The Brak Show
|The Brak Show|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||28 (and 1 webisode) (list of episodes)|
The Brak Show is an American adult animated sitcom created by Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill, and Pete Smith for Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. The Brak Show serves as a spin-off of the animated television series, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, for which the show's creators originally wrote, and featured recurring characters from Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet. Both programs used stock footage from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost, for which The Brak Show serves as a prequel for. The protagonist is Brak, voiced by Merrill, who developed a quirky persona for the character.
"Leave it to Brak", a pilot episode that serves as an earlier version of the fifth episode "Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk", originally aired prior to the official launch of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, on December 21, 2000. The series made its official premiere debut during the night Adult Swim officially launched on September 2, 2001, and ended on December 31, 2003, with a total of 28 episodes. On May 24, 2007, a webisode was released on Adult Swim Video, ending the series.
The Brak Show takes place in the fictional town of Spacetown, where Brak lives with his mom, dad, brother, his best pal Zorak, and Thundercleese, his giant robotic warrior neighbor.
The Brak Show was preceded by a two-part special titled Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak. Despite the similarities in the titles, the two Brak Shows have very little in common. The specials parodied variety shows, while the series was a spoof of early sitcoms. Each of the specials aired in the United States only once in February and March 2000, respectively.
The series premiered with a sneak peek unannounced in the early hours of December 21, 2000, along with the "Radio Free Sealab" episode of Sealab 2021. This "stealth" pilot (titled "Leave it to Brak") featured hand-drawn backgrounds and different opening titles. The show's official showing was on Adult Swim's debut on September 2, 2001.
It originally started off as a parody of sitcoms which depicts the day-to-day lives of the dysfunctional Guerta family, including Brak, as well as Zorak, various other neighbors, and peers from Learnmore High School, but just like its sister show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the plot dissolved over time and became increasingly bizarre. The setting is Spacetown, which resembles American suburbia, but with an extra-planetary hint. A Saturn-like planet appears in the background on occasion, and many of the extras are aliens. Often, episodes parody stereotypical episodes of regular sitcoms (e.g., the son showing an interest in women, the dad being reconnected with an old passion, the mother temporarily leaving after a fight, etc).
The show was canceled in December 2003. However, on October 22, 2006, Adult Swim announced in a bumper that The Brak Show would return to production as an internet cartoon on the network's website. On May 24, 2007, a single webisode premiered online, but no further webisodes were produced thereafter, hence serving as the de facto series finale.
On August 1, 2008, Adult Swim had a retro night, an all-night marathon of shows featured on Adult Swim in 2001 and 2002. Two of the early episodes of The Brak Show aired during the marathon. The series has since appeared in Adult Swim's "DVR Theater". Since 2019, Adult Swim has aired The Brak Show as part of "Pete Smith Day", a yearly event celebrating the career of one of The Brak Show's co-creators.
- Voldemar H. "Brak" Guerta (Andy Merrill) is a sort of teenage anthropomorphic "space cat" with an eccentric personality and a speaking lisp, who is a student at Learnmore High School. He is quite silly and unintelligent but with a very sweet and gentle personality. He still has attachments to stuffed animals but starts to get attracted to girls. He frequently breaks into impromptu song, lyrically about events in the episode. The writers use a wide variety of musical styles for the songs — covering jazz, country, show tunes, rap, and rock & roll. His closest friend is Zorak, although in return he treats him with open contempt and little respect. Brak's demeanor is derived from his appearances on both Space Ghost Coast to Coast and its spin-off Cartoon Planet.
- Zorak Robert Jones (C. Martin Croker) is another character from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, a 40 year old anthropomorphic human-sized mantis who poses as a teenager to attend Learnmore High School. On this show, he plays the role similar to that of Eddie Haskell character, who is also a sociopathic, sadistic, morally bankrupt misanthrope who expresses more than a platonic interest in Mom. He hangs out with Brak, but only as a way to force him into doing something for his own benefit. Zorak considers himself "above" the Guertas, and is constantly criticizing and insulting them. He enjoys bullying Clarence, the neighborhood nerd. He is also homophobic, breaking into furious rage when one of his romantic interests, Pepper, is revealed to be male.
- Javier Guerta "Dad" (George Lowe) is a middle-aged small human and illegal alien with a Cuban accent, who is extremely self-centered, lazy, and nonsensical. Unemployed since 1984, most of his time is spent sitting at the kitchen table and reading the newspaper. An episode seldom goes by without him delivering "fatherly advice" or a "moral of the story" that is often incoherent or has no relevance to the situation, and typically ends in a non sequitur. Occasionally, he displays prominent womanizing and male-chauvinistic behavior, which is sometimes rebuked by his wife. In an Adult Swim New Year's Eve bumper in 2003, he revealed his name to be "Javier". He is also extremely incompetent at holding a paid job; during his brief stint working at the ice cream shop in the episode “We Ski in Peace”, he tries to take his break immediately after the store opens and shoots the ice cream because “it was about to rob [the ice cream store]”. In the same episode, he is shown to have a high ranking job in protecting the Earth in a base underneath the house, but does so for free. He also cares little for his children, doing things like using Brak's college funds to buy a ski boat and being unfazed when Sisto was selected as "the lucky one" and seized by an alien mothership.
