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It all started with a strange disturbance on Jupiter, 65 years ago today
September 10, 2011 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the first airing of the first episode of the first show starring Space Ghost. That series ran from 1966 to 1968, and was followed up by Space Stars from 1981 to 1982. Skip ahead another couple decades, and Space Ghost returned to TV, but he finally found his calling. Space Ghost: Coast to Coast was a talk show, broadcast from Ghost Planet, and featuring a wide array of guests who were interviewed on a wider range of topics. SG:C2C ran from 1994 to 2004, starting on Cartoon Network, then moving to Adult Swim in 2001, and finally to jumping from TV to the internet, where it was on GameTap from 2006 to 2008.

The original Space Ghost TV series was the creation of Alex Toth, who was noticed by Hanna-Barbera for his work on the 1962-64 animated series called Space Angel. Toth worked for Hanna-Barbara from 1965 to 1968, and again in 1973, which was only part of his larger career in animated TV shows.

The format for the original Space Ghost series was a series of short segments (first airing two days after the first Star Trek episode -- warning: the embedded clip is loud). Typically, one Space Ghost segment would play, then a clip of Dino Boy in the Lost Valley, then a second Space Ghost segment. Wikipedia lists the Space Ghost/Dino Boy/Space Ghost segments in order, but for some wacky reason, they were re-shuffled for DVD release, though retaining the SG/DB/SG order. This same format carried over into the streaming format on The WB:
DVD Episode 1 - The Heat Thing/ The Worm People/ Zorak
DVD Ep 2 - The Creature King/ The Treeman/ The Lizard Slavers
DVD Ep 5 - The Robot Master/ Marooned/ The Energy Monster
DVD Ep 7 - The Schemer/ The Rock Pygmies/ The Evil Collector
DVD Ep 11 - Space Birds/ The Wolf People/ Attack of the Saucer Crab
DVD Ep 17 - The Sorcerer/ The Ant Warrior/ The Looters
DVD Ep 18 - The Ovens of Moltar/ The Mighty Snow Creature/ The Gargoyloids

The Final 2 episodes are a six-part Space Ghost story called "The Council of Doom" and are kept in their on-air order on the DVD and online:
TV/DVD Ep 19 - The Meeting/ Clutches of the Creature King/ The Deadly Trap
TV/DVD Ep 20 - The Molten Monsters of Moltar/ Two Faces of Doom/ The Final Encounter
The 1981-2 series Space Stars was similar to the original series, each episode made of disconnected segments, except this time it was four segments from four shows: Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Teen Force, and Astro and the Space Mutts. Space Ghost ran with 22 new episodes, with new villains, even a evil version of Space Ghost from an alternate universe, called Space Spectre.
1. Attack of the Space Sharks
2. The Haunted Space Station
3. The Sorceress
4. Planet of the Space Monkeys
5. The Anti Matter Man
6. The Space Dragons
7. Starfly
8. The Big Freeze
9. The Toymaker
10. Microworld
11. Space Spectre
12. Web of the Wizard
13. Time Chase
14. The Deadly Comet
15. The Shadow People
16. Time of the Giants
17. City in Space
18. Nomads
19. Eclipse Woman
20. Devilship
21. The Time Master
22. Spacecube of Doom
If you've watched the original Space Ghost and Space Stars, but have your episodes and enemies mixed up, you're in luck! The Original Space Ghost FAQ has you covered! All the content is still intact, circa 1997. Sadly, the links to other sites are hit-or-miss now.

About a decade after Space Stars aired, Turner Network Television acquired two collections of animation: the MGM film library (which included old Warner Bros. cartoons), and the Hanna-Barbera Productions Animation Studio, mirroring the original creation of TNT itself. TNT formed a new channel, Cartoon Network, to play cartoons all the time. And like TNT, Cartoon Network grew beyond simply re-playing classics. With a limited initial budget, Mike Lazzo worked with others to re-purpose some of the Cartoon Network library. It was there they hit upon splicing re-dubbed segments of Space Ghost with cuts of an interview with Denzel Washington. In TV host style, Space Ghost shows a clip of "Malcom X", and gets Denzel's plans for the Oscars. Then there was the $100,000 "really slick two-minute piece", but that didn't set much of a precedent for the future episodes, which started on April 15, 1994, with Spanish Translation, featuring Susan Powter, Brak look-alikes who sound like Beavis and Butthead, and a collision with Ghost Planet. And then it kept on going, for another 90+ episodes, which are conveniently collected and uploaded in YuTuber I1ABSU's playlist, though it's missing Live at the Fillmore, called "Unfinished POS" in the [adult swim] title cards. Speaking of AS, they host many clips are online, with some "gold episodes" available to some folks with cable or satellite provider buy-in.

