Space Ghost Coast to Coast
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Space Ghost Coast to Coast is an American adult animated parody talk show, created by Mike Lazzo and hosted by the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Space Ghost. Though the original 1960s series aired as a standard Hanna-Barbera Saturday-morning superhero cartoon, Space Ghost Coast to Coast was a reboot of the series intended for adults, reinterpreted as a surreal spoof talk show and produced using the original artwork. The first two seasons were presented as a serious talk show with subdued jokes, while the later seasons relied more on surrealism, non-sequitur, and parody.
|Space Ghost Coast to Coast|
|Created by||Mike Lazzo|
|Based on||Space Ghost by Alex Toth, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera|
|Opening theme||"Hit Single" by Sonny Sharrock|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||11|
|No. of episodes||110 (and 4 specials) (list of episodes)|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV|
|Original release||April 15, 1994 –|
May 31, 2008
|Preceded by||Space Ghost|
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is considered to be the first fully produced Cartoon Network original series. It premiered on April 15, 1994, and originally ended on December 17, 1999. The series was revived on May 7, 2001, and was moved to the new Adult Swim late programming block on September 2 of that year, where new episodes premiered until April 12, 2004. Two final seasons were released on GameTap from 2006 to 2008. Over 11 seasons, 108 episodes aired. The series is notable for helping launch the careers of animators Adam Reed, Matt Thompson, Andy Merrill, Jim Fortier, Pete Smith, Michael Ouweleen, Eric Richter, Dave Willis, and Matt Maiellaro.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast had two spinoff series in the form of Cartoon Planet and The Brak Show, and inspired or influenced other series including Sealab 2021; Aqua Teen Hunger Force; Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law; Perfect Hair Forever; and The Eric Andre Show.
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Space Ghost Coast to Coast used the talk show format as its template, but subverted it regularly. Various celebrities appeared on the show as guests. They were shown on a TV screen next to Space Ghost's desk, and unlike the characters, they were not animated. In early episodes of the show, Space Ghost apparently believed his guests were other superheroes and usually opened the interview by asking them about their superpowers. His interactions with guests were almost always painfully awkward, and sometimes hostile. It was sometimes hard to tell if guests were aware of the nature of the program on which they were appearing. Their answers often did not match the questions coming from Space Ghost, because the questions were changed after the interview. This method was dropped in later episodes, and the guests were allowed to directly interact with the characters.
Space Ghost's relationship with his co-workers was even worse. His bandleader, an evil talking mantis named Zorak, and his director/producer, a red-helmeted lava man named Moltar, worked for Space Ghost as punishment for their crimes. They frequently disrupt the show and make no secret of the fact that they hate him.
Most episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast were about 15 minutes in length, although there were a few 30-minute episodes. Cartoon Network often aired two episodes back-to-back to make a 30-minute programming block. In the first few years of the show, Cartoon Network would show episodes of the original 1960s and 1980s Space Ghost cartoons (sometimes with an unusual added laugh track) after the 11-minute episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
In early seasons of the show, music was played by Zorak and his band "The Original Way-Outs". The original theme song, "Hit Single", was composed by free jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock, performed by Sharrock on guitar, Lance Carter on drums, Eddie Horst on bass and Alfreda Gerald on vocals. Sharrock and Carter recorded a number of songs for the show, several of which were later compiled on the album Space Ghost Coast to Coast. As a tribute to Sharrock, who died in May 1994 shortly after the show first aired, the episode "Sharrock" featured nearly fifteen minutes of unedited takes of music recorded for the show.
Seasons 4–6 featured a new closing theme by Man or Astro-man? and in later seasons the opening theme and titles were almost completely abandoned. Various other music was sometimes used as the theme song, including the CHiPs theme song for the episode titled "CHiPs". An hour-long musical season finale for the 1998 season was planned, featuring the bands Yo La Tengo and Cornershop, but was never produced.
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Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created by Mike Lazzo after he was asked to create a cartoon to appeal to adults. The original name of the show stemmed from early 1993, while Andy Merrill and Jay Edwards were coming up with names for a marathon of the original Space Ghost TV show to air on Cartoon Network, trying to find things that rhyme with "Ghost". The series premiered on April 15, 1994, having aired initially at 11:00 pm ET on Friday nights, with an encore showing of the episode on Saturday night. Later, the program was moved to various late-night time slots, having usually been on weekends.
In February 1995, an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast was simulcast on Cartoon Network, TBS, and TNT for the "World Premiere Toon-In" special debut of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons series. In the special, Space Ghost interviewed a few of the new directors, while the Council of Doom were the judges of the cartoon clips. The first run ended on December 17, 1999, ending with the episode "King Dead". But in 2000, Cartoon Network premiered stealth pilots for the show's spin-off The Brak Show as well as Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force all of which were created by the people who worked on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
On September 2, 2001, new episodes of the series, along with re-runs of the existing episodes, moved to Adult Swim, a late night programming block, launched by Cartoon Network that night. The series ended its television run in 2004 with its 93rd episode, "Live at the Fillmore".
