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


Cracks
The short's opening shot
The short's opening shot
Status Found: English Version
Lost: Spanish Version
Date found Dec 24 2013
Found by Anonymous and dycaite

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 publicising 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, although this has never been definitively proven.

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]


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


avatar

Anonymous user #1

6 months ago
Score 0++

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.
avatar

Anonymous user #2

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

Markiegee50X

4 months ago
Score 0++
yup
avatar

Moodiecitymadman

4 months ago
Score 1++
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.
avatar

Anonymous user #3

3 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).
avatar

Anonymous user #1

3 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #4

3 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #5

3 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?
avatar

Virtualboy

2 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #6

2 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.
avatar

Dinglus

2 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #7

2 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

2 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #10

1 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #6

2 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #8

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

ApolloJustice

2 months ago
Score 0++
This is my account now, I didn't have one at the time that I posted the comment
avatar

Anonymous user #9

2 months ago
Score 0++
Goddammit, the latin american dub is lost
avatar

Seychermanium

1 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #11

22 days ago
Score 0++
What did they say?
avatar

Seychermanium

17 days ago
Score 0++

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.
avatar

Davidporkchop

17 days 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #12

17 days ago
Score 0++
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
avatar

ApolloJustice

6 days ago
Score 0++
The LMW Nutshack: https://www....=3-517vyrRl4
Add your comment
The Lost Media Wiki welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.


This site is best viewed at 1920x1080 screen resolution.
Powered by MediaWiki Creative Commons Licence