The Crack Monster: the mystery of Sesame Street's creepy lost short
April 22, 2019 12:50 PM   Subscribe

[Jon] Armond was haunted by the video for decades. He mentioned it to other Gen X’ers who’d been brought up watching Sesame Street but no one else seemed to remember it. Did the the video even exist, or was his memory just playing tricks on him? Finally, after decades of looking, in the earlier days of the internet, he found Jennifer Bourne, a cartoonist who also grew up fearing the crack monster. She began poking around on Muppet-themed message boards and Snopes, and, little by little, an odd congregation of people started to form online, a virtual support group for people who were terrorized by the clip. Slate link includes a text article, video of the short, and audio with more details from PRI's Studio 360. posted by hurdy gurdy girl (89 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
I much prefer Number Pinball.
posted by vitout at 1:08 PM on April 22 [18 favorites]

Were you all ok back then or what cause..
posted by bleep at 1:11 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]

It's not a bad little short, reminds me of Sendak and Silverstein.

Wish there was a transcript for the documentary though.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 1:13 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]

I'd never seen this one but I don't anticipate that it would have bothered me all that much as a kid. The kid's programming that fucked me up was on a video my little brother and I randomly rented from the library. The Mysterious Stranger.
posted by saladin at 1:13 PM on April 22 [12 favorites]

So, I can see how this short got made and approved to be on Sesame Street. It's about using imagination and is very specifically about living in an inner city apartment or house where the plaster might be cracking.

I can also totally see what it is creepy and why it didn't air often (maybe only once?) and why people were scarred by seeing it as young kids.

I don't recall seeing it even though I was basically raised on Sesame Street and other PBS children's programming. But watching it now, in my 50s, I think it was trying to do a thing which was good and nice and it just failed in its mission because scary talking wall crack face is creepy.
posted by hippybear at 1:14 PM on April 22 [24 favorites]

Early Sesame Street was all about validating the experiences of kids living in an urban, lower-class background. As a midwestern kid, the geography and layout of Sesame Street seemed as fantastic as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood of Make Believe, but when I moved to Queens after college, I realized it was actually very realistic. I certainly did have cracks in my plaster walls growing up, and found make-believe shapes in everything. Probably this clip should have also warned kids not to eat the flakes of paint, even if they are sweet (tasty, tasty lead).
posted by rikschell at 1:15 PM on April 22 [61 favorites]

Holy shit - the last time I saw that, I think it was 77 or 76 and I was living in a trailer park near the NCBC at Biloxi, MS.

Its funny I that I never thought to google "Thank you for the ride, the rain has stopped outside" even though I remember it sometimes.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:20 PM on April 22 [14 favorites]

Heh, this is great, thank you.

People forget sometimes that Jim Henson was "a massive hippie".
posted by Melismata at 1:23 PM on April 22 [7 favorites]

I loved that short as a kid. Surely I can't be alone in that--like hippygear says, it's about imagination. And the music was the sort of thing Dad challenged us to listen to. I enjoyed the story of tracking it down.

My one grandmother's apartment was in a Chicago neighborhood like Sesame Street, but the cracked plaster was in my other grandmother's suburban Chicago bungalow. Although we were free to wander as much as we wanted in our home neighborhoods as kids, it was only in my Grandmothers' two neighborhoods where we could walk to corner shops or walk past light industrial plants (like printing presses!) or see people socializing on stoops. It was magic.
posted by crush at 1:26 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]

The way it switched between almost singing and story telling was really satisfying. I am seeing this for the first time so I'm not sure how my childhood self would have reacted, but I find it to be a sweet little short and an excellent example of the sort of imagination games I did play as a kid.
posted by KirTakat at 1:42 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]

Random legal question: can you sign an enforceable contract with an anonymous party?
posted by chrominance at 2:05 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

The Mysterious Stranger is from a claymation film comprised of shorts called The Adventures of Mark Twain that's really good, and the Mysterious Stranger segment is almost always remembered or taken out of context for some reason, even before internet video was a thing. I think it may have been released as it's own short or something on a different compilation video?

