The Brak Show
Genre
Created by
Based onBrak
by Hanna-Barbera
Voices of
ComposerEddie Horst
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes28 (and 1 webisode) (list of episodes)
Production
Running time
  • 11 minutes
  • 5 minutes (webisode)
Production companies
Original release
NetworkCartoon Network
ReleaseDecember 21, 2000 (2000-12-21)
NetworkAdult Swim
ReleaseSeptember 2, 2001 (2001-09-02) –
December 31, 2003 (2003-12-31)
NetworkAdult Swim Video
ReleaseMay 24, 2007 (2007-05-24)
Related

The Brak Show is an American adult animated sitcom created by Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill, and Pete Smith for Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. The Brak Show serves as a spin-off of the animated television series Space Ghost Coast to Coast, for which the show's creators originally wrote, and featured recurring characters from Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet.[1] Both programs used stock footage from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost, for which The Brak Show serves as a prequel. The protagonist is Brak, voiced by Merrill, who developed a quirky persona for the character.[2]

"Leave it to Brak", a pilot episode that serves as an earlier version of the fifth episode "Bawk Ba Gawk", originally aired prior to the official launch of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, on December 21, 2000. The series made its official premiere debut during the night Adult Swim officially launched on September 2, 2001, and ended on December 31, 2003, with a total of 28 episodes. On May 24, 2007, a webisode was released on Adult Swim Video, ending the series.

History

See also: Space Ghost Coast to Coast

The Brak Show was preceded by a two-part special titled Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak. Despite the similarities in the titles, the two Brak Shows have very little in common. The specials parodied variety shows, while the series was a spoof of early sitcoms. Each of the specials aired in the United States only once in February and March 2000, respectively.

The series premiered with a sneak peek unannounced in the early hours of December 21, 2000, along with the "Radio Free Sealab" episode of Sealab 2021.[3] This "stealth" pilot (titled "Leave it to Brak") featured hand-drawn backgrounds and different opening titles. The show's official showing was on Adult Swim's debut on September 2, 2001.[4]

It originally started as a parody of sitcoms which depicts the day-to-day lives of the dysfunctional Guerta family, including Brak, as well as Zorak, various other neighbors, and peers from Learnmore High School, but just like its sister show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the plot dissolved over time and became increasingly bizarre.[5] The setting is Spacetown, which resembles American suburbia, but with an extra-planetary hint. A Saturn-like planet appears in the background on occasion, and many of the extras are aliens. Often, episodes parody stereotypical episodes of regular sitcoms (e.g., the son showing an interest in women, the dad being reconnected with an old passion, the mother temporarily leaving after a fight, etc.).

The show was canceled in December 2003. However, on October 22, 2006, Adult Swim announced in a bumper that The Brak Show would return to production as an internet cartoon on the network's website. On May 24, 2007, a single webisode premiered online,[6] but no further webisodes were produced thereafter, hence serving as the de facto series finale.

On August 1, 2008, Adult Swim had a retro night, an all-night marathon of shows featured on Adult Swim in 2001 and 2002. Two of the early episodes of The Brak Show aired during the marathon.[7] The series has since appeared in Adult Swim's "DVR Theater".[8] Since 2019, Adult Swim has aired The Brak Show as part of "Pete Smith Day", a yearly event celebrating the career of one of The Brak Show's co-creators.[9]

In 2024, Brak's mom and Clarence were mentioned in the Jellystone! season three episode ″Space Con”.

Characters

From the left: Dad, Mom, Brak, and Zorak. Taken from the prototype pilot "Leave it to Brak".

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
19December 21, 2000 (2000-12-21)December 2, 2001 (2001-12-02)
211April 14, 2002 (2002-04-14)December 29, 2002 (2002-12-29)
38October 5, 2003 (2003-10-05)December 31, 2003 (2003-12-31)
WebisodeMay 24, 2007 (2007-05-24)

Season 1 (2000–01)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
11"Bawk Ba Gawk"
"B.J. and the Brak"
“Leave it to Brak” (original version)
Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithDecember 21, 2000 (2000-12-21) (original version on Cartoon Network)
October 7, 2001 (official version on Adult Swim)
2109

Zorak convinces Brak that he will be more popular at school if he steals the rival high school's mascot. It ends up causing trouble with Brak's parents.