And then there are the GameTap episodes. Wikipedia lists 16, but only names 11 of them. There were no official names for the segments, so they are referred to by their guest's names. A few of these have migrated from GameTap's now-defunct subscription service to the broader tubes:
5. Steve Wozniak
6. Rob Fulop
7. Howard Warshaw
15. Dee Snider
16. Barenaked Ladies and Space Ghost's nipple (finale)
More Bonus Tangents
In the beginning, Space Ghost Coast To Coast episodes were sometimes paired with original Space Ghost episodes, which now featured an added "studio audience" who would ooh, aah, and laugh along at the interstellar hi-jinks.

As a wacky spin-off following the success of SG:C2C, in 1995 TBS made Cartoon Planet, in which a live-action Space Ghost appears, and Brak is the host, so we'll ignore that here, and point you to past coverage (though many YT links are now dead).

Space Ghost appeared in 1998 on the Donny & Marie Show

Season 5 promos: Courage, Fame, Private Life

Happy April Woolves Day from Tommy Wiseau!
posted by filthy light thief (79 comments total) 118 users marked this as a favorite

 
You wanna watch me swallow a live mollusk?
posted by selfnoise at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I can't wait to comb through this post. If my userpic on themakeoutclub.com way back when I was 18 hadn't been Zorak, my now-husband never would have messaged me (appropriately, we made out during the exploding sharks episode early in our relationship and to this day go around quoting, "Some sharks explode to attract mates; others explode to attract killer bees!"). Space Ghost therefore equals love.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:00 PM on September 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


Wow. Exhaustive and well-written.

You might also want to mention Joe Kelly's mid-2000s DC Comics miniseries featuring the character, trying to get him back to his more "serious" roots after the silliness of Coast to Coast. The Amazon link is here, and a bit more can be found here.

That wasn't the only comic starring Space Ghost, naturally, but it was certainly notable in an attempt to re-envision the character.
posted by HostBryan at 6:01 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I sit in my laundry basket and tickle my ears. Sometimes not. Pizza!
posted by loquacious at 6:04 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Space Ghost also appeared in the recent Batman: Brave and the Bold Teaser called Space Safari.
posted by FJT at 6:07 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, it really makes you feel old when the *remake* of a show from the 60's was something you watched more than ten years ago.
posted by sramsey at 6:08 PM on September 10, 2011


Im a kniiiiiiiiiiife
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:08 PM on September 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Knifin' around
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:08 PM on September 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:08 PM on September 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


That is Old Kentucky Shark, and he has been there.

Thanks for the spectaular post
posted by churl at 6:10 PM on September 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Cheston?
posted by item at 6:10 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, thanks for this. SGC2C and CP got me through the tough times in high school. I will enjoy all this.

(Parenthetically: recently I was listening to Wesley Willis, and I thought: Brak? Brak! I never realized it before, but it's him. Can't you hear Brak singing "I'm Sorry That I Got Fat"?)
posted by Countess Elena at 6:11 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did I miss the part where you mention The Brak Show?

Hellooooooo spinoooofffffffffff
posted by Sys Rq at 6:11 PM on September 10, 2011


You can't have a Space Ghost post without mentioning Modern Music for Swinging Superheroes. Apparently a rarity, I've got this album. I remember ordering it and being surprised to receive it in a hand-addressed envelope.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:13 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My MeFi name was almost almost almost Mr. Bawkbagawk.

(Takes a drink and thinks of what could've been)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man months!? MANUARY.
posted by loquacious at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


jozxyqk, so did I! I have no collector instincts, though, so I just threw all the trappings away and kept the CD. I think I've still got it in a sleeve in one of my dusty old CD wallets around here.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2011


I MUST point out that the original voice of Space Ghost was Gary Owens, who is featured making a mini-comeback in this clip from SG:CTC. He also voiced Roger Ramjet and Ren & Stimpy's Powdered Toast Man, was the hand-over-the-ear announcer on Laugh-In, was first choice for "Almost Serious Announcer" duty on TV & radio commercials for decades (long before Shadoe Stevens), and did the funniest afternoon radio show in L.A. for over 20 years. (He bought jokes from me when I was selling them*, and gave me my all-time favorite endorsement: "Wendell is funnier than Jack Lord and Lorne Greene combined!" But you had to hear it in his voice.)