For me the Adventures of Mark Twain is up there on the "WTF this is a kid's movie?" scale with "Return to Oz" from the same era, which I also has Will Vinton's work in it. If he'd worked on The Brave Little Toaster, it would be a trifecta for my top three most WTF kid's movies.
posted by loquacious at 2:11 PM on April 22 [11 favorites]

I also think that there's a LOT more comfort with the weird/creepy/"unsuitable" in children's material through the seventies and early eighties, and that "for kids" crystallizes as a style/genre some time in the mid-late eighties with a much safer, funner aesthetic and a much more managed approach to feelings, morals and what children can handle.

A lot of early Sesame Street is weird and eerie and presupposes a more autonomous child than is assumed by, eg, contemporary Sesame street - think about the famous one where the little boy gets lost. That one always had an eerie fascination for me as a child because of the strangeness of the landscape and the sense of the remote that it generated.

And of course consider, like, early Jim Henson, The Dark Crystal, the Muppet Show, etc. And things like Children of the Stones.

Through the sixties and seventies, my impression was that kids' books were weirder, often more sinister and less genre-bound than they are today, and that the books-to-TV pipeline carried this through into the late seventies/early eighties: Charlotte Sometimes, Dinky Hockins Shoots Smack, all of Alan Garner, Saturday The Twelfth of October and Zilpha Keatley Snyder in general, etc etc. "YA" had not crystallized as a genre, and neither had children's literature.

I'd argue that this was a mixed blessing rather than a golden age, since even if you imagine transposing it all by removing racism and sexism while retaining the eerieness, there's still quite a lot remaining which is basically Too Scary and Too Adult In Sensibility. Charlotte Sometimes, in particular, will really fuck you up. And Children of the Stones does not have a happy ending.
posted by Frowner at 2:23 PM on April 22 [31 favorites]

My own personal "no, I'm not crazy; yes, I swear it was on Sesame Street" video is "Me and My Llama".
posted by The Tensor at 2:28 PM on April 22 [24 favorites]

Camels are scary.
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on April 22

"Loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter. I remembered, I remembered!"

The clip.
posted by Construction Concern at 2:32 PM on April 22 [54 favorites]

I don't think I saw that one as a child, but given that morphing in general tended to really upset me, I probably wouldn't have responded well. Sesame Street had another short involving mountains with changing faces (or something of the sort) that always made me cover my eyes.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:34 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

I found the sand-on-lightbox animation sequences unsettling when I was younger, but as I got older I grew to appreciate them for being hard to make and also for being abstract art that was clever.
posted by hippybear at 2:38 PM on April 22

I would have been too young to have seen that when it aired, but the discordant jazz background music would have creeped me the hell out when I was a kid. Hell, it kinda creeps me out a bit now, even as I recognize how cool it is to use different genres of music in children's programming. Visuals have never frightened me as much as sounds can, so between the animation, the story (monster in the closet is always a classic), and the music setting the mood, I can see why it might have traumatized some people.
posted by Meghamora at 2:50 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

The only one that gave me the howling fantods was the singing orange. Eep.
posted by Mchelly at 3:05 PM on April 22 [25 favorites]

I never saw this one! Would not have been bothered by it as a kid.

The martians were scary, but in a fun way. The wall of hands in the Labyrinth is the only Henson creation that really freaked me out as a child, and it wasn't even a muppet.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:13 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

dooo doo doo do do do dooo do dooo doo dooo doo doo! ELEVEN!
posted by some loser at 3:16 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]

posted by eamondaly at 3:30 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]

I'm tooold to have watched Sesame Street as a child, but watched it with my son. Classic Sesame Street - Teeny Little Super Guy There's a clip where the muppet bus driver is sarcastic that always cracked me up. Weird Old Sesame Street is pretty great. Also, Feist, Whoopi, Whoopi and Elmo.

I'm not so much a fan of the newer computer-generated animation, faster pace, and all-Elmo, because I am a Nana, and I enjoy this post and other stuff that is less shiny. I'll just be over here, watching vintage Sesame Street.
posted by theora55 at 3:30 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]

Now if someone could only find the lost Wicked Witch of the West episode with Margaret Hamilton.
posted by elphaba at 3:39 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

This is great and absolutely would have engaged child-me if it were aired when I was a kid.

