George Lowe (1995–98)|
C. Martin Croker
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||146 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
4:3 SDTV (1995–98)|
16:9 HDTV (2012–14)
September 10, 1995 – February 4, 1998
March 30, 2012 –
February 8, 2014
|Preceded by||Space Ghost Coast to Coast|
|Related shows||The Brak Show|
Cartoon Planet was an American animated variety show that originally ran from 1995 to 1998, and from March 30, 2012 to February 8, 2014 (in a different format) on Cartoon Network. A spin-off of the animated Space Ghost Coast to Coast talk show, the original premise was that Space Ghost had recruited his imprisoned evil nemesis Zorak and his loud and dimwitted archenemy Brak to assist him in hosting a variety show.
Cartoon Planet began as an hour-long block of cartoons hosted by Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak. They would introduce full cartoons from the Turner Entertainment library, such as old theatrical shorts and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including the original 1960s Space Ghost episodes. The host segments were often original songs and ad libbed skits. New material ceased being made in 1997, and most of the songs and skits were re-packaged into 22 half-hour episodes without classic cartoon clips.
Each episode included segments such as Brak's School Daze, Zorak's Horror Scopes, Poets' 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 half an 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 Public-access television cable TV 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.
The show also had short live-action segments featuring producer Andy Merrill wearing an ill-fitting Space Ghost costume doing various things like visiting a petting zoo, getting a haircut (although he kept his mask on), playing tennis, or visiting a gift shop. Intros of the show during the early years featured Andy in the costume dancing (rather badly) to the mambo-style theme music or sitting in a chair reading a newspaper, falling asleep to lullaby baby music. For the first season of the show, the opening and closing theme songs were instrumental excerpts from "No One Knows My Plan" and "The End of the Tour" by They Might Be Giants.
Clips of numerous cartoons from the Turner library would often pop up spontaneously during segments of the show, especially during the music videos. These included Tom and Jerry, Popeye, Tex Avery cartoons, pre-August 1948 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts, 2 Stupid Dogs, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and other classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
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 Comedy Hour,' '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.
Cartoon Planet 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 albums consisted of songs and dialogue skits with different background music not used in the show.
The series' revival premiered on March 30, 2012, featured a much different format than the original series. Space Ghost, for instance, does not make an appearance, which leaves Brak and Zorak the only characters hosting (however, Brak made a mini clone of Space Ghost in one episode). Another difference is that instead of classic 1960s-era cartoons being showcased, the show now features Cartoon Network's original programming, mostly Cartoon Cartoons, from the mid-1990s to late 2000s. Zorak is also not trapped behind a console and is usually playing video games. Sometimes Zorak will get interrupted by Brak, causing him to get killed in the game.
It airs in a format based on The Cartoon Cartoon Show, airing a variety of classic Cartoon Network shows in 7 or 11-minute segments per-cartoon. This allows for four or five different cartoons to be aired in the blocks one hour timeslot.
In October 2012, Cartoon Planet celebrated Cartoon Network's 20th birthday, and released a special two-minute song sung by Brak. The song paid tribute to the shows throughout the network's history.
There have also been holiday-themed episodes featuring several of the Cartoon Network programming presented in a holiday-themed episode. Halloween and Christmas themed episodes have appeared.
Starting on January 11, 2013, several Cartoon Network shows that have been short-lived, permanent hiatus, canceled or officially ended are joining up to Cartoon Planet's programming block starting with Robotomy, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, and The Problem Solverz, all of which have since been removed in the transition back to the Cartoon Cartoon format. However, other short-lived series, including Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, Time Squad, Mike, Lu & Og, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and Squirrel Boy, did not air on the block.
Starting on April 12, 2013, the block began airing YTV and/or Teletoon and Warner Bros. Animation programming, in which the first were Scaredy Squirrel, Almost Naked Animals and Tom and Jerry Tales, breaking the show's tradition of only airing Cartoon Network original programming. They have since been removed. From June 27, 2013 to August 9, 2013, the block aired on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ET. On August 30, 2013, the block ran on a Friday night for the last time, before it was replaced by Pizza Night with Pizza Steve. However, it now airs on Saturday mornings at 11:30 a.m. ET and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. ET since September 7, 2013. Also, on November 4th, 2013, the block started airing on Monday-Friday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. ET.
