Sam the Eagle

Sam the Eagle

Sam the Eagle is a character from the syndicated television show "The Muppet Show", performed by Frank Oz. The name "Sam" is probably derived from Uncle Sam. The Bald Eagle is the official symbol of the United States, and Sam's patriotic spirit differentiates himself from the rest of the Muppet cast.

On the show, Sam acts as a censor and comments on his being under-appreciated. He often gives important lectures in which he complains about some liberal idea only to find himself forced to stop in embarrassment at risk of sounding like a hypocrite. On one occasion he gives a lecture about conservationism in which he reads a list of endangered animal species that he feels are the focus of misguided conservation efforts, only to sheepishly withdraw his statement when he realizes that his own species is included. In another sketch, he lectures on indecency because all people are naked underneath their clothes, then leaves the podium in embarrassment upon realizing that all birds are similarly naked underneath their feathers.

Throughout the first season of "The Muppet Show," Sam introduces his favorite singing duo, Wayne and Wanda, with gushing aplomb, praising them for their appropriateness. Although they are never able to finish a song (their routines always end with slapstick violence), Sam, nevertheless, adores them because they appeal to his conservative sensibilities; the couple sings old standards like "You Do Something to Me" and "It's only a Paper Moon".

Though he claims to be a cultured bird, close observation reveals that Sam knows nothing about culture. He has mistaken Beethoven for a playwright and believes The Sound of Music was written by William Shakespeare. Sam is often hostile towards others who do not possess similar views, and, in one episode, he throws casually dressed guest star Rudolf Nureyev out of the building in a fit of temper, mistaking him for a bum. Although he is forgiven by Nureyev, he is still disheartened because Mr. Nureyev (whom he believes is an opera singer rather than a ballet dancer) did not live up to his expectations. Similarly, Sam makes a bet with Kermit the Frog during the Elton John episode and is forced to wear a flamboyant, albeit patriotic, costume.

Sam was originally created by Muppeteer Frank Oz. Sam is currently performed by Eric Jacobson who began performing him in 2005. He was performed by Kevin Clash in 2002-2004.He was also performed by Drew Massey when he appeared in


* "Why am I here?" (A Muppet Family Christmas)
* "You there! You were in charge of railing dust! Thirty lashes, and then you walk the plank!" (Muppet Treasure Island)
* "Any man caught dawdling will be shot on sight!" (Muppet Treasure Island)
* "You are all weirdos." (The Great Muppet Caper)
* "It's times like this I'm proud to be an American." (The Great Muppet Caper)
* "Kermit, does this film have socially redeeming value?" (The Muppet Movie)
* "It was sick, and weird." (The Muppet Movie, after Scooter asks for his thoughts during the closing credits)
*Sam: "You'll love business, for it is the American way!":Charles Dickens (Gonzo): " [whispers into Sam's ear] ":Sam: "Oh, it is the British way!" " [thinks for a few seconds, then looks at Charles Dickens] "
* Sam: (to the viewers) Also, don't walk with your 3D glasses on. Otherwise you may trip and fall...(Gonzo walks by with the 3D glasses on.) Whoa. Whoa. What are you doing?:Gonzo: I'm just showing how you could trip and fall if you walk with your glasses on.:Sam: I...I don't want to see this foolishness!:Gonzo: What kind of foolishness do you want to see? (Muppet Vision 3d intro)
*"Remember, don't tip the driver..." (Muppet Christmas Carol)
* "Ladies and Gentlemen, it is I - Sam the American Eagle. I would just like to say a few words about "nudity" in the world today. And I for one am just appalled by it. Why, did you know that underneath their clothing the entire population of the world is walking around completely naked? Is that disgusting? And it's not just people, although goodness knows that's bad enough. Animals too, even cute little doggies and pussy cats, can't be trusted. Underneath their fur - absolutely naked! And it's not just the quadrupeds either. Birds too - yes, beneath our fine feathers, birds wear nothing! Nothing at all. Abs... oh m... could someone, hand me a robe? ... Mmmhmm." -- Source: Second Muppet Show Cast Album, "Discourse on Nudity"
* "To ensure that the quality and moral content of this show is beyond reproach, I, Sam the *American* eagle am proud to present the singing duet of Wayne and Wanda. Besides being tremendous singers, they're church people" -- Source: First Muppet Show Cast Album, "Wayne and Wanda - Trees"
*"When you enter the theater, please walk to the end of the row filling in all available seats. Stopping in the middle is "distinctly" unpatriotic" (Muppet-Vision 3D Pre-Show, Walt Disney World)

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