Series: The Great Space Coaster
"Off we go!"
A syndicated children's series, featuring cartoons, live action segments, and puppets. The series was co-created by Kermit Love and Jim Martin, and featured a number of talent who either came from, or went onto, The Muppets
. The premise followed three musicians from Earth - Roy, a keyboardist; Danny, a drummer, and Francine, a guitarist - who travel to an asteroid-like planet
out in space via the titular coaster, driven by Baxter, a life-sized circus clown
puppet who is actually on the run from his mean ringmaster, M.T. Promises. Other bizarre characters include Gary Gnu, host of The Gary Gnu Show
, where no g'news is good g'news; Goriddle Gorilla, a mischievous, gravelly-voiced gorilla who doesn't quite think before he acts, and Knock Knock, a sophisticated woodpecker who lives in a tree.
As of 2012, Tanslin Media has obtained the rights to The Great Space Coaster
. Current plans include preserving the old episodes to potentially donate them to a museum/media center (as the use of licensed songs in the program would make all 250 episodes hard to release on DVD or streaming without significantly cutting them out) and the production of new online content featuring Gary Gnu with hopes to garner enough attention for a full-fledged revival
. More information can be found on the Tanslin Media site
and the official Facebook page
. The preservation of these old episodes is time sensitive, as the tapes they're on are deteriorating due to age, meaning that most of the show could potentially be gone for good. The initial Kickstarter effort, which originally set out with the goal to save at least one episode, made enough money to start the preservation process for 20 episodes. Currently, Tanslin Media is holding another preservation fundraiser featuring previous Kickstarter merch and rare show memorabilia through eBay
, which so far has raised enough funds to preserve an additional 7 episodes. Several fan-uploaded full episodes of the show can be found on Gnu, uh, Youtube.
- All Planets Are Earth-Like
- Alliterative Name: Gary Gnu, Goriddle Gorilla.
- Breakout Character: Gary Gnu, in spades; a number may not even remember this series, but all you have to do is mention Gary Gnu, and they know who you are talking about.
- Catch Phrase: "This is Gary Gnu, and The No G'News is Good G'News Show, the only TV g'news program guaranteed to contain no g'news whatsoever!"
- Also, "No g'news is good g'news with Gary Gnu!"
- "Of course! I promise!
- Cloudcuckoolander: Goriddle could fit the bill.
- Cousin Oliver: Later in the series' run, a small group of sickeningly cute baby aliens known as The Huggles were introduced in an attempt to reach out to younger audiences.
- Crossover: Supposedly, characters from Sid & Marty Krofft Productions made guest appearances.
- Dastardly Whiplash: M. T. Promises
- Drop-In Character: In addition to The Huggles, other new characters were introduced at the beginning of Season Four, in an attempt to help boost up the slumping ratings.
- Eccentric Townsfolk: Most of the native characters of this planet.
- Expository Theme Tune
- Fantastic Comedy
- Jerkass: Goriddle Gorilla, to a degree.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: From an early episode, one of Gary Gnu's no g'news reports of was of a showgirl who had a serious smoking problem: not only did she continually smoke a cigarette as she was preparing for a show, but we she has an ashtray overflowing with smoldering butts, her dressing room floor covered in a layer of butts, and not only does she put out her current cigarette just seconds before the curtain call, she starts hacking and choking after she begins singing. Such a thing would be met with outcry today.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Goriddle again.
- Laugh Track
- Medium Awareness: Some skits involve the characters speaking to the audience, usually to introduce celebrity guest stars, or whenever Baxter is about to take the gang on another trip in the coaster.
- Medium Blending
- Running Gag: Gary Gnu pronouncing N words with a hard G sound before it (e.g., "No g'news is good g'news").
- Promotion to Opening Titles: All of them. To be fair, the opening titles was just an animated sequence of Baxter picking up and transporting Roy, Danny, and Francine to the asteroid in the titular coaster set to the show's theme song. For the last two seasons, however, the opening titles added something of a Dramatis Personae overlay, and a Goriddle voice-over announcing, "It's The Great Space Coaster, starring Goriddle Gorilla; Gary Gnu; Baxter; Roy, Danny, and Francine; The Great Space Coaster Gang (M.T. Promises, Big Jock Ox, Rory, et al), and The Huggles!"
- Punny Name
- Knock-Knock the Woodpecker
- M.T. Promises
- Puppet Shows
- Show Within a Show: The program had several recurring segments, such as "Speed Reader".
- Species Surname: Gary Gnu and Goriddle Gorilla.
- Spiritual Successor: To the works of Jim Henson.
- Talking Animal