January 2000

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For the confused...

SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST (or SGC2C): The Cartoon Networkís weekly late-night talk show featuring a skillful blend of live-action celebrities and recycled animation from a Ď60s Hanna-Barbera superhero show.

Main Characters:

SPACE GHOST: The host of the show, a former intergalactic superhero with an ego to match his muscles. Fairly shell-shocked and scatterbrained from his exploits, he is somewhat stuck in his old role, causing him to be rather hammy, inattentive, and clueless when it comes to dealing with his actual guests.

ZORAK: Six-foot tall mantis, former conqueror of worlds and archenemy of Space Ghost, now forced to be the musical director for SGC2C. Generally conniving and evil, and is constantly either plotting Space Ghostís downfall or simply driving him crazy.

MOLTAR: A "poorly drawn lava kind of a molten man" encased in a high-tech suit with a helmet obscuring his face. Also a former enemy of Space Ghost who now serves as the technical director of the show from his post in the control room. A fairly down-to-earth type, with predilections towards fire and Ď70s cop shows.

Occasional Characters:

BRAK: Former space pirate whose run-in with a nebula of pyranimite has left him with the mind of a hyperactive child. Co-host of the spin-off variety-type show Cartoon Planet.

TANSUT: Yet another former enemy of Space Ghost, and had a stint as the pre-show announcer on SGC2C. All-around weak-kneed milquetoast character.

 

****

START TRANSMISSION.

(Open with establishing shot of the Ghost Planet commissary. Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar are at their usual table, with coffee mugs. Space Ghost takes a sip before saying-)

SPACE GHOST: I was talking with the Suits earlier today.

ZORAK: You got lost in the closet again?

SPACE GHOST: (Annoyed.) No I did not get lost in the closet again! (Quieter tone.) And Iíll thank you not to bring that up anymore. (Buries his head in his hands.)

(There is an awkward silence. Space Ghost squeaks his fingers on his coffee mug a couple of times.)

MOLTAR: Uh, the suits?

SPACE GHOST: I thought we agreed to drop that! (Pounds his fist on the table.)

ZORAK: I think he means the executives.

SPACE GHOST: Oh, right. Anyway, you know what they said this show needs?

MOLTAR: (Earnest.) Less talk, more rock?

SPACE GHOST: Something like that. And something about MTV and the "youth demographic".

ZORAK: Yeah! Weíre need to rock!!

SPACE GHOST: Having Supertramp on the show probably didn't help that, now that I think about it.

MOLTAR: We need more pyrotechnics!

ZORAK: And women!

MOLTAR: We can be blowin' young minds all over the universe!

SPACE GHOST: (Renewed sense of purpose.) Moltar, get on the phone with some hot MTV vixens! (Dramatic music swells in the background, as SG goes into full heroic mode.) Weíre gonna make this the jiggiest show in the entire known universe!

(Music abruptly stops, Zorak and Moltar stare at him.)

MOLTAR: (Confused.) Jiggiest?

 

(Opening theme starts. The fourth season theme sequence plays; the one with the "flying through space" graphics, so that the guestís name can be displayed on the screen in Letterman fashion.)

TANSUT: (VO, sotto voce) Greetings everyone! This is Tansut, your Space Ghost: Coast to Coast announcer! I know Space Ghost fired me several episodes ago, but I snuck into the studio and spied on Moltar! Now Iím here in the booth, and ready to announce! So anyway, I have it on, uh, good authority that tonightís guest is Daria Mor...gen...Doppler. (Screen displays "DARLA MORGENDOPLER".) Thatís what I wrote down-

SPACE GHOST: Whatís going on in here?!

TANSUT: Aaaah!

SPACE GHOST: Tansut! Are you-

TANSUT: (Gibbering with fear.) Donít you have a show to do? Put the power bands down!

SPACE GHOST: Fine! (Menacing.) But Iíll be back later...with a can of Whoop-ass!

