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NO! C. Martin Croker animator and voice actor on Space Ghost-to-Ghost dies

09.19.2016

There are no words that can express how I'm feeling right now. While we've all felt our share of losses this year, this one, to me, hit the hardest. By far.

SPACE GHOST: COAST-TO-COAST is not only my favorite cartoon show, but it also helped shape me into the person that I am today. The premise is simple: an out-of-work and out of touch superhero (Space Ghost) gets his own talk show in space, forcing two of his former enemies - a bug-creature named Zorak and a masked lava-man named Moltar - to be his band-leader and director, respectively. But it's humor, it's embracing of absurdism, and it's dry wit, are all things that I carry with me in all my endeavors. It's a show I still revisit to this day, and still mourn its passing. Hell, Space Ghost's symbol is currently my lock screen, desktop, and the cover photo on both my Twitter and Facebook accounts right now, and just a week ago I was showing episodes to friends who had never heard of it before. 

Not only that, but it's cult status attracted similar cult figures. It's where I first saw a young Jon Stewart (where he's so clearly hung over Space Ghost has to mention it), Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (where Odenkirk gets addicted to being shot by Space Ghost's rays), and Steven Wright (in probably my favorite episode involving evil Replicating Pods that gruesomely kill Wright), and many, many others. In fact, the first time I heard - and fell in love with - Rammstein was when SPACE GHOST: COAST-TO-COAST played the song "Rammstein" over the intro of the episode "Brilliant Number One" with Peter Fonda as the guest.

So it's with a heavy-heart that I have to report the death of one of the preeminent voices behind SPACE GHOST: COAST-TO-COAST, C. Martin Croker.

Many people might not have known who he was, but he was special to me. He was the voice of the main villains imprisoned and forced to work on Space Ghost's eponymous talk show, Zorak and Moltar. Moltar was my favorite, and I loved the running gag of his happy off-screen marriage with his lovely wife Linda. Not only that, but Croker did all the original animations on the show (that were not recycled from old Hanna-Barbara assets), as well as coming up with the idea of having Space Ghost's band leader and director be former villains to add conflict and humor to the show after an originally disastrous pilot (choosing Zorak because he's the "Joker" of Space Ghost canon, having appeared more than once, and Moltar because he had a screen he looked at in the original cartoon).

Croker also stayed on when SPACE GHOST became part of the Adult Swim block of programming on Cartoon Network in 2001. He then worked on other shows on Adult Swim, such as THE BRAK SHOW (reprising his role as Zorak) and AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE (where he played Dr. Weird that opened all the episodes in the early seasons), among many others - both as an animator and voice actor. 

No details have been released, but it appears to have been sudden. Such a loss. But as sad as it is to hear of his passing, at least we'll forever be blessed with the things he has worked on. 

Any favorite SPACE GHOST episodes? 

Extra Tidbit: C. Martin Croker would switch from Zorak's "casual" voice on the talk show to the more robotic "performing" voice (which more closely resembled how Zorak sounded on the original '60s show) when Zorak needed to seem more imposing.
Source: Twitter

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