Cracks aka 'Crack Master' (found Sesame Street animated short; 1975)


Cracks
The short's opening shot
The short's opening shot
Status Found
Date found Dec 24 2013 / Mar 15 2017
Found by English: Anonymous and dycaite

Spanish: Patriot712

Cracks was an animated Sesame Street short that aired for its first time on December 31, 1975. The short gained notoriety in the late 2000s due to its unavailability, having aired a total of only 11 times over the course of 3 and a half years in the US. Its initial popularity came from when numerous recounts of the short began emerging online.

Plot Synopsis

The 1 and a half minute short tells the story of a young girl making friends with imaginary crack creatures (ie. a camel, a hen and a monkey), formed by cracks in her bedroom wall, before encountering the unnerving 'Crack Master', a large, distorted face that proceeds to bellow at the group, moments before crumbling to the ground; the short is narrated (partially in song form) by an, as of now, unidentified woman. An official description of the short (as found in documentation sourced from the CTW archives at the University of Maryland, College Park) reads "A girl lying in bed imagines she sees a crack in the wall (DIVERGENT THINKING) (TIME 1:29)".[1]

Search Efforts

In late 2008, a man by the name of Jon Armond came into possession of a copy of the short after conducting a search effort for it, though he was ultimately contractually forbidden for sharing it with anyone and was, under no circumstances, to reproduce the short. While Armond offered people the chance to view the short in his home (and, on a select few occasions, actually travelled to an audience to show it to them), he upheld his contractual obligations and refrained from putting the short online (despite the huge demand for it), much to the dismay of many. On top of his aforementioned agreement to keep the animation under wraps, Armond was also forbidden from even publicizing the short's title or the names of those involved in its creation; the identities of the short's creators are still, to this day, completely unknown (for a time, animator Cosmo Anzilotti was rumoured to have had a hand in its creation, though he would later go on to deny any involvement).[2] Armond did, however, record a 9 minute 'audio documentary' on the short in 2009, including a word-for-word reading of the script, which he shared with a handful of users that he'd previously been in contact with (with the recording eventually finding its way to YouTube).

Notably, in the years following Armond's successful acquisition of the clip, several Latin American users came forward with claims that the short had aired in the 1990s and 2000s during the Spanish dub of Sesame Street, Plaza Sesamo. Said version was uploaded to YouTube by user 'AT Productions (Patriot712 on the LMW)' on March 15, 2017, with his higher quality VHS recording being released on March 31, 2017.

Release

After conducting an extensive search effort of his own (involving letters and emails to both Sesame Workshop and the aforementioned CTW archives, plus petitions and the like), Lost Media Wiki founder Dycaite was miraculously sent a copy of the once-elusive short by a generous anonymous source, in late December of 2013; it was uploaded to YouTube shortly thereafter, and his since garnered over 100,000 views. It has been confirmed by blogger Jennifer Bourne, aka Namowal (who was privately screened Armond's copy) that the version sent to Dycaite is not the same one that Armond had been provided with, as the latter was taken from an actual episode of Sesame Street and began with a brief glimpse of a previous skit, whereas the former appears to have been sourced from an archive of some kind, instead beginning with a title card (complete with production code and runtime).[3]


The Spanish dub

Reception

The short's release caused a spark on numerous media outlets, most notably being The Huffington Post, who described it as 'eerie' and 'haunting.'

References

  1. Rundown of Episode 979 (February 10, 1977), as found in the CTW archives. Last retrieved 04 Mar 2015.
  2. Cosmo Anzilotti's response to a letter from Dycaite regarding the short; 27 Jul 2013. Last retrieved 04 Mar 2015.
  3. Blog post by Namowal on the short's unearthing; 27 Dec 2013. Last retrieved 04 Mar 2015.

External links

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

13 months ago
Score 2++

Still fascinated as fuck by the tight agreements Armond was held under. A contract? For fuck's sake, how big of a deal could this be?

Found a really interesting quote: "his source seemed uncomfortable that that the cartoon existed in the first place."