TANSUT: (Starts crying.)

(Theme ends as the camera zooms inside the studio. Space Ghost invisos in, waves at the camera, as usual.)

SPACE GHOST: Greetings! (Beat.) Uh, I mean, hey! What is up? (All this, of course, in a faux hip tone that would make Jake Morgendorffer blush.) Or...uh...down?

ZORAK: Yo! Word to the fly honies!

MOLTAR: (In control room, as always.) Uhhh...cool?

SPACE GHOST: As you can see, weíre chilliní in da house today!

ZORAK: Rockiní!

SPACE GHOST: And weíre gonna be haviní us some happeniní ladies here!

ZORAK: Break stuff!

SPACE GHOST: (Looks at Zorak strangely.) Thereís nothing "hip" about wanton destruction, Zorak.

ZORAK: Burn, baby, BURN!

SPACE GHOST: Just...play me to the desk.

(Zorak and the band do one of the Sonny Sharrock tunes they used to have on the show all of the time. We notice pyrotechnic explosions going off on either side. The studio begins to fill with smoke.)

SPACE GHOST: Please welcome (cough) my first guest, (cough cough), um (hack hack), that sexy MTV veejay, (violent hacking), ah (clears throat), uh...did you get any sexy MTV veejays, Moltar?

MOLTAR: Uh...they were all busy.

SPACE GHOST: Busy?! Too busy for my happeniní gig?!

MOLTAR: (Matter-of-fact.) Yep.

SPACE GHOST: Did you talk with that Kennedy gal?

MOLTAR: She said she had other projects.

SPACE GHOST: Other proj-...that harlot! (Thought VO.) Thatís exactly what Gore Vidal said. Theyíre in this together...conspiring against me...but why?...why? (Slumps in seat, rests chin on hand, starts talking again.) Well, who do we have?

MOLTAR: Daria Morgendorffer.

SPACE GHOST: Huh? That doesnít sound very hip.

MOLTAR: Well, sheís coming out.

ZORAK: (In background.) Blowiní minds!

SPACE GHOST: (Glances at him again.) Please say hello to my first guest, Darla Morgendopler!

(Daria enters from the left of the stage and pulls the art-deco-ish "guest chair" out from underneath the monitor that hangs above it (which the flesh-and-blood celebrity guests appear on), and sits down.)

SPACE GHOST: Ummmm...what are you doing with that chair?

DARIA: Sitting.

SPACE GHOST: (Clearly not sure how to digest this.) You could smudge it.

DARIA: Or I could sit on the floor with all the dirt and debris. Itís your show, you know.

SPACE GHOST: Moltar?

MOLTAR: We got her clearance to be in the studio. You know, because sheís a cartoon and all.

SPACE GHOST: A cartoon? On my show?!

MOLTAR: Yeah. Screwy, ainít it?

DARIA: But then, it could be that I am the real one and youíre the cartoon. All evidence seems to point that way.

ZORAK: Wow...deep.

DARIA: (Monotone.) Thank you.

SPACE GHOST: Uhhh, sure. Now, identify yourself to the universe!

ZORAK: Feh. Thatís so old-school, Space Ghost.

SPACE GHOST: Huh? I mean, uh, who you be? What it is? (Quite confused by now.) Um...where itís at?

DARIA: Iíll try the first one. My name is Daria Morgendorffer, international star of stage, screen, and fan fiction. But donít tell anyone about the fan fiction.

SPACE GHOST: Greet...uh...howdy...no...hiya, Homegirl Daria! Are you getting enough oxygen?

ZORAK: Yeah. Or are we standing on your neck?

DARIA: Um, Iím fine.

ZORAK: I could stand on your neck if you wanted. (Evil Zorak laugh.)

SPACE GHOST: There will be no standing on any parts of anyoneís anatomy on this show, Zorak! That would be very...um...un-phat.

