As promised, I have decided to pay tribute to Indy’s favorite ghoul this week by listing the top five things we LOVE about Sammy Terry and his creator Bob Carter:
The character. Sammy is more than a television host, he is a local legend that served as Indiana’s Prince of Darkness and the King of the Indiana Un-Dead. He has the eloquence of a Harvard English professor and the the creepy cadence of Vincent Price all at the same time. While he may have scared you, he secretly delighted you in a way that made you come back every Friday night to see what he might say next!
George. “George” is Sammy’s sidekick spider who has a lot to say…but only Sammy can understand him. While I am not positive what species of spider George is…let me assure you, he is a very specific variety that is all but endangered. Good thing he has a home inside Sammy’s dungeon!
The Movies. Sammy Terry’s movie selection ranged from the classic “Dracula” to some of the most questionable B-level fare, but it rarely mattered. No one tuned in specifically for cinematic genius…we were there to see Sammy, get creeped and haver many pleasant nightmares!
The Family Music Center. Some people knew that the sweet older man behind the counter was the creator of Sammy Terry while others did not. Sometimes it came out inadvertently when he laughed, which sounded suspiciously similar to the famous horror host…but Carter was very careful about not letting his two passions intermix at the shop. As a regular customer to the store (which had the BEST selection of sheet music in the state), I was probably better off not knowing about the Sammy Terry connection…I don’t think I would have ever left!
The KFC connection. While most people think that Sammy Terry was Carter’s biggest off-the-cuff inspiration, many are surprised to learn that he was the man who came up with the slogan “Finger Lickin’ Good” for Harland Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.) It was an impromptu pronouncement after doing a commercial for Sanders during one of his shows that stood out. Sanders asked Carter if he could use it and he agreed. Being friends with Sanders, Carter never requested payment for the phrase (at the time or ever) and the rest, as they say, was advertising history.