Space Ghost

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Space Ghost
Space Ghost.png
Space Ghost as he appears in Space Ghost Coast to Coast
First appearance"The Heat Thing" (1966)
Created by
Portrayed by
In-universe information
Full nameThaddeus "Tad" Eustace Ghostal
NicknameSG
Broken-Wind Clap-Like-Thunder
GenderMale
OccupationSuperhero, late-night talk show host (in Space Ghost Coast to Coast)
Family
  • Unnamed mother
  • Chad Ghostal (twin brother on Space Ghost Coast to Coast)
Spouse
  • Björk (wife in "Knifin' Around")
  • Elua Bach (wife in the 2004 Space Ghost mini-series)
  • Charlene (wife on Cartoon Planet)
ChildrenEugene and Doris (children on Cartoon Planet)
RelativesLeonard Ghostal (paternal grandfather)
Powers

Space Ghost (Tad Ghostal) is a fictional superhero created by Hanna-Barbera Productions in the 1960s for TV network CBS. He was designed by Alex Toth.[1]

In his original incarnation, he was a superhero who, with his teen sidekicks, Jan and Jace, and Blip the monkey, fought supervillains in outer space.[2] In the 1990s, Space Ghost was brought back as a host for his own fictional late-night talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, on Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and GameTap. In the 2000s, he was revamped as a serious superhero once again in a mini-series by DC Comics.

Television series[edit]

Space Ghost and Dino Boy[edit]

The original series debuted in September 1966. Space Ghost was voiced by Gary Owens, who is best known for being the announcer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.[3]

In the original series, Space Ghost was an intergalactic crime fighter from the Ghost Planet. He had the ability to be invisible (Inviso Power) (via his belt), fly, and survive in space. His principal weapons were his power bands which displayed multiple beam-based attacks including heat, cold, magnetism, energy, and force among others.[1] Space Ghost's sidekicks are Jan (voiced by Ginny Tyler), Jayce (voiced by Tim Matheson), and their pet monkey Blip (vocal effects provided by Don Messick).

Space Ghost would fight such recurring supervillains as:

  • Zorak (voiced by Don Messick) - A villain from a race of insectoids called Dokarians from the planet Dokar.
  • Lizard Slavers - A race of reptilian humanoids that capture humans and sell them as slaves.
  • Black Widow (voiced by Ginny Tyler) - A spider-themed villain who controls the Tarantopods and other insects. The character was renamed the Spider Woman in seven episodes. In "Revenge of the Spider Woman", Black Widow/Spider Woman teamed up with the Lizard Slavers and took control of some aquatic creatures.
  • Creature King (voiced by Vic Perrin in the first two appearances, Don Messick in later appearances) - An alien who uses a mind-control helmet to control the minds of different intergalactic animals.
  • Metallus (voiced by Ted Cassidy) - A mechanical alien.
  • Brak (voiced by Keye Luke) - A feline alien and space pirate.
  • Moltar (voiced by Regis Cordic) - The creator of the Magma Men.

The original series shared time with an unrelated segment called Dino Boy in the Lost Valley. During its original run, there were a total of 42 Space Ghost episodes and 18 Dino Boy episodes. The series ended in 1968,[4] but remained in syndication during the 1970s.[5]

The final bunch of episodes had Metallus, Creature King, Zorak, Moltar, Brak, and Black Widow coming together as the Council of Doom to destroy Space Ghost. They were defeated by Space Ghost and were assumed to have gotten away when their headquarters was destroyed.

Space Stars[edit]

Twenty-two new Space Ghost segments appeared on Space Stars on NBC in 1981. Gary Owens reprised his role as Space Ghost, while Steve J. Spears voiced Jace, Alexandra Stoddart voiced Jan, and Frank Welker provided the vocal effects of Blip. The episodes introduced a new assortment of villains including an evil version of Space Ghost named Space Spectre (voiced by John Stephenson) who came from an alternate universe. The villains Toymaker and Wizard (voiced by Frank Welker) made more than one appearance. As in the original series, Space Ghost often came to the aid of The Herculoids and vice versa. The Phantom Cruiser was given a more modern redesign as well. They also frequently crossed paths with the Teen Force and it appeared that Jan and Teen Force member Kid Comet were dating as well.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast[edit]

