For this Sci-Friday, let’s discuss the mad genius of Space Ghost Coast to Coast – a strange, throwaway cartoon show that became a late-90s cultural icon. Long before Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns, SG:C2C was a fourth-wall breaking, metacognitive, hysterical tribute to every bad TV talk show, ever. One example below – where Space Ghost’s grandfather (voiced by Macho Man Randy Savage) attempts to interview Raven Simone. It makes absolutely no sense, but you can’t stop watching – take a look:
You can watch the entire episode here for free, based on your cable provider. What’s the deal with Space Ghost, anyway?
According to Wikipedia – Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created by Mike Lazzo after he was asked to develop a cartoon to appeal to adults. The series’ original title stemmed from early 1993 when Andy Merrill and Jay Edwards were brainstorming names for a marathon of the 1960s Space Ghost for Cartoon Network, trying to find things that rhyme with “Ghost”. Because of budget limitations, Ned Hastings recycled clips from the original series and reorganized them on an Avid non-linear editor for a “talk show” style program. The characters’ crudely animated lips, awkward movements that resembled “paper dolls glued to Popsicle sticks”, and continuity errors became part of the joke.
For whatever reason, SG:C2C’s poor production values didn’t seem to matter. Pop icons from the cast of Gilligan’s Island to Jon Stewart lined up to be a part of the joke. Here’s Conan O’Brien’s raw footage from the time he appeared on Space Ghost. Take a look:
Every episode drips with whimsical insanity, in-jokes, fourth-wall breaks and Zorak being blown to smithereens. I don’t know why I love it, but I’ve always found SG:C2C to be oddly compelling, a triumph of creativity and science fiction.
I hope you enjoyed this moment of scifi weirdness! Please feel welcomed to dive down the rabbit hole of every other Sci-Friday I’ve published in the past couple years. Have a great weekend! 🙂