Hi, my name is Brak!
While Brak was an alien villain on a 1960s children's cartoon, he's come a long way since then. He has his own adult cartoon about his childhood, he's put out a CD, and he's also participated in various entertainment projects with his old arch nemesis, Space Ghost.
Brak is vaguely feline in appearance, with a red and black face, yellow eyes, blond hair on the sides and an orange goatee. He also has a marked preference for wearing blue thigh-high boots and red elbow-length gloves, over a black bodysuit with a blue criss-cross and belt.
All hail Brak!
The Original Brak on the Original Space Ghost
Hanna Barbera aired the 42 episodes of the original Space Ghost cartoon television series from 1966 to 1968. Each episode was about eight minutes long, and involved Space Ghost saving the world from assorted alien villains, including Brak.
Brak appeared in six episodes of the original Space Ghost, and was something of a space pirate. He has a crew of fellow aliens who look like him, and who generally kidnap Jace, Jan, or Blip1.
Brak was also a member of the Council of Doom, along with Zorak, Moltar, Mettalus, the Black Widow, Tansit, and Creature King. The Council of Doom was an effort by the villains to band together and destroy Space Ghost. Unsurprisingly, they failed.
There were also some comic books by Archie Comics that followed similar plots to the original Space Ghost television series, and Brak appears in these as well.
Brak on Space Ghost's New Shows
Both the new Space Ghost cartoon shows and Brak's own show are shown on the Cartoon Network television channel, often during the 'Adult Swim' segment. Brak has also appeared on occasion in between different 'Adult Swim' cartoons, giving a 'news report'.
At the TBS/CNN/Time Warner building in Atlanta, there's a Cartoon Network exhibit where you can get your picture taken with Space Ghost and Brak.
Space Ghost: Coast to Coast
Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (CtC) was a rather surreal talk show - not just in its humour but also in its format, featuring as it did, live guests from the entertainment industry with an animated host - Space Ghost, and his now imprisoned enemies of old as the staff.
Zorak - an extremely bad-tempered and cynical praying mantis sort of creature, sitting at some kind of keyboard instrument, although he rarely plays it.
Moltar - theoretically the director, but mostly just fiddles with the buttons on the light and sound booth.
Brak - never seems quite entirely sure what he is supposed to be doing, although he is officially tasked with the 'craft service'.
Brak's role on this show is much smaller than that of Zorak. While the Brak of the original Space Ghost cartoons was a plotting evil fiend, the Brak of the new cartoons is more of the bumbling idiot archetype. Apparently, the injuries he suffered when he was captured by Space Ghost had some cognitive effects.
There were 78 episodes during the first run of CtC, and they originally aired from 1994 to 2001. New episodes began airing again in 2003.
Cartoon Planet had 22 episodes. The show was originally intended to be simply 'filler material' between cartoon shorts, but the 'filler' proved to be more popular with audiences. The show featured Space Ghost, Zorak and Brak, and involved silly songs, reminiscences, poetry readings, imaginary letters from viewers, and other random bits - a kind of a scrapbook variety show format.
It was on Cartoon Planet that 'Brak's School Daze' was introduced - short monologues in which Brak rambles and babbles about his childhood. There was usually one on each episode. One of the most entertaining was entitled 'Never Trust a Monkey', and featured Brak talking about how he had a monkey take notes for him in class (so he could take a nap). When the teacher asked them to write an essay using their notes, all he had to write about was how he liked to eat bananas and climb on things. When (as usual) Brak receives a failing grade on his essay, his mother scolds him with 'I thought I told you to never trust a monkey!'
The Brak Show
Before Brak's own animated show began, he had two television specials, entitled Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak. These specials were essentially variety shows, with musical guests such as the Chieftains and Monica, as well as movie star Freddie Prinze Jr, who later did a duet with Brak on his album. Both of these shows originally aired in 2000.
The Brak Show airs on the 'Adult Swim' segment of the Cartoon Network, which features a warning that the cartoons are not necessarily appropriate for children2. The show focuses on Brak's childhood days, living at home with Mom (who is also an alien like Brak) and Dad (who is not). Zorak features heavily as Brak's best friend and the neighbourhood bully. There's also a huge menacing robot known as Thundercleese, who lives in a castle down the road.
The show comes much closer to having a plot and storyline than CtC or Cartoon Planet, but the episodes still are less than 15 minutes long, and generally feature Brak breaking out in song at least once. In one episode, Brak accidentally kills Thundercleese's goldfish (Mr Tickles) by feeding him a three ham omelette while he and Zorak are pet-sitting3. In another episode, Brak and Zorak go back in time to 'uninvent' homework4. One episode shows the fierce and fighting side of Brak's mom as she helps Zorak regain his position as the neighbourhood bully5.
Brak in this show, as in Cartoon Planet and CtC, is voiced by Andy Merrill, who has also done voiceovers on Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF), which also airs on 'Adult Swim'. The voice of 'Dad' on this show is done by George Lowe, who also did the voice for Space Ghost on both Cartoon Planet and CtC. Zorak's voice is by C Martin Croker throughout the different shows, who also did the voice of Moltar on CtC and appeared on ATHF as well.
Brak has put out his own CD of music, plus he is featured heavily on two Cartoon Planet CDs. All three of the CDs were released by Rhino Records.
Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que was the first of two Cartoon Planet CDs, and features songs and soliloquies by Space Ghost, Zorak, and Brak. Brak's best songs on this disc include the classics 'Put Your Sox on Mama' and 'I Love Beans'. The CD was released in 1997.
Space Ghost's Surf & Turf was the second Cartoon Planet CD, and was quite similar in composition and style to the first. On this CD, Brak informs us that his planet was 'Polynesian in nature', which apparently influenced much of his music for this CD, including the song 'Moo Kaluka'. This CD was released in 1998.
In The Brak Album, Brak sings such beautiful songs as 'I've Got You Under My Drawers', 'Beeflog', and 'We Like Girls'. He's joined by Zorak on several of the songs, and some of the songs have special musical guests. Freddie Prinze Jr shows up on 'Highway 40', and the Chieftains have fun with Brak on 'I'll Tell Me Ma'. The CD was released in the year 2000, and was a spin-off of the Brak presents The Brak Show starring Brak television specials.