Zorak

Zorak

For the town in Armenia, see Dzorak.
Zorak is a cartoon former supervillain who first appeared in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost. Zorak appeared as a 7 foot tall, green mantis and is a foe of the show's titular superhero.

Television shows

Space Ghost

Zorak originally appeared in the animated series Space Ghost and Dino Boy in 1966. Zorak was a villain who battled against Space Ghost. Zorak was voiced by Don Messick, who spoke in a buzzy monotone meant to evoke his insect-like features.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast


Cartoon Network revived the Space Ghost characters in 1994 for Space Ghost Coast to Coast, a talk show where the main characters' roles were re-invented. On the new show, Space Ghost had released Zorak from prison, but forced Zorak to act as his leader of the band 'The Original Way Outs' from a "prison pod" with an installed keyboard. Zorak's villainous mentality remained, and he would heckle Space Ghost in most episodes. In rare instances, the two would have moments of compromise, such as when Space Ghost believes he is dying. On the Cartoon Network shows, Zorak was voiced by animator C. Martin Croker. Croker originally imitated the monotone of Messick, but over the years took Zorak's voice in his own direction. 

Zorak was initially referred to by Space Ghost as a locust; it wasn't until the seventh episode, "Punch", when guest Dian Parkinson mistook him for a grasshopper that he mentioned that he is actually a mantis. He explained that he didn't notice Space Ghost was calling him a locust until Space Ghost brought it up. Zorak also refers to himself as "The Lone Locust of the Apocalypse", but does not explain the meaning of this title, although it could be an allusion to his destructive tendencies. It is notable that Zorak has an apparent rivalry with fellow Space Ghost villain Lokar, who is quite obviously a humanoid locust; Lokar is portrayed as elitist and more cultured than the vulgar and crude Zorak, whom Lokar insultingly refers to as an arachnid.

Footage from the original series for Zorak is taken from his entire crew, meaning Zorak's gloves and vest have a tendency to change colour for no reason. He also has his own unique sound (which he once tried to sue Space Ghost for stealing) that he makes whenever he blinks.

Although Zorak has proven elusive concerning any parents or relatives, the episode " Hungry" introduced his likable, harmless nephew, Raymond. A miniature version of Zorak, Raymond aspires to one day be "Uh... Locust of 'pocalypse", which Space Ghost finds immensely cute. Zorak eventually devours his nephew, resulting in a brief memorial slideshow, including a photo of Moltar and Raymond in a bathtub in the middle of a busy street. Though seemingly dead, Raymond has made two appearances since his introductory episode. The first is the episode " Speck" which actually features only Raymond's voice, calling out that he's still alive, while Zorak talks loudly to mask his nephew's pleas for help (all of which goes right over Space Ghost's head). Raymond's third and final appearance was a post-credits ending to the " Zorak" episode in which he reappears to Zorak as an angel trying to earn his wings. Raymond was voiced by C. Martin Croker, just like his uncle Zorak.

In the episode "Girlie Show", Zorak admits to being Episcopalian. This claim is repeated in "Woody Allen's Fall Project", which featured a live staging of the scene in "Girlie Show" by staff members of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Other television appearances

Space Ghost Coast to Coast itself spawned two spin-offs, Cartoon Planet in 1995 and The Brak Show in 2001. Zorak appeared in both shows, on the former as a foil for Space Ghost, and on the latter as Brak's trouble-making friend (an homage to Eddie Haskell of Leave It to Beaver). Zorak also appeared briefly in a non-speaking role on what is commonly dubbed as Anime Talk Show, a 15-minute cartoon airing after the first episode of Perfect Hair Forever. Zorak's race appear in one episode of Jabberjaw entitled "There's No Place Like Outer Space."

Comic book

Zorak also appeared in a DC Comics series exploring the origins of Space Ghost. In the comic, he is the leader of the Zorathians, a race of carnivorous mantis-like semi-humanoids commonly referred to as "bugs". The "bugs" follow the Way, under the rule of Lord Zorak, traveling from planet to planet, killing the inhabitants and breeding in the dead. While the majority of Zorathians are olive green with two arms (with either hands or pincers), Zorak is green with purple markings and has four arms (two with pincers, two with hands) and silver armor. It is implied that he is immortal through some sort of hive mentality and blood connection with all Zorathians in that if Zorak dies, another becomes Zorak with his essence inside them, even becoming an exact duplicate.

Trivia

  • In a first season episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Bobcat", Space Ghost claims that Zorak's real name is Katy Did. Zorak acts surprised, but does not confirm or deny the claim. Space Ghost also said that The Ramones, a guest on the show, were Zorak's favorite band.
  • Zorak is talented at playing keyboard, theremin, and guitar
  • In a second season episode of The Brak Show, "Brakstreet: Men in the Band", Zorak reveals that he can turn invisible. When Brak says he did not know Zorak could do that, Zorak also reveals that he is 40.
  • Both Brak and Zorak have names that have Russian meanings. "Zorak" (better spelled Зopaк Сорак) means "40" in Russian; which his age in the previous tidbit may reference, while "Brak" (Брак) means "wedding".
  • According to a GameTap episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Al Alcorn, known here as "Mr. Pong", revealed himself to be Zorak's father. Space Ghost denied this stating for Alcorn to "get help", as he was "shacking up with a mantis".
  • K. Ravi has a track entitled Zorak on the Cloudwatch compilation CD.
  • The original drawing of Zorak from 1966 suggests his name was going to be 'Torak', by both the name error on the left-hand side, as well as the pasted-over error on the right-side.
  • In 1999, Zorak starred in a Cartoon Network music video singing "Don't Send in the Clowns".
  • Changing surname - In the 1998 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Cahill", Space Ghost referred to Zorak as Zorak Roberts (though it's also thought that he merely said Robert, implying a middle name). However in the later episode of The Brak Show, "Braklett, Prince of Spaceland" Brak's father referred to him as Zorak Jones.
  • In one episode of The Brak Show, "War Next Door" Zorak was revealed to have a pleasant singing voice, disguised thickly by the fact that there was a great pink talking lump living in his throat, named 'Carmine', making his voice raspy. Zorak later swallowed the lump and returned from having a "beautiful man voice" to his customary rasp.
  • Zorak is capable of hypnotism as he demonstrated in the episode of The Brak Show, "Braklett, Prince of Spaceland" when he killed Brak's father and hypnotised Brak's mother into being his wife. He also used hypnotism in a couple of episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast although Space Ghost insisted that he could not be hypnotised unless Zorak's eyes spun counter-clockwise.
  • "The Bashingtons", a series of cartoons shorts displaying all the Adult Swim show characters together at a New Year's Eve party, revealed that there are two Zoraks, one for both shows, Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and The Brak Show. The two Zoraks are distinguished by one having all new animation while the other is culled from old Space Ghost cartoons. As he cries that there can be only one as prelude to a fight, the original Zorak is suddenly crushed when a fashionably late Thundercleese arrives.
  • Zorak is working on his own horror-tragedy spin-off series called "Blood Dumpster" where he plays a serial killer with knife hands and an electric wheelchair. Space Ghost said that the trailer gave him nightmares.
  • In the original 60s series of Space Ghost, Zorak's home planet was called Dokar.

References

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