The show is animated in Flash rather than using cels from the original Space Ghost series (several cels, mainly Brak's, were duplicated in Flash) and includes stop motion scenes, such as the Make You Go Splat! music video. On February 8, 2014, the block ended.
The following are skits that have appeared the 2012 revival:
- Advertisements - These are fake advertisements for made-up products in which the show indicates as "Not Real". On rare occasions, two advertisements can be shown. The first advertisement was Bushido Potatoes.
- Music Video - These are original songs sung by Brak and Zorak. The first song was Pizza Song, which received positive reviews and internet fame. Zorak also sang in his first music video "Make You Go Splat!" which received internet fame as well.
- Zorak's Poetry Beat - Series of poems told by Zorak involving ridiculous items and some of the lyrics don't even make sense. In one episode, Brak did the poetry because Zorak didn't feel like it. The first poem was "Ode to a Diseased Chimpanzee".
- Brak's Comedy Jokes - This segment is about Brak telling jokes to the audience. In one episode, Zorak replaces Brak in the segment now entitled "Zorak's Comedy Jokes" telling jokes which are black comedy jokes involving misfortunates to the people that the joke is centered on.
- Dating Tips with Brak - This segment is about Brak giving out (usually bad) dating tips to the audience. At the end of the each skit, he says "And that's a tip from me..." ending the skit.
- What's in my Mouth? - A rare segment in which Brak opens his mouth a little bit while saying "Aaaah" and Zorak had to guess what was in it. Usually, the objects are gross (such as a piece of dental cotton from five weeks ago).
- Make Stuff Happen on the T.V. - A segment in which Brak and Zorak are watching television and they interact with the programs by poking the characters on the screen, commenting to each other, voicing them and even giving them root beer (Brak).
- Zorak Video Game Chats - A segment in which Zorak reviews a video game on his Zbox, which the games are obviously not real. One example of a reviewed game is Pasta Grandma.
- Clones - A one-off skit reminiscent of the skits done on the original show. In this skit, Brak clones himself, Zorak, even Space Ghost. The clones are smaller, and have young kids doing their voices. The skit continued with the little Brak singing the opening theme for the modern show.
- Camp Lazlo (2012–14)
- Chowder (2012–14)
- Codename: Kids Next Door (2012–14)
- Courage the Cowardly Dog (2012–14)
- Dexter's Laboratory (2012–14)
- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (2012–14)
- The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange (2013–14)
- Johnny Bravo (2012–14)
- Johnny Test (2013–14)
- MAD (2013–14)
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (2012–14)
- The Powerpuff Girls (2012–14)
Programming not aired in 2014
- Almost Naked Animals (2013)
- Cow and Chicken (2012–13)
- Ed, Edd n Eddy (2012–13)
- Evil Con Carne (2012–13)
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (2012–13)
- The Garfield Show (2013)
- Grim and Evil (2012–13)
- I Am Weasel (2012–13)
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey (2012–13)
- The Problem Solverz (2013)
- Robotomy (2013)
- Scaredy Squirrel (2013)
- Secret Mountain Fort Awesome (2013)
- Tom and Jerry Tales (2013)
The show's first run was from 1995 to 1998, premiering on TBS in 1995 and then moving to Cartoon Network later that year. New material stopped being made around 1997 and the show was repackaged into 22 half hour episodes, consisting entirely of songs and skits. From September 24 to October 28, 2005, Cartoon Network briefly revived the show on its Adult Swim block, where it ran at 5:30 in the morning Eastern time. The series ran again on Adult Swim from July 8 to October 29, 2006, on Sunday mornings at 5:30 Eastern time. The reason for the show's disappearance from 2001–2004 was due to Cartoon Network temporarily losing the rights of all the music videos to Rhino Records, who produced the soundtracks. Often, Cartoon Planet skits would be played after a 11 minute Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode in 2000 and 2001 as time filler. There are currently no plans for a DVD release of the series, presumably due to licensing issues, although various segments from it are included on the Volume One DVD release of The Brak Show.
- Walton, Zach (March 29, 2012). "Cartoon Network Brings Back The Classics With Cartoon Planet". WebProNews. iEntry Network. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Cartoon Planet at the Internet Movie Database
- Cartoon Planet at Big Cartoon DataBase
- Cartoon Planet at TV.com