MOLTAR: Un-fat?

SPACE GHOST: (Emphasis on the "ph" sound.) Un-phat!

DARIA: How about reduced-phat?

ZORAK: Or "I Canít Believe Itís Not Phat"?

DARIA: That could work.

(At this point, the camera begins wobbling, MTV style.)

SPACE GHOST: (Trying to regain control of the show.) So, uh, Daria, has the glasses thing caught on yet?

DARIA: Huh?

SPACE GHOST: The glasses thing. It must be the hot new look for all the happeniní ladies out there!

DARIA: Actually, itís the hot new look for astigmatics.

SPACE GHOST: Astig...um, ho boy. (Looks confused, then turns red momentarily.) Well...weíre hip to that! After all, thereís nothing wrong with alternative lifestyles!

DARIA: Uh-

SPACE GHOST: (Cuts her off.) Take me, for example. After a long, hard day of fighting crime in the deep recesses of space, I like to wind down by calling my buddies over and doing some hot and heavy...macrame! And thereís nothing wrong with that! (Pounds fist on the desk.) Whatever gets you thru the night, I say.

DARIA: (Dry.) I wouldnít go telling the rest of the Justice League that.

SPACE GHOST: Those square-heads? Theyíre stuck in the past! I, however, am a happeniní nineties kinda guy! (Hero mode again, strikes his "muscle pose".) A hero for a new generation!

DARIA: Itís not the nineties anymore.

SPACE GHOST: (Comes down from the muscle pose.) Huh?

DARIA: Itís the aughts. Youíre going to need to find the new set of buzz-words. Probably a new hairstyle, too. That "18 to 35" demographic is a fickle one.

ZORAK: (Taunting.) Yeah, Space Ghost. Your act is so last decade.

SPACE GHOST: You want a piece of this, Zorak?! (Raises his arm (which is equipped with one of his famous Power Bands for shooting "harmful rays" at enemies.) threateningly at Zorak.)

(The words "HARMFUL RAYS" suddenly appear in squiggly "Real World" font with an arrow pointing towards Space Ghostís power bands)

ZORAK: (Wide-eyed.) Uhhhhh...

(Shaky camera work becomes even more shaky.)

SPACE GHOST: Then you better check yourself! Before you...do something stupid! (Lowers his arm.) So anyway, Darla-

DARIA: Daria.

SPACE GHOST: Daria-

DARIA: With a "Y".

SPACE GHOST: Dari...ya, (Reluctantly.) Do you think you could you help me out?

DARIA: With what?

SPACE GHOST: With my image! You know, to keep up with the Benjamins. To stay jiggy in an ever-changing universe.

DARIA: You appear to be speaking English, and yet I canít understand a word of it.

SPACE GHOST: Is it true? Am I a dinosaur? A square? An...old buzzard?! (Puts his hand over his face.)

DARIA: Well, if you could just speak your own mind, and do your own thing, maybe you could connect with the young people that way... (Looks straight at the nearest camera, which has begun to shake violently.) Uh, whatís that?

SPACE GHOST: (Snaps out of his funk.) Oh, thatís just our way of achieving a more...natural filming look. Hip, isnít it?

DARIA: Too hip even for film school.

MOLTAR: (Watching the shaky footage from the control room.) Iím gonna be sick... (Long groan.)

SPACE GHOST: Okay, Brak?

BRAK: (OS.) Ride Ďem cowboy!

SPACE GHOST: Get off the camera now.

BRAK: (OS.) Awwww! (Thereís a thud as he hops off, and the camera becomes steady again.) Woooaah boy, am I ever dizzy! (Groans.)

SPACE GHOST: What? Brak, no! Get to the bathroom before you-AAH!

INTERRUPT TRANSMISSION.

