December 19, 2015


(CBS, September 13-December 6, 1986)

TMS Entertainment, Ltd.

Hal Rayle – Doyle Cleverlobe
Susan Blu – Aimee Brightower
Nancy Cartwright – Gilda Gossip, “Flat” Freddy Fender
Jennifer Darling – Booey Bubblehead, Myrtle Blastermeier, Wendy Garbo
David L. Lander – Milo de Venus
John Stephenson – Beef Bonk, Harvey Blastermeier, Mister Master, Jim the Gymnasium
Neil Ross – Rotten Roland, James/Mick Maggers, Punk McThruster, James T. Smirk, Flutorian
Guy Christopher – Earl Eccchhh
Danny Mann – The Creep, Mr. Splook
Howard Morris – Professor Icenstein, Luigi La Bounci, various
Pat Carroll – Biddy McBrain, Coach Katrina, Mrs. Unicycle
Pat Fraley – Coach Frogface, Janitor Sludge
Henry Gibson – Doyle’s locker, Aimee’s locker, Al Gatori, blackboard, Dr. Klotz
Gino Conforti – Ollie Oilslick, Reggie Unicycle, Mutie, Milburn Unicycle, Flutorian

When Michael Chase Walker became the Director of Children’s Programs at CBS, he wanted to create a Saturday morning line-up that would resemble an old-fashioned Saturday movie matinee. He had horror with Teen Wolf, comedy with Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and a western with Wildfire. To fill the science-fiction requirement, Walker turned to Tokyo Movie Shinsha’s creative director Syd Iwanter.

CBS Saturday morning promo for the 1986-87 season.

Iwanter was developing a show concept called High School 2525, which would have taken place in a school in the future. He hired John Kricfalusi to draw a one sheet pitch featuring the main characters, and Kricfalusi served as the character designer for the resulting show. Walker, interested in the idea, bought the show. However, he changed the setting from the future to space, the name to Galaxy High School, and convinced then-up-and-coming screenwriter Chris Columbus to develop it further and attach his name to it for an additional push. 

Doyle and Aimee.

The show became about two Earth teens in the 21st Century, Doyle Cleverlobe (Hal Rayle) and Aimee Brightower (Susan Blu), who were selected to be the first human attendees of the intergalactic Galaxy High on the asteroid Flutor as part of a grand experiment to bring various species together. On Earth, Doyle was a terrific athlete and very popular as a result, while Aimee was a bookworm and a good student and largely ignored. But, once they got to Galaxy High, their roles became reversed as the student body valued brains over athleticism. Aimee became popular and quickly made friends, was given a full scholarship and a new space car. Doyle was much maligned by his classmates, given a hard time by a temperamental sentient locker (Henry Gibson), forced to take a crummy job at Luigi’s Lunar Pizza Parlor to pay for his tuition, and was given a crappy scooter. In fact, Doyle’s inability to fit in and his failed attempts at trying became the central focus of the series. The show adapted common human conflicts with a space twist, as well as made use of space-themed puns in names like many other similar programs.

Luigi, Milo, Booey, Creep, Sludge, Wendy, Beef, Gilda, Rotten and Earl.

The students of Galaxy High were an eclectic collection of various beings of all shapes, sizes and numbered appendages. The class president and official greeter, as well as one of Doyle’s only friends, was Milo de Venus (after the Venus de Milo, voiced by David L. Lander), who resembled a chubby human nerd-type except for the fact he had six arms; Gilda Gossip (Nancy Cartwright) lived up to her name, especially with the four extra mouths on the extensions protruding from her head; Booey Bubblehead (Jennifer Darling) was a girl with a bubble for a head and an extremely absent-minded disposition to match; Wendy Garbo (also Darling), the school flirt who could literally turn green with envy (especially when it came to Aimee) and had a living fur stole around her neck; the Creep (Danny Mann), a flying yellow ball of fluff with a voice like Frank Sinatra and a massive crush on Aimee; “Flat” Freddy Fender (Cartwright), a 2-dimensional boy; Beef Bonk (John Stephenson) resembled a humanoid rooster, was the school bully, leader of the Bonk Bunch, and made a special project out of tormenting Doyle due to his hatred of Earthlings (as proclaimed by his shirt); Rotten Roland (Neil Ross) was one of Beef’s cronies who resembled the thing he loved the most: rotten eggs; and Earl Eccchhh (Guy Christopher), a slimy green blob with a bad temper that often hitched a ride with Earl.

Icenstein, McBrain, Katrina and Frogface.

The teachers were also a varied bunch. Ms. Biddy McBrain (Pat Carroll) was the school’s principal and English teacher whose head resembled a brain with  large funnel-like ears and a nose; Professor Icenstein (named after Victor Frankenstein, voiced by Howard Morris) was a science teacher made completely of ice; Coach Ferdy Frogface (Pat Fraley) was the boys’ coach for zuggleball (similar to hockey with a living puck), psyche hockey (hockey with psychically-controlled robots) and rocketball (basketball with jetpacks), and resembled a frog (complete with a diet of flies); the girls’ coach for outeraerobics and wateraerobics was Coach Katrina (Carroll), a centaur with a Mohawk; and the school’s janitor was Sludge (Fraley), who resembled a pink puppy but could change into a giant, muscular dog-monster. 

