Space Ghost Coast To Coast (Cartoon Network, 1994-1999)
When I was one of the few people who got an OnDigital box in 1999, one of the channels that I was interested in watching was Cartoon Network, partly because it would be the first time that I could watch cartoons and children’s programming in the evening and late at night as it was a 24-hour channel. When watching one night I came across a programme that was wonderfully odd.
Space Ghost was a 1960s Saturday Morning superhero cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera, which in the 1990s was turned into something rather different. Using artwork from the original version which was redubbed, the show was turned into a parody of Letterman-style late-night chat shows and called Space Ghost Coast To Coast.
Space Ghost was the host of the show and he sat at his desk to interview all the guests. He was assisted by his bandleader and sidekick Zorak, however, they never really saw eye-to-eye and Space Ghost would constantly zap him. Also taking part was Moltar who was the producer and director of the show, but he usually didn’t really seem to know what was happening, and would often cause problems.
The idea was that various celebrities would appear as their real-life selves on a TV screen and be interviewed by Space Ghost, only some of the conversations were rather bizarre, and their comments were often taken out of context, with most guests being bemused by proceedings as they were seemingly unaware that they taking part in a spoof. Lots of famous people featured and looking back the show is an interesting capture of celebrity in the mid-90s, with lots of guests at the quirkier end of fame being interviewed including Terry Jones, Matt Groening, and Jim Carrey.
But the weirdness didn’t end there though. The show played around a lot with the traditional conventions of TV, and lots of odd things happened, including the credits being run at the wrong time, and people being credited as “one”, “two”, “three” and so on instead of their actual roles, names being upside down, bizarre episode titles, and episode lengths varying so it really was difficult sometimes to know when the show really had ended.
One other weird thing that happened was an edition of the show ending with a parody of the BBC1 1991-1997 globe which was voiced by John Peel. Space Ghost Coast To Coast is definitely one of the strangest programmes that I have ever seen, and I really did think that it was terrific. It was just so unlike anything else, and as far as surreal shows go, I think that only Cult Toons, which was another Cartoon Network show which I reviewed on here a while back, can beat it for an almost trippy oddness. They don’t make them like that any more.
It seems that Space Ghost Coast To Coast hasn’t been shown on Cartoon Network for a while now, although it was shown on a few other channels, and some editions have been released on DVD, but not in this country, but watching old editions on YouTube again recently over 15 years after I first saw them was a great experience, It probably got next to no viewers in this country and I still can’t believe it really happened. And if you liked this piece, why not fax Space Ghost and tell him all about it?