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Series / Samson En Gert

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Samson (left) and Gert (right)

Samson en Gert (Dutch for "Samson and Gert") is a hugely popular Flemish children's program that ran from 1990 until 2005. A movie was made in 2008, along with a Christmas special. In 2010, a 20 year anniversary special was made. In 2014 and 2017, respectively, two spin-off winter and summer series were produced.

The show revolves around Samson, a talking bobtail, and his owner, Gert. Samson is a hand puppet who usually sits inside his dog basket. He is a very naive, but well meaning character who frequently mispronounces words and has to be corrected by Gert or the other humans in the room. The show relies heavily on Catch-Phrase jokes.

Samson and Gert are frequently visited by friends, usually in function to the plot. Some characters (like neighbour Joop Mengelmoes and Jeannine de Bolle, the mother of Octaaf) were only present in early seasons and then replaced by new characters. Other former invisible characters were later played by actual people. The most prominent characters over the course of the show's lifespan are Alberto, a barber who enjoys singing opera; the mayor of the town, who is interested in toy airplanes; the mayor's hyperactive secretary Van Leemhuyzen and Octaaf de Bolle, the selfimportant owner of a grocery store and hobby gymnast. Every episode closes with a moral and a Everybody Laughs Ending.


The program quickly became an enormous success, which was increased once the show was broadcast in the Netherlands. It was also dubbed in French. It became a huge Cash Cow Franchise with aggressive merchandising which spawned Studio100, one of the largest European entertainment companies. Samson's name has lead to comic strips, bread, clothing, toys, a magazine, films, Christmas shows, CDs, DVDs and even an amusement park.

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This series provides example of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Whenever Mrs. Jeanine's son Octaaf does something wrong she claims he got that from his father's side. Whenever he does something right she claims he got it from her.
  • Always Camp: Alberto is a flamboyant hairdresser who enjoys singing. Come on now.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Many plots feature one or more characters cheating, pretending to be someone else or being dishonest. They always lose in the end.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Samson mispronounces words all the time, but manages to change them into other existing words with different meanings sometimes.
  • Ascended Extra: The mayor's secretary Eugène Van Leemhuyzen was originally The Ghost, but he became a regular character after the eight season.
  • Ate It All: Regular plot device whenever greedy Alberto comes to visit Samson and Gert.
  • Big Eater: Alberto can be bribed into doing anything if you promise him food.
  • Big Fun: Alberto.
  • Birthday Episode: The special to celebrate 20 years of Samson & Gert.
  • Black and White Morality: Samson is always nice, honest and morally incorruptible. The other characters, including Gert, aren't afraid to cheat now and then.
  • Butt-Monkey: Usually the character who cheats receives his comeuppance in the end.
    • Alberto is frequently made fun of by the other characters, even though he's not necessarily any more or less incompetent than everyone else.
  • Crossover: The music video "Droom" which celebrated the series's 20th Anniversary features various Studio 100 characters such as Piet Piraat, Kabouter Plop,K3, and Bumba all singing about them. Samson & Gert also had episodes where they were visited by the girls from K3 and one episode featured two female character from the series Spring. Both these franchises are owned by Studio 100.
  • Catch-Phrase: Several times during the same episode
    • Every character says "Ik moest kloppen want de bel doet het niet" ("I had to knock, because the doorbell doesn't work"). It's even a song.
      • Sometimes a variation is used where a character says "Ik moest niet kloppen, want de deur ging al open" ("I didn't have to knock, because the door already opened")
    • Alberto's "Ten eerste is 't "Alberto"." ("First of all, it's "Alberto"!), whenever Gert calls him Albert.
    • Octaaf's "Dat is toevallig één van mijn specialiteiten" ("Coincidentally, that's one of my specialities"). Usually, it's not.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the very first episodes, the most important side character apart from Samson and Gert was their neighbour Joop Mengelmoes. He disappeared after two seasons with no given explanation and he was almost never mentionned again.
    • This became subverted in the 2017 summer series, in which Joop's brother Jaap Mengelmoes appears.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the early seasons, the characters regularly broke the fourth wall to organise contests for the viewers and collect fanmail, and even introducing short cartoons interrupting the programme. This practise is one of the reasons the earlier seasons were almost never transmitted again on television.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Most of the main characters, even Gert can be found guilty of this.
  • Long Runner: The series started in 1989 and new episodes were produced until 2005, however live performances are held until this day. In the meantime, the show continued to exist in a movie called 'Hotel op Stelten', two special episodes and two spinoff series.
  • Never Wake Up a Sleepwalker: Alberto uses this trope in the episode "Alberto Slaapwandelaar" as a way to steal food while pretending to be sleepwalking.
  • Only Sane Man: Gert regularly fits this description.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Koen Crucke, the actor who plays Alberto, had lost so much weight by the time the 2017 summer series was in the making that his character's gluttony would not be believable anymore. To solve this problem, it was told in the series that Alberto, while on vacation, had been lost in the jungle without food for weeks before finding the way to his hotel.
  • Sick Episode: The episode "Gert is ziek" features a bedridden Gert. It's one of the rare times the bedroom is seen in the series.
  • Slice of Life: Follows the daily live of Samson & Gert and their constant disturbance by their silly friends, mostly leading to hilarious situations.
  • The Ghost: Gert's Girlfriend Marleneke is often spoken about and alluded to but never shows up. Other examples of this trope include Gert's rich rival Jean-Louis Michel, Alberto's mother, the mayor's houskeeper and local snack bar owner Fred Kroket.
    • Octaaf De Bolle, his daughter Miranda and his mother Jeanine all became this when their actors respectively left the show.
  • You Look Familiar: Some episodes feature the same guest stars, but in different roles. These are usually actors that Studio 100 uses in many of their productions.
    • Sometimes, a guest starring role is even filled by a main member of the cast, like the mayor's twin brother who is played by the mayor's actor.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The location of the town where the series takes place is never revealed; even its name is a mystery.

Example of: