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Sep. 14, 2003
60 min.
HBO TV Network

Top Contributors

Carnivale tv show photo


Into each generation is born a creature of light and a creature of darkness... Carnivàl is set in the United States during the Great Depression. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching story depicts the battle between good and evil and the struggle between free will and destiny; the storyline mixes Christian theology with gnosticism and Masonic lore.

Characters: #3 of 24 (Full List)
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Samson Carnivale
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  Played by:
Michael J. AndersonMichael J. Anderson
Michael Anderson was born in Huron, South Dakota, at 10:30pm, on Halloween Night. Subject to a genetic ...

Character Bio

Samson photo
Occupation: Carnival

Personality type: No nonsense, leader

Signature style: Gruff, cynical, voice of Management

Seen by others as: the boss

Weaknesses: Cares more than he shows, does what Management says

Strengths: Knows himself, worldly wise, intelligent

Samson backstory: Samson's real name is Edgar Leonhardt. He started off at Coney Island's Lilliputia in 1904 (also known as "Midget City"). In 1912, Samson left and began working with traveling shows, including Carnivale (then owned by the Hyde and Teller Company). He was quickly elevated from performer to general manager.

Samson, in earlier drafts also called Edgar Leiber or Edgar Leonhardt, is the dwarf co-manager of the Carnivàle. His original biography gave his background as a dwarf strongman who started his career in 1904. Eight years later, he started working on traveling carnivals, including the Hyde & Teller Company. Samson's wit elevated him from performer to general manager until another character, Management, purchased the carnival (to be renamed Carnivàle) and briefly gave Samson's job to Lodz, a blind mentalist. The beginning of the series shows Samson relegating Management's orders to the carnies. Samson temporarily loses his position to Lodz for a second time near the end of the first season but retains Management's trust. The death of Management in season 2 leads to Samson's secret deal with Ben to make the boy the new commander of the carnival.

Episode Screenshots

02x11 - Outside New Canaan
Season 2, Episode 11
01x06 - Pick a Number
Season 1, Episode 06
01x02 - After the Ball Is Over
Season 1, Episode 02
02x02 - Alamogordo, N.M.
Season 2, Episode 02
[More Episodes]

Samson Photos

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