Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crack Master (a.k.a. Crack Monster) turns Thirty Three



Sorry for the lack of posts- I've been working on different projects, but I couldn't let today go by without mentioning that, according to my sources...
..the elusive Crack Master and his crack friends debuted on television 33 years ago today.
I still don't know who made the cartoon or why it's kept under wraps. I found someone who has copy of it but they've been sworn to secrecy (and are too far away for me to swing by for a screening).
Who made it? What became of them? Did they do any other animations?
I have no idea if the legal owners are aware of its cult following or my blog posts about it. I don't even know the name of the cartoon, but I bet it's one of the following:
  • Crack Creatures
  • Into the Wall
  • Crack Friends
  • There Goes the Cleaning Deposit
  • Namowal, Get a Life You Freak

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jon here...

Happy anniversary Crack Master!

Oh, and it isn't called any of the titles you gave it, but I give you an "A" for originality. It isn't called "Crack Monster", "Crack Master" or "Behind the door" either. Seriously Jennifer, you live in Los Angeles...my home town (born and raised). All my family is still there. I do visit from time to time. Something tells me that me and my crack friend will meet up with you eventually!

Namowal said...

Dang Jon,I was sure I had it with one of the the first three. Hmmm...
...Cracktasia?

Let me know when you're in town. I work about four miles north of the airport and we do have a screening room...

...but if it's booked a computer laptop screening will suffice

stray said...

Love the titles, especially "There goes the cleaning deposit."

Namowal said...

Thanks, Stray!
By the way, there's a ceiling crack over my computer desk that I've named Crack Boa. I think he had some other buddies once, but they got Spackled.

Linda said...

I can't tell you how relieved I am to see that Jon left a sympathetic message.

Sally said...

I think you should make this cartoon yourself.

A couple of things about Sesame Street: The creator doesn't own the work, has no rights to it at all in fact, ulp. When I started out in early 70's, I was trying to get Sesame St. work. There was a company in San Francisco called Imagination Inc. They did a lot of the Sesame St. work. There weren't many independent animators at all then, so it would have probably been done through a production co. Perhaps R. Blechmann in New York? It would have been shot in 35mm and submitted in 35mm. Only if the studio wanted it on their reel would they have gone to the trouble of making a reduction in 16mm. 3/4 " cassettes didn't come in until later in the 70's as I recall, and then became the format for show reels. There were no vhs recorders then, so you see unless CTW chose to recycle the material in later shows it didn't stand much of a chance of survival.

Namowal said...

Hi Sally, Linda,
I'm beginning to think the name for this cartoon is What the....?
Sally, you may be on to something with the R. Blechman lead. I found this You-Tube short credited to R.O. Blechman that looks similar to the style of the cracks cartoon (at least as far as I can remember- it's been several decades).
p.s. I am working on an animation, but it's not a remake of this one. I've been tempted, however...!

Linda said...

What a wonderful Blechman piece that is.

stray said...

I remember when that R.O.B. commercial was on TV! I love it. Linda, remember when we were supposed to go hear R.O.B. at his studio for a conference and we waited and waited outside his studio door and finally gave up and left to see some 5th ave. galleries and saw a great Ida Koylmeyer show? I heard he did finally show up late, and I wish we could have met him.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you still care about this, seeing as it was about four years ago, but I recently saw a reference to the Sesame Street "crack master" in the Ralph Bakshi article on Wikipedia:

"Also during this time, Ralph's friend Cosmo Anzilotti left to work on the infamous "crack monster" segment for Sesame Street. However, this was so scary, it was only aired twice and was to be never seen again."

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Bakshi

Namowal said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, I'm still on the case for the story behind Crack Monster. I was delighted to find the hint on wikipedia, but when I clicked the reference it steered me back to the comment section of one of my "crack monster" posts, where someone suggested that Cosmo Anzilotti was behind it. So we have a clue... ...but no proof yet.

Karen said...

Well, if it's any comfort to you, I will say that things don't seem to be lost forever. If everyone looks hard enough, eventually it will probably come up, but often when you least expect it. (And quite possibly when you have lost interest.)

I didn't think the story was that great. But I do understand the frustrations of someone who just needs to see a story one more time.

I for one don't feel any need to relive the days (years ago) where I was crying to my mother and frightened to turn my lights off in fear of Crack Master. But if I find anything out about this, as a courtesy I will be sure to post it.

Diana P said...

Is it called Cracktasia? Is it? Can somebody record a video on their camera the cartoon (at Jon's house or somewhere else) and e-mail it to me? How, and where, can I see this cartoon? (I was born in 2002. I missed out on the Crack Monster. So, no nightmares about "the monster behind the door" for me!)

Diana P said...

Jon, can you show me the cartoon?

dycaite said...

The amount of sleep I lose over this cartoon -_-' Can someone please contact me about it at radical_bebop@hotmail.com, even if to just talk about the clip.

Panda Rosa said...

The Crack Master and other crack critters have finally turned up on YouTube, catch it while you can!
It's just called "Cracks", and the CM is only on for a few seconds near the end, but he is still a bit scary looking with all his spidery bits, just before he falls apart.
Maybe if he gets plastered back he'll promise to be nice?