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Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Vol. Three

The third collection of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast contains the 24 episodes from the fourth season done over the course of 1997 — almost as many episodes as Volume One and Volume Two combined. The set represents the show's heyday, having picked up a strong cult following by this point, and shortly thereafter the episode numbers (which must have proved too strenuous for the creators) was reduced to around ten a season. The show carried on for two more years with any regularity, and it has since popped up sporadically in the "Adult Swim" lineup on Cartoon Network. As with the other volumes, it's a hit-and-miss affair, with numerous lulls. The concept is that Space Ghost (real name Tad Ghostal) hosts his own TV show and has imprisoned former bad guys to help him do it. The two regulars are producer Moltar and keyboardist Zorak. Space Ghost is rather incompetent, and both Moltar and Zorak make fun of him for it, which leads to the occasional blasting. Like a normal talk show, each episode is made by how good or bad the guests are. "Gallagher" has "Mr. Show"'s David Cross and Bob Odenkirk for the entire episode, and they play well off of the crew, while Beck joins the gang for "Edelweiss" and helps Space Ghost sell his motivational tapes. Some guests who seem like they'd be a good mix — like Jon Stewart — fall flat, while others — like Bobcat Goldthwait and Judy Tentua — are just plain bad. But some of the best episodes are made when the guests are uncooperative or idiotic, with the best of these being "Zoltran," where an annoyed Robin Leach says he's a super-villain and begins zapping Space Ghost. The shows also plays with the format of the talk show itself: "Rehearsal" has the characters going through a test run for the new season, while "Joshua" shows how Space Ghost can be used at company retreats; it's a great goof on corporate videos. There are songs, too; "Boat Show" is a musical episode that was remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 audio specifically for DVD. It should be also noted that any appearance by the delightfully off Brak is comic gold — he got his own show with "The Brak Show," which has almost killed Brak's appeal (he's more a side than a meal), but when used properly here he kills. Warner presents Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Vol. Three in full frame with DD 2.0 stereo audio, with "Boat Show" the DD 5.1 exception. There are audio commentaries on five of the episodes with writers Dave Willis, Andy Merrill, Chip Duffey, producer Pete Smith, line producer Jim Fortier, and producer Keith Crawford, (with "Zoltran" featuring comments from guest Merrill Markoe), while Disc One features "A Moment with Jon Stewart" (3 min.) where he ruminates on The Banana Splits, an alternate ending for the episode "Zorak," and two extra scenes from "Switcheroo"(1 min.). On Disc Two there's the additional episode "World Premiere Toon In," (18 min.) which has Space Ghost interviewing and judging the five creators of new Cartoon Network shows, and the uncut Cross and Odenkirk interview (15 min.). Dual DVD digipak with paperboard slipcase.

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