Created by Mike Lazzo
No. of seasons 10
Final episode date 31 May 2008
Country of origin United States
First episode date 15 April 1994
Program creators Mike Lazzo, Alex Toth
|Voices of George Lowe
C. Martin Croker
Composer(s) Sonny Sharrock Eddie Horst Man or Astro-man?
Theme songs Space Ghost Coast to Coast Closing Theme Song, CHiPs Theme Song, Hit Single
Spin-offs Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, Cartoon Planet
Similar The Brak Show, Cartoon Planet, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman - Attorney
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is an American animated parody talk show, created by Mike Lazzo and hosted by the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Space Ghost. 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 a surreal spoof talk show and produced using the original artwork.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was considered to be the first fully produced Cartoon Network original series, and premiered on April 15, 1994. The first two seasons were presented as a serious talk show with subdued jokes, while the later seasons relied more on surrealism, non-sequiturs, and parodies. In 2001, it moved to the network's late night television block Adult Swim.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was known for inspiring the series Cartoon Planet, The Brak Show, Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, Perfect Hair Forever and The Eric Andre Show.
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.
Space Ghost's relationship with his co-workers 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 15 minutes in length, although there were a few 30-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 (sometimes with an unusual added laugh track) after the 11-minute episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
In early seasons of the show, music was played by Zorak and his band "The Original Way-Outs". The original theme song, "Hit Single", was composed by free jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock, performed by Sharrock on guitar, Lance Carter on drums, Eddie Horst on bass and Alfreda Gerald on vocals. 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. 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". An hour-long musical season finale for the 1998 season was planned, featuring the bands Yo La Tengo and Cornershop, but was never produced.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created by Mike Lazzo after he was asked to create a cartoon to appeal to adults. The original name of the show stemmed from early 1993, while Andy Merrill and Jay Edwards were coming up with names for a marathon of the original Space Ghost TV show to air on Cartoon Network, trying to find things that rhyme with "Ghost". The series premiered on April 15, 1994, 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, moved to Adult Swim, a late night programming block, launched by Cartoon Network that night. The series ended its television run in 2004 with "Live at the Fillmore".
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.
On April Fools' Day 2014, Adult Swim had an unannounced Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon with new material in the form of commercials featuring Space Ghost, Zorak and Moltar in a voice-recording booth ad-libbing lines from episodes.
The fourth and fifth volumes were only available for purchase through the now-defunct Adult Swim online store. The final six episodes of the television run have never had an official release on DVD. Nearly every episode was available to buy through a "build your own DVD" feature Adult Swim had on its website, thus the final season, early episodes that were left off of the first volume and unedited shows that had been altered on the official releases were now available to own. The shop was taken down in 2012 for unknown reasons.
In 2006, episodes were made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
In 1995, a spin-off show called Cartoon Planet premiered on Cartoon Network as well as one of Cartoon Network's sister networks, TBS. This show featured Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak hosting a variety show on the Cartoon Planet. In 2000, the show either spun off or directly inspired 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 (also known by various alternative titles). 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.
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. A short interviewing NBA star Steve Nash and promoting Vitamin Water was made available online. 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 André mentioned being a big fan of the show, stating it was a major influence on him while developing his own series for Adult Swim, The Eric Andre 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. To André's surprise Lazzo had no interest in Space Ghost Coast to Coast, saying "Space Ghost is dead to me".
Space Ghost is mentioned in the opening lyrics of cello rock band Rasputina's song "The Olde Headboard", which was featured on their 1998 sophomore album How We Quit the Forest.
Four rocks found on the planet Mars were named after Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and Brak. In January 2009, IGN named Space Ghost Coast to Coast as their 37th favorite animated TV show in their Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows article. In 2013 IGN placed Space Ghost Coast to Coast as number 18 on their list of Top 25 animated series for adults.
Rapper SpaceGhostPurrp is named after the titular character, as well as lending his image for the cover of his NASA mixtape.