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Space Ghost Coast to Coast is an animated spoof talk show. The show centers on numerous characters from the 60s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Space Ghost, in which they return to host a humorous talk show purportedly shot and broadcast from Space Ghost's studio (Ghost Planet Industriesmarker) on the Ghost Planet in outer space. The show is broadcast on cable TV networks such as Cartoon Network in the United States, Adult Swim in Australia, and Teletoon in Canada. It premiered on April 15, 1994 and finished its original run on April 12, 2004.


Space Ghost uses the talk show format as its template, but subverts it regularly. Various celebrities appear on the show as guests. They are shown on a TV screen next to Space Ghost's desk, and unlike the characters, they are 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 are almost always painfully awkward, and sometimes hostile. It is sometimes hard to tell if guests are aware of the nature of the program on which they are appearing. Their answers often do not match the questions coming from Space Ghost, because the questions are changed after the interview.

Space Ghost at his desk

Space Ghost's relationship with his co-workers is worse. His bandleader, an evil talking mantis named Zorak, and his director/producer, a red-helmeted lava man named Moltar, work for Space Ghost as punishment for their crimes. They frequently disrupt the show and make no secret of the fact that they hate him.

Unlike most modern cable series, most episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast are only about 11 minutes in length, although there are a few 22-minute episodes. To remedy this, Cartoon Network stuck two episodes back to back in order to make a 30 minute programming block, something Adult Swim (whose producers include the creators of SGC2C) has duplicated in much of its original programming. In early years of the show, Cartoon Network would sometimes show episodes of the original 1960s and 1980s Space Ghost cartoons after the 11-minute episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and a commercial break, and sometimes they would even add a very strange laugh track to the old cartoons. 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 attempting to host somewhat of a variety show on the Cartoon Planet. Cartoon Network started airing Cartoon Planet in 1996 and eventually started airing the show right after Coast to Coast. The Brak Show, a situation comedy starring Brak as an adolescent, was also spun off as an independent 15 minute program in late 2000.

Show production

Part of the surreal nature of the show comes from the guests' sometimes awkward and disjointed responses to Space Ghost's questions and other events around the set. This is the intentional result of the production process that was first laid out in the original unaired pilot episode. This episode was created by Mike Lazzo, who interspersed stock and original material with completely unrelated promotional video of Denzel Washington being interviewed about the Oscars. When the show was picked up, similar interviews were orchestrated with guests to achieve the same comedic effect.

Before any part of the episodes are written, the guests are interviewed by a writer/producer. Originally, a Space Ghost costume was worn by Andy Merrill, one which he later made famous in some Cartoon Planet intros. More often the interviewer appears in normal dress, but may still impersonate Space Ghost's character traits and mannerisms. In many cases, the interviewee is alone in a studio, while the interviewer conducts the session over a speakerphone. In the all-black room where the interview takes place, the guests are told what basic directions to look in to "talk" to Zorak, Moltar, or Space Ghost. The interviewer also rarely reveals his actual name so that the guest is forced to address him as "Space Ghost." This serves to both maintain continuity and to engender a sense of bewilderment in the guest.

After an interview is done, the writing team goes back over it, taking pieces out of context and out of order, then assembling them into the "responses" to Space Ghost and the rest of the show. The episode is written around these canned reactions and the writing talent of producers Williams Streetmarker (formerly known as "Ghost Planet Industries", named after the fictional studio where SGC2C is supposedly taped).

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 SGC2C episode) Joel Hodgson's refusal to, as he put it, "go down that road with you, pretending we're in space and all." Others had skits written for the guests to perform in outside of the normal interviews. Still others had recurring guests, familiar with the show's format. Reportedly, "Weird Al" Yankovic, who has himself frequently edited interviews with celebrities to take responses out of context, walked into his Coast to Coast interview with answers he prepared ahead of time, but opted not to use them.


