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Space Ghost Coast to Coast

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Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Coast to Coast Title Card
Genre Talk Show, Slapstick, Comedy, Surreal Humor
Format Animated Series
Starring George Lowe
C. Martin Croker
Andy Merrill
Don Kennedy
Country of Origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of Seasons 10
No. of Episodes 110 (List of Episodes)
Production
Executive Producer(s) Mike Lazzo
Keith Crofford
Matt Harrigan
Running Time 11 minutes (approx.)
Production Company(s) Williams Street (formerly Ghost Planet Industries)
Hanna-Barbera Studios
Broadcast
Original Channel Cartoon Network (1994-2001)
Adult Swim (2001-2004)
Gametap (2006-2008)
First Shown 1994
Original Run April 15, 1994 – April 12, 2004
May 31, 2006 – May 30, 2008
Status Ended
Wiki
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Space Ghost Coast To Coast Opening00:45

Space Ghost Coast To Coast Opening

Space Ghost Coast to Coast (often abbreviated to 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 parody talk show and produced using the original artwork (owned by Cartoon Network, and thus royalty free).

The series' 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, serving 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 and 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 series to receive these three TV ratings. Since its premiere the series has had a cult following.

PlotEdit

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 (and former enemies) 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 11 minutes in length, although there were a few 22-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 after the 11-minute episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, sometimes with an unusual added laugh track.

CharactersEdit

Space Ghost (voiced by George Lowe) — Space Ghost, whose real name is Tad Eustace Ghostal, was a superhero in the 60s. Though occasionally conflicted about whether saving the world or hosting a talk show best suits him, Tad genuinely wants to put on the best talk show he can. Unfortunately, his failings tend to get the better of him. He is childish, egotistical, and petty, and he remains generally oblivious to his surroundings. He has little regard for the well-being of others and often demeans his sidekicks and guests. In an interview with Conan O'Brien, Space Ghost announced that he has always been dead and was never a space man. "I was dead long before you were born, Conan, and I'll be dead long before you're dead".

Zorak (voiced by C. Martin Croker) — Zorak is the band leader and a mantis-like alien, Zorak is known for his hatred of Space Ghost. Extremely evil, he once ate his own nephew. He is a virgin, largely due to the fact that he does not wish to be eaten by his mate after intercourse, as is normal for mantises. He has no remorse, feels no pity, and acts only to meet his own ends. He was Brak's childhood friend. His superhero persona is Batmantis. Though Space Ghost's prisoner, Zorak retains his membership in the Council of Doom. He claims he is either a locust or a mantis, but he often changes his mind. In episode 97, "Al" it is revealed that Mr. Pong (Allan Alcorn) is Zorak's father. He also co-hosted Cartoon Planet and currently hosts a revival of this series with Brak.

Moltar (voiced by C. Martin Croker) — Moltar is the show's director and producer. His body is made entirely of lava, and he normally wears an orange and gray full-body containment suit which has a breathing receptacle. By far the most competent and level-headed character, Moltar sometimes tends to be smarter than he seems. He tends to be very good friends with Zorak, even though Zorak doesn't have the same feelings for him. He is a big fan of CHiPs and its star, Erik Estrada. Moltar's first appearance in Space Ghost differed slightly; his name was originally spelled "Moltor", and his clothing was white and yellow.

HistoryEdit

The original name of the show stemmed from early 1993, when 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, Hanna-Barbera stock animation, original material and completely unrelated promotional video of Denzel Washington being interviewed about the Oscars were combined together. 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 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. 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.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast first aired on April 15, 1994,[1][2][3] 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.[4] In 2006, episodes were made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.[5][6]

EpisodesEdit

Space Ghost Coast to Coast has a total of 110 episodes spread over 10 seasons that were produced from April 1994 to May 2008. Two pilots were created prior to the series' debut but were never aired on television with the second pilot being released as a special feature on the Volume Two DVD set. Two specials were also produced for the series and aired in 1994. The first, "The Mask," was created as a trailer as well as an interview of sorts for the VHS release of the movie The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. The second, "A Space Ghost Christmas," was a special Christmas episode featuring musical segments with the main cast and the Council of Doom.

LegacyEdit

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. 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. Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad (the 3 main characters of Aqua Teen Hunger Force) appeared on Coast to Coast before they were given their own series. One of the main characters of the series, Moltar, also appeared as the host of Toonami, another Cartoon Network block, from 1997 to 1999.

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. 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 Andre mentioned being a big fan of the series, which a major influence on him while creating his series 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.[7]

Four rocks found on the planet Mars were named after Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Brak.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Late Night with Space Ghost ". Snard.com. April 15, 1994. http://snard.com/sg/shoot.html. Retrieved on 2009-08-01. 
  2. Meisler, Andy (November 20, 1994). "And Now, Here's . . . Ummm . . . Space Ghost ". The New York Times. 1. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/20/arts/television-and-now-here-s-ummm-space-ghost.html?scp=2&sq=cartoon+network&st=nyt. Retrieved on 2010-01-07. 
  3. Meisler, Andy (November 20, 1994). "And Now, Here's . . . Ummm . . . Space Ghost ". The New York Times. 2. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/20/arts/television-and-now-here-s-ummm-space-ghost.html?pagewanted=2. Retrieved on 2010-01-07. 
  4. "CNW Group | TELETOON | TELETOON fearlessly presents "Adult Swim" ". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070930221129/http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2006/19/c9737.html. 
  5. Kohler, Chris (November 22, 2006). "Xbox HDTV Downloads: Best Space Ghost Ever | Game | Life from Wired.com ". Blog.wired.com. http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2006/11/xbox_hdtv_downl/. Retrieved on 2009-08-01. 
  6. "Xbox.com | Movies & TV Shows — adult swim ". Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080212051741/http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/marketplace/moviestv/adultswim.htm. 
  7. Luippold, Ross. "Eric Andre Talks His New Adult Swim Show That ABC Isn't 'Thrilled' About ". . Huffington Post. http://www.americarecordnews.com/2012/05/09/eric-andre-talks-his-adult-swim-talk-show_n_1506832.html. Retrieved on September 7, 2012. 
  8. "Named rocks on Mars ". Mars.jpl.nasa.gov. http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/MPF/imp/names/names.html. Retrieved on 2011-01-24. 

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