Cartoon Network Panel
Atlanta, Georgia
July 2, 1999

Dramatis Personae

Andy Merrill
C. Martin Croker (Clay)
Pete Smith
Nina Bishop
The Fans

Nina: We can't use microphones because you'd all go deaf, so these guys are just gonna try to speak loudly so that everybody can hear. We have a brand new show this season, it's gonna be a special on Cartoon Network, it's a Brak special, (applause and cheers) it's gonna be a one hour special. And, so today we have Andy Merrill, voice of Brak.

Andy: (waves, amid wild applause)

Nina: C. Martin Croker, he is the voice of Zorak and is our animation director.

Clay: (waves, amid more wild applause)

Nina: And the person right over here is Pete Smith. Pete is the head writer for this new show, and he is going to give you an introduction to it. (more applause)

Pete: (talks with Andy and Clay) Yeah, we'll perform some skits from the show. (laughter) We have nothing to show you, regarding the Brak show. (awwww) Well I mean, we're just making, we're still writing it.

Clay: We're making it up right now. (laughter)

Pete: We're looking for ideas. I don't have a really big voice, so... the people in back will probably not hear anything I say. I'm just gonna tell you a little bit about the show, and then...

Andy: (in loud voice) I'm just gonna tell you a little bit about the show... (laughter)

Pete: It's, at this point, it's an hour special that's slated to run in November on Cartoon Network. It's a musical variety show. It's gonna have lots and lots of songs, probably sixteen brand new songs... (ooohs)

Fan: New album.

Andy: Yes, new album.

Pete: Brak and Zorak are the stars of the show. (applause and cheers) Brak is actually, it's the Brak Show, but Zorak is his foil. (laughter) If you're familiar with "Cartoon Planet", it will be sort of like that, only a much fatter version of that. There'll be new animation, the characters will actually move a little bit. (laughter and applause) I don't, I mean, it's not a full animated show, it's still in the same style, but Brak will do a little dance, and Zorak will do a little... (laughter)

Clay: Their feet'll move.

Pete: Their feet will occasionally move, their heads will turn from side to side, their lips will move. (laughter)

Andy: Their beaks will move.

Pete: Like I said, lots of songs, comedy sketches. Unlike Cartoon Planet and Coast to Coast, there will be regular variety type show sketches, where they're in costume, you know, they'll play... (laughter) One of the sketches is called "El Brakiachi". (laughter) It's a take-off on "El Mariachi", where Brak plays a wandering tuba mariachi player. (laughter) There's a "Count Brakula", where he's... (groans) There's a, there's a really funny sketch where Brak goes to the dentist, and Zorak is the dentist. (laughter)

Fan: (doing a Zorak impression) "Why must we start a relationship with lies?" (laughter)

Pete: There's a section called "Brak / Counter-Brak", where Brak basically talks, argues with himself. (laughter) Lots of songs, and also there will be guest stars on the show, but unlike Coast to Coast, there will be a musical guest that will be singing songs with Brak and Zorak. We already recorded Freddy Prinze Jr. singing "Highway 40". (laughter) Monica singing "I Love You Baby" (laughter) Just a great performance by her. I'm pretty sure we're going to record the Chieftains later, they're an Irish band, singing a new song called "Magic Toenail" (laughter) We have a bunch of other people we're talking to, we want to have maybe five or six guests on the show. There's a comedy skit with a, we have a potato suit we want to stuff somebody into to do a little comedy sketch.

Fan: I'll volunteer.

Andy: Alright, we got a potato suit man.

Pete: It's like a, an hour special that has, Cartoon Network wants it to turn into a half hour series, following, you know, if it works, and I really think it's gonna work. The songs are really coming out good, and the sketches are pretty funny, the guests are great. So I have every hope that it will turn into a regular half-hour variety show in, after the first of the year.

Fan: Could it be earlier? Earlier time. (laughter)

Pete: Yes, it definitely will be on earlier. It's not a Coast - it is definitely not a Coast to Coast.

Andy: Yeah, right.

Pete: It won't be on any earlier than next year. (laughter) It's not a Coast to Coast type show, it's a very good-natured, fun, stupid, goofy, musical comedy variety show. It's, it will either run Saturday during the kid's block, prime time or something like that. Unless, you know, everything I've been told is that it's not a late night show.

Fan: Not too early.

Pete: Well, knowing Cartoon Network, it will run more than once.

Andy: It'll be on while you're at work.

Pete: So, that's all, I mean, you can ask me, or anybody, I'm sure you didn't want to hear me talk anymore, you're hear to see them, right? Any questions you have...

Andy: No, they're here to see you, Pete. (laughter)

Fan: We love you, Pete.

