An episode of “Sesame Road,” allegedly faraway from syndication for being too horrifying for kids, has been posted to social media websites like YouTube and Reddit.
The episode stars Margaret Hamilton, who revives her function because the Depraved Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz.”
The plot additionally takes from “The Wizard of Oz,” however somewhat than search the return of a pair of ruby slippers, Hamilton seeks a “stolen broom stick.”
Hamilton terrorizes David, performed by Northern Calloway, all through the episode to get her broomstick again.
Lastly, on the finish of the episode, after having posed as an outdated lady, the witch will get her broom again and flies away.
“That is superb!” she proclaims. Then, as she exhibits off, she says: “Look! No palms!”
The broom falls out from beneath her, and David, Huge Chook and pals catch it as soon as once more.
The “misplaced” episode aired Feb. 10, 1976, through the seventh season of “Sesame Road,” in accordance with the Muppet fan archive Muppet Wiki. The intent of the episode seems to be to show youngsters tips on how to overcome their fears, in addition to “the worth of planning by creating and implementing strategies of retrieving the broom,” Muppet Wiki writes.
Sesame Workshop was reportedly inundated with complaints from mother and father in regards to the episode, and it by no means aired on tv once more, in accordance with the AV Club. Sesame Workshop didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark in regards to the episode’s showing on social media.
The AV Membership reported that bootleg variations of the episode can be posted to social media occasionally however that both they might be eliminated or they have been of extraordinarily low high quality.
Though it by no means re-aired on tv, the AV Membership reported, the episode is preserved within the Library of Congress.
The latest add of the episode was posted Saturday by YouTube person Mike Minnick. Minnick couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.
On his put up, Minnick claims that the episode by no means made it to tv — a declare disputed by the AV Membership. As a substitute, Minnick writes, the episode was proven to check audiences within the Seventies and declared too scary. In Minnick’s retelling of why the episode was misplaced, he claimed Muppet creator Jim Henson deemed the episode to be “too scary” and by no means allowed it to be broadcast.
Muppet Wiki says the precise historical past of the episode straddles each tales. It reported that after the episode aired, the present obtained “an unusually great amount of mail responses from mother and father, nearly solely unfavorable, inside a short while body.”
That prompted further rounds of check screening in March 1976, a couple of month after the episode aired, Muppet Wiki stated. Though youngsters have been attentive to the components of the present that includes Hamilton, judging their worry watching the episode was tough, in accordance with Muppet Wiki. It was later suggested that the episode not be rerun, Muppet Wiki reported.
In a 1976 handwritten letter addressed to “Sesame Road” archived on Muppet Wiki, a viewer named Rebecca stated she had been dreaming of the green-faced witch at bedtime. She wrote, “I want you would not put that witch on ‘Sesame Road’ anymore as a result of … I’ve been dreaming [of] that witch many times and many times.”
The episode first resurfaced on-line in 2019, in accordance with Muppet Wiki.
On the most recent YouTube put up, many say eradicating the episode was a disgrace, and others stated they have been thrilled it had been posted so it might be loved.
“Girls and Gents of the misplaced media neighborhood, this proper right here is a big win for all of us!” one individual commented.
Many stated they didn’t discover the episode to be very horrifying, however one commenter reminded others that younger youngsters within the Seventies had extra restricted publicity to media than younger folks do now.
“Individuals neglect the kind of publicity youngsters needed to ‘scary issues’ then in comparison with right this moment. She was an actual life villain, and [in] one of many solely child pleasant motion pictures youngsters may watch,” the commenter wrote. “I agree that this was simply such an ideal loss to be gone for therefore lengthy, particularly for Margaret Hamilton. Such a legend.”
Hamilton, who died in Could 1985, additionally reprised her function because the witch in tv exhibits like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In “Mr. Rogers,” Hamilton performs herself and discusses what it was like taking part in the witch.
“Once I had the prospect to do that, I used to be very, very blissful about it,” Hamilton advised Rogers. “Typically the kids suppose she’s a really imply witch, and I count on she does appear that means. … She is also what we seek advice from as pissed off. She’s very sad, as a result of she by no means will get what she desires.”
Earlier than she turn into an actress, Hamilton was a kindergarten trainer, and the AV Membership reported that her historical past as a trainer gave the impression to be a part of the rationale she needed to coach younger folks about how they may overcome their fears.