Note: An earlier version of this episode, featuring 2D backgrounds, originally aired on Cartoon Network on December 21, 2000. An updated official version of this episode, featuring the regular 3D backgrounds and some minor changes, later made its official debut on Adult Swim on October 7, 2001. The early version of this episode is titled “Leave it to Brak”, which is not to be confused with the later episode “Goldfish” (S1E2), which also goes under the alternative title, “Leave it to Brak”.
22"Goldfish"
"Leave It to Brak"
Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithSeptember 2, 2001 (2001-09-02)2101

Brak promises to take care of Mr. Thundercleese's goldfish Mr. Tickles (Matt Maiellaro).

Note: This episode is not to be confused with the aforementioned early version of “Bawk Ba Gawk” (S1E1), which is titled “Leave it to Brak”, just like the alternative title of “Goldfish".
33"Time Machine"
"Diff'rent Braks"
Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithSeptember 2, 2001 (2001-09-02)2103
Brak and Zorak didn't finish their homework on time, so they use Thundercleese's time machine to go back in time to set things right.
44"War Next Door"
"Gimme a Brak"
Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithSeptember 9, 2001 (2001-09-09)2102
Zorak makes Brak jealous when he develops a wonderful singing voice after accidentally having a pink lump knocked out of his throat. Guest starring Jason Bowen as Zorak's singing voice.
55"Hippo"
"The Braks of Life"
Jim Fortier & Pete SmithSeptember 9, 2001 (2001-09-09)2104
Brak is upset because Zorak made him get rid of his lobster doll, Hippo. Brak eventually gets a new doll, Dr. Grumbles, which used to belong to Thundercleese, only for Zorak to discover that Dr. Grumbles is actually a powerful and indestructible demon.
66"Mobab"
"Laverne and Brak"
Jim Fortier & Pete SmithOctober 21, 2001 (2001-10-21)2105
When an alien named Mobab falls in love with Mom and takes her away to his home planet, Dad realizes how much he needs her and feels sorry for mistreating her earlier in the episode. He and Brak go into outer space to save her.
77"Expiration Day"
"Brak's My Momma"
Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 4, 2001 (2001-11-04)2106
Thundercleese finds his powers have been deactivated by his creators from MoroccoBotix Inc., which is a bad thing as there is an asteroid heading for The Planet. Dad and Brak go to the MoroccoBotix office to request reactivation of his powers so that he can save everyone.
88"Psychoklahoma"
"Father Knows Brak"
Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithDecember 2, 2001 (2001-12-02)2107
Brak and company attempt to raise money to save Señor Science by putting on a musical (A merger of Psycho and Oklahoma!). Guest starring Jason Bowen as Zorak's singing voice.
99"The Eye"
"Petticoat Brak"
Jim Fortier & Pete SmithDecember 30, 2001 (2001-12-30)2108
Dad, retired staring contest expert, is challenged by Brak, Zorak, and a mysterious guest. Dad has no choice but to take them on.

