|Even before they were animated, Sam and Max were natural antagonists. The two started out as comic book characters who forgot each other's names and made fun of the way the other was drawn. Following in these self-reflexive, unpredictable footsteps, Sam and Max: Freelance Detectives became even more belligerent, silly, and fun-loving when they were animated for the Fox Network in 1997.
Sam was a jolly, outgoing six-foot "Canine Shamus" fully dressed in a trench coat, fedora, and tie-kind of a canine Columbo. Max was a fast-talking, three-foot "hyperkinetic rabbity thing" who had no clothes on. Backing up the two in their fight against crime was their human friend, the Geek, a teenage genius who supplied them with fantastic technological inventions (which got scrapped as soon as the dog and rabbit became bored with them). Working on a freelance basis, Sam and Max chased the most bizarre criminals in town and made them pay, refusing to take any guff from anyone.
The dog and rabbit detectives were created by artist Steve Purcell, who developed the characters through his work at LucasArts' video games division. Purcell's comic book version of Sam and Max became a cult favorite, but the animated series wasn't as lucky, leaving the air after a single season.