*which is why I can't do an FPP about him
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:16 PM on September 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Countess Elena, I have the CD in a sleeve, but still have the CD liner with the crayon SG in a pile of old CD liners I ripped out of jewel cases in a box somewhere; easy to re-assemble if I ever felt the need to sell or display it.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:18 PM on September 10, 2011


"original voice of Space Ghost was Gary Owens .... also voiced Roger Ramjet and Ren & Stimpy's Powdered Toast Man"

TODAY I HAVE LEARNED AN AWESOME THING.
posted by elizardbits at 6:22 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Gary? Can you stay with us and, like, be our new dad?" [/Moltar]
posted by Countess Elena at 6:24 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


oneswellfoop, if someone who didn't have a personal connection to Gary Owens but had a big hard-on for him anyway were to make a GO FPP, would you post in the thread?
posted by infinitewindow at 6:27 PM on September 10, 2011


Well, it turns out they have an unlimited supply of punch at the party. In my head.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:31 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]




what kind of a hospital is this
posted by bukharin at 6:36 PM on September 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


BANJOOOOOOOOOO
posted by curious nu at 6:39 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gas gives me IDEAS!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:42 PM on September 10, 2011


I knew when I clicked on it that it would be a monster post.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:42 PM on September 10, 2011


shit, i didn't realize that sg:c2c ran for 10 years!
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:51 PM on September 10, 2011


How about a nice pleated skirt?
posted by loquacious at 6:53 PM on September 10, 2011




I heartily endorse the idea of a Gary Owens FPP.

Also, I'm kinda sorry we missed the whole Space Ghost thing in Canada, not getting Cartoon Network and all. But at least we got its sorta spinoff Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
posted by evilcolonel at 7:12 PM on September 10, 2011


Also, I don't know if this story is in any of the links, but supposedly, the Williams Street people approached Ted Turner about their idea for an animated spoof of late night talk shows and he said, "I can't afford that! Don't you know how much I just paid for Hanna Barbera??? Why don't you make something out of that?"
posted by evilcolonel at 7:13 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen one episode of SG:C2C. The guest was Carrot Top. And that was enough to drive me away from it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:15 PM on September 10, 2011


I would be glad to contribute back-up content to any post about Garish (that's what we who know him call him...). I love the talented Voice Actors (that's why I did the Frank Welker post), and will probably do something about a couple of them whom I have never met... (/teaser)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:19 PM on September 10, 2011


I've seen one episode of SG:C2C. The guest was Carrot Top. And that was enough to drive me away from it.

Your judgement is foolish and you are missing out on quality entertainment by your bad choices.
posted by hippybear at 7:29 PM on September 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


OK this is what I've always wanted to know. Maybe it's answered somewhere in this encyclopedic SG post, but I'm asking anyway.

How did they ge the stars they did? I mean, some of them clearly didn't know what was happening, but lots or most of them addressed "Space Ghost" by name. Snoop Dogg I can understand coming on anyway, but Emeril? Charlton Heston?
posted by cmoj at 7:30 PM on September 10, 2011


I got a doodle in my moodle
And its name is Minkey Boodle!

posted by briank at 7:31 PM on September 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Joie de vivre!!!
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:35 PM on September 10, 2011


supposedly, the Williams Street people approached Ted Turner about their idea for an animated spoof of late night talk shows

Yup, it's in the post. See the section about Turner Network Television acquiring the MGM film library (including old Warner Bros. cartoons), and Hanna-Barbera Productions. Or jump right into this interview with Mike Lazzo, creator of SG:C2C.

I've seen one episode of SG:C2C. The guest was Carrot Top. And that was enough to drive me away from it.

Carrot top will do that, but don't let him be the reason for hating SG:C2C. Kentucky Nightmare is the source of PhoBWanKenobi's anecdote, and I'm fond of Chambraigne. OK, I'm find of most of them.

Blue, blue as the night...
posted by filthy light thief at 7:35 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen one episode of SG:C2C. The guest was Carrot Top. And that was enough to drive me away from it.

