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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 Catchphrase 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.

In November 2019, Gert announced that he is leaving the series. Studio 100 decided to create a special farewell song sung by the titular duo. In December 2019, Samson got a new companion named "Marie" and the show was retitled "Samson & Marie".

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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.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Whenever there are extras, for example at an event on the town square or in Alberto's barber shop, they always appear completely apathetic towards the shenanigans of the main cast.
  • 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' 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.
  • Catchphrase: 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: Whenever a character is written out of the series, there's never a proper explanation given as to why they don't appear in the series any more. They just disappear and are never mentioned again.
    • There are a few subverted cases, though. Miranda, Octaaf's daughter, still gets mentioned in his catchphrase: ...Mijn Miranda zegt dat ook altijd... (...That's what my Miranda always says...)
    • Joop Mengelmoes, Samson en Gert's first neighbour, also disappeared after a few seasons and was never seen or mentioned 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 organize 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.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: The 30th anniversary song, "Het allerlaatste liedje" serves as an official farewell song from the titular duo. While the series isn't over, Samson got a new human companion named Marie. The series was retitled Samson & Marie with a brand-new song.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Most of the main characters, even Gert can be found guilty of this.
  • Human Mail: In the episode Reisbureau Octaaf, Octaaf opens a travel agency that offers cheap holidays archieved by sending his customers by post to their destination. The method is tested by having Alberto bring Samson and Gert in a box from the town hall to their home. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Limited Wardrobe: From season 9 onwards, all of the main characters wore the same outfit in every episode.
  • 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 any more. To solve this problem, it was told in the series that Alberto, while on holiday, 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.
    • Van Leemhuyzen originally was this before he became a regular cast member.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Although the series has featured three different female characters over the course of its run, there has never been more than one at the same time. The first female character was Octaaf's daughter Miranda, who only appeared in 1993. The second was Octaaf's mother Jeanine from 1994 to 1999, and the third one was snackbar-owner Frieda Kroket from 2000 to 2003.
    • Averted with Sofie, the Mayor's niece, who starred sporadically in a few episodes from seasons 5 to 7 (1995-1996)
  • 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.
    • This became subverted in a radio interview where creator Gert Verhulst revealed that the village is called 'Ons Dorp', which literally means 'Our village'.

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