Clay: We're just ballast.

Fan: ... interesting cartoon characters like Birdman or something?

Pete: You know what? I only heard the last half of that. All I actually heard was "Birdman". (laughter)

Fan: With the "stupid and goofy", would you occasionally have other cartoon character guests like "Birdman"?

Pete: Well, actually, the announcer for the show is Wally Gator, who... (laughter) Grape Ape is on the show, there's a character called Allen Wrench, who's an allen wrench, a singing shoe. I mean, there are other characters, it's a bigger cast than Cartoon Planet. And, I guess we might have other characters show up, certainly not Space Ghost.

Fan: Any more of the Warner Brothers crossovers, like Animaniacs or ...

Pete: There might be, we don't have any in the pilot.

Fan: Good. (laughter)

Andy: (Lokar-like voice) Thank God that "Histeria" stuff's not in it. (laughter)

Clay: He said it.

Andy: ... writers here from Warner Brothers...

Pete: Like I said, we have nothing to show, so you'll ...

Andy: Yeah, I guess we can just answer questions right now...

Fan: Is pro wrestling fixed? Please answer in the form of a haiku. (laughter)

Andy: (holds his closed hand, as if trying to count words in his head for his answer. He does this for a long time, but says nothing. More laughter)

Fan: I guess we put Andy on the spot.

Andy: I'm trying to figure... which finger to start with (laughter and applause)

Pete: Any other questions?

Fan: Is there going to be any bleedover from the former "Code Name Brak" thing? Any salvaging of that?

Andy: (somberly) "Code Name Brak"... is dead. (awwwwww)

Pete: You know what? I actually think this is going to be a better show.

Fan: Well, it sounds a lot like "Cartoon Planet", it'd be like a beefed up version, and I loved "Cartoon Planet"

Pete: It's a very much, a much bigger version of "Cartoon Planet", and I ...

Andy: It's "Cartoon Planet" with guests.

Pete: Yeah, right. (laughter)

Clay: "Carol Burnette" on acid. (laughter)

Andy: "Sonny and Cher" on ????. (laughter)

Fan: Does Brak get legs?

Pete: Yes.

Andy: Yes.

Clay: Does he get what? Legs? (wild laughter)

Andy: L-E-G-S, not L-A-I-D. (laughter)

Pete: Not in the pilot.

Andy: We're waiting for a very special episode. (laughter)

Clay: After school.

Fan: That's for the motion picture.

Andy: (in Brak voice) Mom, does that mean I'm bad? (laughter)

Andy: (normal voice) Alright.

Clay: Next question.

Andy: You with the hand up.

Fan: Do you guys think of yourselves primarily as animators, how does it feel to be mostly recognized for your work with voices?

Clay: Eh, well, I guess that applies to me. (laughter) Eh, well, you know, it's a living. (laughter) It's only when it's just the voice, so it's like, "Oh! And, he draws too!" (laughter)

Andy: I, I don't think about it, not much. It's nice, you know, because people don't recognize you, you know. But I think voices are becoming a lot more well-known now, because you've got Hank Azaria, and all the people from "The Simpsons", and all that, so it's really, I don't know.

Clay: Becoming much less gauche. (laughter) It was a stigma before.

Andy: We don't get no $120,000 an episode.

Fan: Do you all have any plans on making Brak more computer animated, like you did with Moltar, with...

Andy: Moltar? Like "Toonami"?

Fan: Yeah. During the "Toonami", in between "Toonami" they show the animated Moltar.

Clay: Yeah. They're about to stop that, actually. He got the boot. (awwww) But, you'll like it better. I hear.

Fan: If we're at home to watch it!

Andy: You're probably there for "Toonami", for the shows anyway, so ...

Fan: But some of us aren't home at 4 o'clock.

Andy: Tape it! (laughter)

Fan: More Brak poetry?

Andy: Huh?

Clay: More poetry?

Fan: Will we get more Brak poetry?

Andy: I don't know...

Pete: I don't think so, I mean, I don't think we're going to copy any of the things that were on "Cartoon Planet".

Andy: I think that we tried to get Emeril for the show, we would have done a "Cooking with Brak", but I don't know...

Pete: That would be ???? (laughter) To say that it's just sort of a little bigger version of "Cartoon Planet" is not really doing justice to what the show's gonna be. I mean, it's, "Cartoon Planet" started out as an interstitial cartoon show.

Fan: Aughh!

Andy: We see ya!

Pete: It was little black-out segments that were just really made to introduce cartoons, just little bumpers for cartoons, and we had a bunch of them. And then we started stringing them together, they never segued one into the other. This is going to be like a real show, with things happening back stage, it takes place in a theatre.