If I remember correctly, that episode was pretty bad.

The thing about SG:C2C is that it's not just meta humor, it's like meta-meta-meta humor. There's stuff going on on multiple levels and it's not just absurdist stoner non-sequitors.

One thing in particular is that you get to see, ah, celebrities at their best and worst in a really weird, awkward situation. Check out the Gilligan's Island episode or the teaser of the episode with Wozniak.

While those episodes are fairly mild, they get pretty rough with the understated verbal sparring sometimes. It's pretty amazing they get the guests that they have to sit through the abuse and absurdity that they put them through, and it's fun who is willing to play ball and run with it. (Like the Bobcat Goldthwait episode.)

And, well, Space Ghost is an insecure and monumental asshole most of the time - that's who he is. He "villians" follow the role reversal as the nice guy, straight guy and simple guy... well, at least chaotic neutral compared to Space Ghost's incredible perpetual wangitude, ignorance and uncertainty.

It's good stuff.
posted by loquacious at 7:44 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I am combining the force field with energy power!"
posted by Nomyte at 7:58 PM on September 10, 2011


I don't know if it makes me a minority of a minority, but I always preferred the Brak Show to Space Ghost. My husband and I like to sing the Beet Song:

I'm hot for you baybay!
I'm a big ol' beet!
I'm red but not embarrassed,
and I am good with meat!

I'm hot for you BAYBAYYYYY!

Maybe Brak basically having a demented Southern accent is what does it for us. I don't know.
posted by emjaybee at 8:43 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to say something clever about how much I love this show (and this post) but my brain is just going, "Knifin' around ... cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cut." Which I would not even be the THIRD to reference, but my brain is just in an infinite, delightful knifin' around loop.

"I am Batmantis!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:53 PM on September 10, 2011


No mention of Sonny Sharrock and the show's music?

Here's Sharrock's "Hit Single" (Space Ghost Opening Theme") and "Ghost Planet National Anthem".

Here's about ten minutes of the Jef Lee Johnson Trio covering Sharrock's SG Theme live at the Triad Lounge, NYC in 2002.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:55 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Today marks the 45th anniversary - Only because the Gemini 11 launch schedule for that morning was scrubbed until the following Monday.
posted by Ardiril at 9:15 PM on September 10, 2011


I got a monkey to take notes for me in class.

I would just sit there with my mind a complete blank while the monkey scribbled on pieces of paper.

Then at the end of the week the teacher said "Now class we're going to write a paper using your notes."

Mine read "Hi! My name is Bingo! I like to climb around on things! Can I have a banana? Eek eek!"

I GOT AN 'F'!

When I told Mom she yelled at me, "Didn't I tell you never to trust a monkey?"

The end!
posted by JHarris at 9:39 PM on September 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ants are so stupid.
posted by unknowncommand at 10:49 PM on September 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm up Dawson's Creek without a paddle!
posted by Rangeboy at 11:09 PM on September 10, 2011


brrr...brrr...brrrrrrr...brrr...brrr...brrr...brrrrrrrrrr
posted by unknowncommand at 11:19 PM on September 10, 2011


He's making a mockery of the product. You're making a mockery of the product!
posted by murphy slaw at 11:41 PM on September 10, 2011


WHY DO WE ALWAYS HURT THE ONES WE LOVE???????????
posted by m0nm0n at 11:43 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's mating season on my home planet.
posted by Cocodrillo at 5:42 AM on September 11, 2011


EXPLOSIVO!
posted by zombieflanders at 5:45 AM on September 11, 2011


Wait, Donny and Marie had another show? WTF? Did a timeslip occur recently?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:38 AM on September 11, 2011


Wait, Donny and Marie had another show? WTF? Did a timeslip occur recently?

It was a syndicated daytime sit-down talk show. You didn't miss much.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2011


This post is an absolute triumph. Well done, @filthy light thief.
posted by waxbanks at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2011


I still want a cup that looks like Moltar's! Also, this was read in our wedding ceremony. Brak has a true understanding of life!
posted by ignignokt at 9:14 AM on September 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's what we do — we order one of those mind-erasing kits...
posted by mubba at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2011


I am just a lonely... drummer for Pearl Jam.
posted by Spatch at 9:38 AM on September 11, 2011


Rust never sleeps.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:56 AM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

"I don't like you now."
posted by Snyder at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2011


Thanks to SGC2C, I've a Tourette's-like voice of George Lowe infesting my brain for the majority of my adult life. Greetings! All righty! Do you like croutons? This was obviously a bad idea that you had! What a sticky wicket! You're bringing me down, man!

