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Sam and Friends Shemin book
Written by Craig Shemin
Published September 24, 2022
Publisher BearManor Media
Pages 590
ISBN 978-1629336206
Sam and Friends book back

back cover

Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson's First Television Show is a book about the production of Sam and Friends.

In September 2018, Craig Shemin announced on social media that he would be writing the book, to be released at a then undetermined date by BearManor Media.[1] The release date was later announced as the anniversary of Jim Henson's birth in 2022.

The book is broken up into two main parts: "The Sam and Friends Story" takes up 215 pages and provides a detailed history of the show, while "The Sam and Friends Episode Guide" consists of 311 pages presenting a catalog of the surviving episodes as they are known to exist in video and audio-only formats as well as those documented.

Chapter 13 reprints five episode scripts and the book includes 150 black-and-white photos primarily from The Jim Henson Company Archives (and other sources).

The digital form of the book released on October 1, 2022 and featured color versions of many of the photos in the physical copy, all of which are printed in black and white.

Shemin is currently developing a follow-up book made up entirely of archival scripts from the series.[2]

Table of Contents[]

Part I: The Sam and Friends Story
  • Chapter 1: The History
  • Chapter 2: This Is WRC-TV Washington
  • Chapter 3: Admiration at First Sight
  • Chapter 4: Sam and His Friends
  • Chapter 5: National Exposure
  • Chapter 6: It's Time to Play the Music
  • Chapter 7: 1958: A Very Major Big Year
  • Chapter 8: Jim and Jane Henson
  • Chapter 9: Brought to You by Esskay
  • Chapter 10: It's Time to Light the Lights
  • Chapter 11: The Surviving Shows
  • Chapter 12: Jerry
  • Chapter 13: Five Scripts
    • "Ghost Interview"
    • "The Sam and Friends News Report"
    • "The Coming Season"
    • "Sam for President: Part 2"
    • "The Great Debate"
  • Chapter 14: I Come for to Sing
Part II: The Sam and Friends Episode Guide
  • Credits
  • Air Schedule History
  • Music List and Partial Episode Guide
  • 1961 Esskay Commercials
  • Additional Sam and Friends Music
  • Live Appearances
  • Acknowledgements
  • End Notes
  • Index



Promotional bookmark, poster, and sticker designed by Dave Hulteen

To celebrate the release of the book, Shemin hosted a screening at the Museum of the Moving Image on release day consisting of new HD transfers of Wilkins Coffee commercials (as well as regional remakes) and the surviving Sam and Friends episodes (including one not seen by the public in over 60 years). All those in attendance received free gifts, including "Professor Madcliffe's Manual Marking Machine for Books" (a bookmark designed by Dave Hulteen).[3] Shemin signed copies of the book, and discussed the book with MoMI's Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, Barbara Miller.[4]

"Jim Henson: The Early Years," a panel promoting the book, was held at New York Comic Con on October 8. Presented by Tough Pigs, the panel featured Shemin, Ryan Dillon, Rollie Krewson, Susan Tofte (from the Jim Henson Company Archives), and Dave Hulteen (cover artist).[5] (YouTube)


External links[]