Editorial: Open Letter to Adult Swim

Dear Adult Swim,

I have kept an eye on your programs for most of my adult life. I must confess that the most I’ve watched it recently was last winter for the last season of “Samurai Jack.” Don’t take it personally. I barely have time to watch TV anymore. However, I have paid enough attention to know about “Rick and Morty” and the reasons it’s successful. With that in mind, I’m here to recommend a series that deserves a wider audience and would do well as a television show on your segments: “Sam and Max.”

You’ll be forgiven if you have not heard of this insane and wonderful duo. Most people haven’t. It’s one of the most criminally-underrated franchises ever made. To give a quick history, Sam, the calm and logical anthromorphic, 6-foot-tall dog who always dresses like he’s in a film noir movie, and Max, the anthropomorphic aggressive and borderline psychotic “hyperkinetic rabbit-y thing” are private detectives who began their lives in Steve Purcell’s comedic indie comic series in 1987. Since then, they have been in a successful Lucas Arts videogame, an underrated cartoon, and in a series of hit TellTale videogames.

“Sam and Max” is unique as a comedy series because it is so out there from what people are used to. The franchise follows these two lifelong best friends as they solve crimes in a world that is best described as a dark satirical version of our own where the bizarre lives alongside reality. Sam is the brain while Max is the muscle, and the way they solve crimes is chaotically good, if we’re being generous. This is especially true in the comics where they swear and lackadaisically make morally questionable decisions on a daily basis. It is implied that they kill as often as they help if not more. Sam and Max don’t mind, though, as long as they do what they think is the right thing and there are explosions involved.

Sadly, since their last game in 2010, they haven’t had much more exposure outside of some machinima videos and a webcomic. The series has loyal fans, but Sam and Max deserve so many more.
That is why I am asking you for help, Adult Swim. “Sam and Max” is just the kind of franchise that would fit in at Adult Swim. Their 1997 show was great and adapted the series as well as it could without changing it, toning down the violence and swearing without removing their personalities, their comedy, or their oddly intelligent dialogue, but it never got enough of an audience to last past one season.

As the Nostalgia Critic put it in his review of the show, the show didn’t last because it never found the right audience. Sam and Max’s dialogue was too intelligent for kids to follow and adults were still too prejudiced against cartoons to take them seriously.

That is why you, Adult Swim, need to pick up this franchise. With the success of animated shows like “Superjail!”, “Mr. Pickles,” and especially, “Rick and Morty,” audiences have proven they are ready to take animation just for adults seriously, especially if the characters are interesting and intelligent. “Sam and Max” would fit right in with their dark comedy, intelligent dialogue, sometimes moral ambiguity, and chaotically good crime-fighting! It would almost certainly be a hit. It would drive fans of this underground series to Adult Swim, and most of all, give Steve Purcell the attention he deserves.

Adult Swim, you have gained a reputation for giving the witty and bizarre a place to flourish. You’ve done that with “Rick and Morty” and too many other of your shows to name. Please do this for “Sam and Max.”

If you want to find Steve Purcell, the last I heard, he’s at Pixar. His contact information is not public as far as I know, but I know you have your ways. Find him and get him on board. Thousands of fans and Steve Purcell himself will thank you for it.

Thank you for your time!

Casey Williams, a huge Sam and Max fan

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