- Mrs. Guerta "Mom" (Marsha Crenshaw in episodes 1–13, 18 (DVD), 28, and the webisode, Joanna Daniel in episodes 14–17, 18 (broadcast), and 19–28) is a middle-aged creature of the same "species" as Brak, with a more humanoid facial structure and the fashions of a housewife character on a 1950s sitcom. She is largely the only semi-sane character on the show. She displays little romantic or sexual interest in her husband and only tolerates him for her children's sake. When she gets drunk, however, she finds him suddenly irresistible. When voiced by Crenshaw, she is most often a homage to June Cleaver and similar motherly characters, with occasional hints of discontent with her husband's laziness and most importantly, his sexism. When Daniel took over the role, Mom inexplicably acquired a British accent and became far more open in her discontent with domestic life and her annoyance with and disdain for her husband. Her change in accent has been commented upon several times on the show.
- Thundercleese (Carey Means) is Brak's next-door neighbor, an anthropomorphic militant killbot (with the visual appearance of a Gundam or a similar anime-style robot) who is passionate about his lawn and garden, particularly the gnomes that decorate it. A short-lived shtick involved Thundercleese blasting Zorak whenever intentionally provoked. He is very aggressive and warlike, always speaking in a loud, robotic monotone. When Brak is troubled, no matter what the problem is, Thundercleese invariably suggests swift and brutal retaliation. Thundercleese's social skills are rather lacking, and before social get-togethers, he studies very bad "party jokes" in preparation. Thundercleese's creator is MoroccoBotix, as shown in an early episode of the series, and a special 2003 New Year's Eve event on Adult Swim in 2003 revealed that Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Frylock bought and raised him, which is the in-universe reason for their similar voices.
- Clarence Von Chunkerland (Andy Merrill) is Brak's second closest friend, a teenage chubby purple alien from Learnmore High School. He was a supporting character on the show who made more regular appearances towards the end of the series. Clarence is socially awkward and idolizes Brak. His constant talking often annoys those around him, and when faced with an extremely stressful situation, he wears his mother's sundress and bonnet for comfort. In a rap contest, he revealed that he dearly misses his father, who left them for unknown reasons. In the same contest, he also noted that his mom has since married his stepfather Gary, whom he does not like. Many of his appearances end with him being maimed, usually by Zorak.
- "Sisto" Guerta is Brak's younger brother, an elementary school aged "space cat" who resembles his elder brother even though he wears a red outfit as opposed to his brother's blue one. In three early episodes, he would make random appearances walking across the room farting. He was killed and eaten by mothership aliens in his fourth and final appearance in the episode "Pepper". Afterwards, only a picture of himself was depicted on a scratch and sniff card in the episode "Sexy New Brak Show Go".
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||9||December 21, 2000||December 2, 2001|
|2||11||April 14, 2002||December 29, 2002|
|3||8||October 5, 2003||December 31, 2003|
|Webisode||May 24, 2007|
In Canada, The Brak Show previously aired on Teletoon's Teletoon at Night block, and currently airs on the Canadian version of Adult Swim.
The first 14 episodes were released on DVD on February 1, 2005, and the remaining episodes were released on August 8, 2006. In addition to being available on DVD, The Brak Show is also available on iTunes.
|DVD Name||Release Date||Ep
|Volume One||February 1, 2005||14||This two-disc box set contains the first 14 episodes of The Brak Show in production order. Bonus features include commentaries on two episodes, a never-produced pilot for a radio version of the show, the Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak special, a few segments from Cartoon Planet, and a few "Easter eggs".|
|Volume Two||August 8, 2006||This two-disc box set contains the last 14 episodes of The Brak Show in production order. There are no bonus features. For this set, Cartoon Network abandoned their usual digipak packaging design in favor of a more modern Amaray keep case.|
The series was made available on HBO Max on September 1, 2020. Unlike Space Ghost Coast to Coast, the series was kept on Max when it launched on May 23, 2023.
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- ^ "Adult Swim Video : Webisodes : Brak Show - Space Adventure". Adult Swim. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- ^ "Classic Night Schedule". BumpWorthy.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- ^ "DVR Theater: Brak & Sealab". Adult Swim. Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- ^ Schwarz, John (September 27, 2019). "Adult Swim Dons September 26th "Pete Smith Day"". BubbleBlabber.com. Archived from the original on 2021-09-25. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
- ^ Baisley, Sarah (August 10, 2004). "Teletoon Unveils 2004 Fall Lineup". AWN.com. Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 2021-09-29. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
- ^ "Something Funny Is Going on at Teletoon Canada This Fall" (Press release). Toronto. CNW Group. August 13, 2013. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- ^ The Brak Show, Vol. 1: Andy Merrill, C. Martin Croker, Marsha Crenshaw, Carey Means, Don Kennedy, Jim Fortier, Pete Smith (II): Movies & TV. ASIN B00069L0YU.
- ^ The Brak Show, Vol. 2: Don Kennedy, Pete Smith (II), Jim Fortier: Movies & TV. ASIN B000FO0AFQ.
- ^ Siegal, Jacob (August 21, 2020). "HBO Max in September: Everything Coming and Going". Boy Genius Report. BGR Media. Archived from the original on 2021-01-20. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
- The Brak Show
- 2000s American adult animated television series
- 2000s American parody television series
- 2000s American surreal comedy television series
- 2000s American sitcoms
- 2000 American television series debuts
- 2003 American television series endings
- American adult animated comedy television series
- Animated adult television sitcoms
- Adult Swim original programming
- American adult animated television spin-offs
- American animated sitcoms
- American television series with live action and animation
- Animated television series about cats
- Animated television series about dysfunctional families
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast
- English-language television shows
- Space Ghost television series
- Television series created by Jim Fortier
- Television series by Williams Street