Space Ghost Coast to Coast

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Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Space Ghost, Moltar, and Zorak sit around a coffee table
From the left: Space Ghost, Moltar, and Zorak.
Created by Mike Lazzo
Alex Toth (characters)
Voices of George Lowe
C. Martin Croker
Andy Merrill
Don Kennedy
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 10
No. of episodes 110 (and 2 unaired pilots and 2 specials) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Mike Lazzo
Keith Crofford
Matt Harrigan
Running time 15-30 minutes
Production company(s) Williams Street
(formerly Ghost Planet Industries) Hanna-Barbera
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network (1994-2001)
Adult Swim (2001-2004)
Gametap (2006-2008)
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
Original run Original run:
April 15, 1994 – April 12, 2004
Second run:
May 30, 2006 – May 31, 2008
Chronology
Preceded by Space Ghost
Followed by Cartoon Planet
The Brak Show
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Related shows Perfect Hair Forever
The Brak Show
Cartoon Planet
External links
Website

Space Ghost Coast to Coast (often abbreviated SGC2C) is an American animated parody talk show, hosted by the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Space Ghost. The show premiered on April 15, 1994, on Cartoon Network. Though the original 1960s series aired as a standard Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning superhero cartoon, Space Ghost Coast to Coast was a total reboot of the series intended for adults, now reinterpreted as an absurdist spoof talk show and produced using the original artwork.

The first two seasons were meant to be in the style of a serious talk show, with some jokes here and there. Later on, the series shifting focus on surrealism, non-sequiturs and random, unpredictable parody humor proved the perfect vehicle to launch the network's late night television block, Adult Swim, and it served as the flagship show from 2001–2004. Space Ghost Coast to Coast was recommended to be the first fully produced series to air on Cartoon Network. SGC2C was also the first Cartoon Network original series to later air on Adult Swim and Gametap. The show was rated TV-Y7, TV-PG, and TV-14, making it the first and only Cartoon Network original show to receive these three TV ratings. The series has a cult following.

History[edit]

Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created by Mike Lazzo after being asked to create a cartoon to appeal to adults.[2] 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 the block, trying to find things that rhyme with 'Ghost'. In the original unaired pilot episode, Lazzo interspersed Hanna-Barbera stock and original material with completely unrelated promotional video of Denzel Washington being interviewed about the Oscars. When the show was picked up, similar interviews were orchestrated with guests to achieve the same comedic effect. Part of the surreal nature of the show came from the guests' sometimes awkward and disjointed responses to Space Ghost's questions and other events around the set. Before any part of the episodes were written, the guests were interviewed by a television writer/producer. Originally, a Space Ghost costume was worn by Andy Merrill, one which he later wore in some Cartoon Planet intros. More often, the interviewer appeared in normal dress, but may still have impersonated Space Ghost's character traits and mannerisms. In many cases, the interviewee was alone in a studio, while the interviewer conducted the session over a speakerphone. In the all-black room where the interview took place, the guests were given basic directions as to what direction to face when talking to either Zorak, Moltar, or Space Ghost.[citation needed] After an interview was done, the writing team went back over it, often taking pieces out of context and out of order, then assembling them into the responses to Space Ghost and the rest of the show.

Most of the show's earlier guests probably assumed they were participating in a relatively straightforward interview (albeit with an animated superhero, giant insect, and a man made of magma). As the series went on, however, more and more guests became at least peripherally familiar with what was going on. Some episodes were written to accommodate playfully hostile guests who called the show's bluff, such as comedian (and writer of one Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode) Joel Hodgson's refusal to, as he put it, "go down that road with you, pretending like I'm in space, too." Others had skits performed by guests. Still others had recurring guests, familiar with the show's format. Reportedly, "Weird Al" Yankovic, who has himself frequently edited interviews with celebrities to take responses out of context on AL-TV, walked into his Coast to Coast interview with answers he prepared ahead of time, but opted not to use them.[citation needed]

Space Ghost Coast to Coast first aired on April 15, 1994,[3][4][5] 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. On September 2, 2001, new episodes of the series, along with re-runs of the existing episodes were moved to Adult Swim, a late night programming block, launched by Cartoon Network that night. The series eventually ended its television run in 2004 with "Live at the Fillmore". Although 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.

In the UK, the show was broadcast on Cartoon Network UK during an early evening slot (around 6:00 pm on Sunday nights), before eventually having been moved to a late-night slot (around 10:30 pm). It later aired on CNX in its hour of comedy from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm alongside other programs from the Adult Swim programming block. In Australia, it was aired on Friday and Saturday nights in the local Adult Swim segment. Space Ghost Coast to Coast began airing on Teletoon in September 2006.[6] In 2006, episodes were made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.[7][8]

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.

Format[edit]

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. Also, throughout the show's run, its episodes were mostly composed of reused animation footage from the 1966 Space Ghost series taken from the vaults of Hanna-Barbera.

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 disrupted the show and made no secret of the fact that they hated 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.

Music[edit]

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.[9]

Characters[edit]

Cast[edit]

George Lowe provides the voice of the lead role, Space Ghost.
Name Character(s)
George Lowe Space Ghost Salesman Various
C. Martin Croker Zorak Moltar Various
Andy Merrill Brak Lokar Various
Don Kennedy Tansit
Judy Tenuta Black Widow Herself (as a guest)
Scott Finnel Harvey Birdman
Dave Willis Various
Brad Abrell Chad Ghostal


Episodes[edit]

DVD boxsets[edit]

DVD Name Release Date Ep # 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.

