Tim Sample

Last updated
Tim Sample
Tim Sample.jpg
Born (1951-01-30) January 30, 1951 (age 73)
Education Boothbay Region High School, Hebron Academy
Years active1967-present
Known forMaine humor

Tim Sample (born January 30, 1951) is a Maine humorist. [1]


Life and career

Sample was born in Fort Fairfield, Maine, and raised in Boothbay Harbor, where he attended local schools. [2] He briefly attended Hebron Academy and in 2004 was given an honorary degree from the Academy. [3] As a child in the 1960s, Sample was influenced by the comedy albums of Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan of Bert and I. [1] After dropping out of high school, Sample attended art school and joined various local bands in the Portland area. [1] It was singer-songwriter Noel Paul Stookey who encouraged Sample to try his hand at comedy. "You know, we’ve got an awful lot of white males singing songs," Sample recalls Stookey telling him, "You do this thing where you can get people laughing, you’ve got this storytelling thing." [1]

Sample's first album of Downeast humor was recorded in 1979. Between 1982 and 2012, Sample collaborated with Bryan on a number of projects including several TV specials and comedy albums, including How to Talk Yankee (1982), Bert and I Rebooted (2012), [4] and the TV specials Out of Season and Maine Humor Behind the Barn. He has also written and illustrated several books, including How to Talk Yankee and Saturday Night at Moody's Diner. [5] Sample has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America and in the summer of 1993, Sample served as a correspondent for Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. [1] [6] The segment “Postcard from Maine” lasted 11 years. [1]

Sample has narrated several audiobooks, including Robert McCloskey’s Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man, Stephen King’s The Sun Dog and the documentary From Stump to Ship for Northeast Historic Films. [7] In 2015, he was an Audie Award finalist for his narration of Stephen King’s humor novella Drunken Fireworks . [8] [1] Sample appeared in several pandemic safety PSAs funded and produced by the state of Maine; as well as TV, radio and online ads funded and produced by End Citizens United targeting US Senator Susan Collins. [9]

Sample and his wife live in Portland, Maine. [10]

Published works

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Humorist</span> Intellectual who uses humor in writing or public speaking

A humorist is an intellectual who uses humor, or wit, in writing or public speaking. Humorists are distinct from comedians, who are show business entertainers whose business is to make an audience laugh. It is possible to play both roles in the course of a career. A raconteur is one who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">WLBZ</span> NBC affiliate in Bangor, Maine

WLBZ is a television station in Bangor, Maine, United States, affiliated with NBC and owned by Tegna Inc. The station's studios are located on Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor, and its transmitter is located on Rider Bluff in Holden.

<i>Flying Yankee</i> American trainset

The Flying Yankee was a diesel-electric streamliner built in 1935 for the Maine Central Railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad by Budd Company and with mechanical and electrical equipment from Electro-Motive Corporation. It was also the name of a passenger train, the third streamliner train in North America. That train ceased passenger service in 1957 and is stored at the Hobo Railroad in New Hampshire. It is owned by the state of New Hampshire, which in 2023 said it wants to sell the train.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">WPFO</span> Fox affiliate in Waterville, Maine

WPFO is a television station licensed to Waterville, Maine, United States, serving the Portland area as an affiliate of the Fox network. It is owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, which maintains a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of CBS affiliate WGME-TV, for the provision of certain services. However, Sinclair effectively owns WPFO as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. The two stations share studios on Northport Drive in the North Deering section of Portland; WPFO's transmitter is located on Brown Hill west of Raymond.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is a network of public television and radio stations located in the U.S. state of Maine. It is operated by the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation, which holds the licenses for all the PBS and NPR stations licensed in the state. MPBN has studios and offices in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor.

American humor refers collectively to the conventions and common threads that tie together humor in the United States. It is often defined in comparison to the humor of another country – for example, how it is different from British humor and Canadian humor. It is, however, difficult to say what makes a particular type or subject of humor particularly American. Humor usually concerns aspects of American culture, and depends on the historical and current development of the country's culture. The extent to which an individual will personally find something humorous obviously depends on a host of absolute and relative variables, including, but not limited to geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, and context. People of different countries will therefore find different situations funny. Just as American culture has many aspects which differ from other nations, these cultural differences may be a barrier to how humor translates to other countries.

<i>Portland Magazine</i> American monthly magazine

Portland Monthly, also known as Portland Magazine and Portland Monthly Magazine, is a monthly magazine based in Maine.

