|“||Then after a day of killing Nazis we’ll sit in a beer garden and enjoy a pint!||”|
—Crackerjack Sugarman, The Old Sugarman Place
|“||We don't need to compare apples to Auschwitzes!||”|
—Crackerjack Sugarman, The View from Halfway Down
Crackerjack Sugarman was the older brother of Beatrice Horseman, and the eldest son of Joseph and Honey Sugarman. He is a minor character in BoJack Horseman who only appears through flashbacks in The Old Sugarman Place, in Season 4 and in BoJack's near-death experience in The View from Halfway Down, in Season 6.
He was shot and killed in 1944 while fighting in World War II, which is what kickstarted all the events that would poison and destroy everyone in their family.
Crackerjack Sugarman was a young adult male, liver chestnut horse, and soldier. He had dark brown (liver chestnut) fur, a short blonde mane, and a pink snout with a white snip. According to the model sheets, he was 6 1/2 ft tall, making him roughly the same height as BoJack.
He is depicted wearing a green button-down decorated military jacket and green pants, a green top hat with a brown brim, yellow collared shirt, and tie.
A photograph of him in the background of The Old Sugarman Place depicts him with a white swim shirt, dark shorts, and a white belt.
Crackerjack appeared briefly—but he seemed to take after his mother, Honey; kind, pleasant, caring, upbeat, and full of life, with a talent for music. The two were very close and had a special song they would play on the piano together, I Will Always Think of You.
He was also very kind to his sister, Beatrice. He even lets her take care of Blinky—his cherished baby blanket while he was at the war-front. This was a stark contrast to his father who had a cheery demeanor but was cruel to Beatrice and Honey.
He also enjoyed alcohol—as he mentions drinking with his friends after spending the day killing Nazis. While singing I Will Always Think Of You, he at one point rhymes the word "You" with “Drink a Brew."
He seemed to be rather innocent, as he believed fighting during World War II would be just killing Nazis with his friends and drinking once the day ended, which was a mindset ingrained in many young American men from propaganda at the time encouraging them to fight.
The View from Halfway Down, reveals a little more about him. His personality is still friendly, and he is shown to not be vain about his service, refusing to give his own opinion on it or accept the appraisal of the others. He is also shown to be honest to a fault, as he admits that he, in fact, performed very poorly in the military. His only kills were friendly fire incidents, he didn't liberate any concentration camps, and he isn't even sure what his role was in the war.
However, the entire episode takes place in BoJack’s mind, who never met his uncle, so it can be debated if these aspects of Crackerjack’s personality are actually true or just something imagined by BoJack.
His father Joseph, was the owner of the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company, making the family very well off financially.
They lived in Michigan and had a yearly tradition of staying at their lake-front cabin in Harper's Landing during the summers.
Like his mother, Crackerjack was upbeat and full of life. Also, just like Honey, he had an affinity for music—as an exceptional singer and piano player. He and Honey would perform their favorite song, I Will Always Think of You, together on the piano.
In summer 1944, Crackerjack left to fight in World War II after volunteering. Before he did, he met with his family to take a portrait with them. He arrived home with his fellow soldier and friend, Sal, telling him after a long day of killing Nazis they'll sit in a beer garden and enjoy a pint.
He gives his baby blanket, Blinky, to Beatrice for safekeeping, after his mother Honey insists that he take it with him.
A few months later in the wintertime, he was shot in the forehead and killed.
This devastates Honey—who makes Joseph and Beatrice go with her to the lake house in the wintertime, in a frantic search for his baby blanket. Honey believes he should have had it with him.
She blames herself for his death, saying she shouldn't have let him go. Joseph tells her that's just war, and assures her it isn't her fault, saying "If anyone is to blame it’s the Jews for peeving off Hitler so bad." Beatrice comes downstairs with Crackerjack's blanket, explaining she put it upstairs for safekeeping. The family leaves.
They return to the lake house in the summer of the following year. However, Honey is still deeply depressed— breaking down crying after only playing a few notes on the piano.
In either August or September 1945, when World War II ended and the US bombed Japan thus ending the war—Beatrice and Honey went to a celebration. Honey is seen doing fine at first, although after she sees a piano she starts singing parts of her and Crackerjack's song by herself—while in the future Eddie sings the other parts and they have a juxtaposed duet.
Afterward, she has a public breakdown where she drinks heavily, kisses Crackerjack's war friend Sal, cries hysterically, and after being asked to leave has young Beatrice drive them home, which leads to the car crash.
Joseph is furious that she put Beatrice in danger—after Honey says she doesn't know how to be better and begs to be fixed. She is lobotomized and left a dazed and empty shell of her former self—much to the horror of Beatrice. Honey tells Beatrice that "love does terrible things to a person." She asks Beatrice to promise that she will never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.