So interesting; in fact, interests me more than the short itself.
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Anonymous user #15

6 months ago
Score 0++
My theory is that he contacted the creator and they gave it to him and forced him to sign a contract so his name wouldn't be tarnished by short due to it's eerie and odd manor.
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Anonymous user #2

11 months ago
Score 1++
I remember seeing it on a video on youtube talking about sesame street. It was from youtuber blameitonjorge
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Markiegee50X

11 months ago
Score 0++
yup
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Moodiecitymadman

11 months ago
Score 3++
Maybe it didn't air much because of the repeated use of the word crack (referring to the drug). It's possible that this was pulled during the crack epidemic in the 80's as well.
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Anonymous user #21

1 months ago
Score 0++
It says, however, that it premired in 1975, and it also says that it aired "over 3-and-a-half years". That meant it stopped airing in 1978. Also, in the short, the word "cracks" meant wall cracks, not drugs.
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ApolloJustice

1 months ago
Score 0++
Yes, but parents who didn't know better and only heard their kid talking about "cracks" and "crack master" could get the wrong idea very easily.
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Anonymous user #3

11 months ago
Score 1++
This wouldn't be the first time a Sesame Street segment was pulled for being frightening (see Wicked Witch of the West episode, 1976).
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Anonymous user #1

11 months ago
Score 0++
There is no evidence of this. You're correct on the Wicked Witch, but there was nothing ever confirmed for this. The shows 2,000+ animated segments get phased out all the time in favor of new ones, but 11 times in three years is weird.
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Anonymous user #4

11 months ago
Score 0++
I wonder who voice acted in this though. Was she maybe a Jazz singer? I wonder if she is still around.
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LaptiNek

5 months ago
Score 0++
She could be, and she could have lived in NYC.
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Anonymous user #5

10 months ago
Score 0++

a few questions- 1. why was this lost!? 2. Who the heck is the lady singing in this!?

3. did jim Henson work on these creepy sesame street cartoons?
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Virtualboy

10 months ago
Score 0++
Jim was probably in London working on The Muppet Show at the time; I would guess he didn't even know this short existed.
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Anonymous user #6

10 months ago
Score 0++
Maybe even the Sesame Street people don't even know who the original creators are. It's possible they pulled it from air because they didn't want to air something unaccredited to someone.
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Dinglus

10 months ago
Score 0++
Interesting point that. The only site that lists its (probable) production company is Big Cartoon Database, where they list Buzzco Associates as the producers, but that can't be right since Buzzco formed in 1982 (long after Cracks was made). Unfortunately, seems that whoever made it may never come forward.
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Anonymous user #7

10 months ago
Score 0++
It's also possible that the group you sites could have made it before they formed a studio, possibly as a test of the animators and the like. Or maybe just as a test of animating in general.
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Anonymous user #1

10 months ago
Score 0++

True. There was a long period of time where they held an extensive internet search to find out who played Gordon in the original test pilots. If only they cared about Cracks that much...

Dinglus, it may not have even been a company. This was the only work this "group" did for Sesame Street.

We are all just dying to know why they won't come forward. Someone out there, who has the most minimal involvement in the short (as an heir) knows there are people online who are dying to know this. It's possible some of the people involved in its creation may now be dead, and if Armond's source doesn't speak, sadly we may never know the full story of 'Cracks', if there even is one. We should start offering a monetary reward if Jon's source comes forward.
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Anonymous user #10

8 months ago
Score 0++
That is the most likely answer; the short was created by someone whose contract was never fully cleared up, and was shown illegally due to some loophole for some time. When they figured it out, they decided to bury the matter entirely to avoid backlash against the foundation and the show.
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Anonymous user #6

10 months ago
Score 0++
I sent sesame workshop an email about this. Don't know what I'm gonna get back, probably nothing, but worth a try.
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SilenceEnigma

5 months ago
Score 0++
Get anything yet?
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Anonymous user #8

10 months ago
Score 0++
The name "Crack Master" conjures up all sorts of unpleasant images
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ApolloJustice

9 months ago
Score 0++
This is my account now, I didn't have one at the time that I posted the comment
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Anonymous user #9

9 months ago
Score 0++
Goddammit, the latin american dub is lost
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Seychermanium

8 months ago
Score 0++
Lemme ask my mom if she ever saw the latin american dub. Or even my brother, he was born in the 90s. I MUST KNOW IF THAT DUB EXISTS.
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Anonymous user #11

8 months ago
Score 0++
What did they say?
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Seychermanium

8 months ago
Score 1++

I can't reply to the anonymous; But I asked to my mother and my father (my brother was at work), and they indeed remember watching it. My mom automatically started discribing the short to me once I showed her the picture of the girl beside the cracks; My father agreed with her, saying he also watched it at some point, and then I showed him the pic as well.

