It has been a minute since our last post. How are the holidays? It has been a busy last leg of the year. But we cannot close it up without going back in time as usual and looking at the not so old but classic shows of the early to mid-2000s. Today, I was going through the archives and bumped into The Brak Show! This ignited the memories of the good old days. Those days when sitcoms were the thing. The animated sitcom was a slightly new concept at the time. I immediately became a mad fan sitcom in general. Who doesn’t love laughing anyway?
I guess the fact that The Brak Show had the adult swim, made it even more appealing at the time. Just like Family Guy and other similar shows with an adult type of content, it made it become even more popular in the 2000s. Animated TV series was the mainstay of many media companies as the competition for viewership intensified both in the USA and across the world. The shows were gaining popularity every day at the time.
Unlike other shows, The Brak Show appealed both to young adults and seniors. The jokes were mature enough for both segments of the target market. Earlier when the show was just getting started, most of the die-hard fans didn’t get the jokes. And most assumed they were dirty. This blanket statement led many to miss out on the show back then in the early 2000s.
Background History of the Brak Show
Let us now take a trip back memory lane to the genesis of the Brak Show. The old classic Brak Show was an American sitcom that was developed by Andy Merrill, Jim Fortie, and Pete Smit for Cartoon network’s Adult Swim late-night programming block.
Brak is a spin-off of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and features recurrent characters from both Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet. The show’s producers wrote the original scripts for both shows. For both shows, the Hanna Barbera cartoon Space Ghost was used as stock footage. Brak, the main character, is played by Merril, who gave the character a unique voice.
The Pilot Episode called Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk, first aired on Cartoon Network before Adult Swim was officially launched on December 21, 200. The first episode aired in 2001, the same night that the Adult Swim officially started, the series ran for 28 episodes until it finished in 2003. An adult swim video webisode was released in 2007 concluding the series.
The Story Behind the Brak Show Animated TV Series
Over the years, The Brak Show has been known to be an online show. This is because of the webisodes that seemed to reside on the internet. While this is the true, the Brak Show enjoyed a huge viewership both on the TV and online. In the early 2000s, the high-speed internet was just catching up. As technological advancement in the TV and entertainment industry was at its infancy. At this time, huge production houses were trying new things out. This made many people excited as new high-tech features and high quality animations were being produced easily.
I remember having watched the show online at the library. At that time the online censorship was at its peak with man website and online content getting criticized for their content. There were two specials that preceded the Brak Show, both titled Brak Presented the Brak Show Staring Brak. The two Brak shows, despite their identical titles, have very little in common in terms of content.
Two shows referred to as Brak presents the Brak show preceded the Brak show. These was the show that introduced many fans to the original show and the plot behind it. Familiarity of the show’s enthusiasts with the set made many fans to enjoy the show without the need for the show’s explainer. This was a nice way of getting the enthusiast to understand the making of the show and how the characters related to each other.
Leave it to Brak, the title of the stealth pilot, included hand-drawn backgrounds and a variety of the sequences. Adult Swim made its debut with the show towards the end of 2001. A spoof of sitcoms was originally intended, but like its sister show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the plot grew increasingly strange as time went on. An extra-planetary ting is added to the suburbia. Occasionally, a Saturn-like world emerges in the background, and the majority of the extras are extraterrestrial. Episodes frequently mimic other sitcoms’ stereotyped episodes like The son an interest in women, the dad being reconnected with an old passion, and the mother leaving after a fight.
By the end of 2003, the show was abruptly discontinued. In a boost on October 2006, Adult Swim announced that The Brak Show would return to production as an internet cartoon on the network’s website. Since then, there have been no more webisodes of the same. Sadly, that marked the end of the loved show. This did not go well with the show’s die-hards who requested the show to be brought back to TV. But this fell to deaf ears as the production team had already moved to other projects. The budget on the Brak Show was also cut, making it fizzle into oblivion.
All-night Marathons of Adult Swim shows from 2001 and 2002 were held on August 2008 by Adult Swim. While the Brak Show was being aired during the marathon, two episodes from its earlier season were shown. DVR theater on Adult Swim is where the series has since been aired. A yearly celebration of one of The Brak Show’s co-creators, Pete Smith Day Adult Swim has been screening the Brak show since 2019. That is the last and the longest standing nostalgic remains of the show.
The Brak Show Characters
The Brak was played by Andy Merrill. He has an odd sense of humor and speaks with an annoying lisp, making him an unlikely hero for the group of awkward teenage ‘Space Cats’. He is a 15-year-old student at Learnmore High School. Brak is a teen or adolescent, but has a really nice and sensitive disposition. Although he still has a soft spot for stuffed animals, he is beginning to develop feelings for females. He sings lyrically about the episode’s happenings in impromptu songs, musical styles ranging from Jazz and country to show tunes and rap are used by the songwriters. Despite Zorak’s blatant scorn and lack of regard, he remains his closest friend. Because of his appearances on Cartoon Planet’s Space Ghost Coast to Coast spin-off. Brak’s character is based on himself.