Crackerjack's death cast a shadow over the Sugarman/Horseman family, as it kick-started the cycle of abuse that would traumatize and poison the next two generations of family members. His death led to his mother’s hysteria and his father having her lobotomized, traumatizing Beatrice into never wanting to love or get attached to anyone, Joseph would further traumatize Beatrice, all of this shaped her into the cold woman she would become once BoJack was born, and her abuse led BoJack to become as screwed up as he is. His embodiment of innocence and sacrifice to war also put him on a sort of pedestal, especially to Beatrice, as apparently according to BoJack she made him feel like he could never live up to him.
In Thoughts and Prayers, an elderly, dementia-stricken Beatrice mistakes a childhood image of BoJack for Crackerjack.
BoJack mentions Crackerjack while lying to Beatrice at the nursing home that they’re really back at the lakehouse in the summertime, saying they’re listening to her brother play the piano.
Crackerjack appears as one of the deceased dinner guests in BoJack's dream in The View from Halfway Down, with BoJack mentioning he was the uncle he never met, yet could never live up to. He tries to get the bird out of the house with the rest of the party guests before BoJack chases it out the kitchen window.
At dinner, the guests are given their last meals before they died—Crackerjack is given C-Rations and a canteen.
When the guests are discussing "The Best Part/The Worst Part" of their life at dinner, Crackerjack mentions volunteering for the army led to his two worst moments - having to say goodbye to his mother, and watching his general get shot in the face, before that very same bullet hit him in the head and killed him. He pulls his bangs back to reveal a bullet hole in his forehead.
Herb tells Crackerjack that at least his death was instantaneous as Herb recalls the loud drips of his IV from when he had cancer.
The idea of sacrifice is brought up, and when questioned about if he believes his death meant something since he died for a good cause, Crackerjack is too humble to answer, but Beatrice defends him saying his death did mean something and he gave the ultimate sacrifice.
However, Crackerjack later reveals all his kills were friendly fire, much to everyone’s shock, and he didn’t liberate any concentration camps, leaving him to question what he actually did during his time in the military.
During the show, after BoJack realizes he’s drowning, Crackerjack briefly appears with blood dripping out of the bullet wound in his forehead, telling BoJack that nothing he does is going to matter.
Beatrice and Crackerjack perform second to last together—Crackerjack plays I Will Always Think Of You on the trumpet while Beatrice does an interpretative ribbon dance. BoJack had previously mentioned in Free Churro the only time she ever looked happy was when she put in a beautiful dress and danced for her supper club. During her performance she even cartwheels and flips through the air, and at one point leaps off the stage and performs around BoJack, possibly representing her influence on him. She stops and tells him with a smile "This is the hard part," before leaping up and suspending herself in the air as she spins with the growing ribbon around her, which may represent how difficult her life was.
Crackerjack stops playing the trumpet as he stares in awe, although the music continues and the trumpet remains suspended in the air. She then says "And now, the easy part," as her body is wrapped up in the ribbon. Crackerjack ties the end around his waist and leaps into the abyss. The tar crawls out of the door frame and reaches Beatrice, now cocooned in the ribbon and still spinning in mid-air. It consumes her and leaves nothing but her now black ribbon, which along with the trumpet falls to the ground, and the music stops.
This likely represents how Crackerjack’s death poisoned Beatrice’s family and led to her becoming a bitter person, and Beatrice being cocooned in the ribbon unaware of the tar reaching her is due to having dementia in her final years and not being aware of her surroundings a majority of the time.
- The Old Sugarman Place
- Thoughts and Prayers (mentioned)
- Lovin that cali lifestyle!! (mentioned)
- Time's Arrow (mentioned)
- The View from Halfway Down (BoJack's dream)
- It is likely that if he lived, Crackerjack—along with Beatrice, would have inherited the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company—in the former’s case he likely would have gained ownership.
- His name most likely comes from Cracker Jack, snack food that was particularly popular during the 1940s.
- It was also a phrase that was more commonly used in the 1900s, meaning exceptionally good or an exceptionally good person, likely referencing his cheery and upbeat attitude.
- Due to his love of alcohol and the age of enlistment at the time, it can be assumed he was at least twenty-one years old in 1944.
- He was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division.
- In The View From Halfway Down, during the dinner, Zach Braff serves Crackerjack a "Ration-C" with a canteen of water. Since everyone's meals are what they ate or encountered right before they died, Crackerjack is served rations because he died in the war.
- Herb Kazzaz introduces Crackerjack in his and Beatrice's performance as "Beatrice's older younger brother" this is due to Beatrice being younger than him in real life, but since she outlived him in BoJack's dream she’s shown in her thirties from when BoJack was a child, and Crackerjack's only appearance is right before he died.