But, one thing seems quite off: My mother told me that this short was shown quite often in TV as an intermission, or something like that. She remembers it because she saw it lots of times; I feel it off, maybe because I thought this was barely shown here at Mexico as well. Let me see if my brother ever saw it, if this was aired between 1990 and 2000, he should remember it as well, since he was born in 1990. If I can have a breakthrough with that, I will comment again.
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Patriot712

4 months ago
Score 0++
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Davidporkchop

8 months ago
Score 0++
This aired before I was born but still looks like something that would have aired when I saw SS as a kid. This bit amazes me to no end. Glad its been found but we all are curious about the origins of the piece.
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Anonymous user #12

8 months ago
Score 1++
Theres still many questions not awsered yet like who created this or whos that girls name did she apeer in a another short and why was it lost
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ApolloJustice

7 months ago
Score 0++
The LMW Nutshack: https://www....=3-517vyrRl4
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Anonymous user #13

7 months ago
Score 0++
Hot
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Anonymous user #14

6 months ago
Score 0++
Tru
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Anonymous user #16

4 months ago
Score 0++
Oh my God... I actually own the Latin Spanish version O_O. I own a piece of lost media, I can't believe it!
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Anonymous user #17

4 months ago
Score 0++
Prove it.
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Anonymous user #18

4 months ago
Score 0++
I have it on one of my old Plaza Sesamo VHSs, and I actually have the box containing them right with me, but the thing is, there are too many so it might take me while until I find it, but once I find it I'll record it and upload it to YouTube, I promise.
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Patriot712

4 months ago
Score 1++

Here's the Latin Spanish dub!

https://www....vcsys6c&
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Patriot712

4 months ago
Score 1++
(I am the Anons 16 and 18, btw).
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Patriot712

4 months ago
Score 2++

Here's the Latin Spanish dub!

https://www....vcsys6c&
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LaptiNek

4 months ago
Score -1++
Please translate
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Virtualboy

4 months ago
Score 0++
Bro, watch the English version lol.
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Raincrafter

4 months ago
Score 0++
HO-LE-SHIT Thank You!!!
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Seychermanium

4 months ago
Score 0++
¡Eres el mejor! But I find kinda funny how it was present in a commercial VHS this whole time. XD ¡Gracias por compartir!
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Patriot712

4 months ago
Score 0++
You're welcome! :)
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Gorillaz27

4 months ago
Score 0++
THERE GOES MY HERO!
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Anonymous user #19

4 months ago
Score 2++
The short film itself I find to be really good, for something that looks low budgeted (and possibly independently made), "Cracks (or Crack Master)" certainly has its own charm with the way it tells its story and when you get past all of the 'eerie lost media' stuff, Its actually pretty relaxing to watch.
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Kablamoid

4 months ago
Score 1++
and to think the Spanish version was only found 4 years later.
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Anonymous user #20

3 months ago
Score 0++
Who needs a lost dub here.
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Civi108

1 months ago
Score -1++
I would say that this, along with A Day with Spongebob Squarepants is the most searched for piece of lost media that has been confirmed to exist
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ApolloJustice

1 months ago
Score 1++
Since when was ADWSS confirmed to exist? Wasn't it just the opposite, that it never existed at all?
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Dinglus

1 months ago
Score 1++
ADWSS was never made. It was an idea pitched and scripted, but never picked up and so it never got past pre-production.
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Anonymous user #22

1 months ago
Score 1++
This may have aired around the same time as a very bizarre lost Bert and Ernie sketch. This sketch was an aerial view of Bert and Ernie playing basketball, with banjo music playing. Then Bert's head appeared in the upper left corner of the screen, and he appeared to be trying to bite the basketball as Ernie bounced it in the air. I know I saw this back around 1976, and it's completely lost now.
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