Andy: It's the "Muppet Show" of the year 2000.

Clay: With digital Muppets.

Fan: Are you gonna keep "Cartoon Planet" going?

Pete: I would think that it would stop when this ... I mean, "Cartoon Planet" just needs a rest. It's been out of production for over two years. And ain't been new for at least two, maybe three years?

Clay: Geez.

Andy: Two years.

Fan: It keeps my kid entertained. (laughter)

Fan: You guys have any other projects outside of the actual "Cartoon Planet" or "Space Ghost Coast to Coast"?

Clay: None that we can talk about here. (laughter)

Andy: (stands up and looks around to see if anyone is watching)

Fan: Is the new CD going to come out before or after ...

Pete: Rhino, that's a Rhino Records question. I think it would be real smart of them to release it in really close proximity to the special, but whether they'll do that, I don't know.

Clay: That might be too logical.

Pete: I don't even know if they agreed to do another CD.

Fan: When you all were first asked to do voices & stuff, how did they ask you to do the voices? Did they want a particular thing, or did it just come out Brak and Zorak being the way they are?

Andy: Clay's the only one who could do Zorak justice, and then he did Moltar. But then every other voice we did after that was not true to the original characters.

Clay: Initially we were trying to peg it close to the 60's show, and then, like, that kind of, the more time that went by, the more that kind of went out the window. (laughter)

Andy: They just like how I did Brak in the original read for the Christmas show. And, I sang the Lokar part, so that's how I got to do him too.

Clay: In the first version of the pilot, Andy did Moltar, he kind of did him as a hillbilly. (laughter) Really strange.

Andy: It wasn't very good. (laughter) Yeah?

Fan: Any chance we'll see any "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" or "Cartoon Planet" stuff on video?

Andy: You know, I don't know. It's weird, I see, you know, "Bob and Margaret" has videos out already, everybody else. I don't know, I never hear of when anything's coming out on video.

Fan: We would buy them.

Andy: I know people would buy them...

Clay: (whispers) Send letters. (laughter)

Fan: Everybody hear that?

Pete: I don't know, maybe their philosophy is that if you buy them on video, you won't watch them, and you know they're going to run those episodes forever. So... maybe that's it. If you were asking about the CD before, Rhino Records has not agreed to do one, but the first two CD's were really successful, I mean, beyond their wildest dreams.

Andy: I lived in Jersey for a year, and ...

Fan: Poor thing.

Fan: What exit? (laughter)

Andy: Exit 71, (laughter) off of the turnpike. We had a neighbor kid who was 11 years old, who I gave two of the CD's to, it drove his parents crazy. (laughter)

Fan: That was why you had to leave Jersey.

Andy: Yeah, that's why...

Fan: They still want to kill you, don't they?

Fan: I was actually wondering, because I never actually heard, how did "Coast to Coast" actually come about? What actually spawned in your heads, that made this program?

Clay: (pointing to Andy) That dude. (laughter)

Andy: That's a long story, that I'll write down and give to you later. (laughter) You know, I don't know anymore. (laughter) Oh ...

Fan: Just say "too much Letterman".

Andy: Oh, it was around the time of the Letterman/Leno fight, not "fight", but you know what I'm talking about.

Clay: The bickering.

Andy: The talk show feud. And we, we in programming wanted to do something special every month with different characters, and it came to, like, talking about June, it was in April, we were talking about what we wanted to do special with Space Ghost. And it came about that in those programming meetings, that, you know, we wanted to do something more special than just a marathon of Space Ghost cartoons. And I came up with the name, it kind of hit something in Mike Lazzo's head, that he wanted to do a talk show. And so he didn't know if we could do it or not, so I took footage of Space Ghost cartoons, and edited shots of Space Ghost together to look like he's moving his mouth. I put together this two and a half minute demo which we showed, I think, last year or a couple years ago, and we showed in San Diego. It was down and dirty, and that's what they sold the idea with. And from then on... we were originally supposed to have B-rated actor sidekicks. (laughter) Like, Hervé Villechaize was gonna do it, but...

Clay: He actually signed.

Andy: He actually signed. Al Roker was interested in doing it. (laughter) (to Clay) He didn't sign.

Clay: Hervé signed, but then he (makes "gun" gesture to his head) ...

Andy: He was depressed, because...

Fan: Because he signed. (laughter)

Andy: Because he signed. (in Hervé voice) "What am I doing?" (laughter)

Clay: (in Hervé voice) Second banana to a cartoon.

Andy: So, Clay kind of came around with the idea of having the villains be sidekicks.

Fan: ... Tyra Banks as a sidekick.