In early seasons of the show, music was played by Zorak and his band "The Original Way-Outs" (named after a fictional band that appeared on an episode of The Flintstones), a parody of David Letterman's Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. The original theme and segue music for the show was actually composed by avant-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock, Lance Carter on drums, Eddie Horst on bass, and vocals by Alfrieda Gerald (although Space Ghost once said in an early promo for the show that the vocals were by Betty Rubble).

"Hit Single" was the name of the original theme song for Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Sharrock and Carter recorded a number of songs for the show, several of which were later compiled on the album Space Ghost Coast to Coast, a limited edition promotional CD released by Cartoon Network. As a tribute to Sharrock, who died in May 1994 shortly after the show first aired, the episode "Sharrock" featured nearly fifteen minutes of unedited takes of music recorded for the show.

Seasons 4-6 featured a new closing theme by Man or Astro-man? and in later seasons the opening theme and titles were almost completely abandoned. Various other music was sometimes used as the theme song, including the "CHiPs" theme song for the episode titled "CHiPs". The instrumental track "Sane to You" by Chauncey Canfield was used as opening and closing theme credits for the Mommentary episode toward the end of the series.

The Space Ghost theme song was covered by the band Pavement and was subsequently released on the album Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition.

Broadcast history

Space Ghost Coast to Coast first aired on April 15, 1994 in the United Statesmarker on the Cartoon Network airing initially at 11:00 pm ET on Friday nights, with an encore showing of the episode on Saturday night. The program was Cartoon Network's first combination live-action / animated series, though a 2007 series on Cartoon Network, Out of Jimmy's Head, was promoted as being the first such series.

Later the program was moved to various late-night time slots, usually on weekends. These late-night airings and the development of similar shows by Williams Street Studiosmarker led to the creation of the Adult Swim program block in September 2001. Space Ghost Coast to Coast reruns now air on Adult Swim's online-exclusive Adult Swim Fix service.

In February 1995 an episode of SGC2C was simulcast on Cartoon Network, TBS, and TNT for the "World Premiere Toon-In" special debut of a series of original new cartoon shorts, later known as the What a Cartoon! shorts. In the special (titled "President's Day Nightmare" by the producers) Space Ghost interviewed a few of the new directors, while the Council of Doom were the judges of the cartoon clips. Some of the then-unknown directors on the special included Van Partible (for Johnny Bravo), Genndy Tartakovsky (for Dexter's Laboratory), and Craig McCracken who eventually won the swimsuit competition and got to have his Powerpuff Girls cartoon shown in its entirety at the end of the show.

When Cartoon Network launched Toonami in 1997, it originally featured a computer-rendered 3-D version of Moltar, hosting the show from his booth at Ghost Planet Industries. It even aired episodes (at the time) of the 1960s Space Ghost cartoon.

The show was initially broadcast on Cartoon Network UK during an early evening slot (around 6:oo pm on Sunday nights), before eventually being moved to a late-night slot (around 10:30 pm). During late 2001 and early 2002 four episodes aired every night at 11:00 pm, though only ones from the first four years of the show's life. 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 on Friday and Saturday nights in the local Adult Swim segment, until the beginning of 2008, but like many of the other shows that used to air (with the exception of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law), it has yet to return.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast was supposed to premiere on Teletoon in Canada in 1998, but it was said that a celebrity somehow tried to stop that decision. It finally began airing in September 2006.

New, short episodes were available on Turner Broadcasting's GameTap online pay service in which Space Ghost interviews celebrities from the video game industry and GameTap's artist of the month.

The episodes "Self Help", "The Mask", "Gum, Disease", "Le Livre D'Histoire", "Brilliant Number Two", and "A Space Ghost Christmas" were shown sporadically and then not released for DVD (due to video rights issues). During the first few years of the show, after each episode was a screen to "contact ghost planet" or "visit ghost planet", and had the phone number, fax number, e-mail address, mailing address, and website URL to contact the makers of show. The sound bed for these cards was a dial up modem handshake noise.

