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Sesame Street's most disturbing bits

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by Drtooth, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Scary and disturbing, and I can't stress this enough, are different things. Scary is self explanatory. Things can scare you without being disturbing. Disturbing is deeper. That's when things can be creepy, sure, but are more unsettling and upsetting overtones, often in layered form. Disturbing doesn't have to be scary. It can also be quite depressing or alarming.
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Ah I understand,i'll try to remember that in the future.
  3. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Sort of looks like a "Scooby Doo" episode.

    "Okay, gang. Now let's see who this mutant rabbit really is!"
    Luke kun likes this.
  4. PonysNPuppets

    PonysNPuppets Member

    Lol, this one was messed up!! :p :O First of all, WHY DOES THE BIRD HAVE TEETH?!? Also, is there some kind of deity living within the mountain?! 'Cause if there isn't, I dunno how it just suddenly sprouted hands and started creating cereal!! This also looks like the same sort of stop motion animation as the people who did the SS skit with the girl at the beach, which is relatively harmless until the end, where a giant whale pops out of the girl's book and basically leaves her stranded on the ocean. Come to think of it, that one was also pretty disturbing.
  5. tutter_fan

    tutter_fan Well-Known Member

    How about this one?:

    I only saw it once on Sesame Street. I don't remember much about this specific sketch, but man, it was NUTS!!! I was very young, watching this particular sketch in the living room of my mom's house, and by the time "Nobody" had said "Now watch your screen and we will try to count dots going by", I ran out of the room, scared as heck. The end part was really scary for me at a young age. I don't know who came up with the concept, but it was odd.

    However, the other one "A count of 4" isn't as scary. The sound effects on that one I could've really liked when I was young, compared to the sound effects used on "A count of 10". I'm so used to seeing this particular sketch on YT often enough now that it doesn't scare me at all.
    Luke kun and CensoredAlso like this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Again, that's more scary than disturbing. As far as Jim Henson goes, that seems to be very much 60's, early 70's Jim stuff. He did some great abstracts from time to time, and he felt they'd work fine on Sesame Street. Now, it being scary is up for debate, and why something that abstract didn't cross his mind as scary to little kids eludes me, but I give all the credit in the world for Jim not dumbing down the concept by making it cutesy woowoo. It's probably scary as a kid, but as an adult fan of Jim Henson, I find it intriguing.

    Now, this was already posted in the "What scared you as a Kid" thread, but I feel it belongs here...

    Here's where I don't respect artistic integrity and not dumbing things down. See, there are artists and arteests. Artists make art, arteests make incomprehensible rubbish because they think it's daring and intelligent and in reality it's just so head up its butt that it's a turn off. While I won't say these segments are that exactly, they're pretty darn close. If this was handed to a wackier animator, the idea of morphing faces would actually be kinda fun. For example:

    Now, I'm sure there are some that didn't like this skit and it bothered them when they were younger, but let's compare the two examples.

    There's some nice atmospheric, catchy music and the faces switch from realistic to cartoonish. This segment has a nice, bouncy, upbeat quality that the other face morph one lacks. Now, the male face morph sketch is more disturbing than the female one, first off. The transformations are much more grotesque here. The guy clearly turns into Rocky Dennis at one point. Now, for comparison sake... no music, but hey! Creepy Moog synthesizer. Instead of faces morphing into other faces to say "hey! Faces can be different" it's out and out body horror. Why these aired on Sesame Street and the Wicked Witch episode was pulled I'll never know.
    Luke kun likes this.
  7. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    Scary, yes (as a 3-year-old this haunted me for months). Disturbing, not so much. And Drtooth is right. The older you get, the easier it is to appreciate Jim's artistic vision.
    He wasn't always trying to be silly, preaching world harmony, or showing the world full of rainbows and whiskers on kittens. His occasional dark alley can be a fascinating trip.

    Sesame Street, once in a while, could be the TV equivalent of a Haunted House ride. And little toddlers like me (and a couple generations after me) got pushed through. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
  8. tutter_fan

    tutter_fan Well-Known Member

    The video I posted has got to be the weirdest, most scariest video I've ever seen from Jim Henson.
  9. Bliffenstimmers

    Bliffenstimmers Well-Known Member

    I hate to derail this thread any further, but all this talk about the Henson floating face skits and how scary they are got me to thinking about something he did that I personally thought was much scarier: The Cube.

    It's an interesting little TV special, even for its time, what with its early chroma keying and other such video effects, and starts off as charming and bizarre as typical early Henson work does (I loved that one maintenance guy and his rant about "What the h3ll am I gonna with all these chocolate rabbits?") but it progressively gets more disturbing, or at least I thought so the first time seeing it on YouTube. I think what really got me is the ending (with the rock group repeatedly singing about how "You'll never get out of the Cube" as the sound gets more and more distorted) It could be just how sensitive I am to some things, I dunno...

    As far as Sesame skits go, I can't say there was much that I thought was outright disturbing when I was seeing the show as a kid, just some things that came off as a little unnerving because of certain sensory elements. This was a time when Sesame was being gentrified for a younger audience, but even then I still felt weird when I saw little films like the ones with the kids exploring a jungle and finding those Tarzan yelling letters (now that I see one of them's on YouTube again, it comes off as rather silly. You gotta love those horns Sesame always used in their scoring at the time. Look out for that one kid in the group who looks bored out of his mind. Ha!) and those time lapse films with the kids painting giant murals about numbers. I think you guys have already handled most of the really disturbing skits.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think this was one of his pushing the bounds of puppetry type skits. Something I appreciate much more as an adult than I ever would a kid.

    To be honest, this skit never scared me, it just annoyed me somehow. I can't remember what was going through my mind back then exactly, but I just didn't like it. Strangely, I feel the same about another frequently on the "scared me as a kid" list, the Dancing toys and technology thing. Hated the music on that one.
  11. Luke kun

    Luke kun Well-Known Member

    In fact - I happen to know who did the catchy BGM. His name was Caleb Sampson, and he died in 1998. Wikipedia claims a Youko Miyamoto did the music. I know that person too, and not to upset her or anything, but she stole the music from Caleb Sampson without knowing. Good thing it isn't copyrighted.
    Anyways, great point about the difference between Ken Brown and Lisa Crafts' sketch, and Etienne Delessert's sketch. I agree on the guy, I looked up who Rocky Dennis was to understand your comment and the pictures unnerved me. The female one is a bit creepier in terms of sounds, how loud they get near the end might hurt someone's ears on full volume; not to mention I actually woke up in the middle of the night shortly after seeing it for the first time and kinda got scared when I thought of it.
    Someone remembers a third face morph sketch where a guy's mouth changes at an angle and disappears with a pop at the end. As disturbing as they may be, I've figured out what they were supposed to teach us: no matter how different we are, we're still the same, which is represented by the face morphing back to normal. It could also be a kid playing a video game, evidenced by the noise before the morphing starts. But this was 1973...
    Etienne Delessert's still alive, by the way.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  12. Foodie

    Foodie Well-Known Member

    I always wished this one was on the Old School Sesame Street DVDs.

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