I'm very happy that my assumptions about the definition of a "crack master" were entirely wrong.
posted by eotvos at 3:45 PM on April 22 [7 favorites]

I remember this one. It's amazing how completely memorable these sketches are. Now I have "a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter," stuck in my head.
posted by bendy at 4:09 PM on April 22 [10 favorites]

Am I the only one who giggled at "crack monkey"?
posted by suetanvil at 4:13 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]

think about the famous one where the little boy gets lost

I don't remember that short, but I wonder if it was the origin for my early childhood fear of getting trapped on Sesame Street and only existing in the time between the short segments. This was followed by another childhood fear that I might be the subject of some sort of television show for monsters to watch.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:24 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

I can still sing the entire "Me and My Llama" song. I fucking LOVED that one. I also loved "Capital I" and "Lowercase N"
posted by briank at 4:40 PM on April 22 [14 favorites]

I say "a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter" to myself almost every time I go to the grocery store.

Does anyone else remember "hip to be a square" (hip, hip, so hip to be a square)?
posted by sockermom at 4:41 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]

Whoa, I had forgotten all about the crack world. How strange to see something familiar that you saw decades ago. Either it aired more than once, or this is dredging up a memory from my toddlerhood.
posted by Knowyournuts at 4:55 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

Now if someone could only find the lost Wicked Witch of the West episode with Margaret Hamilton.
posted by elphaba at 5:39 PM on April 22

1. Eponysterical
2. Wasn’t that Mr. Rogers?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:02 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]

I don't remember this one, but the one I DID NOT LIKE as a child was the short about milk, probably because of the hungry baby that kept crying through it. And the high-pitched "meeeeellllllllk" singing. Yeesh.

To counter that creepiness, I give you the Ladybug Picnic.
posted by kimberussell at 5:04 PM on April 22 [14 favorites]

Am loving the old sesame street remembrances!
posted by freethefeet at 5:09 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

*puts in plug for Ernie's Disguise Kit*

Why is there a monster just chilling in Bert and Ernie's hallway???
posted by praemunire at 5:31 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]

briank: A few years ago Information Society covered "Capital I".

(less relevant: they also covered Snakefinger's "The Man in the Dark Sedan")
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:38 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

The only one that gave me the howling fantods was the singing orange


I wish I could fully express the effect the singing orange has had on my life. No joke. It haunts me. Not in a scary way. But it changed me. I used to dream about that orange. It made anything seem possible.
posted by marimeko at 6:10 PM on April 22 [12 favorites]

The Mr. Rogers episode is absolutely charming, but apparently the Sesame Street episode got so many complaints from the parents of frightened children, it was never aired again:
posted by elphaba at 6:10 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]

I thought for the longest time I had dreamed this sinister disembodied face, but it's a real Sesame Street sketch that sent me huddling behind chairs: Count to Ten With Mr. Nobody
posted by daisystomper at 6:18 PM on April 22 [9 favorites]

I heard about the short on CBC Radio yesterday--they played the Studio 360 piece. It rang a bell for me, but when I watched the short I didn't recognize it, and I realized I would have under 5 when they stopped playing it, so I doubt I saw it as a child. However, it did remind me of all the other rather unsettling things I saw on children's TV in the 1970s and 1980s. Frowner's comment is spot on about the changes in tone between then and now.

That singing orange! I don't know what my reaction would have been as a kid (I don't remember that one) but it delights me as an adult.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:18 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

I remember the Carmen Orange, it represents everything I now hope to achieve as an adult composer
posted by daisystomper at 6:24 PM on April 22 [11 favorites]

A lot of early Sesame Street is weird and eerie and presupposes a more autonomous child than is assumed by, eg, contemporary Sesame street -

Kids were expected to be more mature back then. I was put on a greyhound at age 8 (1980) to go across the state and stay a few weeks with relatives. I had a notepad with phone numbers and instructions on how to call collect if I needed to.

