam and Friends photos

This article uses material from the "Sam and Friends" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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