And of course, when it's time to stop quoting Space Ghost and go take a shower (like right now), I always say "Shower Time!"
posted by mubba at 10:26 AM on September 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much for this... firmly favorited.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:09 PM on September 11, 2011


The episode with Björk is just great, they're like a match made in heaven.
posted by palbo at 3:50 PM on September 11, 2011


I feel a little bad for mr. light thief because while he took so much time to painstakingly document the original Space Ghost show, we're all loving the C2C quotes too much. And hey, they're pretty darned great. Anyhow.. thanks!
posted by cavalier at 4:01 PM on September 11, 2011


I am going to so kill you.
posted by unknowncommand at 4:19 PM on September 11, 2011


Spank Ray.
posted by djrock3k at 4:50 PM on September 11, 2011


This post is the best thing that has happened in the world this weekend.
posted by homunculus at 6:09 PM on September 11, 2011


cavalier, I was actually worried I'd have to track down all 90+ episodes of SG:C2C, and I was thrilled to find them in one handy location. Of course, that means it could all go away all the more easily, but that's the 'net for you. And anyway, I had fun, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good work, flt!

I am the world's biggest SG:C2C fan and don't sass me about it. Point is: I approve of this post.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:24 PM on September 11, 2011


eesh. I should rewrite this abstract.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:27 PM on September 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


You fool! That's decaf!
posted by fusinski at 9:29 AM on September 12, 2011


"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

"I don't like you now."


I wish Space Ghost Coast to Coast was still in production, so there could be an episode where SG could cheerily declare "Greetings, citizens, remember to like us on Facebook!" and Zorak would reply, "I don't like you anywhere."
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:14 PM on September 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


FEED HIM EXACTLY THREE MILLIGRAMS OF TICKLE SNAX. AND BE FOREWARNED: THREE HAMS WILL CERTAINLY KILL HIM. THREE HAMS.
posted by jrishel at 7:45 AM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


FEED HIM EXACTLY THREE MILLIGRAMS OF TICKLE SNAX. AND BE FOREWARNED: THREE HAMS WILL CERTAINLY KILL HIM. THREE HAMS.
posted by jrishel at 10:45 AM on September 13


To be honest I hated the Brak Show, I was an Aqua Teen fan myself, and felt that it fulfilled all the need I had ever had for a Space Ghost spinoff. My old roommates on the other hand loved it and watched it over and over and I could never understand why. So one day when no one was home to quote their favorite lines at me or break out into a rendition of magic toenail, I sat down to watch it to see what was all the hype. I fell in love with Thundercleese right away. I think it was the way his arms moved all around when he talked but I still wasn't a fan until this line (the above mentioned line that is) I laughed so hard I fell off of the kitchen stool in the middle of my breakfast when I heard it. The Brak Show caused a fruit loop disaster in my house and now to this day whenever I'm in the presence of gold fish or ham I think to my self "Three hams will fill him, Three hams will thrill him, Why don't you feed him three hams!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 3:58 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Brak Show was okay (although I think, like Space Ghost, it was probably better in the earlier episodes). But Cartoon Planet is the most concentrated source of Brak hilarity. The semi-sequel, Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak, which is not The Brak Show and only had two episodes, was great too but very short-lived.

The world in which they got BPtBSSB instead of The Brak Show is generally a much better one to be in.
posted by JHarris at 7:06 AM on September 21, 2011


If I squee any harder, I'm gonna injure myself. Man, I grew up in the late 70/80s watching SG in re-reuns along with The Herculoids.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:11 PM on September 21, 2011


The 1981-2 series Space Stars was similar to the original series, each episode made of disconnected segments, except this time it was four segments from four shows yt : Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Teen Force, and Astro and the Space Mutts. Space Ghost ran with 22 new episodes, with new villains, even a evil version of Space Ghost from an alternate universe, called Space Spectre.

Or may be not reruns...
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:14 PM on September 21, 2011


This time tomorrow, you'll be dead. You down with that? 'Cause it's gonna happen.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:26 PM on September 22, 2011


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