This was not seen as unusual at the time. Kids were just expected to be more independent. I'll leave it to the better educated as to how much free range is too much - But, Jacob Wetterling was a classmate of my cousins and what happened to him was vastly scarier than anything on HR PuffNstuff.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:44 PM on April 22 [10 favorites]

Huh. You know, I totally expected the crack monster to be something else.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:44 PM on April 22 [10 favorites]

OMG. The "milk milk" one and "loaf of bread" shorts have been buried in my primal subconscious for decades. I wonder what else watching those will have unlocked? I suspect I'm in for odd dreams tonight.
posted by jzb at 7:00 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

I probably only actively remember 1 out of 10 Sesame Street segments at this age, if even then. Every hour had, like, HOW many bits? Many repeated, many not. I bet the early seasons are online someplace, and I might end up in some kind of strange walking coma if I were to watch them. That show and I were basically born at the same time.
posted by hippybear at 7:09 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

Now that we've found the crack monster short, can we get to work on solving once and for all the mystery of what sitcom opening credits had the paint brush scene?
posted by synecdoche at 7:19 PM on April 22 [7 favorites]

People have said that Bert Gets A Fish Tank freaked them out because of the moment near the end when Bert suddenly doesn’t know who that [fish] is!

That moment always fascinated me, though, for some reason. Like anything was possible. New fish could just show up in your tank one day.

Also now, I can see exactly where the sketch was meant to end, and how Jim Henson and Frank Oz just kept it rolling.

“Who’s that next to Talbot?”
“That’s, um, his wife. Melissa.”

“They go moo, moo, moo, like that.”
How do they go?”
“Moo, moo, moo.”
posted by snowmentality at 7:21 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]

I never saw this as a kid, and I think I am most likely the same age as Jon Armond. I don't remember it at all. It's not especially creepy to me, either, and reminds me of how I used to look for patterns and "faces" in cracked walls of my home, fake marble linoleum, etc. I was one of those poor little kids Ganz Cooney was targeting in the early 70s, so it would've resonated with me in the mid-70s.

But if anyone ever puts a copy of The (old) Electric Company's musical live short "Sweet Sue at the Sweet Shop" online, you'd have my eternal gratitude. I haven't seen it in 45 years.
posted by droplet at 7:33 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed the post. But, the comments here are the reason I love metafilter. There's a real vein of television gold I've never seen before. Thanks, all!
posted by eotvos at 7:54 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

There's a small part of me that now can't stop hearing Margaret Cho imitating her mother saying "Ass Master" in a thick Korean accent.

The one I found creepy as a kid was the "Three Black Balls" routine, I can only assume because of the "Deep Voice" of the largest ball...
posted by hearthpig at 8:14 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

I assume you heard Cho imitating her mother saying "Ass Master" someplace other than an episode of Sesame Street.
posted by hippybear at 8:19 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]

But I mean, HBO owns it now, so who knows?
posted by hippybear at 8:19 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]

I could really dig deep into my memory archives for weird shit that freaked me out on Sesame Street, but the one that really sticks out is when Ernie pulled Bert's nose off. I found this one, but it aired long before I was alive (I would have seen it in the early 80's). Maybe they replayed it? Anyway, Bert losing his nose was as traumatizing to me as if a human's nose suddenly fell off. Aghh.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:37 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]

I definitely saw the one with Bert’s nose, and I would have seen it in the early ‘80s too. I am sure they would have replayed that one!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:02 PM on April 22

The clip linked above of Feist counting to 4 is a good quality encoding, but it's not my favorite version of that segment, because it does not include the final charming second.
posted by hades at 9:51 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]

The Sesame Street segment that always upset me was Don Music banging his head on the piano. Get it together dude, it's just a simple tune!
posted by St. Oops at 10:25 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]

I'm pretty sure Sesame Street, Electric Company and related CTW/PBS shows are all directly responsible for me getting into weird experimental synth music, which basically started happening while I was still young enough to watch Sesame Street.
posted by loquacious at 11:33 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]

In 200 years, Candle Cove will be an obscure classic beloved by scholars of literary history, because it will produce multiple doctoral theses explaining the hyper-time/place-specific setting of "people chatting on the internet about half-remembered lost scary kids TV shows" that both produced the story and made it terrifying.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:19 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]

When Little eirias was in preschool, Mr. eirias used to drag out these YouTube clips of old Sesame Street sketches for her over breakfast, including the number pinball and the creepy AF orange. We never showed her, like, Daniel Tiger or anything that was meant for her generation, just these short clips of the weird stuff we grew up with. Maybe that explains why she's turned out to be kind of a surreal kid.
posted by eirias at 3:21 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]

"Loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter. I remembered, I remembered!"

