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" (September 10, 1966)
Last appearanceCartoon Planet
Created byAlex Toth
William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Portrayed byGary Owens (1966–1982, 2011)
George Lowe (1994–present)
Andy Merrill (1995–99)
Information
Full nameThaddeus "Tad" Eustace Ghostal (in Space Ghost Coast to Coast)
Thaddeus Bach (in the 2004 Space Ghost mini-series) Kyr (in DC's Future Quest)
Nickname(s)SG
Broken-Wind Clap-Like-Thunder
GenderMale
OccupationSuperhero, late-night talk show host (in Space Ghost Coast to Coast)
FamilyUnnamed mother
Chad Ghostal (twin brother on Space Ghost Coast To Coast)
Spouse(s)Björk (wife in "Knifin' Around")
Charlene (wife on Cartoon Planet)
ChildrenEugene and Doris(children on Cartoon Planet)
RelativesLeonard Ghostal (paternal grandfather)
PowersFlight
Super strength
Enhanced agility
Enhanced stamina
Teleportation
Belt that grants invisibility/intangibility
Power Bands give an assortment of energy powers and abilities

Space Ghost (Thaddeus Bach) is a fictional character created by Hanna-Barbera Productions and designed by Alex Toth for CBS in the 1960s.[1]

In his original incarnation, he was a superhero who, with his teen sidekicks Jan, 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.

Television series[edit]

Space Ghost and Dino Boy[edit]

The original series debuted in 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.[1] 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,[2] but remained in syndication during the 1970s.[3] Space Ghost was voiced by Gary Owens, who is best known for being the announcer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.[4]

Space Stars[edit]

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.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast[edit]

The character Space Ghost hosts a talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast,[b] which began broadcasting in 1994 on Cartoon Network.[5] One-time villains Zorak[c] and Moltar were Space Ghost's sidekicks (with guest appearances from many other old Space Ghost villains, most notably Brak). The show spoofed late-night talk shows such as the Late Show with David Letterman. Celebrities interviewed by Space Ghost included Beck, David Byrne, Bill Nye, magicians Penn and Teller, Elvira, Hanson, Joel Hodgson, Carrot Top, Jim Carrey, Jon Benjamin, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Thurston Moore, Pavement, Adam West, Ramones, Björk, Thom Yorke, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Goldie Hawn, Timothy Leary, and Mark Hamill among others. In this series, Space Ghost is voiced by George Lowe. In this version, Space Ghost's real name is Tad Ghostal and has a twin brother named Chad who once attempted to hijack his show.

The show reused animation cels from the Hanna-Barbera archives.[6]

Coast to Coast relied heavily on absurd, surreal, or even dadaist humor. 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, and the writers Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro used characters they developed in an unaired episode ("Baffler Meal") to create another popular "would-be spin-off", Aqua Teen Hunger Force. After that show proved successful, "Baffler Meal" was animated and aired in 2003.

New episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast appeared on the "Animation" channel of the GameTap service, beginning on May 30, 2006. Most guests were either gaming celebrities or musicians. 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.[5] 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.[7] Lowe provided the voice for Space Ghost on both records.

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 Specter figure.[10]

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

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.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The character was re-named the Spider Woman in seven episodes.
  2. ^ Sometimes abbreviated as SGC2C.
  3. ^ He is called a giant mantis or locust, depending on the particular episode

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ "Space Ghost and Dino Boy Cartoon List". BCDB. 2014-02-14.
  3. ^ Fischer, Stuart. Kids' TV: The First 25 Years. New York: Facts on File. pp. 255–256. ISBN 9780871967947. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  4. ^ 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 2 January 2016.
  5. ^ 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 2 January 2016.
  6. ^ Mittell, Jason (2004). Genre and television : from cop shows to cartoons in American culture. New York: Routledge. p. 86. ISBN 9780415969024. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  7. ^ McCormick, Moira (1998). "Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak Fly High on Rhino's 'Surf'". Billboard (August 1): 70. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  8. ^ 04.11.2016. "Quinones, Jones Cover DC's "Scooby Apocalypse," "Future Quest" - CBR". Comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  9. ^ Staff, Newsarama. "SUICIDE SQUAD Meets THE BANANA SPLITS, More In DC/HANNA-BARBERA Crossover Titles". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  10. ^ Byradams62.ra (2014-09-25). "Space Ghost "Space Spectre" Evil Doppleganger with Light Up Fist!: Toys & Games". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2017-06-06.

External links[edit]