Sam and Friends - Old Black Magic

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2005
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I've been watching the Sam and Friends episode with "Old Black Magic".... Can anybody tell if the characters on the television screen are just behind a cut-out hole in the screen area or if they were actually projecting pre-recorded video on the TV?

I always thought the set was just cut to have the characters appear to be in the television. When watching, the picture quality on that set looks a bit too good to be an actual television set turned on and recorded by a television camera. But it starts with us seeing Sam on the TV before it goes to a close-up, the television completely out of shot until it ends, I wonder if it would have been hard to have Sam and Kermit performing like that in such a small set. When watching the wide shots, Sam, Kermit, and Omar all stay within the set. It doesn't look like they stick out their hands or heads farther than the screen and they don't just reach out of the set deliberately.

I was especially surprised by the end, when we see Omar on TV, Professor Madcliffe outside the set, and Harry and Yorrick also there, obviously performed by the same person. I should check the Sam and Friends book for when this was shot, even though I now know Bob Payne was on the show longer than I previously thought, I was surprised to see that three performers were involved in the same scene (if the TV imagery was pre-recorded, then that would be two) - Harry and Yorrick don't really do anything to require them in the scene.