Boothbay Harbor native Tim Sample’s unique New England style of humor has gained him a national following. When introducing Sample on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Charles Gibson referred to him as “the man who wrote the book, literally, on Maine humor,” while legendary newsman Charles Kuralt called Sample “Maine’s Humorist Laureate.” In celebration of Windjammer Days, on Thursday, June 29, Sample will bring his stories and humor to the stage of the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor.
Describing Sample’s work as “humor” rather than “comedy” is, according to fellow Mainer and bestselling novelist Stephen King, an important distinction. “He’s a funny guy,” said King. “You’ll get no argument from me on that score, but (he is) no more a comedian than Mark Twain or Artemis Ward. Like, them, Timmy — that’s what I always call him the way folks from up our way are apt to call their friends ‘dearie’ — isn’t acting; he’s just talking in a kind of heightened and gifted way, as folks do when they’re passing on valuable tales about the human condition.”
In addition to doing TV, radio, and a dozen popular albums about “down east,” Sample spent 11 years from 1993-2004 as a regular correspondent for the Emmy Award-winning network television show “CBS News Sunday Morning.” He has written and/or illustrated more than a dozen books, including regional bestsellers “Saturday Night at Moody’s Diner” and “How to Talk Yankee.” Sample’s narration work includes such award-winning films and audiobooks as Robert McCloskey’s children’s classic “Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man,” Stephen King’s “The Sun Dog” and “Drunken Fireworks,” as well as the immensely popular documentary film “From Stump to Ship.”
Sample has performed in venues as diverse as the Mall of America, the Ocean Reef Club on Key Largo, and the Caribou Performing Arts Center. These days, he averages 50-60 concert and after-dinner appearances per year.
Tickets for Sample’s performance are available through the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor box office at 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor, or by calling 633-5159. Tickets and information are also available at boothbayoperahouse.com. Tickets purchased in advance are $22; tickets purchased on the day of the show will be $27. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m. and Sample takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.