Clay: (raises his eyebrows) She's pretty villainous.

Andy: But we said "Supermodels will be too much money!" (hits the table on the last 3 words) (laughter)

Fan: You could save money on catering. (laughter, ooooooh)

Fan: Ouch.

Andy: No, we wouldn't, because, but... (laughter) We'd have to spend the extra money on buckets. (laughter)

Fan: You guys have fairly distinctive voices in the characters of Brak, Moltar, Space Ghost, Zorak. When we watch the animation, the dialog is really, at least for me, what really kicks off the show. Have you guys ever considered doing something like maybe a radio play, or ...

Clay: Funny you should say that. (laughter)

Fan: Just voice, and releasing it to CD or radio or whatever? Because, hey, Brak, you do the Brak voice and I can picture Brak sitting up there, jumping up and down, you know. It's not real hard, but the dialog is what's entertaining to me.

Andy: Space Ghost Online has plans to do little WAV, two minute WAV files of "Space Ghost Radio Theatre". And it's just, it's just in the beginning stages right now, I'm not sure how far it's gonna go. But right now, I think it's gonna be maybe an episode either a day, or an episode a week. Which is the two minute little file (holds his hand up with his fingers apart)

Clay: I heard "a week" yesterday.

Andy: Yeah, I was told at the beginning "a day". So there would be, like, there would be a whole thing that consisted of a week which would be... whatever. And now it's, like, maybe a two-minute file per week, so... ah, I don't know. It's in its infancy right now.

Pete: How many people were in the Singapore room? (people raise their hands)

Fan: For like a minute.

Fan: They wouldn't let us in.

Pete: Were you pissed off when all the other people got in here? Did they let you in first?

Fan: No, we sneaked in ...

Andy: I'd like all you people to get in the back (laughter)

Pete: Bring those poor people up front.

Clay: We'll wait.

Andy: This is the part where we stare at each other. (laughter)

Fan: So, is there any chance you could shoot Carrottop in the face again? (laughter)

Clay: There's always a chance. (laughter)

Andy: But I thought he was already dead. (laughter) Wait a minute.

Clay: That's Hervé.

Andy: No, he's still, I think he was on MTV the other day. (to Clay) So he's, you know, still doin' his thing.

Fan: How did you guys swing Steve Allen? That was, that was the freakiest one I ever saw, I couldn't believe I saw Steve Allen on the show.

Clay: That was the one my parents watched. (laughter) "Wait, Steve Allen, now there's an old Steve Allen," it's like, "yeah, Steve Allen, Steve Allen," and they're like "oh, we'll watch that one." (laughter)

Andy: We didn't really have ...

Fan: Did he claim that you stole anything from any of his old shows or something? 'Cause he apparently is always claiming stuff like that.

Fan: Yeah, he's the third talk show host ever.

Clay: Yeah.

Fan: He invented it.

Fan: I thought Charlton Heston was very strange.

Clay: He is. (laughter)

Andy: That show went through a number of changes, because originally in that show, the Charlton Heston show, (whispers "Dam") originally in that show, the second guest was The Tick. (awwwww) And, they kept, they didn't want to give us the animation to do what we wanted to do. Plus, they pretty much pulled out at the last minute. So ...

Clay: The dialog was all recorded.

Andy: It's the Fox/Turner thing.

Clay: At one point they were gonna put up footage of an actual tick, and you'd just hear the voices. (laughter) That would have been great.

Andy: We had the guy read all the lines and stuff, but we just didn't get any good animation.

Pete: They weren't very funny either.

Andy: They weren't very funny.

Fan: I saw Adam West here today, is he still mad at you guys for that show?

Andy: I don't know...

Clay: He keeps avoiding us. (laughter)

Fan: He's actually waiting outside. (laughter)

Fan: Have you ever had any guests on there where things just go really really wrong or badly?

Clay: Like Paul Westerburg?

Andy: Paul Westerburg.

Clay: The only walk-out we've had. (oooooh)

Nina: Peter Scolari walked out.

Andy: ?????

Nina: That's what happened. The camera man said "what do you do?" He's the other half of "Bosom Buddies".

Clay: Oh! That guy! (laughter) The other one.

Andy: The camera man?

Nina: "Hi, how ya doing, what do you do for a living?" and he's like "Aaaaaaiiii!"

Fan: Who was worse to work with, guests that had seen the show, and knew what you guys were doing, or guests that hadn't, and were totally clueless to what was going on?

Clay: It depends on what you mean by "worse". (laughter) "Worse" can be better.

Andy: Stomp, I think, is still mad at us.

Clay: Yes, that was a sticky wicket.