In 2006, the series returned as a five-minute web series on Turner Broadcasting's GameTap online pay service in which Space Ghost interviewed celebrities from the video game industry and GameTap's artist of the month. The series officially ended with the final webisode on May 31, 2008.
On April Fools' Day 2014, Adult Swim had an unannounced Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon with new material in the form of commercials featuring Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar in a voice-recording booth ad-libbing lines from episodes.
- George Lowe – Space Ghost, Announcer, Salesman, and various other characters
- C. Martin Croker – Zorak, Moltar, and various other characters
- Andy Merrill – Brak, Lokar, and various other characters
- Don Kennedy – Tansit
- Judy Tenuta – Black Widow (also appeared as herself, as a guest)
- Scott Finnel – Harvey Birdman
- Dave Willis – various characters
- Brad Abrell – Chad Ghostal
- Bobcat Goldthwait – Himself
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||10||April 15, 1994||November 11, 1994||Cartoon Network|
|2||8||February 20, 1995||October 20, 1995|
|3||15||February 2, 1996||December 25, 1996|
|4||23||July 18, 1997||December 19, 1997|
|5||12||January 1, 1998||December 25, 1998|
|6||8||October 8, 1999||December 17, 1999|
|7||8||2||May 7, 2001||July 22, 2001|
|6||September 2, 2001||May 12, 2002||Adult Swim|
|8||5||January 1, 2003||December 14, 2003|
|9||2||January 11, 2004||April 12, 2004|
|10||9||May 30, 2006||May 24, 2007||GameTap|
|11||8||September 11, 2007||May 31, 2008|
|Specials||3||November 4, 1994||1996||Cartoon Network|
|DVD Name||Release Date||Episodes||Additional Information|
|Volume One||November 18, 2003||16||This two disc boxset collected 16 episodes from the show's first three seasons, 1994 to 1996.
"Elevator", "Spanish Translation", "Gilligan", "CHiPs", "Bobcat", "Punch", "Banjo", "Batmantis", "Story Book House", "Girlie Show", "Hungry", "Fire Drill", "Sleeper", "Jerk", "Urges", and "Explode" and had 2 Easter eggs. Special features include commentaries, original artwork, and Zorak singing Jingle Bells.
|Volume Two||November 16, 2004||14||This two disc boxset collected 14 episodes from the third season, 1996.
"$20.01", "Lovesick", "Transcript", "Sharrock", "Boo", "Freak Show", "Switcheroo", "Surprise", "Glen Campbell", "Jacksonville", "Late Show", "Cookout", "Art Show", and "Woody Allen's Fall Project" Special features included "Andy's Pilot", a performance by Thurston Moore, the unedited version of Matt Groening's interview from "Glen Campbell", pencil test footage, bonus footage and Easter eggs, as well as commentary on every episode.
This is 1997
|April 12, 2005||24||This two disc boxset collected all 24 episodes from the show's 1997 season, the fourth season, some of which were the originally aired extended versions.
"Rehearsal", "Gallagher", "Edelweiss", "Anniversary", "Zoltran", "Pilot", "Speck", "Zorak", "Switcheroo (1997 Version)", "Mayonnaise", "Brilliant Number One", "Boo Boo Kitty", "Needledrop", "Sphinx", "Pavement", "Untitled", "Hipster", "Piledriver", "Suckup", "Dam", "Boatshow", "Telethon", "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite" and "Joshua". It also featured commentaries by cast members, new footage, deleted scenes, the 1995 World Premiere Toon-In, "President's Day Nightmare" (without any footage from the cartoons featured) and Easter eggs.
The 1998 Episodes
|December 7, 2007||11||This single-disc set collected all 11 episodes from the show's 1998 season, the fifth season, one of which was the originally aired extended version.
The fourth DVD was released exclusively through the Adult Swim website, and was titled "The 1998 Episodes" rather than "Volume Four". It included the episodes "Terminal", "Toast", "Lawsuit", "Cahill", "Warren" (36-minute cut), "Chinatown", "Rio Ghosto", "Pal Joey", "Curses", "Intense Patriotism" and "Waiting for Edward". It also featured an unfinished episode guest-starring Steven Wright titled "Dinner with Steven" and one Easter egg.
From the Kentucky Nightmare DVD
|September 11, 2008||16||This two disc boxset included all 14 episodes from 1999 to 2001, seasons six and seven, one of which was the originally aired extended version.