The character Space Ghost hosted a talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which began broadcasting in 1994 on Cartoon Network.[6] The show spoofed late-night talk shows, with one-time villains Zorak and Moltar serving as Space Ghost's sidekicks (with occasional guest appearances from other Space Ghost villains Metallus, Lokar, Tansut, Brak, and Black Widow). In this version, Space Ghost is voiced by George Lowe, and his real name is Tad Ghostal. The show reused animation cels from the Hanna-Barbera archives.[7]

The show ran from 1994 to 1999, and returned with two new episodes in 2001, moving to the Adult Swim programming block later that year; the series ended its Adult Swim run in 2004. The characters of Jan, Jace, and Blip (Space Ghost's old sidekicks) appeared a few times on the show. After approximately eight seasons, the show went into hiatus. New episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast appeared on the "Animation" channel of the GameTap service, beginning on May 30, 2006. On May 31, 2008, the show ended when the TV section of GameTap shut down.

Cartoon Planet[edit]

Following the popularity of Coast to Coast, the show provided a spin-off series, Cartoon Planet; the show ran from 1995 to 1998.[6] Cartoon Planet was an hour-long cartoon block hosted by Space Ghost with his imprisoned sidekicks Zorak and Brak; the segments in-between the cartoons usually consisted of skits and original songs.

Due to the popularity of the series' songs, two albums were released: Space Ghost's Surf & Turf and Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que.[8] Lowe provided the voice for Space Ghost on both records. The voice on these recordings is totally computer-generated, using a custom software program that Lowe had written.

Other appearances[edit]

Voice actors[edit]

Three voice actors played Space Ghost in the three "main" Space Ghost series:

Comics[edit]

Space Ghost has appeared in the following comic books:

Action figures[edit]

Space Ghost's Coast to Coast version was released as an action figure by Toycom, complete with a desk and chair, a series of cue cards and a mug. Also included were several different sets of hands, allowing the figure to be used either as the talk show host or the super hero or both. The shoulders and neck were ball-jointed, with a light plastic yellow cape. A transparent variant "invisible" figure and a variant with electric "light up" powerband were also released. A repaint of this figure was used to create a Space Spectre figure.[11]

In 2012, a new Space Ghost figure was released in the Jazwares Hanna-Barbera series and came with a pack-in of Blip.[12]

In 2016, Funko released 4 Pop! Vinyl Figures: Space Ghost, Brak, Space Ghost Invisible and Zorak. The last two were exclusive to the New York-based Toy Tokyo store. The same year, a new release of Space Ghost was presented by the toy company Mezco Toyz. This figure is a high quality toy and was pending confirmation of an official release date. Now recently released in June 2017 with one being the regular release while the second being a variant glow-in-the-dark figure sold exclusively from Entertainment Earth but is still being sold through other online retailers.

In 2017, Figures Toy Company released two 8 inch Mego-like sets: Space Ghost in one set and Jan, Jace, and Blip in another set.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Markstein, Don. "SPACE GHOST". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved January 2, 2016. Space Ghost endured and is still popular today. In large part, this is due to the artistic input of comic book veteran Alex Toth...who, on staff with Hanna-Barbera as a designer and idea man, is generally credited with having created Space Ghost.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 767–770. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom : a pop culture encyclopedia of the late 20th century. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub. p. 453. ISBN 9780740793073. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "Space Ghost and Dino Boy Cartoon List". BCDB. February 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Fischer, Stuart (1983). Kids' TV: The First 25 Years. New York: Facts on File. pp. 255–256. ISBN 9780871967947. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Booker, M Keith (2006). Drawn to Television: Prime-time Animation from the Flintstones to Family Guy. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 170. ISBN 9780313076152. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Mittell, Jason (2004). Genre and television : from cop shows to cartoons in American culture. New York: Routledge. p. 86. ISBN 9780415969024. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  8. ^ McCormick, Moira (August 1, 1998). "Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak Fly High on Rhino's 'Surf'". Billboard. p. 70. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  9. ^ "Quinones, Jones Cover DC's "Scooby Apocalypse", "Future Quest"". CBR. April 11, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  10. ^ "SUICIDE SQUAD Meets THE BANANA SPLITS, More In DC/HANNA-BARBERA Crossover Titles". Newsarama.com. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Byradams62.ra (September 25, 2014). "Space Ghost "Space Spectre" Evil Doppleganger with Light Up Fist!: Toys & Games". Amazon. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  12. ^ "Hanna-Barbera Space Ghost Action Figure Jazwares | Man of Action Figures".

External links[edit]