Mrs. Example does this almost every time we're making up shopping lists. I love her dearly, but hnnnnngh.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:52 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]

I definitely credit vintage Sesame Street with helping encourage my weirder dreams. IMO there is really no way to know what will and will not freak a kid out - my mom made me two stick horses as a kid out of checkered cloth and felt. Totally anodyne, an innocent child's toy! But in my dreams they terrorized me and as a result I hated them. Same for Grover. Lost kid, singing orange and weird disembodied face? Not so much.

I think it is OK and probably long-term beneficial to expose kids to stories both happy and sad, comforting and strange. Everyone talks about "grit" and how important it is as a core personality trait, but how can you develop grit without knowing how to navigate discomfort?
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:06 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]

I'm unable to find what was my fav clip on Youtube - a cartoon short where a construction worker climbs way high into the sky and someone is yelling for him and he has to climb down to hear and the message turns out to be "you forgot your lunch". I thought this was the height of hilarity.

There must have been a last time I wanted to watch Sesame Street, but I can't recall it. Perhaps there was a process of slowly losing interest but watching out of habit, until finally the habit was replaced by other interests like spaceships.
posted by thelonius at 6:23 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]

I think I first saw this one on Nickelodeon. it warped my tiny little mind.

also, here's another similar story via mefi (self link)
posted by es_de_bah at 7:09 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]

For me it was I'm Going for a Ride. It was mostly cute but, well, drowning is a particularly scary way for someone to die, no? Scared the crap out of me.

To counter that creepiness, I give you the Ladybug Picnic.

When I need to count a whole bunch of things, like knitting stitches, I find it easier to count in groups of three. Therefore, I sing the tune in my head while counting one-two-three, four-five-six, seven-eight-nine ...
posted by Melismata at 7:26 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]

Thelonius: voilà. (I think it's Electric Company, not Sesame Street.)
posted by Melismata at 7:29 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]

Of course! Electric Company. It's been a long time!
posted by thelonius at 9:04 AM on April 23

Oh wow, that's by Adam Savage's father
posted by thelonius at 9:06 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


posted by RakDaddy at 9:30 AM on April 23 [18 favorites]

The Muppaphone deeply disturbed me as a kid. I was just like, "he's HURTING them! Why is everyone laughing?" The big hammer, and how the things grumble between whackings... it was just so upsetting.
posted by skullhead at 9:51 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]

Wow, I can't believe that no one has mentioned the Sesame Street clip that has haunted me for the last 30 years: Smokey Robinson being molested by the letter U.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 10:46 AM on April 23 [7 favorites]

Ok, I just went back to watch that clip again and literally broke out in cold sweats. Jesus.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 10:48 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]

ABIERTO. Cerrado

Estoy llorando! (How young were you when you realized that they were having sex at the end?)
posted by Melismata at 10:54 AM on April 23

There's a specific Sesame Street episode that freaked me out as a kid -- I think it was the opening to one of the Monsterpiece Theatre segments, and it began by zooming in on a portrait of a ghoulish-looking character in a kind of painterly style that didn't really look like any of the muppets. I'm sure the actual painting looks nothing like the one I'm picturing -- I could probably see that clip now and not even recognize it.
posted by moleplayingrough at 11:56 AM on April 23

I always found the baker falling down the stairs with cakes very upsetting and would run from the room until it was over.

Looking at it know, there weren't as many stairs as I remember...
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:03 PM on April 23 [7 favorites]

There's a definitely a lot of great children's media today (I have just spent months with a small child and my knowledge of children's media is...well, a LOT better than it was), obviously crafted with a very strong sense of what is interesting to children and what is developmentally appropriate.

If there's a difference that I see between Sesame Street/weird-seventies-eighties media and today's stuff, it's that the older material seems to gesture more toward wider and sometimes incomprehensible worlds rather than referencing a relatively self-contained and developmentally appropriate world. I also think that puppets have an intrinsic eerieness/otherworldliness that animation doesn't - there's lots of weird and otherworldly animation, but it's also possible to animate a unified, non-eerie world, whereas when you've got puppets-plus-humans you're already well into the weird and creepy no matter what you do.
posted by Frowner at 12:14 PM on April 23 [5 favorites]

Smokey Robinson being molested by the letter U

OK, I don't think I've laughed that hard in a while.

