Space Ghost Coast to Coast

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Template:Infobox television

File:Spaceghost1.jpg
Space Ghost at his desk

Space Ghost Coast to Coast (often abbreviated as SGC2C) is a spoof talk show on the cable TV channel Cartoon Network. It began in 1994. The main cast comprises Space Ghost (born Tad Ghostal), a cartoon character originally from an old Hanna Barbera cartoon called Space Ghost which ran in the 1960s and early 1980s, and Zorak and Moltar, his former enemies from that show. Space Ghost is voiced by George Lowe, while C. Martin Croker voices Zorak and Moltar. Other characters include Brak, Lokar, Metallus, Black Widow and Tansut, all of whom also used to make appearances in the original show. The show is shot and broadcasted from Space Ghost's studio on the Ghost Planet. Space Ghost also has a twin brother Chad, who is somewhat smarter but has an apparent evil streak. Luckily, he can be identified by his goatee, macho voice, and his use of hipster slang.

Various celebrities have appeared on the show as guests. They are shown on a TV screen next to Space Ghost, and unlike the characters, they are not animated.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast uses the talk show format as its template, but subverts it regularly. Space Ghost himself is portrayed as incredibly stupid, as well as somewhat deranged. He apparently believes his guests are other superheroes and usually opens 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 all of the guests are really 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. His relationship with his co-workers is worse. His bandleader, an evil talking mantis named Zorak, and his producer, a red-helmeted lava man named Moltar, work for Space Ghost as punishment for their crimes, and make no secret of the fact that they hate him.

Space Ghost is shown to be arrogant, showboatish, uninformed, oblivious to his own stupidity, and violent when provoked. His powers include invisibility (courtesy of his Inviso-Belt), flight, and the ability to shoot powerful beams from his wrists (courtesy of his power armbands). Zorak personifies pure (if neutered by his imprisonment) evil and spends his time on the show making fun of Space Ghost, generally getting blasted in return for his efforts. Moltar is more placid about his predicament and enjoys watching CHiPs reruns on the monitors during the show.

Unlike most shows, each episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast is only 15 minutes in length. To remedy this, Cartoon Network stuck two episodes back to back in order to make a 30 minute programming block. In 1995 Cartoon Network created a spin-off show called Cartoon Planet. This featured Space Ghost and friends attempting to host a television show on the Cartoon Planet. Cartoon Network placed this show right after Coast to Coast in order to attract ratings. The Brak Show, a situation comedy starring Brak's hijinks as an adolescent, was also spun off as an independent 15 minute program.

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 crew member, sometimes wearing the Space Ghost costume made famous by Andy Merrill in some Cartoon Planet intros. In the greenscreened 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 instructs the guest to address him as "Space Ghost" to maintain continuity.

Guests are asked questions which often bear little resemblance to what the final episode will look like. After an interview is done, the writing crew goes back over it, taking pieces out of context and out of order, 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 Williams Street.

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 liquid metal). 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 walked into his Coast to Coast interview with answers he prepared ahead of time, but opted not to use them.

Broadcast history

In the United States, Space Ghost Coast to Coast premiered on April 15, 1994 on the Cartoon Network airing initially at 11:00pm on Friday nights. Note that this was before the advent of Adult Swim. 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 Studios led to the creation of the Adult Swim program block. Space Ghost Coast to Coast re-runs now air on Adult Swim on Sundays at 1:15am/5:15am and on Adult Swim's online-exclusive Friday Night Fix service.

The show was initially broadcast on Cartoon Network UK during an early evening slot (around 6pm on Sunday nights), before eventually being moved to a late-night slot (around 10:30pm). During late 2001 and early 2002 four episodes aired every night at 11.00pm, though only ones from the first four years of the show's life. It later aired on CNX in its hour of comedy from 9pm–10pm alongside other programmes from the Adult Swim programming block. In Australia, it currently screens on Friday and Saturday nights in the local Adult Swim segment.

Space Ghost Coast To Coast was supposed to premiere on Teletoon in Canada, but never did. It was said that a celebrity somehow stopped that decision.

New, short episodes currently play in rotation on Turner Broadcasting's GameTap online service (paid monthly registration required) in which Space Ghost interviews celebrities from the video game industry.

Characters

  • Zorak:
  • Moltar:
  • Tansut is very overweight and cowardly. For a while, he was the announcer on the show, telling the viewers who the guests would be for the episode, and has subbed for Moltar as director at least once.
  • Brak:

DVD releases

Space Ghost Coast to Coast has only been released on DVD in the United States. Three boxed sets of the series are currently available.

  1. "Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Volume One" collects 16 episodes from the show's first two seasons.
    • "Elevator", "Spanish Translation", "Gilligan", "CHiPs", "Bobcat", "Punch", "Banjo", "Batmantis", "Story Book House", "Girlie Show", "Hungry", "Fire Drill", "Sleeper", "Jerk", "Urges", and "Explode"
  2. "Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Volume Two" was released on November 16, 2004.
    • "$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, and bonus footage.
  3. "Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Volume Three" was released on April 12, 2005, collecting 24 episodes from the series, some of which have been extended.
    • "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", "Joshua".
    • It also features commentaries by cast members, new footage, deleted scenes, and 1994's World Premiere Toon-In, "President's Day Nightmare" (without any footage from the cartoons featured).

Guest History

"Volume One" Episodes

"Volume Two" Episodes

Spinoffs

External links

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