Something major just made its appearance online! A classic episode of Sesame Streetwhich was previously considered lost media, has been uploaded to r / lostmedia from Reddit user sarsaparilla170170. The episode in question features Margaret Hamilton donning the black cloak and green skin once more as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz!
The episode starts off with David walking out of Hooper’s store, only to have the witch’s broom almost fall on him from the sky. It’s here that the Wicked Witch herself makes her appearance, mumbling that she’s not in Oz anymore. She walks over to David and demands her broom be returned. Soon, a shouting match is ignited between the two. After trying to pull it from his hands, it’s then revealed that she can not physically take the broom as long as someone is holding it.
The witch then vows that she’ll make everyone sorry for not giving her back her broom, this includes making it rain inside of Hooper’s store and threatening to turn Big Bird into a feather duster. Soon, the witch comes up with a plan to disguise herself as an ordinary old woman and politely asks to hold the broom. Does she wreak havoc on the gang? Nope, she uses the broom to get the heck outta there, vowing to never see Sesame Street again!
The upload in question is not the full episode, as the musical and educational segments are cut away. This condenses the video to a fifteen-minute story that features only the witch-centered story. While it’s not the full episode, this can be seen as a perk for fans that only care about wanting to see the witch.
The Return of the Witch
The episode premiered on February 10th, 1976. But after the initial broadcast, the Children’s Television Workshop received a notably large amount of negative letters regarding the episode. Parents from all over were upset over the portrayal of the witch, with many of them reporting that their children were too scared to keep watching. Another noticeable amount of letters were from the upset Wiccan community, who were offended by the negative portrayal of witches.
Because of this, the Children’s Television Workshop decided not to re-air the episode. The only other time the episode was on display was in 2019 at the Museum of the Moving Image for the “Sesame Street ‘Lost and Found'” event, which featured guests speaking on the educational and entertainment aspects of the episode after a few short clips were screened.
While Sesame Street has earned its status and respect over the years, it has not been without a few stumbles. Margaret Hamilton shocked audiences when she donned the green makeup and broom, and was always a good sport about the legacy of the role. Another PBS children’s show that she appeared in was Mister Rogers’ Neighborhoodbut unlike on Sesame Street, where their focus was on having kids believe that a bird could be so big, Mister Rogers’ focused on how Hamilton’s role was just a form of make believe. Perhaps that was the wiser way to handle the character for younger audiences.
Whether you think one show handled the message over the other. To see the previously-hidden episode show up again is still a win for fans of all ages. After all, who does not enjoy seeing Margaret Hamilton having fun with old friends?