The fifth DVD was released exclusively through the Adult Swim website, and was titled "From the Kentucky Nightmare DVD" rather than "Volume Five". It included the episodes "Snatch", "Sequel", "Girl Hair", "Chambraigne", "Table Read", "King Dead", "Fire Ant" (22-minute cut), "Curling Flower Space", "Knifin' Around", "The Justice Hole", "Kentucky Nightmare", "Sweet for Brak", "Flipmode", "Mommentary". Extras included Snatch Alt Ending, Table Read Extra, Conan Raw Interview, George Lowe Record, Clay Croker Record, Promos, Busta Raw Interview, Momentary w/ Creators Commentary and Momentary: Jelly Bean and 2 Easter eggs).
The fourth and fifth volumes were only available for purchase through the now-defunct Adult Swim online store. The final six episodes of the television run have never had an official release on DVD. Nearly every episode was available to buy through a "build your own DVD" feature Adult Swim had on its website, thus the final season, early episodes that were left off of the first volume and unedited shows that had been altered on the official releases were now available to own, but only in DVD-Rom form. The shop was taken down in 2012 for unknown reasons.
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In 1995, a spin-off show called Cartoon Planet premiered on Cartoon Network as well as one of Cartoon Network's sister networks, TBS. This show featured Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak hosting a variety show on the Cartoon Planet.
In 2000, the show either spun off or directly inspired the four original cartoons that constituted Adult Swim's comedy block—Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known by various alternative titles). Although Harvey Birdman used traditional animation to flash animation, the rest used the same limited animation style as Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and all four shows were created by the original writers and staff for the series. The Brak Show included the characters Brak and Zorak, recurring characters on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Various Space Ghost Coast to Coast clips and shorts have been made after the series.
- December 13, 2009: interview with Zoe Saldana to promote James Cameron's Avatar
- 2010: interview with Jack Black to promote Gulliver's Travels.
- A short interviewing NBA star Steve Nash and promoting Vitamin Water was made available online.
- 2011: on April Fools' Day, Adult Swim aired The Room again. Space Ghost interviewed Tommy Wiseau during commercial breaks.
- 2012: interview with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to promote The Campaign.
In a 2012 interview, Eric André mentioned being a big fan of the show, stating it was a major influence on him while developing his own series for Adult Swim, The Eric Andre Show. Before shooting André would re-watch several episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast in a row in order to "absorb as much Space Ghost" as he could. André would also ask executive producer and Adult Swim president Mike Lazzo several questions about the series, as he was an executive during its production run. To André's surprise Lazzo had no interest in Space Ghost Coast to Coast, saying "Space Ghost is dead to me".
Four rocks found on the planet Mars were named after Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Brak. In January 2009, IGN named Space Ghost Coast to Coast as their 37th favorite animated TV show in their Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows article.
Rapper SpaceGhostPurrp is named after the titular character, as well as lending his image for the cover of his NASA mixtape.
On November 15, 1998, Space Ghost appeared on Donny & Marie promoting the CD Space Ghost's Surf & Turf.
On July 3, 2002, Space Ghost can be seen in the beginning of The Powerpuff Girls Movie, in the movie theater next to other Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network characters, such as Zorak and Brak. He was also in a promo advertising the movie.
On November 17, 2002, Space Ghost was on The Brak Show, in episode "Runaway" and again on November 2, 2003 in the episode "Enter the Hump".
On December 14, 2003, in the cold opening for the episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force "The Dressing", Space Ghost's body is seen on the floor dripping with blood and Dr. Weird is seen putting Space Ghost's head over his own. Seth Green makes an appearance as well, from footage of an unaired Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode.
On November 4, 2004, Space Ghost appeared in the Adult Swim special Anime Talk Show.
On April 2, 2006, Space Ghost made a cameo on the Robot Chicken episode "Suck it"
On April 13, 2007, Space Ghost made a cameo in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. Space Ghost has been in commercials for Coca-Cola, Dr.Pepper, AT&T, Nestea, Esurance, and Vitamin Water, and appeared in many bumps and promos for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
In 2002, Space Ghost, Moltar, Zorak, Brak and Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls interviewed professional soccer player Hugo Sánchez on the Latin America Cartoon Network channel, and again in 2003 interviewing Óscar Pérez Rojas (which also featured Eustace from Courage the Cowardly Dog).
On October 14, 2011, Space Ghost was in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bold Beginnings".
In the late 1990s, Cartoon Network.com had a flash game called "How Zorak Stole X-mas". The player controlled Space Ghost and you had to zap Zorak with his power bands and not let him escape with Christmas presents, you also had to dodge eggs Zorak was throwing at you. Another game was " Blast Zorak" where the player would use Space Ghost to blast Zorak as many times as possible before the time ran out.
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