Mystery of creepy 1970s Sesame Street clip solved


#1

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#2

I don’t have a problem with this being shown to children. It’s not Disney sweet, but it does show kids that their imagination is a good thing, introduces them to discordant music, and shows that sweet and nice beings benefit and angry ones do not.

It’s a boatload better than the sickeningly syrupy Elmo which little kids love but take NOTHING into their teen or adult years from. I’d rather see my daughter challenged than condescended to.


#3

Crack Monkey by the addict door.

I remember seeing some “making of” programme about Sesame Street where they explained how they got some of the top jazz and funk musicians in on the show so that kids cold be exposed to cool, middle-brow music… the effect it had on me is to make jazz-funk sound like Sesame Street Music.


#4

Since we’re diving into old children’s show - please Boing Boing army, help me to find clips from a show called Scrunch - mid 70’s, syndicated in the Southeast.


#5

Neat! I do love that crazy Silver Age Sesame Street. For some time now, I’ve been searching for a clip from that era:

The sound is just music. I think it was that trippy techno stuff of the period, but I may be filling in here. The scene is outdoors, a park or something. There is a structure or creature created by dancers or acrobats. I think one dancer takes the horse position, and two others wrap around his hips, like branches not touching the ground. This thing - let’s call it “Alpha” - is stationary, like a tree, but it observes and reacts to things around it.

Enter “Beta”, another construct built of acrobatic dancers. Beta is more mobile. Again, a single actor, with another protruding from the front, and maybe a second one counter-balancing the rear? As Beta locomotes, one actor rotates his hands as though he is miming turning bicycle pedals with them, reversing and forwarding as necessary.

Beta encounters some obstacle or other, and (with Alpha’s encouragement?) eventually manages to overcome the obstacle, and go off into the sunset (figuratively speaking).

Someone suggested to me it sounded like Pilobolus, and I know they did do a lot of sesame street stuff. But I haven’t been able to find it.

Any help from the boing-i-verse?


#6

If CTW has archives of the old Sesame Street episodes, they need to release them. I know they’ve released some DVDs of classic episodes with a disclaimer that warns parents that it may not be appropriate for today’s children. Do we want to talk about how the comic and media sensibilities of the 35-and-older crowd were almost certainly shaped by the subconscious memory of this stuff? Look at the recent Adult Swim clips and just try to tell me that surreal Sesame Street shorts did not factor into their creastion somehow.


#7

Dear Leigh,
I am sorry, I don’t use Twitter, so I hope you will see my reply here. I remember seeing the video you are talking about, but I only saw it a very few times. I was actually able to quite easily find a link to it: let me know if this is what you were looking for: http://youtu.be/e98_5NpJ-0c :slight_smile::slight_smile::slight_smile:
From matt in Japan


#8

Don’t forget that a lot of the muppets are supposed to be monsters.


#9

And also that many of them are QUITE unpleasant. Oscar was not the loveable curmudgeon he is today when he started as an orange SoB.


#10

I’ve never forgotten this piece. Sometimes I’d put my tape recorder by the television, occasionally adding my own narration, and listen back to Sesame Street in bed at night. I had no problem watching this piece, but listening creeped me out. And yet it was so appealing too. It was a child’s story, but not condescending. In its early years Nickelodeon also sometimes showed pieces like this between shows.

My favorite remains “Fisherman & Clam”, which was educational, concise, and weirdly funny. I still watch it every once in a while.


#11

Yeah, and help me find clips from Candle Cove - that show was a weird one.


#12

Crack Monkey. That funky monkey.


#13

Some of these things would surely be dismissed as foggy recollections of fever dreams if it wasn’t for Youtube documenting their existence.


#14

0:59: Let’s all go make a new crack friend!


#15

Okay, here’s a creepy vintage Sesame Street clip I’ve been looking for:

The setting is a featureless white space. First one, then another featureless creature (a large box with a person standing inside it) pops into being. (Perhaps each box exterior has eyes; not much more than that, if I remember right.)

The two box creatures see each other, then begin to stick features onto one another – nose, mouth, etc. This starts to get out of hand, as the creatures stick “weird” features on one another, or put them in the wrong place. They start chasing each other around, the pace picks up, until finally… I don’t remember the conclusion, but I imagine they end up in a wreck.

There’s an overall creepiness to the sequence – its abstraction, its pacing – that stays with me.


#16

Not Mummenschanz on the Muppet Show, is it?


#17

A number of years ago an acquaintance met someone on an airplane. She was in film school at the time and he mentioned he was a composer and that he’d done a few things here and there but she’d probably never heard of any of them. Turns out one of them was this silly little thing he’d sent out one afternoon about helping kids learn to count to 12 for this local public TV station.

Yeah, she’d heard of it. He was shocked that someone had heard it more than once. She tried to explain that it was awesome and one of the most memorable things that an entire generation knew about.


#18

Thanks, that link led me to watching a whole pile of OK GO videos. Really cool stuff, however they do them.


#19

Crack friends are okay, but they’re no chickens in the trees.


#20

This is a great routine, and it closely fits my description, but it’s actually not it! Thanks a lot, though. Seeing this makes me wonder whether one routine was inspired by the other, and if so, which came first.