Pete: It's an interesting question, I mean, sometimes if the guest knows the show too well, they feel like, "well, this is like this wacky show, I'll just play along with them." And they're this sort of like, their version of wacky Space Ghost interview, and it doesn't work. It's not even bad enough that we can use it. (laughter) It's better if we can just ... ambush them.

Clay: The show always seems better if it seems like it's uncomfortable. (laughter)

Fan: Tyra Banks.

Clay: Good example.

Pete: You know, that was actually a really good interview. I can't remember why we ended up just short-changing her the way we did. It was a pretty good interview.

Fan: She was actually spunky.

Pete: Yeah, she was great. I actually, I interviewed Tyra Banks. She was great, she was smart, very, and ... sort of to your question, it was too good of an interview. She was really pleasant, really upbeat, there was nothing funny about it. It would have been a great Oprah interview. (laughter) It was just not good for us at all, so we just shut her up. (laughter)

Fan: So a cheap holiday at somebody else's misery is your best friend.

Pete: Yeah. (laughter)

Fan: How many controlled substances was Beck on when you did that interview? (laughter)

Andy: I didn't interview him, but I don't ... I think none.

Pete: I think none, that's just him. (laughter)

Clay: He was fatigued. (laughter)

Fan: What about Gilligan?

Andy: Now, he was on. (laughter)

Clay: The happy drugs.

Pete: We interviewed Hanson, I interviewed Hanson (laughter)

Andy: Man...

Pete: It was a great interview, almost the same thing. They were just themselves, they're really nice kids, they were really upbeat, we had the hardest time trying to write a show with their interview. They were way too pleasant and good natured.

Fan: It would have been worth it just to see Space Ghost shoot them in the face. (laughter)

Fan: And speaking of shining happy people, how about Michael Stipe, how was he?

Pete: I didn't do that interview.

Andy: He wanted to do the show, so he was .. very .. I don't know.

Pete: He was a great guest, I mean, just basically the way he was used in the show.

Andy: I dunno... it was a long time ago.

Fan: Were you guys surprised how much of a 'dead' guest David Byrne was?

Andy: Huh?

Pete: That he was such a great guest?

Fan: Well, he seemed like just kind of a 'dead' guest.

Andy: You know, he was the ...

Pete: That's him, I mean.

Andy: He was the first one to call us wanting to be on the show. And then the second one was Weird Al.

Pete: We have a whole, a huge stack of interviews that we haven't used, and never will. It's hard to get ...

Fan: Such as?

Andy: Ben Folds.

Pete: A huge stack, I can't ...

Nina: But we have a lot of ones happening next season.

Pete: Yeah, really, like ...

Fan: Oh, Gibby Haynes, I would want to see that.

Fan: What happened with Gibby?

Fan: Are you doing the Apollo Smile episode?

Clay: Oh, Apollo Smile?

Fan: Yeah.

Clay: Who? (laughter)

Pete: Andy actually wrote a script for Apollo Smile, was that two years ago? Last season?

Andy: That was a year ago. I wrote that ...

Pete: I don't know exactly what happened to it, it just ...

Andy: I wrote that in Weehawken, New Jersey.

Pete: Right. So, by all rights it should have been great. (laughter) It was a good script, I don't know if it ever got past the ... You know, it's just like one of those things, it just fell through the cracks. I mean, we still have it, and I'm not on that. I was taken off that show a couple months ago, so I don't know what they're gonna do.

Andy: That was the last thing I wrote.

Fan: Any chance you guys will have the band Kiss on the new variety show?

Nina: We're trying to get Kiss. We're in touch with them. They haven't said 'no'. They have the same publicist as Hanson, so...

Andy: (can't hear the question) Sorry?

Fan: ... who the new guests will be?

Andy: For Space Ghost? New guests for Space Ghost?

Pete: For the new season?

Nina: This season we've got Willie Nelson, (cheers) Conan O'Brien. (cheers) We're getting big time. Jerry Springer (laughter, cheers) ...

Andy: (stands up and throws a punch at Clay) (laughter)

Nina: Bob Costas, Hanson, Steven Wright (ahhhh!) Steve gave a good interview.

Clay: He we've heard of.

Nina: Sarah Jessica Parker, and ... gosh ... who else?

Fan: Any new wrestlers?

Nina: No... the Brak show's gonna have a wrestler. (cheers)

Pete: Zorak will be singing a duet with a wrestler. (laughter)

Andy: (in Brak voice) "Do you really wanna hurt me?" (laughter)

Pete: Yes?

Fan: I never got a straight answer to this. Who is it that's actually dancing around in Space Ghost's costume on "Cartoon Planet"?

