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Sam Plenty

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Sam Plenty Logo
URL  samplenty.com
Active  March 10, 2008 - ca. early 2009
Type  web serial
Creator  The Jim Henson Company

The Sam Plenty Cavalcade of Action! Show Plus Singing![1] was a live action web-series produced by the Jim Henson Company. The series was created and directed by Paul Rugg and Mitch Schauer. [2] The series launched its own website located at samplenty.com, which was later turned into a redirect to a brief production description page on Henson.com.

The series was designed as a Western comedy musical with science-fiction and action adventure elements, starring cowboy hero Sam Plenty. Victor Yerrid described Sam Plenty in a 2007 interview as "a throwback to the old Gene Autry Show." [3]. In particular, the premise recalls Autry's 1935 serial The Phantom Empire, in which Autry and his ranch and musician friends must battle an evil queen, robots, and various sci-fi devices. It also spoofs aspects of the Flash Gordon serials.

The serial was titled "Sam Plenty in Underdoom". The first installment of the five-episode serial debuted on the web on March 10, 2008 with the final episode uploaded in May. However, adding to the parody element of the series, the series began at "part 3" and ended with a teaser for "part 8" (entitled "Conquest of Doom!").

The Sam Plenty website also included a sing-along video, an audio interview with the director, decorder messages, mad libs, coluring pages, word searches, print-outs, photo gallery, fictional bios on the cast members and director and other interactive activities.

The cast was a mixture of minor TV/film actors and veteran Henson puppeteers; the latter included Yerrid (as Bob Choppy), Drew Massey (as Sam Plenty), and Allan Trautman (as the professor). A sample of the project was screened at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con.

The series was the subject of episode #25 of the Henson.com podcast. The podcast featured interviews with Paul Rugg as fictional director Sanso Pontapuntaquenia and Drew Massey as Sam Plenty.[4] Pontapuntaquenia was also featured in an audio interview on the fictional program "Conversation With"; audio from the interview could be heard in the "Meet the Director" section of samplenty.com.

Episodes

Serial Part Title Posted Summary #
Sam Plenty in Underdoom
Part 3 "Test of Doom!" March 10, 2008 Queen Verbosa has ordered her Doom Riders to put Sam to a test to secretly evaluate his legendary abilities. The Doom Riders have captured Billy and thrown him off a cliff to see what Sam will do. Sam rescues Billy with his lasso and pulls him to saftey. Upon hearing this Queen Verbosa calls upon Sergent Munch and his army of invisible Doom Riders to capture Sam Plenty and bring the cowboy to her. Back at the ranch the gang sings "Cow Pie Patty Serenade" when suddenly Sam finds himself attacked by a swarm of invisible Doom Riders. 1
Part 4 "Explosion of Doom!" March 17, 2008 Queen Verbosa - ruler of all Underdoom - has ordered her Doom Riders to march invisibly to the Plenty Ranch. Using their concealment gyros, the Doom Riders have the ranch surrounded. Escape is impossible! Just as the Doom Riders are about to kill Sam Plenty, Sergeant Munch receives a communication from Queen Verbosa. She tells him not to kill Sam Plenty, but rather bring him to her alive. However Sam will not go without a fight, and he single-handedly begins to fight off the invisible invaders. But the Doom Riders outnumber Sam and soon have him restrained. Sergeant Munch is not amused by Sam's unwillingness to cooperate and decides to teach him a lesson. He pulls out his exploding gun, points it at Sam's friends and fires. Sam's friends (including Marion, Hanalei, Billy, Bob, Fetcheye, and the Professor) begin to explode! 2
Part 5 "Purification of Doom!" April 7, 2008 Queen Verbosa's Doom Riders have marched to Plenty Ranch to capture Sam. Sam's attitude has angered Sergeant Munch who has turned the Exploding Gun on Sam's friends. Sam kicks the gun out of Sergeant Munch's hands, saving his friends- but it causes his horse, Marzipan, to explode instead! Or perhaps not...Marzipan is safe and sound on the roof of Plenty Ranch- her tail just blewed off. Sam surrenders to Sergeant Munch, and the Doom Riders take him away, along with Marion and Billy. The rest of the gang is put to sleep. Queen Verbosa locks Sam away in the Purification Thing, and Sam emerges...dead! 3
Part 6 "March of Doom!" April 21, 2008 Sam, Marion and Billy have been captured and brought to the underground civilization of Underdoom. Queen Verbosa has ordered that Sam be purified in the often fatal Purification Chamber. It turns out that Sam is not dead after all- however, Queen Verbosa plans to make him one of her Doom Warriors. Meanwhile, back at Plenty Ranch, the rest of the gang reawakens, and the Professor constructs a machine to track the invisible Doom Riders to their underground lair. However, a Doom Warrior awaits them at the entrance, and is about to make them explode...again! 4
Part 7 "Hat of Doom!" May 5, 2008 Sam has been purified and Queen Verbosa has ordered that he wear the undergarments of Underdoom. Meanwhile, Hanalei, the Professor, Bob, and Fetcheye have been captured and are being exploded. Hanalei throws a pig at the Doom Warrior, takes his gun, and explodes him. When asked to entertain Queen Verbosa, Sam sings a song about how much he prefers living on the surface to living underground, angering the Queen. As Sam's friends arrive to save him, Queen Verbosa activates Sam's Hat of Control and orders him to capture and kill his friends. 5

Cast

Although a full cast list with biographies is available at Henson.com[5], Samplenty.com provided joke names and fictional biographies for the various cast members. The only screen credit on the actual episodes read "Starring Draw Massey as Sam Plenty"

  • Drew Massey as Sam Plenty (credited as Sam Plenty)
  • Zand Broumand as Sergeant Yak Munch (credited as Wallace Stanch)
  • Jeffrey Cannata as Doom Rider
  • Stephanie Denise Griffin as Marion Weadle (credited as Ethel Demerit)
  • Golda Inquito as Hanalei (credited as Meorani Hakalakala)
  • Jay Mawhinney as Lord Grand Chapeau (credited as Rinaldo Etches)
  • Dan Mott as Billy Weadle (credited as Rex Argo)
  • Marie O'Donnell as Queen Verbosa (credited as Dolores Del Norte)
  • Jerry Trainor as Fetcheye Buggins (credited as Magnus Hobble)
  • Allan Trautman as Professor August Weadle (credited as Rex Argo)
  • Victor Yerrid as Bob Choppy (credited as Ketch Erd)

Sources

  1. Henson Company press release, March 10, 2008
  2. Sam Plenty - About
  3. An Interview with Victor Yerrid. The Muppet Newsflash, August 2007
  4. "Meet Sam Plenty" - Henson.com Podcast, March 10, 2008
  5. Henson.com- Sam Plenty Cast

External links

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