Though the show is on a "permanent hiatus" it has made two different returns. Once, after airing Perfect Hair Forever's pilot episode, Space Ghost was shown conducting a special talkback episode of the show with Early Cuyler, Sharko, and Meatwad about Perfect Hair Forever. The entire thing degenerated into typical Space Ghost/Adult Swim randomness, including Space Ghost himself being killed by Early Cuyler. After this, Space Ghost was only seen in cameos on Perfect Hair Forever where it was explained that after the end of his show he became a drunk that wandered around the Williams Street studios begging for a job. However, Space Ghost's show made another return on Turner's broadband entertainment network, GameTap. At E3, Space Ghost randomly showed up to conduct a series of live interviews including one with Microsoft executive Peter Moore. Space Ghost discussed bathroom etiquette, his own video game idea (a "dermatology based" video game), Sony, Turner, and dancing with Moore. Eventually, on May 31, 2008, the last GameTap episode (so far) has Space Ghost try to boost (in the episode) low ratings by doing a publicity stunt: he exposes his pale, hairy nipple. The incident actually has the opposite effect, and he ignorantly flashed it out again (about 8 or 10 times total). After that, Moltar finally reports that the network has officially canceled the show. (There hasn't been another episode since.)

Beyond the original run of the series, at least two additional episodes were announced and had their respective interviews filmed, but were never finished. These included interviews with Seth Green and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. While neither of these interviews were aired in any episode of the show, an Easter Egg on the Volume 3 set features "Commander Andy" (Andy Merrill) talking to MacFarlane. Space Ghost has also been featured in a commercial for esurance, interviewing the company's cartoon spokeswoman, Erin. Space Ghost spent most of the interview fantasizing about sleeping with her. Space Ghost was also featured in a McDonald's commercial in which his guest appears to be a random person talking about how she eats all her meals off the Dollar Menu from McDonald's. After finishing up her spiel, Space Ghost makes a random comment.

Episodes have also been made available from the Xbox Live Marketplace as of 2006.


  • Space Ghost (George Lowe) - is shown to be arrogant, showboatish, uninformed, oblivious to his own stupidity, and violent when provoked.

  • Zorak (C. Martin Croker) - claims to be "pure evil", even if neutered by his imprisonment, and spends his time on the show making fun of Space Ghost, generally getting blasted in return for his efforts by Space Ghost's power bands.

  • Moltar (C. Martin Croker) - is more placid about his predicament and enjoys watching CHiPs reruns on the monitor during the show, as well as talking to the guests before their interviews, but he will often chide Space Ghost along with Zorak and become his sidekick in tormenting Space Ghost.

  • Brak (Andy Merrill) - had made appearances on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, often just yelling short phrases like "All hail Brak!!!" or "Hi my name is Brak!!".

DVD boxsets

Season releases

DVD Name Release Date Ep # Additional Information
Volume One November 18 2003 16 This two disc boxset collects 16 episodes from the show's first two seasons, 1994 and 1995."Elevator", "Spanish Translation", "Gilligan", "CHiPs", "Bobcat", "Punch", "Banjo", "Batmantis", "Story Book House", "Girlie Show", "Hungry", "Fire Drill", "Sleeper", "Jerk", "Urges", and "Explode" and has 2 Easter eggs.
Volume Two November 16 2004 14 This two disc boxset collects all 14 episodes from the third season, 1996."$20.01", "Lovesick", "Transcript", "Sharrock", "Boo", "Freak Show", "Switcheroo", "Surprise", "Glen Campbell", "Jacksonville", "Late Show", "Cookout", "Art Show", and "Woody Allen's Fall Project"Special features include "Andy's Pilot", a performance by Thurston Moore, the unedited version of Matt Groening's interview from "Glen Campbell", pencil test footage, bonus footage and Easter eggs.
Volume Three:

This is 1997
April 12 2005 24 This two disc boxset collects all 24 episodes from the show's 1997 season, the fourth season, some of which are the originally-aired extended versions."Rehearsal", "Gallagher", "Edelweiss", "Anniversary", "Zoltran", "Pilot", "Speck", "Zorak", "Switcheroo", "Mayonnaise", "Brilliant Number One", "Boo Boo Kitty", "Needledrop", "Sphinx", "Pavement", "Untitled", "Hipster", "Piledriver", "Suckup", "Dam", "Boatshow", "Telethon", "Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite", and "Joshua." It also features commentaries by cast members, new footage, deleted scenes, the 1995 World Premiere Toon-In, "President's Day Nightmare" (without any footage from the cartoons featured) and Easter eggs.
Volume Four:

The 1998 Episodes
December 7 2007 11 This single-disc set collects all 11 episodes from the show's 1998 season, the fifth season, one of which is the originally-aired extended version.The fourth DVD was released exclusively through the Adult Swim website, and is titled "The 1998 Episodes" rather than "Volume Four". It includes the episodes "Terminal", "Toast", "Lawsuit", "Cahill", "Warren" 36-minute cut, "Chinatown", "Rio Ghosto", "Pal Joey", "Curses", "Intense Patriotism" and "Waiting for Edward". It also features an unfinished episode guest-starring Steven Wright titled "Dinner with Steven" and one Easter egg.
Volume Five:

From The Kentucky Nightmare DVD
September 11, 2008 16 This two disc boxset includes all 16 episodes from 1999 to 2002, seasons six and seven, one of which is the originally-aired extended version.The fifth DVD was released exclusively through the Adult Swim website, and is titled "From The Kentucky Nightmare DVD" rather than "Volume Five". It includes the episodes "Snatch", "Sequel", "Girl Hair", "Chambraigne", "Table Read", "King Dead", "Fire Ant" 22-minute cut, "Curling Flower Space", "Knifin' Around", "The Justice Hole", "Kentucky Nightmare", "Sweet for Brak", "Flipmode", "Mommentary", "Mommentary: w/ Creators", "Mommentary: Jelly Bean". Extras include Snatch Alt Ending, Table Read Extra, Conan Raw Interview, George Lowe Record, Clay Croker Record, Promos, Busta Raw Interview, and 2 Easter eggs).



Legacy and significance

In 2000, the show either spun off or directly inspired the three original cartoons that constituted Adult Swim's comedy block. The Brak Show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF), and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. All three shows originally utilized the same limited animation style used in SGC2C. The Brak Show included the characters Brak and Zorak, recurring characters on SGC2C. The three main characters in Aqua Teen Hunger Force originated in the SGC2C episode "Baffler Meal". While the character of Harvey Birdman in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law bears little resemblance with the Harvey Birdman seen on occasion in SGC2C, beyond the common first name of "Harvey", the show can be said to have conceptually descended from SGC2C both shows dealt with Hanna-Barbera superheroes, supervillains, and comedy characters dealing with life after their original run of shows had ended. The same can be said of Sealab 2021, which again used the same concept with the characters of Hanna-Barbera's Sealab 2020 characters.

The original writers and staff of SGC2C 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 continues to write and voice characters for ATHF, 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 has written and voiced characters on the shows 12 oz. Mouse and ATHF. He recently created the show Assy McGee. Likewise, Matt Maiellaro currently writes and provides voices for several Adult Swim series including ATHF, Perfect Hair Forever, Squidbillies, and 12 oz. Mouse, which he created. Space Ghost was in the first episode of Robot Chicken season 2, still voiced by George Lowe, where he with Peter Griffin and Master Shake were judges to say if Robot Chicken would still be on the air. They all voted Guilty.

Four rocks found on the planet Mars were named after Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Brak. The episode titled "Carol" of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! has a skit that uses the title "Space Course: Horse to Horse."


  1. [1] Named rocks on Mars

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