The Crack Monster/Crack Master Mystery

I initially became aware of this insanely rare Sesame Street animated short via the Snopes message board. See this thread.

I’ve done a fair deal of searching over the years without making much headway. Just lately I happened upon this tumblr account.

If this guy is telling the truth, he has seen the clip in question, and had even posted recreations of characters and images from the work. Do please note that the thread starter at Snopes bears the same name and artwork as the chap at tumblr. He claims a friend contacted the current owner of the short, and gained permission to see it through him. The owner does not want a single image of the short made public in any way. All we have are artist renderings and descriptions.

A few questions…

Does anybody remember seeing this as a child?
Would the CTW have this archived in the show it aired on?
WHY would the current owner NOT want it shared our seen publicly?

For those not quick to click on links, a quick synopsis:
A girl daydreams of cracks on her wall coming to life as animals. Eventually a large crack monster calling itself the crack master appears, accompanied by scary music. At some point the monster kind of oozes off the wall and puddles on the floor.

Suggestions for its rarity and proposed banning was being too traumatic for children.

So, anyone got anything? :slight_smile:

  1. No, but I’m a little too young for the rumored date of it appearing.
  2. Maybe, but I’m sure everybody interested has religiously watched anything they’ve put up from that era.
  3. If this is really old AND it was pulled a long time ago, the footage might be lost. Alternatively, it might be buried so deep in a company vault that whoever technically has possession of this little short might not even know it. These are companies, they’re not going to pay somebody to watch every archive tape in hopes of finding some silly short because a handful of people on the internet want to see it.

I think the most plausible explanation is, if it existed in the first place, it’s probably lost in some dusty archive box somewhere and won’t be discovered for a looooong time – like until they sell their archival footage to a private collector who shows it to their kids or something.

Does Sesame Street have themed episodes? I.E. Where all the skits revolve around some central theme? I honestly can’t remember. If it does, it could have aired the same time as this short:

Okay, case solved, it turns out jon armond (jarmond at nrgmedia dot com) managed to snag a copy from the CFW archives. It aired on Thursday Feb 10, 1977 in the first 10 minutes of episode #979.

Unfortunately he is not allowed to upload it or reproduce it in any fashion, so you more or less have to find a way to meet them in person to view it.

ETA: This is all from the comments on the blog post from the OP of that Snopes thread

Hey guys, soon I’m going to be writing directly to Cosmo Anzilotti regarding this. I’ve set up a petition that I hope to send him with said letter, if you have time, please sign it:

Signed! I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks nion! :slight_smile:

dycaite–I removed the link to your petition. The rules of the Board don’t don’t allow for “calls to action.”

We’re not unsympathetic to your cause, you just can’t use the Board to further it.

samclem, moderator

Fair enough.

I do remember the first part of that. I can see the cracks forming a camel quite vividly in my memory. I do not, however, remember the second part about a crack master in any way.

Too late to edit the last post, but looking at the “re-creations” of this online, I do vaguely remember the Crack Master. (Sorry…that still sounds like the punchline to a dirty joke.)

I remember it. To this day, my parents still remark about how I was afraid of cracks as a kid, and vaguely recall that it might’ve been because of something I saw on TV, but nobody else I knew remembers it directly - I would’ve been about 3 or 4 when it aired and it was terrifying.

I was relieved to discover the tailoftherat blog a few years ago - it confirmed that I wasn’t mis-remembering anything. (or at least, me and a bunch of other people are all mis-remembering together)

I imagine it simply doesn’t belong to the current “owner”. But I’ve never understood why CTW wouldn’t let it be seen now - I can get why they would pull it from the TV show (obviously it didn’t go over too well with the target audience) but that audience is much older now and really wants to see it.

Namowal here from the tailotherrat blog that mentions the cartoon. For the record, I’ve never been able to prove Cosmo Anzilotti had anything to do with this cartoon.:slight_smile:
The notion came from a *comment *on my blog where someone (I don’t know who) claimed he’d “just got off the phone” with Anzilotti and learned he was the creator. When I asked for more proof the this was clarified as something like “Well, actually he died a few years ago[!] but it was him.”
The comments have since been removed, but that didn’t keep someone from adding a paragraph about Anzilotti and his “Crack Monster” cartoon on the Ralph Bakshi Wikipedia page. The “proof?” If you clicked the source, you were directed to the comment section of my blog. Obviously, not much proof there- as anyone can leave a comment. :smiley:

Still isn’t “proof”

Far from it. I should have made it clearer that that was my point- that the evidence was very poor.

Well, the next step is for someone to write a letter to CTW that’s nice enough to induce them to send Skippy the Intern to paw through their archives and see if he can’t dig something up. Best case, they find an old film or VTR tape and put it online; next-best, of course, is that Skippy is traumatized by some tramps performing a despicable and infamous crime against felt using old Kermit puppets, and goes on to detail it all on /b/.

Really, though, I hope the video is found and posted on an official CTW YouTube account.

I remember it very well; it scared the ever-loving crap out of me. I remember there were at least two animals: a camel and a monkey (maybe also a bird?) After travling through the walls, they arrive at the doorway to the attic, where the monkey stops them and says in a high, sing-song voice: “At night, behind the door, I think I hear, one more.”

They decide to go up into the attic and that’s where the discover The Master. He shouts and shakes at them trying to scare them, until he shakes so hard he knocks the plaster loose, leaving just a hole.

I wonder if the problems with crack monsters,
is that when one closes their eyes to go to sleep, or is in the dark (eyes open or closed) the random noise is interpreted as cracks ?

Also, it might be the subconscious actually chooses things to dream about, and so many young minds were having nightmares , even daymares, about cracks…

And then there would have been "My son wouldn’t walk down the street because the footpath was cracked’ !

I’ve posted about this cartoon before, in 2008 and last year. Been searching for it for years, to no avail. But count me among those who remember the short fondly, it made quite the impression on me.

You got it!
There was Crack Camel, Crack Hen, Crack Monkey and Crack Master (Also identified as “The Monster,” but never “The Crack Monster” in the cartoon)

I don’t even know the title of the cartoon (I’ve heard a rumor that it’s “Cracks” but I’ve heard a lot of crazy rumors…)