- Cartoon Planet
show_name = Cartoon Planet
caption = "Cartoon Planet" logo for TBS.
rating = TV-G
format = Animated
runtime = approx 60 Minutes (1995-1997) / approx 30 Minutes (1996-1999)
Keith Croffordand Mike Lazzo
starring = George Lowe C. M. Croker Merrill
country = USA
network = TBS
first_aired = 1995
last_aired = 1999
num_episodes = 22 (re-packaged)
"Cartoon Planet" was an animated variety show that premiered in 1995 on Superstation TBS, and afterwards from 1996 to 1999 on Cartoon Network.A sequel of the successful "
Space Ghost Coast to Coast" talk show, the premise was that Space Ghosthad recruited his imprisoned archnemesis Zorakand the then virtually unknown Brak to assist him in hosting a variety show.
It originally began in an hour-long format, and included entire cartoons from
Ted Turner's film library, including old theatrical shorts, and Hanna-Barberaproduced action shorts, including original 1960s " Space Ghost" episodes. Eventually, it was repackaged into 22 half-hour "episodes" which retained clips from cartoons that were used in the various skits, but omitted the entire cartoons that were formerly shown.
"Cartoon Planet" guised itself almost like a hokey after-school show: the clichéd "mailbag", in which Space Ghost displayed difficulty with reading; classic cartoon interludes; and strange conversations among the hosts. The humor was a toned-down version of "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast", but still bizarre, such as when the cast would break out into song with strangely edited music videos. These songs spawned three soundtrack albums: "
Modern Music for Swinging Superheroes" in 1996 (a non-commercial promotional album, now out of print) " Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que" in 1997, and " Space Ghost's Surf & Turf" (both commercial albums published by Rhino Entertainment) in 1998. The latter two albums contained much of the material from the first album, along with several new tracks. The albums consisted of songs and dialogue skits with new background music not used in the show. Regular segments featured on the show included Brak's School Daze, Zorak's Horror Scopes, Poet's Corner, Brak's Monday Ratings Report, The Top 5 Cartoon Countdown (discontinued in 1997 after the show's slot on Saturday mornings was shortened from an hour to a half hour), Vacation Spots Around the Universe (pieced together from clips of " Ultra 7" episodes), Messages from Outer Space (also pieced together from the aforementioned "Ultra 7", and starring the nefarious Hot Dog Men), Mailbag Day, readings from the Cartoon Planet Storybook, messages from Count Floyd( Joe Flaherty's local access horror movie host from SCTV; the segments were originally shown on Hanna-Barbera's "The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley"), Learning to Talk Italian, Nuggets of Joy from Zorak, Zorak's Helpful Hints, and Cooking with Brak.
Clips of numerous cartoons from the Turner library would often pop up spontaneously during the various segments of the show, especially during the music videos. These included (but are certainly not limited to) "Tom and Jerry", "
Popeye", Tex Averycartoons, early " Looney Tunes" shorts, " Two Stupid Dogs" (Cubby making a cameo in one segment when Brak asks if there are any questions from the audience), shorts from the " What a Cartoon Show" (including the pilot for " Dexter's Laboratory" among others), " The Flintstones", " The Jetsons", and other classic Hanna-Barberacartoons.
Head writer/producer Pete Smith gave this official description of "Cartoon Planet" when the show was still new:
"Cartoon Planet" can best be described as a cross between 'The Sonny & Cher Show,' 'The Electric Company,' and recess at the Richard M. Nixon School for Wayward Boys.
Combining music, comedy and musical comedy, "Cartoon Planet" skillfully steers clear of any semblance of sophisticated humor. Forced by network muckity-mucks to air his dirty spandex in front of millions of impressionable young minds, Space Ghost dragged a reluctant Zorak and a confused Brak into the treacherous waters of sketch comedy. The next thing you know, old Jed's a millionaire...
No wait. That's another show.
Space Ghost(voiced by George Lowe credited as Lowe) was the host, retaining the same personality as on "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast".
Zorak(voiced by C.M. Croker credited as Croker) was very cynical and resentful of his imprisonment and the resulting humiliation of having to participate in such a silly show. He despises Space Ghost.
Brak(voiced by Merrill credited as Merrill), by contrast, had a personality somewhere between childlike and stupid. (His loss of intelligence since the 1960s was explained as the result of radiation incurred when his ship drifted through the "Pirranhamyte Nebula" in one of the original episodes.)
Both Zorak and Brak were former members of the Council of Doom, a team of villains from the original "
Space Ghost" action cartoon. However, in Cartoon Planet, they serve as comic foils to Space Ghost.
The show's original run was from 1995 to 1999, premiering on TBS in 1995 and then moving to Cartoon Network in 1996. From
September 24to October 28, 2005, Cartoon Network briefly revived the show on its Adult Swimblock, where it ran at 5:30 in the morning Eastern time. The series ran again on Adult Swim from July 8to October 29, 2006on Sunday mornings at 5:30 Eastern. The reason for the show's disappearance from 2000-2004 was due to Cartoon Network temporarily losing the rights of all the music videos to Rhino Records, who produced the soundtracks. Often, some of the skits would be played during "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" in 2000 and 2001 as time filler. There are currently no plans for a DVD release of the series.
* [http://www.c4vct.com/kym/sg/scripts/episodes.htm Episode Guide at Brak's Scrapbook]
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