Ernie stealing Bert's nose was the scariest thing when I was a kid, but it's the film about milk that has left me upset for 40 years. Just watched it and it's even more interminable than I remembered. You're just going to make that kid wait and cry while you pasteurize the milk and drive it across state? Jesus, people!
posted by polecat at 10:25 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]

FYI for people who couldn't listen to the podcast (SPOILER ALERT): in the "Cracks" cartoon, the jazzy saxophone was played by Mel Martin, and the vocalist/narrator was Dorothy Moskowitz, lead singer of The United States of America.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:00 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]

I just hope that one day someone will find the 'CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP' bit where the white screen gets bitten by something going chomp chomp chomp and eventually it's all gone. It fascinated me in a deeply disturbing way.
posted by h00py at 6:13 AM on April 24 [4 favorites]

Random legal question: can you sign an enforceable contract with an anonymous party?

It varies by state, to be sure, but if there is someone willing to act as the anonymous party's agent then yes, you definitely can contract with an unknown party, via their agent. You might not want to do this because you might only be able to hold the agent accountable for the breech, not the person who you're trying to contract with, depending on the circumstances. (The agent, then, presumably, goes to the anonymous party and enforces whatever agreement the two of them have.)

If you were signing a contract with someone anonymous who didn't have an agent, then it probably varies by state, but it's possible that you could enforce the contract. The issue there would be finding the person and/or proving it was them who agreed to the contract. (Whereas if they have an agent, who is held liable on behalf of the anonymous party, it's the agent's problem, not yours, which is presumably why people do it that way.)

Hope that makes sense! I learned this for the bar and I think this will be the only time I ever use it...
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:59 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]

Also, in case it's not clear, in legal terminology, an "agent" is someone who is doing a task on someone else's behalf and at that person's direction. The typical example is a real estate agent, but the definition is much broader than that. Someone's employees are often agents, for example. Heck, if you ask your friend to go pick up a pot roast for your Easter dinner, they might be your agent, as far as the law is concerned.

An agent used to be called a "servant" (as in "master/servant law") and the relevant laws are all about when a "master" (now called a principal) is liable for (or bound by) the actions of their "servant" (now called an agent.)

Anyway I have chattered on enough about this ;)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:05 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]

I just hope that one day someone will find the 'CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP' bit where the white screen gets bitten by something going chomp chomp chomp and eventually it's all gone. It fascinated me in a deeply disturbing way.

posted by Melismata at 7:50 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]

Hades, thank you. That last second is very good.
posted by theora55 at 6:34 PM on April 24

That really brought back memories. The surreal parts of Sesame Street in the 70s were so remarkable and creative. It was so disappointing to see those shorts pared back as the years went by. By the time my kids were watching the show in the 90s, the magical moments were rare. My favorite from the later era was "From Your Head", sung by the late Betty Carter and animated by Sally Cruikshank. Though it was from the 90s, it very much has that 70s Sesame Street vibe.

I was never spooked, but entranced by the the show's dreamier, surreal, and cheeky bits in the 70s. But there was a time when I continued watching PBS after the children's programming finished, and was completely mind blown when I caught a show called "The Fine Art of Goofing Off", a collection of disjointed, inexplicable, mostly animated vignettes that was so obscure for so long since seeing them, I thought I'd hallucinated the whole thing for a long time. It wasn't until about 10 years ago I found that the show actually existed, and is every bit as weird as I remembered. Watching them again makes me realize That it was highly influential on me, and warped my mind, and sensibilities permanently.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:04 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]

I was exactly in the correct age group to be fully influenced by all of this oddball 70s CTV stuff, and I am grateful. I have written a fair bit about it in my profile, from an earlier discussion we had, so seems a little strange either way... cut and paste? Point to profile?

Thank you CTV, you helped make me the person I am today in a fundamental way.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:55 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]

I regularly had nightmares about the yip yip yip martians. They had the ability to walk through walls, which means that if they wanted to get me no adults could stop them. And it's not that they were malevolent, but they were so clearly ignorant (who doesn't know what a goddamn telephone is) that it seemed entirely possible that they might just take me apart out of curiosity to see how I worked.

Power plus ignorance is scary. I stand by that.
posted by dr. boludo at 7:15 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]

Hello America!

Do welcome UK kid's, um, favourite Noseybonk.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:46 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]

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