The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police

The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police is an American-Canadian animated television series, based on the Sam & Max comic series by Steve Purcell. The series follows vigilante private investigators Sam, an anthropomorphic dog, and Max, a lagomorph or "hyperkinetic rabbity-thing," as they investigate strange and bizarre cases and confront the criminals responsible.[1]

The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
The Adventures of Sam & Max Freelance Police.jpg
The title screen for The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
Created bySteve Purcell
Based onSam & Max
by Steve Purcell
Developed byJ.D Smith
Directed bySteve Whitehouse
Voices ofHarvey Atkin
Robert Tinkler
Tracey Moore
Tony Rosato
Patrick McKenna
Dan Hennessey
Ron Rubin
Aron Tager
Catherine Disher
John Stocker
Tony Daniels
Rick Jones
Keith Knight
Peter Wildman
Stuart Stone
Jim Millington
ComposerJohn Tucker
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (24 segments)
Executive producers
  • J.D. Smith
  • Jocelyn Hamilton
Running time22 minutes
Production companyNelvana
Original networkFox Kids (USA)
YTV (Canada)
Original releaseOctober 4, 1997 (1997-10-04) –
April 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)

The series first aired in October 1997 on Fox Kids in the United States and YTV in Canada, producing 13 episodes (24 segments) and winning the 1998 Gemini Award for "Best Animated Series" before it was cancelled in April 1998.[2]


The series revolves around Sam & Max, the freelance police accepting missions from the mysterious Commissioner, whom they have never seen.[3] The assignments usually lead them into far-off and exotic locales such as the Moon, Mount Olympus, the center of the Earth or the mutant inhabited waters of Bohunk Lagoon. In between these assignments, the pair also manage to squeeze in fridge-spelunking, time traveling, Bigfoot-hunting and numerous other escapades. There were also holiday-themed episodes, such as visiting a prison on Christmas[4] and delivering an artificial heart on Valentine's Day.


  • Sam: A 6-foot anthropomorphic canine detective dressed in noir-styled suit and hat. Voiced by Harvey Atkin.
  • Max: An easily excitable 3-foot "hyperkinetic rabbity thing." Voiced by Robert Tinkler.
  • The Commissioner: Sam & Max's mysterious agent and only known link to any form of official government body. Voiced by Dan Hennessey.
  • Darla "The Geek" Gugenheek: The detectives' personal 12 year old scientist and laboratory technician, housed in the pair's very own "Sub-Basement of Solitude." She often provides the duo with new gadgets and inventions to aid them on their missions. She is the only main character who does not also appear in the comics. Voiced by Tracey Moore.
  • Lorne, The Friend For Life: A clingy and over-exuberant fan of Sam & Max, and self-declared "friend for life", who only ends up annoying the duo and getting in the way of them doing their job. Voiced by Patrick McKenna.

Series overviewEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 13 October 4, 1997 April 25, 1998