Bert & I is the name given to numerous collections of humor stories set in the "Down East" culture of traditional Maine. These stories were made famous and mostly written by the humorist storytelling team of Marshall Dodge (1935–1982) and Bob Bryan (1931-2018) in the 1950s and the 1960s and in later years through retellings by Allen Wicken.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">WPPI</span> Radio station in Topsham, Maine

WPPI is a sports radio station in the Portland, Maine, area. The station is owned by Atlantic Coast Radio.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karith Foster</span> American comedian

Karith Foster is an American comedian, speaker, television and radio personality, actress, author, and entrepreneur. In 2016, Foster founded the Foster Russell Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which is committed to "Inspiring free speech, social change and empowerment through education and mentorship."

Marshall Dodge (1935–1982) was a Maine humorist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul LePage</span> Governor of Maine from 2011 to 2019

Paul Richard LePage is American businessman and politician who served as the 74th governor of Maine from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the mayor of Waterville, Maine, from 2004 to 2011 and as a city councilor for Waterville from 1998 to 2002.

Aaron Robinson is an American composer, conductor, and musicologist. He is the author of Does God Sing? – A Musical Journey. He created the musical work Black Nativity – In Concert: A Gospel Celebration. He also served as conductor and musical director in the PBS documentary On This Island. In 2013, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for composing Maine Public Broadcasting Network's Maine Arts series theme music.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boothbay Harbor, Maine</span> Town in Maine, United States

Boothbay Harbor is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,027 at the 2020 census. It includes the neighborhoods of Bayville, Mount Pisgah, and Sprucewold, and the villages of Isle of Springs and West Boothbay Harbor. During summer months, the entire Boothbay Harbor region is a popular yachting and tourist destination.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Maine gubernatorial election</span>

The 2018 Maine gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2018 to elect the governor of Maine. It occurred along with elections for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and other state and local elections. Incumbent Republican governor Paul LePage was term-limited and could not seek re-election to a third consecutive term; he later unsuccessfully sought a third term in 2022. This was one of eight Republican-held governorships up for election in a state carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

The Maine accent is the local traditional accent of Eastern New England English spoken in parts of Maine, especially along the "Down East" and "Mid Coast" seaside regions. It is characterized by a variety of features, particularly among older speakers, including r-dropping (non-rhoticity), resistance to the horse–hoarse merger, and a deletion or "breaking" of certain syllables. The traditional Maine accent is rapidly declining; a 2013 study of Portland speakers found the older horse–hoarse merger to be currently embraced by all ages; however, it also found the newer cot–caught merger to be resisted, despite the latter being typical among other Eastern New England speakers, even well-reported in the 1990s in Portland itself. The merger is also widely reported elsewhere in Maine as of 2018, particularly outside the urban areas. In the northern region of Maine along the Quebec and the New-Brunswick border, Franco-Americans may show French-language influences in their English. Certain vocabulary is also unique to Maine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Maine Question 2</span> Referendum

Maine Question 2, formally entitled "An Act To Enhance Access to Affordable Health Care", was a citizen-initiated ballot measure that appeared on the November 7, 2017 statewide ballot in the State of Maine. Maine Question 2 sought to expand Medicaid eligibility under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. The measure passed.

Boothbay Region High School is a public high school in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, serving the towns of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. The school is open to students from neighboring towns, primarily Edgecomb and Southport.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Kevin, Brian (January 1, 2020). "Last Raconteur Standing?". Down East. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  2. "Tim Sample reflects on a life with Maine humor". Boothbay Register. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  3. "October surprise". Boothbay Register. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  4. "Ayuh! Maine's four favorite funnymen to gather". Lewiston Daily Sun . October 17, 1985. p. 20. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  5. Kevin, Brian (January 1, 2020). "Last Raconteur Standing?". Down East. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  6. McGarrigle, Dale (October 26, 1993). "Tim Sample now a regular essayist on 'CBS Sunday Morning'". Bangor Daily News .
  7. "1,200 see logging film at UMO". Bangor Daily News. September 24, 1985. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  8. 2015 Audie Award Finalists and Winners Audio File Magazine, Audie Awards, Audio Publishers Association, 2015.
  9. Maine’s ‘humorist laureate’ Tim Sample cuts ad ripping Collins for Big Pharma, Wall Street ties Dan Neumann, Beacon, Maine People's Alliance, June 17, 2020.
  10. Routhier, Ray (November 13, 2016). "Maine humorist Tim Sample will reflect on his career". Portland Press Herald .