Hot-rodding with Beef.

The school was a mixture of the familiar with some high-tech space-age technology. Residents could communicate through Vidiphones, which displayed a picture of the person being spoken to. There were sentient blackboards and computerized lockers (all Gibson) designed to help students through their day (although Doyle’s, having been there since the school opened, had a bit of a foul temperament and often took it out on Doyle). Even the gymnasium building, named Jim (Stephenson), had sentience and the ability to change locations. As a means of travel around the building and to the other surroundings, asteroids the students used large pneumatic tubes called wooshers.

A trailer for Galaxy High School was premiered at Boston’s Creation Con a few months before the series debuted on September 13, 1986 on CBS. It was placed between Muppet Babies and Teen Wolf at 10 A.M. Don Felder from the Eagles composed the music for the series, including its theme song. The theme outlined the premise of the series for viewers along with some original animation. However, an alternate instrumental-only version of the intro was created utilizing purely clips from various episodes. Unlike most shows, the story title and credits were displayed on a title card at the end of the intro as the music played out with the series title being chanted, rather than cutting to a shot of a title card. Morris, as well as being one of the actors on the show, served as the series’ voice director. It was written by Larry DiTillio, Ken Koonce, David Weimers, Chris Weber, Karen Wilson, Jina Bacarr, Eric Lewald and Marc Scott Zicree. The episode “The Brain Blaster” was nominated for a Humanitas Award in 1987 for its anti-drug message, although it lost out to The Smurfs.

Creep tries to woo Aimee.

Halfway through the season, CBS moved the show to the later 11:30 timeslot between Teen Wolf and CBS Storybreak in order to give PPee-wee’s Playhouse its original slot. As a result, the series began to be preempted by sporting events or other broadcasting obligations by CBS. This made it difficult for the series to gain a significant or consistent audience and it was ultimately cancelled. Had it gone on, the budding relationship between Doyle and Aimee would have been further explored. The series was rerun in 1988 on CBS, and sporadically from 1994-96 on the Sci-Fi Channel where two minutes of each episode were edited out to make room for more commercials.

Galaxy High School, the book.

In 1987, Bantam-Skylark Books (now Random House) released a novelized adaptation of six episodes by Ann Hodgman. In 1989, Family Home Entertainment released a VHS with the first three episodes and “Beach Blanket Blow-Up.” In the United Kingdom, Channel 5 Video Distribution produced two VHS collections featuring the first four episodes between them. In 2006, Media Blasters released the complete series across two volumes through their Anime Works division. The box art for Volume 1 featured some early character concept work by Kricfalusi, resulting in their appearing slightly different than they did on the show. The episodes “Pizza Honor” and “The Beef Who Would Be King” were also swapped. In 2008, both volumes were re-released packaged together in a new cardboard sleeve. The series was made available for streaming through Amazon Video and Crunchyroll, and later on The Roku Channel and Amazon’s Freevee.

Booey laments her cancellation.

Despite the show’s short life, it has developed a cult following among loyal fans; some of which are employed by Cereal Geek magazine and have made frequent references to the series. In 1996, Walker optioned the rights to a film version of the series to John H. Williams of Vanguard Films, with Columbus attached to help develop. Deals were made with both DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures, but ultimately the project had fallen into limbo. 

“Welcome to Galaxy High” (9/13/86) – Aimee and Doyle arrive at the school and find their previous roles reversed as Aimee is popular and Doyle is picked on.

“Pizza’s Honor” (9/20/86) – Doyle has to make a delivery to a supposedly haunted planet, and Beef and his crew follow him in order to give him a fright.

“The Beef Who Would Be King” (9/27/86) – Doyle loses out the chance to be king of the planet Cholesterol to Beef, but Doyle has to rescue him when he learns they eat their king.

“Where’s Milo?” (10/4/86) – When Milo loses his friends and job, he ends up signing a contract to unknowingly become a living mannequin for a store.

“Those Eyes, Those Lips” (10/11/86) – Mick Magger is coming to perform at the school, but tickets are sold out before Booey can get in and a pizza monster kidnaps Wendy.

“Doyle’s New Friend” (10/18/86) – Beef is determined to become king of the dance and uses new recruit Wolfgang to switch the ballot boxes in his favor.

“Dollars and Sense” (10/25/86) – Aimee begins dating uber-rich Reginald Unicycle, whom her friends believe has the ability and plans to transform her into a golden statute.

“Beach Blanket Blow-Up” (11/1/86) – Doyle ends up missing the beach party trip due to having to make up an assignment, and ends up learning that sun is going to go supernova.

“The Brain Blaster” (11/8/86) – In order to succeed at psyche hockey and pass his classes, Doyle becomes addicted to a mind-enhancing Brain Blaster.

“The Brat Pack” (11/15/86) – Beef ends up in trouble and has to teach elementary school kids, whom he decides to take on an unapproved field trip to an amusement park.

“Founder’s Day” (11/22/86) – Accidentally activating a time machine sends some of the kids back to the days of the founding of the school.

“Martian Mumps” (11/29/86) – A new Martian exchange student brings the Martian Mumps, which drains everyone’s personalities and makes them only care about rules.

“It Came From Earth” (12/6/86) – Trying to win the big game on his own ends up getting Doyle knocked out and waking up 15 years later—on Earth.

Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.

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