Max Removes Space Ghost Coast To Coast From Streaming Without Telling Anyone

Space Ghost Coast to Coast, the cartoon parody that helped launch Adult Swim, has been removed from Max.

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

Lassi on Space Ghost Coast to Coast

The newly renamed Max streaming service has deleted all 11 seasons of the adult cartoon classic Space Ghost Coast to Coast from its offerings without warning or explanation. There have been a lot of losses since the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, including a wide swath of animation offerings and the Batgirl film that was produced and never released. The loss of Space Ghost Coast to Coast happened quietly and came to most people’s attention via a tweet from writer and fan of the series Sean T. Collins.

Collins and many others see the removal of Space Ghost Coast to Coast by Max as a slap in the face to an important piece of animated television history. Starting in 1994, Cartoon Network began airing the parody talk show starring the titular Hannah-Barbera superhero and several other characters. The show was a quirky late-night hit for the network from 1994 to 1999 and again from 2001 to 2004, but it’s arguable that the entire Adult Swim brand is rooted in its oddball humor.

It was the success of Space Ghost Coast to Coast that led to other ventures like The Brak Show, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Cartoon Planet, among others. It’s a fact that Max seems to have not noted that one of Warner Bos. Discovery’s most successful brands are rooted in the absurdist humor of the series they just axed from streaming. The Adult Swim brand is now so defined by those handmade, wacky sensibilities that it can be easily forgotten how revolutionary it was in the mid-’90s.

Hulk Hogan being interviewed on Space Ghost Coast to Coast

Whether execs at Max realize it or not, Space Ghost Coast to Coast is the originator of a brand and style that have influenced a whole generation of creators. The series took footage and animation cells from the original Space Ghost series and reworked them into the talk show format, taking a cue from the 1970s limited animation style that defined its predecessor. It then put Space Ghost into conversations with live-action interviewees via a monitor screen, with the host completely clueless that his guests were not superheroes.

The pop culture remix of Space Ghost Coast to Coast is a valuable piece of history that Max might not currently appreciate and that could continue to cost them. The streamer is already in decline following its rebrand, and execs aren’t doing themselves any favors by coming after time-honored classics. It seems an odd way to refer to a series that was once seen as fresh and subversive, but the influence of this tiny cartoon talk show has spread far and wide in the decades since its original airing—and it’s still subversive and funny.

Why Max would cut Space Ghost Coast to Coast from its streaming offerings remains a mystery since it owns the series outright, but similar measures have recently been undertaken at Disney+ that have been effective (if fan-offending) cost-cutting measures. It remains to be seen whether Max can pull out of its current tailspin, but maybe Space Ghost can help.