 

(COMMERCIAL: Well, since this is late night Cartoon Network, I guess they have to show the commercial for that "Monster Ballads" album with all the girl-haired glam rockers who "taught us how to love". And if that thought isnít frightening enough for you, then keep watching. Right towards the end, thereís an extreme close-up of one of those guys (from Poison, or maybe Cinderella, or Whitesnake, or Ratt, who can tell?), and he smiles and winks at the camera, and it never fails to make my skin crawl right off of my body.

Interesting note: Browse through your Beavis and Butthead episodes that you taped off of MTV if you have some, and try to find the video for the song "Everybodyís Crazy." Apparently, Michael Bolton used to be one of these arena-rockers before he found more mainstream ways to assault our poor ears. Itís a very amusing sight, and as a bonus, you get to hear Beavisí impression of Michael Bolton doing gangsta rap, which is one of the most hilarious sound-bites youíll ever encounter.)

 

RESUME TRANSMISSION.

BRAK: (OS) Iím goiní to my room now.

SPACE GHOST: Is it all cleaned up?

BRAK: Yes! Kinda...

SPACE GHOST: Good. ĎCause that was sick. Sick...and wrong! And low-phat!

DARIA: Just because itís low-phat doesnít mean you can just eat box after box of it.

JANE: (OS.) Is my adoring public ready for me yet?

SPACE GHOST: Huh?

DARIA: Oh, thatís just Jane. Once I told her I was going to be on a talk show in outer space, she just had to come along. Sheís quite a pain.

JANE: (Enters from the left and blows a kiss at the camera.) Sorry Iím late, was catching a nap in the lobby. All this space travel can really make one drowsy. Scootch over, would ya, Daria?

ZORAK: Either that, or you were watching the show.

(Daria scoots over enough to let Jane on the chair with her. Itís a big enough chair that theyíre not squished, but are still sitting kinda close.)

JANE: Nice chair. Very artistic.

DARIA: Especially in the way that itís not designed for anyone to sit on.

SPACE GHOST: Okaaay, identify yourself!

JANE: Jane Lane. Artist, straight-C student, and Americaís bad grrrl.

DARIA: In other words, the comic relief.

JANE: Hey!

DARIA: The unflappable foil to my flappable personality.

JANE: Right. Just try and flap me, I dare ya!

DARIA: And something for all the pale misunderstood genius guys out there to fantasize about.

JANE: Too bad for them Iím spoken for.

DARIA: That depends on if Glenn decides to write Tom out.

JANE: Ha! He wouldnít dare.

DARIA: And letís not forget those fanfic writers.

JANE: (Derisive snort.) Fanfic writers, what do they know about love?

DARIA: Ask Ms. Long. Or maybe SBEDD.D.

JANE: Okaaaay, letís talk about something else now. Space Ghost?

SPACE GHOST: (Whoís pretty well zoned out by now.) Huh?

JANE: Arenít you going to ask us about our show? Or maybe other projects, self-promotion, you know, that kinda thing.

SPACE GHOST: Self-promotion! Yo! (Theme song begins playing in the background.) All you fly girls and fly guys out there, catch Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, the jiggiest show on television! Thatís eleven oí clock Eastern, eleven oíclock Pacific, and three in the afternoon on planet of the Saucer Crabs!

JANE: (Beat.) In one ear, out the other.

DARIA: Donít worry about it. If you can get him to stay on topic for more than five seconds, youíre a better guest than I.

ZORAK: If you can get him to shut up for more than five seconds, then youíve earned...my undying respect.

DARIA: And what a beautiful thing that is.

SPACE GHOST: Zorak, do you want me to open up a can of Whoop-ass? (Raises his arm again, squiggly "Real-World" writing says "CAN OF WHOOP-ASS.")

ZORAK: Can of Whoop-ass?

SPACE GHOST: Yes! I have shook it well, and now I will serve it! On you! Warning: Contents under pressure! (He blasts Zorak, there is an explosion, Zorak ends up burnt to a crisp. This happens on the show a lot.)

