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Who Knew Frankenstein’s Monster Was Serving Up Beer’s At Miss Kitty’s Long Branch Saloon?

He wasn’t on every episode of the longest running Western in TV history.  He wasn’t on the classic TV show as much as Matt, Festus, Miss Kitty or Doc.  But you remember him.

He was Sam and he was the bartender in Miss Kitty’s Longbranch Saloon on ‘Gunsmoke‘.  Matt, Doc and Festus would be sitting around the table, either solving a ‘bad guy’ problem or maybe just shooting the breeze.  Miss Kitty would come over, ask the boys if they wanted a beer and then call out ‘Sam, can we get a round here?’.  And there was Sam, forever wiping down the bar, pulling beers and bringing them over.

But did you know Sam didn’t always walk like that?  Nope, there were times Sam pretty much lumbered along…and grunted!

You see, the guy who played Sam was an actor by the name of Glenn Strange.  And Mr. Strange played Frankenstein‘s Monster in 3 Universal Studio films in the 1940’s!

Strange portrayed Frankenstein’s Monster in ‘Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein’.  Here’s the scene where Dracula wakes up the monster…and yes, that’s Gunsmoke’s Sam the Bartender underneath all that make-up!


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Now, I know, I know, Boris Karloff will forever be remembered as Frankenstein’s monster.  He’s the definitive monster.  But it was none other than Glenn Strange that played him 3 times in very well regarded and remembered sequel’s.  You’ll see them on TV from time to time on some of the cable channel’s.

So when you see Sam the Bartender bringing Matt and Festus a cold one, thank goodness there isn’t a mob following him with torches!

Here’s a look at this talented man’s career.


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Festus Sings On 'Gunsmoke'

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