The episode of “Sesame Street” which would have been deleted because it was too scary is published on social networks

An episode of “Sesame Street”, allegedly removed from syndication as too scary for children, has been posted on social media sites such as YouTube and Reddit.

The episode stars Margaret Hamilton, who revives her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz.”

The plot is also inspired by “The Wizard of Oz”, but rather than looking for the return of a pair of ruby ​​slippers, Hamilton is looking for a “stolen broom”.

Hamilton terrorizes David, played by Northern Calloway, throughout the episode to retrieve his broom.

Finally, at the end of the episode, after pretending to be an old woman, the witch recovers her broom and flies away.

“It’s glorious!” she proclaims. Then, showing off, she said, “Look! No hands!”

The broom falls under her and David, Big Bird and his friends grab it again.

The “lost” episode aired on February 10, 1976, during the seventh season of “Sesame Street,” according to The Muppet Fan Archive Muppet Wiki. The intention of the episode appears to be to teach children how to overcome their fears, as well as “the value of planning by creating and implementing broom recovery methods,” writes Muppet Wiki.

Sesame Workshop was reportedly inundated with complaints from parents about the episode, and it never aired on TV again, according to the AV Club. Sesame Workshop did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the episode’s appearance on social media.

The AV Club reported that pirated versions of the episode would be posted on social media from time to time, but either were deleted or were of very low quality.

Although it was never re-aired on television, the AV Club reported, the episode is preserved at the Library of Congress.

The latest episode upload was posted on Saturday by YouTube user Mike Minnick. Minnick could not immediately be reached for comment.

In her post, Minnick claims the episode was never aired on television – a claim disputed by the AV Club. Instead, writes Minnick, the episode was shown to test audiences in the 1970s and declared too scary. In Minnick’s account of why the episode was lost, he claimed that Muppets creator Jim Henson deemed the episode “too scary” and never allowed it to air. .

Muppet Wiki says the episode’s actual story overlaps the two stories. He reported that after the episode aired, the show received “an unusually high amount of mail responses from parents, almost entirely negative, in a short period of time”.

This triggered additional rounds of drug tests in March 1976, about a month after the episode aired, Muppet Wiki said. Although the children were attentive to parts of the show featuring Hamilton, it was difficult to judge their fear by watching the episode, according to Muppet Wiki. He was later advised not to rebroadcast the episode, Muppet Wiki reported.

In a 1976 handwritten letter to “Sesame Street” archived on Muppet Wiki, a viewer named Rebecca said she dreamed of the green-faced witch at bedtime. She wrote, “I wish you wouldn’t put that witch on ‘Sesame Street’ anymore because…I dreamed [of] that witch again and again and again and again.”

The episode first surfaced online in 2019, according to Muppet Wiki.

On the latest YouTube post, many say deleting the episode was a disgrace, and others said they were glad it was released so it could be enjoyed.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the lost media community, this is a huge win for all of us!” one person commented.

Many said they didn’t find the episode very scary, but one commenter reminded others that young children in the 1970s had more limited media exposure than young people today.

“People forget the kind of exposure kids had to ‘scary things’ then compared to now. She was a real baddie, and [in] one of the only kid-friendly movies kids could watch,” the commenter wrote. I agree it was such a great loss to be gone so long, especially for Margaret Hamilton. Such a legend.”

Hamilton, who died in May 1985, also reprized her role as a witch on TV shows like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In “Mr. Rogers”, Hamilton plays himself and explains what it was like to play the witch.

“When I got the chance to do it, I was very, very happy about it,” Hamilton told Rogers. “Sometimes the kids think she’s a very mean witch, and I expect her to look like that. … She’s also what we call frustrated. She’s very unhappy, because she never gets what she wants.”

Before becoming an actress, Hamilton was a kindergarten teacher, and the AV Club reported that her history as a teacher seemed to be part of the reason she wanted to educate young people about how they could overcome their fears.

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