Zorak was voiced by Martin C. Croker and was a Mantis the size of a human, appears in Space Ghost Coast to Coast. On this show, he portrays a psychopathic, sadistic, morally bankrupt misanthrope like Eddie Haskell’s character. He frequently spends time with Brak, but he uses it as an opportunity to get him to do something for him.
Considering himself superior to Brak and his family, Zorak is always finding fault and hurling insults their way. Clarence, the nerd in the neighborhood, is also a favorite target for Zorak. Eddie Haskell also shows an interest in Brak’s mother than goes beyond platonic.
Dad was voiced by George Lowe. In the show, Dad is portrayed as a diminutive human illegal alien with a Cuban accent that is incredibly self-absorbed, sluggish and illogical. After being out of work since 1984, he spends much of his time sitting at home and reading the newspaper. Almost every episode ends with a non sequitur, since he always closes with a moral to the story that is either incomprehensible or irrelevant to the plot. Brak’s mother sometimes chastises him for his womanizing and make-chauvinistic behavior, which he occasionally exhibits.
During a 2003 Adult Swim New Year’s Eve bumper, he revealed his real name was Javier. In We Ski in Peace, he tries to take his break shortly after the store opens and shoots the ice cream because it was about to rob the ice cream store. He is also exceedingly bad at his job. His high ranking work on Earther’s protector at he base beneath the house was also features in the same episode, however he performs it for free. While Brak isn’t a priority to him, he does things like spend his college saving on an expensive ski boat.
Mom was voiced by Marsha Crenshaw in the first episode to 14th while the webisodes were done by Joanna Daniel from the 15th episode to 28th. She is of the same species as Brak, dressed like a housewife from an old fashion sitcom from the 50s. She is the sole sane character on the show, and the only one who isn’t insane.
The father of her son, Brak, does not pique here love or sexual desire. But when she’s inebriated, he is immediately irresistible to here. At times she sounds like June Cleaver, but most of the time she sounds like Crenshaw’s interpretation of that character. For some reason, Brak’s mother suddenly adopted a British accent and became significantly more vocal about her dissatisfaction with home life and here dislike for Brak’s father once Daniel stepped into the role. The show’s audience has made various observations on her shifting accent.
Tundercleese was voiced by Carey Means. He is portrayed as militant Killbot who is a neighbor to Brak. He has a Gundam-style robot look and adores his lawn and garden, especially the gnomes who decorate it who lives next door. Thundercleese frequently blasted Zorak on the show as a short-lived gag. He speaks in loud, robotic monotone, and he is extremely hostile and warlike. Thundercleese’s solution to Brak’s problem is always rapid and ruthless revenge, no matter what the issue is. Thundercleese is a social misfit who spends the day leading up to social gathering rehearsing terrible party jokes.
MoroccoBotix is the creator of Thundercles in an episode of the series despite the fact that Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force created him in special 2003 new year’s eve event on Adult Swim in 2003, which is the in-universe cause for their similar sounds.
Clarence is played by Andy Merrill. He is Brak’s schoolmate at Learnmore High School. He is a fat purple alien. As the series progressed, he became more prominent supporting character, making appearance on a more regular basis. Socially shy Clarence idolizes Brak. When he’s in a stressful position, he’ll don his mother’s sundress and bonnet as a form of self-comfort irritating everyone around him.
His father, who left the family for unclear reasons, was mentioned in a rap competition by him. In the same competition, he also mentioned that his mother has subsequently married a man named Gary, who he dislikes. Zorak frequently maims him at the end of his appearances.
Besides being Brak’s bother, he is also his parents’ second son. He has a reddish complexion. He used to materialize out of nowhere, wandering through the scene and farting. In “pepper”, he was killed by an alien invasion. In the episode Sexy New Brak Show Go, he appears on a scratch-and sniff card.
The Brak Show Episodes
- Season 1 comprised of 9 episodes and was first aired in December 2000 and last aired towards the end of 2001.
- Season 2 was the longest and comprised of 11 episodes. It was first aired in April 2002 and wet all the way to December of 2002 when it was last aired.
- Season 3 comprised of the fewest episodes (eight episodes only). It was first aired in October 2003 and last seen on December 2003.
- After the TV show ended, the webisodes were show until 2007 when the entire show disappeared.
The Brak Show still remains one of my favorite shows of the good old days. I would be happy to see its re-run. There was a lot to be done to expand the character and bring out the back-story of most of them that was missing on the first release. I would also be happy to see the development of Brak into a household name and he will be received by the current generation.
What is your take about the Brak Show?
Did you watch the show back then? What is you take on a re-run of the show?