Watch: "Lost" Sesame Street footage from 1976 of Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch that was deemed too scary for reruns

In 1976, Margaret Hamilton—the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939)—donned the green makeup one more time for an episode of Sesame Street. The show's theme was fear and how to overcome it, with a plotline about witch searching for her lost flying broomstick, but apparently the episode was so scary to children that Sesame Street bowed to parents' complaints and never aired it again. Snippets occasionally appeared on YouTube but quickly vanished like a pair of ruby slippers. Now though, a fellow named Mike Minnick has uploaded a high quality copy of this "lost" Episode 0847. From the Muppet Wiki:

 Typical responses included parents concerned that their children were afraid and now refused to watch the show, using such phrases as "screams and tears" and "the threat of the witch's power remains in children's eyes." A somewhat atypical missive came from a self-proclaimed Wiccan, concerned with the perpetuation of a negative fairy tale stereotype and recommended a segment "portraying witches as they really are, now."

Due to the overwhelming reaction, additional test screenings were held from March 1 through the 5th, "to assess children's reactions to the Wicked Witch of the West." The tests showed that children were "exceptionally attentive during the Margaret Hamilton segments," and those who watched the episode in color were fascinated by her green face. The issue of fear was difficult to fully judge, due to confusing answers and the fact that the children were surrounded by their peers and adults, and not alone watching. However, due to the parents' reactions, the letter content and testing observations, Anna Herera of the CTW Research Department suggested "that the Margaret Hamilton show not be re-run."

image: publicity photo