ZORAK: (Coughs.) Letís not have that again.

SPACE GHOST: Too bad for you! Iíve got plenty more where that came from! I stocked up for Y2K!

DARIA: (Dry.) This is some of the jiggiest dialogue I have ever heard.

JANE: Very edgy.

DARIA: And probably stylistically misspelled. 

SPACE GHOST: So how am I doing? Am I ready to conquer MTV in the aughts?

DARIA: Well, have you been communicating with the young people out there?

JANE: Yeah, to find out what makes Ďem tick, itís best to visit a high school for a day as a student. (Daria elbows her.) Ow! What?

DARIA: Iím just saying that honesty is the key. People see right through hip posturing.

JANE: (Sotto voce, to Daria.) Sheesh, Daria, youíre really killing this show, arenít you?

DARIA: (To Jane.) Pretty much.

SPACE GHOST: (More than a little disappointed.) Thatís it?

DARIA: Thatís what I do.

SPACE GHOST: Do you have any more of those...whatdyacallem...buzzwords?

JANE: How Ďbout "Bingo"?

SPACE GHOST: The dog?

JANE: No, "Bingo," the all-purpose slang word.

SPACE GHOST: Hmmm. Bingo. Bingo! Say, this is really bingo!

DARIA: (To Jane.) Youíre evil.

JANE: Thank you.

ZORAK: Feh. Thatís not evil. Have you ever conquered a planet, enslaved all of its life forms, and kicked their puppies?

SPACE GHOST: (Unimpressed.) Have you?

ZORAK: Uhhhh...not as such. But I did kick a lot of puppies. (Evil laugh.)

MOLTAR: I used to psychologically torture puppies. But Iím not really into that kinda thing anymore.

JANE: Hey, do you think heís that puppy-torturer that was on Sick Sad World that one time?

DARIA: Nah, that guy had an even weirder suit.

MOLTAR: Hey! This hereís a very jiggy suit!

SPACE GHOST: Itís bingo, people! Ha..."jiggy"...that is so nineties...right, MTV chicks?

DARIA: Bingo.

JANE: Yep. Take it from my totally hip and alternative bud over here. (Puts an arm around Daria, who cringes.)

SPACE GHOST: (Becomes nervous again.) Alternative! Iím hip to that, yeah! Long live macrame!

JANE: Huh?

DARIA: Just...donít even ask.

JANE: (Looks at Space Ghost quizzically.) Oh, okay, I wonít. Yeek...

SPACE GHOST: (Regarding Jane nervously, and peeking over towards Daria form time to time.) Um...Jane...are you one of those astigmatists, too?

JANE: Oh, yeah! I bleed from my hands and feet so often, I hardly even notice anymore! (To Daria.) Is there any more room on this chair?

DARIA: Nope.

("Real-World" squiggly writing points to Daria and Jane and says "STIGMATICS")

JANE: How come you donít have a couch?

SPACE GHOST: (After a beat, he scoots his own chair backwards several inches.)

JANE: All the other talk shows got couches for their guests, all the other ones Iíve seen anyway. All you got is one artistic, but uncomfortable chair.

SPACE GHOST: (Defensive.) Well...I dunno...we donít usually have a bunch of crazy stigmatichists lying all over our furniture!

JANE: Hey! Thereís nothing wrong with...what exactly is he saying we do, Daria?

DARIA: I think it might have something to do with self-torture.

SPACE GHOST: That too?!

DARIA: But Iíve been wrong before.

JANE: Really? When?

ZORAK: (Playing along.) Hey, Daria. What was your wildest astigmatic experience?

MOLTAR: Yeah, give us the dirt!

DARIA: Now now, we canít reveal the secrets of our cult.

JANE: The Master would be very displeased.

DARIA: The rest of the acolytes wouldnít be very happy either.

SPACE GHOST: Enough! You two are weird! If this is the sort of thing that gets you on MTV, then I for one am glad I have no part of it!