Season 2 (2002)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
101"Poppy"Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill & Pete SmithApril 14, 2002 (2002-04-14)2201
While watching his favorite cop show, 'Schnozzo', Brak tells Zorak that he wants to get some action. Brak asks Dad and Mom for some advice. They give Brak some help passed down from Brak's grandfather, Poppy, which Brak puts to use. Guest starring Don Kennedy as Poppy.
112"Bully"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithApril 28, 2002 (2002-04-28)2202
Zorak has set up a booth where children give him money to beat them up. Unfortunately, the business has been taken over by the new kid in town, Roy "Butchy" Toughington.
123"Mother, Did You Move My Chair?"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithMay 12, 2002 (2002-05-12)2203
Brak tries to get out of going to school to avoid dissecting a clam in Biology class. Dad thinks that someone moved his chair.
134"President Dad"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithMay 26, 2002 (2002-05-26)2204
Dad decides to run for President of the neighborhood association. Unfortunately, he doesn't know that the incumbent Galrog used to be a terrible planet-eating monster. (Note: Galrog's appearance is an homage to a Dalek from Doctor Who.)
145"Brakstreet"
"Brakstreet: Men in the Band"
MC Chris, Nora Smith, Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 3, 2002 (2002-11-03)2209
With high hopes of winning a fabulous spa resort vacation, Brak enters a rap contest. Guest starring rapper CeeLo Green as Prime Cut Miggity-Mo' Macdaddy Gizzabang Doggy Dog Dog.
156"Feud"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 10, 2002 (2002-11-10)2207
Dad and Thundercleese are in the midst of a neighborhood feud. Guest starring "Weird Al" Yankovic as Petroleum Joe.
167"Runaway"Matt Maiellaro, Pete Smith & Jim FortierNovember 17, 2002 (2002-11-17)2208
When Brak's dad sentences him to 3 years in his room for making his knees cry, Brak escapes from his room. He ends up in a rocket ship with Zorak and Moltar. Space Ghost arrives at the house to arrest Brak for crimes he has committed in the future.
178"The New Brak"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 24, 2002 (2002-11-24)2206
Brak has a devoted admirer named Clarence which is initially quite flattering, but when the admirer starts imitating him, Brak worries that he might be replaced. Space Ghost makes a cameo appearance.
189"Pepper"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithDecember 1, 2002 (2002-12-01)2205
Dad believes the mothership will select him as "the lucky one" and take him away to be king of the alien world. Meanwhile, Zorak begins a relationship with an interesting alien named Pepper, who is actually the special agent tasked with the selection process by the Commodore of the mothership. Unfortunately, Sisto is selected, seized by the mothership aliens, and killed for their dinner.
1910"Dinner Party"Teleplay by : Jim Fortier & Pete Smith
Additional teleplay dialogue : Matt "Van" Maiellaro, MC Chris & Nora "the explorer" Smith
December 15, 2002 (2002-12-15)2210
Brak, Mom, Dad, and Thundercleese have been invited to a dinner party at the new neighbors' house. The neighbors include Franklin (a nervous dad, whose nose grows every time he lies), Rhonda From The Seventh Level of Yar (a mother who lives in a steel box, and keeps talking about everyone's judgement), and Winston (their son, a large man that looks similar to an infant, and is incapacitated due to his size). Zorak doesn't appear in this episode at all.
2011"We Ski in Peace"Jim Fortier, Andy Merrill, Pete Smith, Dave Willis & Matt MaiellaroDecember 29, 2002 (2002-12-29)2211
Brak wants to go to work with Dad for "Go To Work with your Father Day". Mom tells Brak the truth that Dad doesn't have a job. Dad shows mother a secret underground base, where he works for free keeping Earth safe. Mom forces him to get a real, paid job at the local Ice Cream Shop, and Clarence becomes his boss. Meanwhile, Alien Ants from Outer Space attack Spacetown.

Season 3 (2003)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
211"Braklet, Prince of Spaceland"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithOctober 5, 2003 (2003-10-05)2301
Brak’s family presents their take on the classic Hamlet story. Dad is murdered by Zorak, who tricks Mom into thinking that they're married. Brak gets insane to the point of attempting to kill everybody, especially Zorak.
222"Coma"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithOctober 12, 2003 (2003-10-12)2302
Dad offers to help Thundercleese win the heart of his true love, a vacuum cleaner, even though he bought it for his own use. Zorak burns things, including Clarence.
233"Shadows of Heat"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithOctober 19, 2003 (2003-10-19)2303
Dad is playing a dangerous game, with George Martinez, Hector Riviera, and Rudolpho the Butcher. Quickly, Dad's 'dirty world of espionage and intrigue' drags in Mom, Brak, and even Zorak. All the while, The Shadows of Heat flicker and swirl.
244"Splat"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithOctober 26, 2003 (2003-10-26)2305
Mom is gone for a vacation and has hired lookalike Brenda to tend to her family in her absence. She and Dad are involved in an accident that must be kept secret from Brak. They killed Zorak in a fatal car crash.
255"Enter the Hump"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 2, 2003 (2003-11-02)2304
After being bitten by a radioactive camel, Dad is given superpowers. Space Ghost returns once again, and Zorak doesn't appear in this episode at all.
266"Sexy New Brak Show Go"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 9, 2003 (2003-11-09)2306
Brak wins a cereal contest, giving him and his family their own TV commercial. The Rizaya Profit Corporation executive Mr. Kiori directs the commercial. Guest starring George Takei as Mr. Kiori.
277"All That I Desire You"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithNovember 16, 2003 (2003-11-16)2307
Brak's family presents their take on a soap opera. Tragedy! Wealth! Passion! Betrayal! Incest! Doctors! The Photographs! Zorak!
288"Cardburkey"Jim Fortier & Pete SmithDecember 31, 2003 (2003-12-31)2308
Brak decides that living in a cardboard box will help him snare some women. Clarence loses his virginity to a vicious bloodcat who turns out to be a buxom blonde woman placed under a spell by her mother-in-law.

