The world first met Space Ghost in the 1960s as a do-gooder superhero, created by the Hanna-Barbera cartoon empire. He was flanked by sidekick teen helpers Jan, Jace, and Blip the monkey, and together they fought supervillains in throughout space. But in 1990, Space Ghost’s career was revived by Mike Lazzo when he turned the campy crime fighter into the world’s worst talk show host on the show Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
On the show, Tad Ghostal, former Hanna Barbera (Super)hero of 42 episodes in the late sixties, returns to our screens as an arrogant, irritable, disillusioned and quasi-moronic late-night talk show host. He also has two grouchy “sidekicks” that help out with the show, ex-villain Zorak and lava-in-a-suit Moltar, though they are there against their will serving out their punishment for their evil deeds. Each night this cast is joined by a bewildered celebrity earthling guests (live-action) who is interviewed by the intergalactic team via a TV creakily winched from the ceiling.
Space Ghost’s questions, and the animated-world banter, are written after the actual interview so as to both maintain order or cooperation from the guest and to make the final product as funny, awkward and full of non sequiturs as possible. And, just as the initial interview is cut up and reassembled, so is Space Ghost himself, who is animated using about 50 poses from his original show, re-purposed for the talk show.
Cartoon Network’s first completely original show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast became the flagship for the channel’s late night cable network Adult Swim. It was on the air from 1994 to 2004, and in the last episode, having run out of money for the show, Space Ghost tells Moltar: “Roll an old episode I will interview it“. So sad. Luckily, the star has been more than willing to make a few bit appearances on the small screen for various promotional reasons – namely Avatar, esurance, and Vitamin Water. When, oh when, will he return again?!