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Home  USA  Series  C  Cartoon Planet

Cartoon Planet


Original Air Date:
Cartoon Network
Prod. Co.:
Cartoon Network Production

Characters & Voices
Space Ghost -
Brak -
Moltor -
Zorak -
Cartoon Planet
The brain droppings of the guys at Williams St. Productions. There's really not a whole lot to describing this show -- it's so hard to get anything across well. To describe Cartoon Planet invariably elicits a response of "that sounds stupid." This doesn't mean that's wrong, it's merely short-sighted. The belief that something inane can't be enjoyable is something those who think they're intelligent (and even some of those who are) entertain. I present Cartoon Planet as evidence of the contrary.

Space Ghost hangs out in a space station (presumably one attached to the Space Ghost: Coast 2 Coast set -- possibly they're in the green room) with his two prisoners: Zorak, an evil locust with his sights on galactic domination and the destruction of Space Ghost, and Brak, a space pirate stricken stupid by an unknown force (he blames the pirahnamite cloud he and his henchman Sisto flew into at the end of the Space Ghost episode "Brak," but he seemed perfectly fine in the epic "Council of Doom," the last six episodes of Space Ghost). That's it. They sit around, make fun of each other, read their fan mail, and sing songs. Stupid songs. Songs like, "Dee-der-down," "Baloney Sandwich," and "Something that Rhymes with Bones." According to the song "The Cartoon Planet Story," Brak and Zorak are Space Ghost's prisoners (which leaves some unanswered questions about the legality of Space Ghost's vigilantism -- incarceration in civilian facilities without express consent from the government is a definite no-no) whom he drafted to be on his TV show. Or course, the song doesn't mention Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast or Moltar, so it may not be representative of any kind of internal continuity.

Since the show was canned, the mythos has continued. Coast 2 Coast is still on the air and entering its eighth season, the two specials known as Brak Presents: The Brak Show Starring Brak (in which Brak and Zorak sang some songs with live-action guest stars such as Jo Dee Messina and Freddie Prinze, Jr.) have come and gone (leaving an album in their wake), and The Brak Show is still going strong on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block of programming. Brak is still a scenery-chewing idiot with a penchant for improvised music and Zorak is still evil. All in all, Cartoon Planet's legacy lives on.

Critical Review
I have a theory with regards to Cartoon Planet. I believe it is humour in its perfect form. It's consistently inoffensive, inspired, and frenetic. It's everything that's funny without offending anyone, since the butt of all the jokes is always one of the three characters. I've never exposed anyone to this show who didn't have a rollicking good time. Sure, very few of them became as big a fan as I am, but that's to be expected.

The only people who didn't like this show immediately were fans of Space Ghost, circa 1966. Even they warm up to the antics of the new, stupid Brak and the snide Zorak. Of course, the show's gone now -- only gracing Cartoon Network's lineup when they do a Space Ghost marathon or something.

The area I lived in when Cartoon Planet was on the air didn't have Cartoon Network. The show aired weekdays on TBS right before their daily Saved By the Bell marathon. I sold the show hard to people who hadn't seen it, and like I said, the main response I got was, "That sounds stupid." Some of them, especially those who lived in the countryside, had satellite dishes, which meant that they did get Cartoon Network, and every one of them who saw the show invariably got back to me to say I was absolutely right. Of course, the ingrates refused to tape it for me to watch in my Cartoon Network-less house, but such is life.

Fortunately, I've got several tapes of it myself, both CDs (Musical Barbecue and Surf 'n Turf) and I recently aquired the Holy Grail of my collection: the original, out-of-print Cartoon Planet CD, Modern Music for Swinging Superheroes. As a major fan of this show, I encourage all of you to watch this show if you ever get the chance. You might not love it, but you will definitely like it.

Mike Albright
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On this day:

In 1933, cartoonist Noel Sickles assumed authorship of Scorchy Smith, replacing creator John Terry.