The wonderful thing about this modern age is that any canceled TV show you've ever loved, no matter how obscure, no matter how unpopular, will one day be immortalized on consumer DVD. You just have to wait. March 11th is the day my waiting ends, because that's the DVD release date for Sam and Max: Freelance Police - The Complete Animated Series. Finally, those who blinked and missed the show's less than one year run on Fox Kids will be able to watch and rewatch every episode in all their light-hearted, anarchic, unabashedly violent glory.
The three-disc set will include creator interviews, animated shorts, and plenty of cross-promotion with the new Sam and Max games from Telltale studios. One of the more interesting items promised on the Amazon product page is an "original series bible by Steve Purcell" though I would guess this will consist mainly of the character design charts which have been displayed before in the official Sam and Max sketchbook, A History of S&M (no longer available at Telltale's website, but you can probably find a copy on ebay. It's worth it!).
Of course you can already watch a number of episodes on YouTube, and GameTap has 23 episodes available for download. But the Telltale site says the DVD includes all 26 episodes, and unless that's a misprint, 26 is actually two more episodes than listed on the Wikipedia episode list, so we might even be in "lost episode" territory. I hope, I hope.
Of course not every episode of this series was great, there are almost as many misses as hits, but the moments where the series does nail Purcell's sense of high flying comedic chaos, it does so in a way that makes it's Saturday morning timeslot all the more admirable and/or questionable. I'll close with some of my favorite near-inappropriate lines from the series.
Note how Purcell's arch verbosity was kept in tact, expanding the vocabularies of kids across the nation.
(after getting zapped with a laser gun)
Max: The pain is almost euphoric, Sam.
Sam: Like falling asleep in a tanning booth.
Max: Can this be of any help, Sam? It's my old fully functional HO scale nuclear reactor. Sure gave model railroading a modern touch of urban peril.
The show did a great job of preserving Max's character without watering it down too much. He's much the same lovable yet dangerously insane bunny he was in the comics...
Sam: You kill me, little buddy.
Max: Only if we're taken alive, Sam.
Sam: I'm sure a heaping helping of our persuasive charms will soon have him seeing things our way.
Max: Or not seeing things at all!
Sam: Good work, little buddy. Thanks to your addled shenanigans, I was able to collar this carp without gunfire or loss of life.
Max: Don't mention it, Sam. May I be rewarded with the pleasure of tenderizing - er, I mean "mirandizing" the prisoner now?
Sam: Okay, but do it in the back, these poor folks have seen enough atrocities for one day.
And who could forget the sheer number of grotesque Alligator-Eating-Max's-Arm jokes, from the classic episode, That Darn Gator...
(figuring out how to feed him)
Sam: That's it, Max! He'll only eat things off your finger.
Max: Like the first three layers of skin.
Max: I think I'm experiencing the heady bond that can only come from motherhood....or loss of blood.
Sam: Look at him go, he'll be on to solid foods in no time!
Max: Good. All this arm hair and muscle tissue can't be good for him.
(having fed the alligator everything in the house)
Max: Well, that's the last of it.
Sam: Not quite, there's still some bean-dip.
Max: I mean the sensation in my arm.
(both laugh uproariously)
Geekanerd's past coverage of the Sam and Max renaissance...