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.

Volume Three:

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", "Mayonnaise", "Brilliant Number One", "Boo Boo Kitty", "Needledrop", "Sphinx", "Pavement", "Untitled", "Hipster", "Piledriver", "Suckup", " !@#$%^&*", "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.

Volume Four:

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".[10] 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.

Volume Five:

From The Kentucky Nightmare DVD
September 11, 2008 16 This two disc boxset included all 16 episodes from 1999 to 2002, 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", "Mommentary: w/ Creators", "Mommentary: Jelly Bean". Extras included Snatch Alt Ending, Table Read Extra, Conan Raw Interview, George Lowe Record, Clay Croker Record, Promos, Busta Raw Interview, and 2 Easter eggs).

As for Volume Six, the name is unknown. Originally, it was said that the final volume was supposed to be released on DVD the fall of 2009, through Adult Swims website, as the fourth and fifth volumes were only available through the website. However, these rumors turned out to be false or because of a leak that announced that resulted in the rumors, the release of the final eight episodes of the television run have never had an official release on DVD with extras. The whole series was available to buy on DVD with a build your own DVD feature Adult Swim had on its website, thus the final volume/season and the other episodes not on previous DVD releases and or edited slightly were now available to own. But in 2012 the whole shop portion of the website was taken down for unknown reasons.

Legacy[edit]

In 1995, a spin-off show called Cartoon Planet premiered on one of Cartoon Network's sister networks, TBS. This show featured Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak hosting a variety show on the Cartoon Planet. Cartoon Network started airing Cartoon Planet in 1996. In 2000, the show either spun off or directly inspired[11] 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). All four shows originally used the same limited animation style as Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The Brak Show included the characters Brak and Zorak, recurring characters on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

The original writers and staff of Space Ghost Coast to Coast now continue to make up the backbone of Adult Swim. Show creator Mike Lazzo currently serves as senior executive vice president of Adult Swim. Writer Dave Willis now continues to write and voice characters for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as well as characters for 12 oz. Mouse, Squidbillies, and Perfect Hair Forever. Matt Harrigan became the head writer of the popular MTV series Celebrity Deathmatch from 1998 to 2002 and had written and voiced characters on the shows 12 oz. Mouse and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He also created the show Assy McGee. Likewise, Matt Maiellaro currently writes and provides voices for several Adult Swim series including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Perfect Hair Forever, Squidbillies, and 12 oz. Mouse, which he created.

Various Space Ghost Coast to Coast clips and shorts have been made after the series final episode. On December 13, 2009, Adult Swim aired a new Space Ghost interview with Zoe Saldana to promote James Cameron's Avatar. In 2010, Adult Swim aired a new Space Ghost interview with return guest Jack Black. It was created to promote Black's film Gulliver's Travels. A short interviewing NBA star Steve Nash, and promoting Vitamin Water was made available online.[12] In 2011, on April Fools' Day, Adult Swim aired The Room [again]. Space Ghost interviewed Tommy Wiseau during commercial breaks. In 2012, Adult Swim aired a new Space Ghost interview with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to promote their new film 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 André 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".[13]

Space Ghost is mentioned in the opening lyrics of cello rock band Rasputina's song the Olde Headboard, which was featured on their 1998 sophomore album How We Quit the Forest.

Four rocks found on the planet Mars were named after Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Brak.[14][15] 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.[16] In 2013 IGN placed Space Ghost Coast to Coast as number 18 on their list of Top 25 Animated series for adults.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Space Ghost Coast to Coast [Animated TV Series] (1994) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. 1994-04-15. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Space Ghost Coast to Coast [Animated TV Series] Synopsis". Fandango.com. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Late Night with Space Ghost". Snard.com. April 15, 1994. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  4. ^ Meisler, Andy (November 20, 1994). "And Now, Here's . . . Ummm . . . Space Ghost". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  5. ^ Meisler, Andy (November 20, 1994). "And Now, Here's . . . Ummm . . . Space Ghost". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  6. ^ "CNW Group | TELETOON | TELETOON fearlessly presents "Adult Swim"". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. 
  7. ^ Kohler, Chris (November 22, 2006). "Xbox HDTV Downloads: Best Space Ghost Ever | Game | Life from Wired.com". Blog.wired.com. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Xbox.com | Movies & TV Shows — adult swim". Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. 
  9. ^ McCormick, Moira (June 20, 1996). "On The Tube". Billboard Magazine. p. 22. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Space Ghost Coast to Coast: The 1998 Episodes". Williamsstreet.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  11. ^ "From Space Ghost to Robot Chicken: A Visual History of Adult Swim". AMOG. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  12. ^ "Adult Swim / Steve Nash Connects with Vitamin Water". Adultswim.com. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  13. ^ Luippold, Ross (May 10, 2012). "Eric Andre Talks His New Adult Swim Show That ABC Isn't 'Thrilled' About". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Technically Speaking". Spectrum (IEEE) 35 (2): 17. February 1998. 
  15. ^ "Named rocks on Mars". Mars.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  16. ^ "37, Space Ghost Coast to Coast". IGN. January 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  17. ^ Fowler, Matt (15 July 2013). "The Top 25 Animated Series for Adults From caped crusaders to web-slingers to danger zones, here are the best animated shows to enjoy as a grown up.". IGN. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 

External links[edit]