Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is an American adult animated parody talk show created by Mike Lazzo and hosted by a re-imagined version of the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Space Ghost. In contrast to the original 1960s series, Space Ghost, which aired as a standard Hanna-Barbera Saturday-morning superhero cartoon, Space Ghost Coast to Coast is a reboot of the series intended for teens and adults, reinterpreted as a surreal spoof talk show and animated using the original series' artwork. For its first two seasons, the series is presented as a serious talk show with subdued jokes, but later seasons rely more on surrealism and non-sequitur humor.
|Space Ghost Coast to Coast|
|Created by||Mike Lazzo|
|Based on||Space Ghost|
by Alex Toth
William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
|Directed by||C. Martin Croker (animaton)|
|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)|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV|
|Original release||Cartoon Network run:|
April 15, 1994 –
July 22, 2001
Adult Swim run:
September 2, 2001 –
April 12, 2004
May 30, 2006 –
May 31, 2008
|Preceded by||Space Ghost|
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is one of the early original series fully produced by Cartoon Network. 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 then-new Adult Swim late-night programming block on September 2, where new episodes premiered until April 12, 2004. Two final seasons were released exclusively on GameTap from 2006 to 2008. Over 11 seasons, 108 episodes aired. The series helped to launch the careers of animators Adam Reed, Matt Thompson, Andy Merrill, Jim Fortier, Pete Smith, Michael Ouweleen, Eric Richter, Dave Willis, and Matt Maiellaro.
Two spinoff series, Cartoon Planet and The Brak Show, are based on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. The series has also 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.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast uses the talk show format as its template but regularly subverts it. Live-action guest stars appear on a monitor beside Space Ghost's desk. In early episodes, Space Ghost believes his guests are fellow superheroes and opens interviews by asking guests about their superpowers. His interactions with guests can be awkward and even hostile. Guests are not always aware of the nature of the program on which they are appearing. Their answers often do not match Space Ghost's questions because the questions have been changed after the interview, in post-production. This method is dropped in later episodes, and the guests are allowed to directly interact with the characters.
Space Ghost's bandleader, an evil, talking mantis named Zorak, and his director-producer, a red-helmeted lava man named Moltar, work for Space Ghost as punishment for their crimes. They frequently disrupt the show and often voice their hatred of him. Zorak is more openly hostile towards Space Ghost while Moltar is primarily focused on quickly ending each show.
Because many episodes are 11 minutes long, Cartoon Network often aired two episodes back-to-back with advertisements to make a 30-minute programming block. In its first few years, Cartoon Network showed episodes of the original 1960s and 1980s Space Ghost cartoons (sometimes with an added laugh track) after the 11-minute episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
In the early seasons of the show, music was played by Zorak and his band "The Original Way-Outs". The original theme song, "Hit Single", composed by free jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock, was 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.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created by Mike Lazzo after he was asked to develop a cartoon to appeal to adults. The series' original title stemmed from early 1993 when Andy Merrill and Jay Edwards were brainstorming names for a marathon of the 1960s Space Ghost for Cartoon Network, trying to find things that rhyme with "Ghost". Because of budget limitations, Edwards and Ned Hastings recycled clips from the original series and reorganized them on an Avid non-linear editor for a "talk show" style program. The characters' crudely animated lips, awkward movements that resembled "paper dolls glued to Popsicle sticks", and continuity errors became part of the joke.
The series premiered on April 15, 1994, having aired initially at 11:00 p.m. 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, usually on weekends.
January 1995 saw a special episode included on the Turner-distributed VHS release of The Mask after the film, where Space Ghost and Zorak promote the show and interview Jim Carrey and the film's director, Chuck Russell. 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 interviews a few of the new directors, while the Council of Doom members are the judges of the cartoon clips. The first run ended on December 17, 1999, with the episode "King Dead". But in 2000, Cartoon Network premiered 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 service, in which Space Ghost interviewed celebrities from the video game industry and GameTap's artist of the month. The series officially concluded 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 as Space Ghost, Announcer, Salesman, and various other characters
- C. Martin Croker as Zorak, Moltar, and various other characters
- Andy Merrill as Brak, Lokar, and various other characters
- Don Kennedy as Tansit and Announcer
- Judy Tenuta as Black Widow (also guest-starred as herself)
- Scott Finnel as Harvey Birdman
- Dave Willis as various characters
- Brad Abelle as Chad Ghostal
|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||24||July 18, 1997||January 1, 1998|
|5||11||August 7, 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||5||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 episodes, early episodes that were left off 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.
In 2006, episodes were made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The series, along with other Adult Swim shows such as Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Samurai Jack, and Rick and Morty was released on HBO Max on its May 2020 launch.
Alex Toth, the original creator of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, was rumored to have not been pleased with the parodical usage of his characters, but through written letters, this rumor was disproven with Toth admitting he appreciated all adaptations of his work.
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 Andre 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 Andre would rewatch several episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast in a row in order to "absorb as much Space Ghost" as he could. Andre 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 Andre'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 named himself after the titular character and used the character's image for the cover of his NASA mixtape.
Space Ghost appears on the 1998 series Donny & Marie to promote the CD Space Ghost's Surf & Turf.
Space Ghost can be seen in the beginning of The Powerpuff Girls Movie in the movie theatre 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.
Space Ghost appears on the 2002 The Brak Show episode "Runaway" and the 2003 episode "Enter the Hump".
In the cold opening for the 2003 Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "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 (entitled "One Way Out").
Space Ghost appears in the 2004 Adult Swim special Anime Talk Show.
Space Ghost makes a cameo in the 2006 Robot Chicken episode "Suck It".
Space Ghost makes a cameo in the 2007 film 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 has appeared in bumps and promos for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
Space Ghost, Moltar, Zorak, Brak, and Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls appear in a 2002 interview with professional soccer player Hugo Sánchez on the Latin America Cartoon Network channel, and again in 2003 interviewing Óscar Pérez Rojas (which also features Eustace from Courage the Cowardly Dog).
Space Ghost appears in the 2011 Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bold Beginnings".
Issue 40 of the comic book Scooby-Doo Team-Up features a non-satirical Space Ghost in his traditional role as a space-traveling superhero, albeit one who captures Moltar and Zorak with the help of Scooby-Doo. Sidekicks Jan and Jace say that the two villains are clever and that once, to keep him from interfering in their plans, they even "hypnotized him into thinking he was a talk show host! Fortunately, he snapped out of it after eight seasons." On hearing that, Space Ghost frowns and says, "I don't want to talk about it."
In the late 1990s, Cartoon Network's website hosted a Flash game called "How Zorak Stole X-mas". In the game, the player controls Space Ghost, who zaps Zorak with his power bands, dodges Zorak's thrown eggs, and prevents Zorak from escaping with Christmas presents. Another game, "Blast Zorak", had the player use Space Ghost to blast Zorak as much as possible before the time runs out.
- Seasons 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8, except "Brilliant Number One, "Brilliant Number Two" (both from season 4) and "Sweet for Brak" (season 7)
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- seasons 5 and 8
- Seasons 2 and 3
- Episodes 28–33, 54, 58–62, 65, 68, 69, 71, 72, 73 and 85
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