# Title Director(s) Writer(s) Original Airdate(s) Code
01"The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It"Steve WhitehouseJ. D. SmithOctober 4, 1997 (1997-10-04)TBA
A strange monster living inside The Geek's fridge is attacking people. Sam & Max must find a way to stop it!
02A"The Second Show Ever"Steve WhitehouseJ. D. SmithOctober 11, 1997 (1997-10-11)TBA
Sam & Max show up at a school's Career Day and take the class to space, where they meet an alien who is plotting to destroy the Earth. They try to stop him and look good for the kids.
02B"Max's Big Day"Steve WhitehouseJ. D. SmithOctober 11, 1997 (1997-10-11)TBA
Sam & Max are dropped on an island and the New Guinea Pigs think Max is their 'chosen one'. But Max must say goodbye to Sam... can he really do it?
03A"Bad Day on the Moon"Steve WhitehouseSteve PurcellOctober 18, 1997 (1997-10-18)TBA
Taken from the comic, Sam and Max travel to the moon to help rat people handle their roach problem.
03B"They Came from Down There"Steve WhitehouseHugh DuffyOctober 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)TBA
The population of a town has now become a mass of fish-like zombies, thanks to Mack Salmon's plan of Sea Chimp food products.
04A"The Friend for Life"Steve WhitehouseSteve PurcellNovember 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)TBA
Lorne, The Friend for Life, accidentally lets 'The Mad Thespian' get away. So, Lorne takes him hostage to try to force Sam & Max to hang out with him at his twisted fun house.
04B"Dysfunction of the Gods"Steve WhitehouseMarty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirOctober 18, 1997 (1997-10-18)TBA
Zeus & Hera are angry and fighting, and if the Freelance Police don't help them rekindle their love for each other, Sam & Max will age rapidly.
05A"Big Trouble at the Earth's Core"Steve WhitehouseBob ArdielOctober 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)TBA
Sam & Max go to the center of the Earth to stop the mole-men from blowing up the Earth by lowering the core temperature – and help them find dates!
05B"A Glitch in Time"Steve WhitehouseDale SchottNovember 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)TBA
Max obtains a time traveling watch which he and Sam use to alter their own history (back when they were children), causing Sam to have never become a member of the Freelance Police.
06A"That Darn Gator"Steve WhitehouseJamie TathamNovember 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)TBA
Sam & Max try and raise a baby alligator in their deranged life style.
06B"We Drop at Dawn"Steve WhitehouseHugh DuffyDecember 20, 1997 (1997-12-20)TBA
Sam & Max drop into the jungle (Central Park) to look for the Commissioner's keys.
07A"Christmas Bloody Christmas"Steve WhitehouseSteve PurcellDecember 20, 1997 (1997-12-20)TBA
Sam & Max spend Christmas with Sam's grandma at her maximum security prison on Blood Island. But the criminals attempt a jailbreak and the Freelance Police must round them up.
07B"It's Dangly Deever Time"Steve WhitehouseSteve Purcell (Story), Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirFebruary 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)TBA
After their TV goes out, they try to watch a show on the Geek's antique TV and bring a Howdy Doody-like character to life. But while they are gone, Dangly Deever's evil twin attempts to take over the city.
08A"Aaiiieee Robot"Steve WhitehouseMarty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirFebruary 27, 1998 (1998-02-27)TBA
After stopping a meteor from hitting Earth with the Mega Max 3000 robot, it sits and rusts away. So, they send it to Japan, where it battles a giant baby.
08B"The Glazed McGuffin Affair"Steve WhitehouseBob ArdielFebruary 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)TBA
Sam & Max try to get Kent Standit, who has banned the Freelance Police's favorite snack 'Glazed McGuffins', to change his mind, by forcing him to at least try one.
09A"The Tell Tale Tail"Steve WhitehouseTim BurnsFebruary 20, 1998 (1998-02-20)TBA
A Sam & Max version of Frankenstein. (Max's tail is severed in an accident, and they reanimate it while the doctor also creates a monster! (the tail, that is))
09B"The Trouble with Gary"Steve WhitehouseTracy BernaFebruary 20, 1998 (1998-02-20)TBA
Sam & Max help babysit the child who changes things with his mind, who helps the Freelance Police with stopping crime and learns how to have fun (Sam & Max style).
10A"Tonight We Love"Steve WhitehouseHugh DuffyFebruary 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)TBA
Sam & Max must deliver an artificial heart to the President on Valentine's Day; but the DeSoto is stolen by a loving couple.
10B"The Invaders"Steve WhitehouseMarty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirFebruary 27, 1998 (1998-02-27)TBA
Two tiny aliens are constantly trying to eliminate Sam & Max (and no matter what they do, the Freelance Police can not stop the Invaders)
11A"Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"Steve WhitehouseHugh DuffyFebruary 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)TBA
Sam & Max must play 007 to stop T.R.U.S.S. leader 'Larvo' and her fast-food minions from releasing an obnoxious tourist virus.
11B"Little Bigfoot"Steve WhitehouseSteve PurcellApril 4, 1998 (1998-04-04)TBA
The Freelance Police save a kid sasquatch from being a bus boy and try to send it into the wild with its own kind.
12A"Fools Die on Friday"Steve WhitehouseJamie TathamApril 4, 1998 (1998-04-04)TBA
Sam & Max attempt to foil a blimp hijacking aimed to crash into The Statue of Liberty, only to find the demented terrorist is Lorne, the Friend for Life.
12B"Sam & Max vs. the Uglions"Steve WhitehouseTim Burns & J. D. SmithApril 11, 1998 (1998-04-11)TBA
Aliens open a new restaurant, "The Frying Saucer", that serves people (no really, it's people!). Sam & Max must stop the aliens before the US government start a nuclear holocaust to try to stop the aliens.
13"The Final Episode"Steve WhitehouseJ. D. SmithApril 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)TBA
A group of villains from past episodes, led by Mack Salmon try to kill Sam & Max by strapping them to a bomb and dropping them into a volcano. They attempt to get free and subdue the bad guys, all while reliving flashbacks of their early life.

Commercial availabilityEdit


Selected episodes from the series had been released in three separate compilations on VHS by Sullivan Entertainment. The episodes included in the VHS compilations are as follows:

The Y Files All Creatures Great and Small Come Fly With Me
  • "Sam & Max vs. the Uglions"
  • "The Invaders"
  • "They Came from Down There"
  • "The Trouble with Gary"
  • "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It"
  • "The Second Show Ever"
  • "The Tell Tale Tail"
  • "Big Trouble at the Earth's Core"
  • "That Darn Gator"
  • "Little Bigfoot"
  • "Max's Big Day"
  • "Dysfunction of the Gods"
  • "We Drop at Dawn"
  • "Bad Day on the Moon"
  • "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
  • "Aaiiieee Robot"


On March 11, 2008, the complete series was released by Shout! Factory. Features include original case art by Steve Purcell, three 'educational' shorts, an interview with Purcell, a short featurette about Telltale Games, an art gallery, an "Original Series Bible", a flash-based cartoon titled 'Our Bewildering Universe' and a playable demo of Ice Station Santa. A sticker of the Sam & Max title card was also included.

Web releaseEdit

GameTap announced on October 11, 2006, that it would release one episode from the series each week on GameTap TV, as a promotion for Telltale Games' Sam & Max: Season One.[5] Their schedule includes a release of every episode, appearing out of order. Up until mid-July 2008 all episodes (except "Fools Die on Friday") were available to watch online at GameTap for free until the GameTap TV section was closed down as part of a site redesign.[6]


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 526. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ 13th Geminis "Best Animated Program or Series" results. Canada's Awards Database, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Retrieved on 2006-05-26.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 707–708. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9781476672939.
  5. ^ Hagerup, Eivind (2006-10-11). "Sam & Max animated series heading for GameTap". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved 2006-10-15.
  6. ^ [1][permanent dead link]

External linksEdit