JANE: Itís really very fun.

DARIA: Not to mention bingo.

SPACE GHOST: Ahh! Stop saying that word!

ZORAK: B3!

MOLTAR: Bingo!

ZORAK & MOLTAR: (Evil laughter.)

DARIA & JANE: (Snickering, about as close as they come to laugher anyway.)

(Squiggly writing points to Daria and Jane and reads "BINGO", natch.)

SPACE GHOST: Stop that! Iíve got more Whoop-ass! Iíll open it! (He blasts Zorak again.)

ZORAK: (Burnt again, coughs.) Whatís the matter, Space Ghost? Too...jiggy for you?! (Evil laugh.)

SPACE GHOST: I donít need to be jiggy! Or bingo, or whatever it is you crazy astigmatacitrists say! This is my show, and if the Suits donít like it, they can take it up with my mighty stock of Whoop-ass!

ZORAK: (Rolls eyes.) Oh criminy...

SPACE GHOST: (Close-up face shot, advertising tone.) Whoop-ass: It makes a body broken!

MOLTAR: Also available in extra chunky flavor!

(There is a pause. Everyone looks at him strangely.)

MOLTAR: What? Itís Whoop-ass. Extra chunky.

JANE: And reduced-

DARIA: (Cutting her off.) Just...donít.

JANE: (Faux innocent.) What?

SPACE GHOST: Ladies...gentlemen...I learned a valuable lesson today. (Zorak begins playing "Pomp and Circumstance" on his synthesizer.) It doesnít matter if youíre jiggy, or square, or even a macrame guy-

JANE: (Shudders.)

SPACE GHOST: As long as you are true to yourself. And as long as you donít belong to some sick, unholy and unnatural underground cult movement of strange looking girls who mess up my furniture.

JANE: Weíre being made an example, Daria, arenít you proud?

DARIA: My heart sings with joy.

SPACE GHOST: Thatís what being hip in the aughts is all about!

MOLTAR: Uh, should I still be looking for some chicks for the show?

SPACE GHOST: (Beat.) Yeah, go ahead.

MOLTAR: Awright!

SPACE GHOST: And tell Kennedy that sheís not fooling anyone!

MOLTAR: Uh...will do.

ZORAK: And book some more astigmatics!

MOLTAR: Ohhhhh yeah. Dangerous, yet exciting...I bet Linda would be into that.

SPACE GHOST: No! There will be no freaks on my show!

DARIA: Too late for that.

SPACE GHOST: Really. Well, anyway, itís been nice having you on the show, (Under breath.) Stiggies.

JANE: Donít forget the plug!

SPACE GHOST: Plug?

JANE: Yeah, for me 'n' Daria's show, you know, promotion-

SPACE GHOST: (Mind goes into auto-pilot again.) Did someone say "promotion"?

ZORAK & MOLTAR: No!

SPACE GHOST: Catch Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, every Friday night on-

(Cut to credits in mid-sentence (They do this a lot, too.). Screen displays the ep title, "KEEPING UP WITH THE BENJAMINS", then "WRITTEN BY: REY "BINGO" FOX", then the rest of the credits roll under the SGC2C end theme performed by "Man...Or Astro Man?". At the very end, we have the customary random sound clip-)

JANE: Yeek...

(Then the Williams St. logo, along with the MTV animations logo. Fade to black, the end.)

****

END NOTES: SGC2C is one of my favorite shows on TV for it's off-the-wall and break-every-rule hilarity, although it's gotten rather exceedingly strange lately. Although this fic partakes of the SGC2C style more, the Daria part was necessary (and fun). The spontaneity and unpredictability of the real-life interviews and the way that the SGC2C writers chop them up and write episodes around them makes SGC2C pretty much impossible to write fics for otherwise.

As always, please send all questions, comments, death threats and homemade cookies to foxrey@netscape.net. Pleasant dreams...