Andy: (stands up, raises his arms and takes a bow, amid cheers and applause)

Clay: You can see his wallet, actually. (laughter) He's wearing his jeans underneath.

Andy: I'm wearing jean shorts.

Pete: That was so spontaneous. I mean, we actually hired a real dancer to do that.

Clay: That stuff is scary. (laughter)

Pete: We burned those tapes.

Clay: That made me profusely sweat. (laughter)

Andy: The dancers were scary because they actually kind of wore nothing but, like, thongs under the suit, and it was ... creepy.

Clay: That's why you wore clothes under it?

Andy: That's why I wore clothes under it. (laughter) I wanted people to think I was bulgy.

Fan: You have nice cavities. (laughter)

Fan: The Steve Allen/Andy Dick episode, because of the enormous amount of music in it, way beyond what you might originally had known, did that take, did you see when you were doing the interviews where it was going, and that you were gonna go in that direction, and how lond did it actually take to put together compared to a normal episode? The music in that is just amazing!

Clay: We had a symphony orchestra.

Andy: Yeah, we had a thirty piece orchestra.

Fan: It's a tremendous show.

Andy: We didn't know when we interviewed Steve Allen, but I kinda had the musical idea when we interviewed Andy Dick, that's why we had Andy Dick sing a song. And tap dance. But, that didn't take as long... I mean, you know...

Pete: You know what? It was a remarkably easy show to do. Andy brought the script in, and it was, like, so... You know, we have a down-the-middle sort of thing for Space Ghost, this is a great Space Ghost show, and we like to stay there, but it was so far off of that, that we didn't...

Andy: Yeah, I mean, you write thirteen stupid songs, and then there isn't much else dialog to put around it. So it was really easy to write. And I, we kind of knew what the songs sounded like in our heads, because we were working on the script every day. So I would go to Eddie Horst, and he had a little mini tape recorder, and I would kind of sing basically what I had in mind, and then, you know, the next day he would have it all arranged on his keyboard.

Pete: He's very fast.

Fan: I'm still not over that "head's just right for some snackin'." (laughter)

Andy: We wanted to make fun of...

Fan: With apologies to "Bye Bye Birdie"?

Andy: Yeah, we wanted to make fun of some regular show tunes, so that's where that came from.

Pete: That's one of my favorite episodes.

Fan: I've seen it a dozen times.

Clay: That's in my top five.

Fan: I was gonna ask if with guests with the Brak show, are you (a) not gonna have the same guests that you have on Space Ghost, are you gonna be really different?

Clay: No, it's gonna be ...

Pete: No, totally different.

Fan: And (b) are you going to interview the same way that you have on Space Ghost.

Pete: No, no, they come in, they have a song to sing, they go to a recording studio, they sing their song, they perform the song in front of a camera, there's no... There's some little sketchy things that's like in an old Sonny and Cher Show, there's some little interplay between the characters and the live guest, but there's no interviewing.

Fan: Kind of Brak and Penn & Teller, or ...

Pete: No. (laughter) Not like that at all. (laughter)

Andy: Yeah, it's probably a lot more like Sonny and Cher that that.

Clay: Carol Burnett on acid. (laughter)

Fan: I thought she was. (laughter)

Fan: Not enough.

Fan: How much editing did you have to do with Denis Leary's interview? Did he know about the show beforehand?

Pete: Not very much. You know, he said some really funny things that we couldn't use. (laughter)

Andy: Andy Dick had to be censored a lot more than Denis Leary.

Fan: Why is that not a surprise.

Andy: 'Cause he likes to talk about his last name. (laughter)

Pete: I don't think Denis Leary had watched the show or anything, but we give them a little press kit that tells a little, and he's a pretty smart guy, he just picked up on what he was supposed to be doing right away.

Fan: Any more reenactment shows coming up? (laughter)

Andy: Do you want to sit in the studio in the suit for a day? (laughter)

Fan: Yeah!

Andy: Two days?

Fan: If I could come on as the Green Jellÿ guy again.

Andy: It was hot, is what I'm trying to get at.

Fan: When you interview, do you have a set idea of where you want it to go, or do you just kind of start things off and let things happen?

Andy: (points to Pete with his thumb)

Pete: Sometimes we have a set idea, not very often, usually we just do the interview and write the show. How often have we done that? We definitely did it with Andy Dick. There was a show called "Terminal" where Space Ghost was dying. (laughter) We went out and got a doctor, you know, we felt we needed a doctor, so we did that ...

Fan: And "Zorak". The "Zorak" episode, you got an exterminator.

Pete: Yeah, yeah, every so often that's gonna happen, not very often.

