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Western Animation / The Brak Show

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The Brak Show (2000-2003) was a very surreal Quarter Hour Short on [adult swim], parodying Dom Coms, set (sort of) in the Space Ghost Coast to Coast universe. The show starred Brak and Zorak as high school students in a suburban neighborhood.

It was animated by Wild Hare Studios, which animated Aqua Teen Hunger Force for its first two seasons. Clay Martin Croker, who played Zorak, was also the animation director for both series. It ran for three seasons and twenty-eight episodes before it was unexpectedly cancelled, with viewers not finding out till the end of the final episode.


The Brak Tropes:

  • Baleful Polymorph: Thanks to Mobab forcing her into a cocoon, Mom ends up as a giant butterfly at the end of his episode.
  • Basement-Dweller: Despite being a suave gentlemen, Mobab still lives in his mother's basement.
  • Brick Joke: At the start of "Brakstreet: Men in the Band" it's mentioned Mom went to a ski resort to get away from Dad and Brak. After Dad and Brak win the rap battle, first prize being a trip to a ski resort, it turns out to be the same ski resort Mom went to, much to her displeasure.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Zorak to Thundercleese. Granted, Zorak is a bullying jerk ass to everyone, but you'd think he'd give the literal war machine a wider berth.
  • The Chew Toy: Clarence grew into this role as he made more appearances. He's been dropped down a trapdoor, set on fire by a pyrokinetic Zorak, nonchalantly gunned down also by Zorak (offscreen, he thought they were playing squirt guns), Eaten Alive by a giant ant, had his body processed into sausages, and lost part of his head to a shoulder rocket.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dad often demonstrates this side of himself through his nuggets of wisdom. Or emptying a shotgun into an ice cream display case for "trying to rob him".
  • Groin Attack: Referenced when Butchy is mentioned in passing as threatening to kick Zorak's biscuits. Dad's reaction heavily suggests this trope.
    Zorak: Shut up about my biscuits!
  • Grounded Forever:
    • In an episode, Dad grounded Brak for 3 years.
    • In another, he grounded Brak with these words:
      "... and you can rot up there, for all I care!"
  • Kill It with Fire: Zorak is seen discharging a flamethrower in the opening credits, and appears in one fantasy sequence turning that same flamethrower onto an auditorium. He also undergoes an inexplicable "metamorphosis" in one episode that gives him pyrokinesis, which he uses to set Thundercleese, Wunderbird, and Clarence aflame.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Brenda, Mom's lookalike and replacement in "Splat", was easily the darkest character in the series, with a disturbing sense of humor and a violent temper.
  • Large Ham:
    • Thundercleese as well.
      Thundercleese: "Is that the best you can do?"
      His Adversary: "... yes."
      Thundercleese: "THEN PREPARE TO TASTE MY RAGE!"
      • Seriously, he can't even take a vacation without getting hammy.
        Cut to Thundercleese surfing on a tidal wave while aimlessly shooting his laser cannons in all directions.
        Thundercleese: "OUT OF MY WAY! HA HA! TASTE DEFEAT!!!"
  • Lethally Stupid: Brak is put in charge of looking after Thundercleese's pet goldfish, but is warned not to feed him three hams because it will kill him. The first thing Brak does is feed the fish a three-ham omelette (he somehow remembered it as "three hams will fill him").
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Rhonda, of the Seventh Level of Yar, is a freaky entity in a box that tried to encourage her son's attempts at cannibalism. There's also Brenda, Mom's very disturbing lookalike and replacement.
  • No Name Given: Brak's parents. In one of the Adult Swim New Year's Eve Party bumpers in 2003, his name is Javier and he's not Brak's dad.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Thundercleese's powers are turned off after being deemed "obsolete", Zorak takes this opportunity to destroy his garden since he can no longer blast him like usual. Zorak has this reaction when Brak tells Thundercleese his powers were turned back on due to the threat of an oncoming meteor.
  • Out of Focus: In "Feud", Brak and Zorak are completely absent until they suddenly show up in a tank near the end.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Dad (rather poorly) dresses up his new vacuum cleaner with a wig, a pair of fake lips, a bra, and a skirt, and tries to pass it off as his mother. Brak and Thundercleese buy it (although Thundercleese was already smitten with the vacuum cleaner).
  • Pinocchio Nose: In "Dinner Party", Franklin's nose keeps growing every time he lies. Nobody seems to notice.
  • Product Placement:
    • Papa John's Pizza appeared through stock photos in a few episodes. The company was even thanked in the credits of an episode.
    • At the end of Braklet, Prince of Spaceland, after both Brak and Zorak have been decapitated.
      Brak: Well, what are we gonna do now?
      Zorak: (Looking into the camera) Watch The Powerpuff Girls Movie on DVD!
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: Brak. Once he can be heard muttering, "MAN, I love sleeping. I wish I could wake up so I could go back to sleep again."
  • Rule of Funny: The show essentially runs on it. How else do you make the jump from fish food to ham in less than five seconds?
  • Shout-Out:
    • As seen in his "grandma prison" flashbacks, Zorak shared the same prison number as Alex DeLarge.
    • Merlin, the more serious wizard, shares the same garb colors as another wizard with the same name.
    • Brak has a jar containing a "Charlie Daniels Gland", which he named because of the hat it inexplicably possesses.
    • The bulletin board in Brak's bedroom has a 2 Stupid Dogs picture on it.
  • Spin-Off: From Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • Stock Footage:
    • From Space Ghost & Dino Boy. One episode used Stock Footage from Huckleberry Hound.
    • Most of Brak and Zorak's animation were actually recycled from the "Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak" Specials.
  • They Killed Kenny Again:
    • Zorak has been killed a few times, but always manages to return (although "Splat" required some magical assistance for that to happen). Clarence has also been killed or grievously injured a few times, as well (such as in the aforementioned "Splat").
    • Not of the show itself, but Dad once hosted a series of "We will kill you" Halloween bumpers in 2003. The Running Gag involved him being killed in almost every one of them.
  • To Serve Man: Zorak surmises that the mothership that appears in "Pepper" is a lunch wagon that'll take the "lucky one" and feed them to a giant worm. It turns out he was not far off when they abduct Sisto and ask how long it takes to "prepare themselves".
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: It turns out that Pepper is actually male, when the mothership speaker outright says that it's time to return home to his wife and children. Zorak, who had spent the episode in a relationship with Pepper, was understandably angry to find this out.
  • Wham Line:
    • The show's final line is Brak revealing that the show has been cancelled.
    • Parodied in "All That I Desire You" (which made fun of soap opera tropes) with the revelations that Dad was really the tumor-bearing millionaire Drake Gainway the entire time, Brak's wife was actually his half-sister due to being Dad's legitimate daughter, and that Zorak, and Clarence were the illegitimate children of Dad's mistress, Cynthia (who Zorak and Clarence both married).
  • What Does She See in Him?: The series gets a lot of mileage out of Mom's unpleasant marriage to Dad (although she seems to desire him when she's tanked). Amusingly, he even seems aware of this.
    Mom: No, Brak, dear. Your father is just being an ass.
    Dad: Well, you should know. You married one!
  • Whole Plot Reference: Braklet, Prince of Spaceland is a take on Hamlet. Of course, this is still The Brak Show so everything is completely insane. For example, there is a lightsaber battle at the end, and a plug for The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
  • A Wizard Did It: A literal example, as apparently everything that exists in the Brak Show was brought into existence by Marlon and Merlin.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Zorak apparently discharges some kind of disgusting goop, as seen when he forcefully stays in Brak's bed. He asks Brak if he really wants to know where his "funk" came from.


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