The voice of Zorak and Moltar has gone to the great syndication in the sky. Family confirmed he passed away early the morning of Sunday, September 18. He was 54.
Croker is best known for his voice work and animation work with Cartoon Network and [adult swim], voicing Zorak and Moltar on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, Cartoon Planet, Toonami, and The Brak Show, as well as Steve and Dr. Weird in the openings of the first few seasons of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Croker was also Space Ghost's chief animator, also getting his start doing bumps for TNT's cartoon programming in the 1990s, and doing many of Cartoon Network's signature "bumps". [adult swim] tweeted about Croker's passing earlier today.
I love Space Ghost. It is one of the greatest tv shows of all time. Croker was such a key part of this, providing two strong counterbalances to George Lowe's Space Ghost that were key to the alchemy of the show. Two of my favorite episodes feature strong Zorak/Moltar performances-- "King Dead", in which Zorak and Moltar quit the show, start a band, kidnap John Benjamin, watch cable in Space Ghost's apartment, and make "Unreasonable Demands."
In "Snatch," replicating pods invade the studio as The Blob covers all exits. As Space Ghost, Zorak, and Moltar try to stay awake to prevent the pods from murdering and replicating them, Moltar comes up with a plan to plate himself in metal, go to the beach, and rust, because "rust never sleeps."
And then, of course, there's all of Zorak's classic adventures, like with his nephew Raymond, when he turns into "Batmantis!" or his rivalry with Donny Osmond, from whom he demands to sleep on his couch. Watch the whole thing and weep in awe of its brilliance:
Perhaps most amazing was that he could sing in these character voices. I love the Space Ghost Christmas Special for Zorak singing "ANARCHY IN JINGLE-BELL LAND!!!"-- click, click, click. And, of course, his numerous songs on Cartoon Planet were legendary, even if they got overshadowed by Brak. The difference is, Zorak and Moltar never got cloying or annoying. Brak does.
And then there was Dr. Weird and Steve on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. While I love the later seasons with Spacecataz and The Mooninites, the complete randomness of these cold opens was always one of the best parts of ATHF.
I salute you, Sir Croker. We will think of you when we look to the night sky.