Long before his stint as an intergalactic pirate, and later, as an addled sidekick to Space Ghost on Cartoon Planet
and Space Ghost: Coast to Coast
, Brak was just a naïve, feline-esque kid living with his parents, his pal/nemesis, the evil mantis Zorak, and a massive warrior robot neighbor in the suburb of Spacetown. Fourteen of his misadventures have been compiled on this weird and frequently hilarious two-disc set, which also features a bundle of extras, all highlighted by Braks irrepressible need for song. Written and produced by SG: CTC
writers Jim Fortier and Pete Smith, and featuring several performers from that series as well (including Andy Merrill as Brak, C. Martin Croker as Zorak, and George Lowe as Braks Dad), The Brak Show
echoes its predecessors penchant for absurd, stream-of-consciousness comedy; episodes hinge around Brak putting on a musicial ("Psychoklahoma," featuring Charo!), rescuing his mom from a lovesick alien blob ("Mobab"), a staring contest ("The Eye"), and using a time machine to finish his homework ("Time Machine"). If the premises seem too silly for words, the writing and performances (especially Merrill and Croker) are both giddy and clever, and in a very odd way, accurately evoke the anything-goes imagination of pre-teens. The shows credit sequences, which spoof popular sitcoms from the past (Laverne and Shirley
, Petticoat Junction
), add another layer of quirky charm.
Volume 1 compiles the entire first season of The Brak Show, and tosses in three episodes from Season 2 for good measure (the episodes are presented out of their broadcast order); commentaries by Smith, Fortier, Merrill and Brak himself are featured on three episodes, while an odd audio-only radio play of an unaired pilot is heard over a fourth. Clips from his short-lived variety show, Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak, and a terrific 20-minute barrage of his best moments from Cartoon Planet and SG: CTC, round out the extras. So much Brak in a single package may be too much for the casual fan, but for the Brak obsessive in your life, this will be comedy nirvana. --Paul Gaita