Fan: You said that you're gonna have a lot of musical guests on the new show. What are the odds of having a really bad "battle of the bands", like Milli Vanilli vs. M. C. Hammer or something? (laughter)

Andy: Well, I don't think Milli Vanilli's possible anymore. (laughter)

Fan: Okay, my bad. Menudo vs. New Kids.

Andy: "Ladies and gentlemen, Vanilli!" (laughter)

Pete: I don't know, I don't see us doing that, I mean, I think we want to get real ??? like... I don't know if you're familiar with Monica, I wasn't, but, I mean, she walked in and, I mean, I've heard that "I Love You Baby" song 8,000 times. And when I heard her sing it, I mean, it was incredible. I think we're going to try to get good people to sing these dumb songs (laughter)

Fan: Put an album out of "golden throats"? (laughter)

Fan: On the "They Might Be Giants" web site, they have a little blurb on there where they say the rest of John Flansburgh's interview was going to finally be seen. Is there anything, any truth to that? Are they gonna put a show on about that, or are they just pulling our leg?

Clay: They have a web site? (laughter)

Nina: They've been calling us and asking us when it's gonna air.

Fan: Oh, they do?

Nina: Yeah, they did yesterday. (laughter)

Clay: Oddly enough.

Nina: And they're not using him in a script right now.

Fan: I mean, they actually put a picture of Space Ghost in their little product catalog.

Nina: I know.

Fan: (????) (laughter)

Fan: I've seen in the credits on some of the older shows, cartoonists like Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, you ever going to do anything with Bob Burden, since he's local? Maybe Flaming Carrot appear on the show at some point?

Andy: Evan and Sarah just write, they don't do any ...

Clay: Bob lives in town, so ... I wouldn't rule it out.

Andy: Yeah, I don't know.

Fan: It's a kind of logical connection.

Fan: Do any of you write for the web site? And, is Vector Black a real person?

Andy: I don't know, but Squid Boy is awful real. (laughter) Dirk the Squid Boy. I did some stuff, I did, I wrote "Brak goes to New York", because I was there. (laughter) But, you know, I'll probably be doing some more later on, they kind of approached me about the "Space Ghost Radio Theatre", so I might be doing some of that stuff. And they want to do some, like, on-line comics.

Fan: Like "web toons"?

Andy: Not web toons, but, like, on-line, regular on-line comics. Like, one of the ideas, I don't know if they're going to do this or not, one of the ideas was to do an on-line web comic about the original incarnation of Space Ghost, which was Sea Ghost. (laughter)

Fan: How did Gary Owens like your take on Space Ghost material?

Clay: Better than Alex Toth. (laughter) (to Andy) How did he?

Andy: (hems and haws) I don't remember, I (laughter) .. it was a while ago. We originally had him do one of the pilots, and he just sounded .. old.

Clay: Yeah.

Andy: I mean, he couldn't do the voice without sounding like, you know, "Laugh-In" Gary Owens. So, and plus, you know, it was a little more inexpensive to look for somebody local to do the voice. And a lot more convenient.

Clay: That's how I got the gig, by the way. (laughter)

Pete: We finally used Gary Owens last year, in "Warren", did everybody see that episode?

Fan: Three times. In a row.

Pete: Great. A controversial episode, but I think it was ...

Fan: Strange...

Pete: Matt Maiellaro wrote that episode, who's ... not here.

Clay: Supposed to be here.

Andy: Matt Maiellaro was supposed to be here. It would have been my first conference with Matt since the first conference we went to, at StarCon in Denver. Nobody knew what the show was about, nobody got Cartoon Network, it was ... And we were the lead-in for Deanna Troi, so... (laughter) forget about it.

Fan: Have you ever considered doing some of the other cartoons that are on, like maybe getting Peter Fernandez to do the voice of Speed Racer or something, and having like these pictures of Speed Racer and Space Ghost, or something like that?

Clay: I don't know, is he still doing voices?

Fan: Um, I know he goes to conventions from time to time, but he was more than just the voice, he did the production and stuff like that.

Clay: Yeah, I think that they had him read for a Speed 'bump' that was on Cartoon Network. I don't know (laughter) if he actually hit the, you know, because Speed was supposed to be, what, seventeen or eighteen? Peter's what, seventy now?

Andy: And Trixie, Spritle, is now the Snuggle bear.

Clay: Yeah. (laughter) If you listen close.

Andy: Also, they did, they were gonna do something with Captain Planet, but I guess it just wasn't very good.

Clay: I actually heard the animation was done, where he came out and actually sat in the chair, on the set. So it would be the first person to actually sit in the chair that wasn't in a monitor. I don't know what happened to it. It was like four years ago, you know.