Webisode (2007)

TitleWritten byOriginal release date
"Space Adventure"Nora Smith & Pete SmithMay 24, 2007 (2007-05-24)
Brak has a space adventure while Zorak 69s with Brak's mom.

International broadcast

In Canada, The Brak Show previously aired on Teletoon's Teletoon at Night block,[10] and currently airs on the Canadian version of Adult Swim.[11]

Home releases

The first 14 episodes were released on DVD on February 1, 2005, and the remaining episodes were released on August 8, 2006. In addition to being available on DVD, The Brak Show is also available on iTunes. The series was made available on HBO Max on September 1, 2020.[12]

DVD Name Release Date Ep
#
Additional Information
Volume One February 1, 2005 14 This two-disc box set contains the first 14 episodes of The Brak Show in production order. Bonus features include commentaries on two episodes, a never-produced pilot for a radio version of the show, the Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak special, a few segments from Cartoon Planet, and a few "Easter eggs".[13]
Volume Two August 8, 2006 This two-disc box set contains the last 14 episodes of The Brak Show in production order.[14] There are no bonus features. For this set, Cartoon Network abandoned their usual digipak packaging design in favor of a more modern Amaray keep case.

References

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 92. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Company. pp. 156–157. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Koenig, Gerson (December 23, 2000). "The Daily Ghost Planet: The Past!". LustforLunch.com. Archived from the original on 2001-12-20. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  4. ^ Johnson, Allan (September 1, 2001). "'Adult Swim' Hopes to Make a Splash". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  5. ^ Booker, M. Keith (2006). Drawn to Television: Prime-time Animation from the Flintstones to Family Guy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275990190. Archived from the original on 2021-09-29. Retrieved 2018-12-04 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Adult Swim Video : Webisodes : Brak Show - Space Adventure". Adult Swim. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  7. ^ "Classic Night Schedule". BumpWorthy.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  8. ^ "DVR Theater: Brak & Sealab". Adult Swim. Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  9. ^ Schwarz, John (September 27, 2019). "Adult Swim Dons September 26th "Pete Smith Day"". BubbleBlabber.com. Archived from the original on 2021-09-25. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  10. ^ Baisley, Sarah (August 10, 2004). "Teletoon Unveils 2004 Fall Lineup". AWN.com. Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 2021-09-29. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  11. ^ "Something Funny Is Going on at Teletoon Canada This Fall" (Press release). Toronto. CNW Group. August 13, 2013. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  12. ^ Siegal, Jacob (August 21, 2020). "HBO Max in September: Everything Coming and Going". Boy Genius Report. BGR Media. Archived from the original on 2021-01-20. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  13. ^ The Brak Show, Vol. 1: Andy Merrill, C. Martin Croker, Marsha Crenshaw, Carey Means, Don Kennedy, Jim Fortier, Pete Smith (II): Movies & TV. ASIN B00069L0YU.
  14. ^ The Brak Show, Vol. 2: Don Kennedy, Pete Smith (II), Jim Fortier: Movies & TV. ASIN B000FO0AFQ.