Today's generation of viewers see Space Ghost as a buffoonish talk-show host, the result of enjoying a lengthy run on Cartoon Network a number of years back with Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast, which recast the Phantom of the Spaceways as a parody of late-night chatters like David Letterman and Jay Leno. While Coast-to-Coast was the forerunner of CN's [adult swim] nighttime block, Space Ghost helped lead CBS' superhero-packed Saturday morning block for 2 seasons (1966-68). LA-based radio personality Gary Owens (Roger Ramjet) was the voice of our stalwart hero, aided by teen orphans Jan (Ginny Tyler) & Jace (Tim Matheson, ex-Jonny Quest).
To counter Coast-to-Coast, and at the same time address the pleas of Space Ghost's older fans, DC released a 6 issue miniseries a few years ago that revealed the hero's true origins, something that Hanna-Barbera never addressed in 1966. Back then, of course, such details were non-essential. Despite a brilliant story by Joe Kelly & Ariel Olivetti, there hasn't been a follow-up, likely because there are too many readers today that might be a wee bit confused. I assure you, pilgrims, that there are enough of us who'd rather see Space Ghost fly again, fighting the bad guys instead of hiring them to be goofy assistants for a talk show.
For those of you who have never seen the original, true Space Ghost, we offer the episode, "The Heat Thing", from 1966.
Space Ghost would return to action in 1981, as part of NBC's Space Stars anthology series, and while Gary Owens returned to his classic role, new actors took over the roles of Jan & Jace. Space Stars, as previously documented, was cancelled after 1 season. From time to time, episodes from both 1966 & 1981 have aired on Boomerang, so keep an eye out for them.