Andy: I guess the Captain Planet people (quietly) didn't want to play along with us. (laughter)

Fan: I've always found Birdman to be a very annoying character, even in the original cartoons, and I was wondering if you did too, and that's why you decided to pick on him as you do, or ...

Clay: It's an easy character to pick on. (laughter) He's such a wuss. (laughter)

Pete: Some people, some people who work on the show like Birdman.

Andy: I liked the idea of getting somebody to do ...

Pete: I don't. (laughter)

Andy: ... the voice, getting somebody to do the voice that sounded like, you know, twenty pack a day smoker. (laughter) I mean, I was originally on the Birdman show project, and I found this guy to do the demo voice. It really didn't get very far. (laughter)

Clay: Wasn't he actually a bartender?

Andy: They got him later to do the Birdman show, but, yeah, he was a bartender. (laughter) I don't know where.

Fan: At a bar?

Andy: At a bar. (laughter)

Fan: Wondering how the Randy Savage episode came about, how you got him to be Grandpa.

Andy: Originally, that was written by, that was written in a big group, by us and the guys who do "The Onion", Ben ????, head writer for "The Daily Show" now, was in that group too. And, we wrote Space Ghost's grandpa as this feeble, old, old, lotta 'old' jokes and stuff. And we originally got R. Lee Ermey to be the voice of Grandpa, and ...

Pete: That was when Space .. you were going to be Grandpa.

Andy: I was going to be Grandpa, and it wasn't very good. It sounded too young.

Pete: And then we went from him being this old cantankerous, he was going to turn into this really tough 'drill sergeant' sort of guy...

Andy: We really didn't write him to be a drill sergeant, that would have worked with R. Lee Ermey, had we written it for him. And then we just went to Pete's house one day, and totally rewrite it, totally rewrote Grandpa as a wrestler. (laughter) We even, like, took the chance of saying, "we'll get, we'll get Macho Man," so we kept writing "oh yeah!" (laughter) Did I say, one of the wrestlers? What did we call him in the script? Leapin', Leapin' Lenny?

Pete: Leapin' Lenny.

Andy: Leapin' Lenny in the script, and it's Macho Man's brother is Leapin' Lanny, so he corrected us.

Pete: He was great. He was real, I went down to direct him in Tampa. Very carefully. (laughter) You know what, he was great, he was really nice.

Andy: I'm gonna see him Monday night.

Fan (male): Andy Merrill, Andy used to have a radio show at Asbury, right?

Andy: (looking surprised) For a short time.

Fan: You know that they were taping that?

Andy: (laughs) Did they?

Fan (female): I used to work with, I can't remember her first name, her last name's McCracken?

Andy: Esther McCracken?

Fan: Yes...

Andy: She sat next to me at graduation. (laughter)

Fan: She let us borrow some of the tapes.

Andy: She taped it? (laughter) Man, that show sucked. (laughter) That was so bad, it was worse than bad.

Fan: (male) It's just interesting to see the roots that would eventually become this insanity we see before us.

Andy: Well, what was it? Was it just ...

Fan: It was some chats, and it sounded like little keyboard musical stuff ... (laughter)

Andy: (buries his beet-red face in his hands)

Pete: You all see Andy on "America's Funniest Home Videos"?

Fan: I thought you were going to say "America's Most Wanted". (laughter)

Andy: That too. I killed a man.

Fan: For using old radio shows.

Andy: At least somebody played me.

Fan: Do you know the guys who do "Sifl and Olly"?

Pete: I'm like email buddies with them. I love them, I love that ...

Fan: You should interview them.

Fan: Yeah! We'll get a cross-over.

Pete: Do that for Space Ghost?

Fan: Yeah.

Fan: Or you could just have them come on the Brak Show as a musical number.

Fan: Yeah, yeah, they sing.

Fan: Come on, that's a variety act.

Pete: I think that's a great show.

Fan: Do they still do that, or is it reruns?

Pete: I don't know.

Andy: You know, I don't know. It just seems like they pick up shows and throw 'em away. I mean, I had a friend who was doing the Super Adventure Team, and I've not seen that, I don't know, I only saw it twice on the air. They shot thirteen episodes.

Pete: We've written them, you know, we email back and forth, they're really funny guys.

Clay: Anybody else?

Nina: Well, we have some pictures if you guys want autographs. There's some of Zorak, and...

Fan: Yes!

Nina: And I have Brak.

Fan: No color?

Fan: One more question you probably get a lot, what is each of your favorite episodes, of Space Ghost Coast to Coast?

Clay: Favorite episode?

Pete: I like "Boat Show".

(Fans all get up and either depart or head up to the table for autographs.)

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