Lost “Sesame Street” Episode Removed For Being Too Scary Resurfaces Online

Once upon a time, in the mid-’70s, “Sesame Street” traded its bright, sunny atmosphere for ominous gray skies. Most of us would probably never have known this without the power of the Internet.

An entire episode of the beloved children’s show has resurfaced online after being initially pulled for allegedly being “too scary” for child viewers.

What the hell could be so scary in a place where the air is so sweet, you might ask. It turns out that even “Sesame Street” isn’t impervious to a quirky witch’s broom.

The music video opens with the cheerful, fast-talking David (played by Northern Calloway) exiting Hooper’s shop, struggling to fight his way through powerful gusts of wind.

“Look! Something is falling from the sky!” he shouts pointing up as the wind whirls David drops to one knee and just in the nick of time catches an incoming broom Suddenly the wind stops Why?

Unfortunately, our hero’s troubles are just beginning. Sinister music begins to play, and unbeknownst to David, who should be lurking from around the corner, but the original Wicked Witch of the West himself.

No, you are not in Dorothy’s dream. That’s Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the only one, the Wicked Witch of the West. Guess that bucket of water didn’t quite do it for her.

“I know I’m not in Oz anymore,” Hamilton says, looking around and concluding that she must be “somewhere over the rainbow.” Determined to find her broom and fly away, she marches to David and demands that he return it.

Unfazed, David doesn’t return the broom right away, but insists she needs to be more careful and treat him with more respect (after all, can’t have an episode of Sesame Street without a life lesson). The reading only further agitates the witch, but David doesn’t flinch. Finally, she tries to snatch the broom, but is electrocuted.

“Oh I forgot!” shouts the evil witch. “I can’t even put a finger on the broom as long as someone else is holding it!” What a strangely specific and important detail to forget. Oh yeah, kids show.

The Wicked Witch vanishes in smoke and promises that this won’t be the last we’ve seen of her. She terrorizes poor David throughout the episode, including creating an indoor storm and threatening to turn him into a basketball. Wild.

In the end, the Wicked Witch hatches a plan to get her broom back by turning herself into a sweet, regular-looking older woman, a plan so diabolical that she wins Oscar the Grumbler’s heart. The plan works, but the witch still has to ask nicely. So, you know… compromise.

Although Big Bird called the ordeal “interesting and exciting,” the public apparently wasn’t quite convinced. Mike Minnick, who posted the episode to YouTube, claimed it only aired once in the mid-’70s before gaining the appeal for being “too scary for kids.” According to an article published by AV Club, the show was on the receiving end of a deluge of complaints from the parents of shocked children.

Some reminiscent fans agreed that, yes, as kids, the episode was terrifying. One wrote that it “incredibly scared me when I was 5. I would anxiously watch the beginning of every episode after watching this one, just to make sure it wasn’t the ‘witch’ again.”

However, the main feeling shared in the comments was gratitude that the footage was revisited.

“What a joy to watch… I know she terrified me when I was a little girl and watched The Wizard of Oz on television every year. Now it’s just nostalgic to see the original Wicked Witch,” one person wrote.

Another added: “People have no idea how big this is. I really thought I would never see the day. One of the holy grails of lost media has been found.”

Most of the time, the whole thing turned into one giant Margaret Hamilton appreciation party. Here are just some of the heartfelt comments:

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for making this available to watch and experience! This was a really great treat and seeing Margaret Hamilton again as the Wicked Witch brought out the kid in me!”

“Lmao when she turns into a cute little granny and the evil one laughs, I loved it! She is so cute, what a legend.”

Margaret Hamilton…. I love her so much and miss her terribly. I love how 40 years later she was still able to play the Wicked Witch just as incredible as she always was.

You could say Hamilton was born to play a witch. During her interview with Mr. Rogers—yes, Hamilton attended kids’ shows in her heyday—she shared that as a little girl she always dressed up as a witch for Halloween. So it’s no wonder that the chance to play might the most iconic witch of all time made her “very, very happy.”

Hamilton felt that her cackling, green-skinned, shoe-obsessed nature wasn’t so bad, just misunderstood. She said to Mr. Rogers, “Sometimes the kids think she’s a very wicked witch, and I expect she looks like one. … She’s also what we call frustrated … because she never gets what she wants.”

By that definition, there is a little witch in all of us.

This uncovered relic, as traumatic as it might have been, has brought great joy with its epic return. Perhaps even evil witches can be a good resource.

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