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Sam the Eagle: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

From Muppet Wiki

Design Team:
Jim Henson • (designer)
Don Sahlin • (builder)
Sam in 2009
"Just a Few Announcements".
Sam disapproves of Liberace.
Adding the American touch to a British classic in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Sam in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
Sam shows leg in The Muppet Movie.
Sam, much "edgier" again, at D23 in 2009.

Sam the Eagle is an American eagle, who feels his species and role as national symbol have placed certain responsibilities upon his shoulders. He has taken it upon himself to promote and protect wholesome American morals and values, and he works behind the scenes of The Muppet Show as self-appointed censor and advocate of cultural, educational acts.

Sam is appalled by the nonsense that passes for entertainment on the series, and does his best to keep things in check, even though his pleas for an end to madness are usually ignored. As noted in the first issue of The Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter, Sam's overpowering burden is to act as the "moral center" of The Muppet Show. He would, in fact, like to concern himself with the morals of the entire world, but "regrets that it takes all his time and energy just to keep up with The Muppet Show." [1]


Early Sam

Sam first appeared in the 1975 pilot The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence and in the first batch of Muppet Meeting Films. In Sex and Violence, Sam works with Nigel in the control room; he spends his time playing solitaire by himself or checkers with Nigel, and otherwise attempts to keep things running smoothly. He is frequently confused by Floyd's hip lingo, which he takes literally, and is dubious about the proposed "Seven Deadly Sins" pageant. Otherwise, his relationship with host Nigel is more amicable than it would be with Kermit on The Muppet Show proper.

In the Muppet Meeting films, Sam joins Kermit, an early Janice, and P. Fenton Cosgrove on a company panel. In "The Muppet Introduction," he resents the fact that he's asked to introduce Kermit, convinced that it's undignifed for an American eagle to introduce a frog. In "Just a Few Announcements," he frets over his spelling, since the American eagle must not misspell words, and is appalled when Kermit jokingly asks him to join him in the Boom Boom Room as an honorary frog (offering to paint him green and lend him flippers).

Muppet Show Censor

Throughout the first season of The Muppet Show, Sam provides the introductions for Wayne and Wanda, an act that he considers the apex of good, clean entertainment. He also frequently participates in the Panel Discussion sketches. Beginning in the second season, Sam would occasionally deliver editorials on the state of the country and the world, lashing out against "weirdos" and "namby-pamby conservationists." Most notably, in episode 206, he rails against nudity, only to suddenly become aware that he himself is naked beneath his feathers; Sam hastily leaves the stage, in some embarrassment. Otherwise, Sam seldom performs on-stage (though he frequently barges on to complain), unless convinced that the act is "cultural"; he's reluctantly persuaded to recite the lines of the dicky-bird in "Tit Willow" (episode 120).

Sam occasionally becomes acutely aware of how futile his efforts are, and threatens to resign in disgust. He does so in episode 205, joining Statler and Waldorf in the balcony. He sees the pair as kindred spirits, due to their dislike for the show, and their obvious age and respectability. He heartily approves of their performance of "The Varsity Drag" in episode 208, referring to it as a brief moment of light at the end of the tunnel.

In addition to his moral concerns, Sam considers himself the arbiter of taste and sole judge of culturally enriching acts and performers. His actual knowledge is incredibly limited, however. In episode 213, he praises guest star Rudolf Nureyev as his favorite opera singer. When informed that Nureyev is a ballet dancer, Sam shrugs, and notes that "culture is culture"; he subsequently fails to recognize Nureyev in street clothes, and has him thrown out. Similarly, in episode 312, he nearly walks out yet again, until Rowlf tells him that he'll miss the dog's salute to Beethoven ("Eight Little Notes"). Sam eagerly announces that he'll stay for Beethoven, his favorite playwright.

When Kermit the Frog questions Sam's obsession with "decent family entertainment" in the UK spot of Episode 422, Sam inadvertently reveals the facts of his somewhat tragic home life. He was married, but he can't remember his wife's name, and they are separated; she flew the coop (later,'s Featured Creature bio confirmed that they subsequently divorced). His two children are in college, though neither write to him. To Sam's disgrace, his son is studying taxidermy and his daughter is dating an owl. He'd rather not talk about any of this.

Later appearances

Sam remained active beyond The Muppet Show, appearing in every Muppet movie to date. In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Sam played the role of young Scrooge's teacher. In Muppet Treasure Island, he played the role of Samuel Arrow. On Muppets Tonight, he hosts a segment called "The Eagle's Nest".

Sam is the only Muppet character that made a crossover appearance on The Animal Show as a special guest on Episode 318: Bald Eagle.

Concerned about his thinning feathers -- he is a bald eagle, after all -- he recently started using Propecia. In the 2002 TV-movie It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Sam has a newly-grown crop of feathers on his head. In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz he portrayed a guard at Emerald City working for The Wizard.

In June 2008, Sam appeared in Stars & Stripes FOREVER! with Animal, Beaker, Bobo and The Swedish Chef.

Sam briefly appears in the December 2008 special, A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, to deliver a public service announcement stating that reading other people's mail is a federal offense, discouraging Fozzie from reading the letters that were addressed to Santa Claus.

Casting history

Primary Performers

Other Performers


Book appearances

Video game appearances

Character Merchandise

See also


  1. The Muppet Show Fan Club News. "Performer Profile: Frank Oz." Vol. 1, No. 1.

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

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