Space Ghost as he appears in Space Ghost Coast to Coast
|First appearance||"The Heat Thing" (September 10, 1966)|
|Created by||Alex Toth|
|Portrayed by||Gary Owens (1966–1982, 2011)|
George Lowe (1994–present)
Andy Merrill (1995–99)
Michael Berger (Wacky Races)
|Full name||Thaddeus "Tad" Eustace Ghostal (in Space Ghost Coast to Coast)|
Thaddeus Bach (in the 2004 Space Ghost mini-series) Kyr (in DC's Future Quest)
|Occupation||Superhero, late-night talk show host (in Space Ghost Coast to Coast)|
Chad Ghostal (twin brother on Space Ghost Coast To Coast)
|Spouse||Björk (wife in "Knifin' Around")|
Charlene (wife on Cartoon Planet)
|Children||Eugene and Doris (children on Cartoon Planet)|
|Relatives||Leonard Ghostal (paternal grandfather)|
Belt that grants invisibility/intangibility
Power Bands give an assortment of energy powers and abilities
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. 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 and Adult Swim. In the 2000s, he was revamped as a serious superhero once again in a mini-series by DC Comics.
Space Ghost and Dino Boy
The original series debuted in September 1966. In the original series, Space Ghost was an intergalactic crime fighter from the Ghost Planet. He had the ability to be invisible (via his belt), fly, and shoot various rays from the powerbands on his wrists. Space Ghost would fight such recurring supervillains as Moltar, Zorak, Black Widow,[a] Metallus, Brak and Creature King with the help of his sidekicks: Jan, Jayce, and their pet monkey, Blip.
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, but remained in syndication during the 1970s. Space Ghost was voiced by Gary Owens, who is best known for being the announcer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
Twenty-two new Space Ghost segments appeared on Space Stars on NBC in 1981. The episodes introduced a new assortment of villains including an evil version of Space Ghost named Space Spectre who came from an alternate universe. 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. Gary Owens reprised his role as Space Ghost, while Steve J. Spears played the role of Jace and Alexandra Stoddart played Jan.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast
The character Space Ghost hosted a talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which began broadcasting in 1994 on Cartoon Network. 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, particularly Brak). 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.
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 twice 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.
Following the popularity of Coast to Coast, the show provided a spin-off series, Cartoon Planet; the show ran from 1995 to 1998. 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. 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.
- Space Ghost also appeared in some of the Adult Swim projects:
- In the Robot Chicken episode "Suck It," he was seen as a member of the Adult Swim Council alongside Peter Griffin from Family Guy and Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
- In an episode of Perfect Hair Forever, he is attacked by a bear and is friends with a shark.
- Space Ghost appeared in four episodes of The Brak Show.
- Space Ghost and Zorak make cameos in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, where he is killed by a missile that Meatwad launches.
- In a scene of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Multiple Meat", when an older version of Frylock returns home, Space Ghost can be seen in a dumpster outside the Aqua Teens' home.
- Space Ghost along with Birdman appeared in the background in multiple scenes of the Season 4 episode of The Powerpuff Girls titled "Members Only". They are shown as members of the Association of World Super Men.
- Space Ghost appears as the unseen narrator in the video game Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion, reprised by George Lowe. He comments over the events of the game's story, making several references to Coast to Coast.
- Space Ghost and his sidekicks appear in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bold Beginnings" with Gary Owens reprising his role of Space Ghost, Jan voiced by Cathy Cavadini, and Jace voiced by James Arnold Taylor. He teams up with Batman to fight Creature King (voiced by Gregg Berger) who had captured Jan, Jace, and Blip.
- Space Ghost appears in the Wacky Races episode "The Wack Stuff" voiced by Michael Berger.
Three voice actors played Space Ghost in the three "main" Space Ghost series:
- Gary Owens (1966–1982, 2011) in Space Ghost, Space Stars, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
- George Lowe (1994–present) in Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Cartoon Planet, The Brak Show, Squidbillies, Perfect Hair Forever, Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, and Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion
- Andy Merrill (1995–1999) in Space Ghost Coast to Coast as "Live Action Space Ghost" and Cartoon Planet as "Living Ghost"
- Michael Berger (2018) in Wacky Races.
Space Ghost has appeared in the following comic books:
- Space Ghost (Gold Key, 1967)
- Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes (Gold Key, 1968)
- Golden Comics Digest (Gold Key, 1969)
- TV Stars (Marvel, 1978)
- Space Ghost (Comico, 1987)
- Cartoon Network Presents (DC, 1997)
- Space Ghost (DC, 2005)
- Future Quest (DC, 2016)
- Scooby-Doo! Team Up (DC, 2016)
- Green Lantern/Space Ghost Special #1 (DC, 2017)
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 Specter figure.
In 2012, a new Space Ghost figure was released in the Jazwares Hanna-Barbera series and came with a pack-in of Blip.
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.
- The character was re-named the Spider Woman in seven episodes.
- Markstein, Don. "SPACE GHOST". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 January 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.
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