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Lost 1976 Episode of Sesame Street Deemed 'Too Scary' Resurfaces Online

The episode features Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Nearly 50 years after it aired, a "lost" episode of Sesame Street deemed too scary for audiences has resurfaced on the Internet. The 1976 episode sees Wizard of Oz star Margaret Hamilton reprise her role as the Wicked Witch of the West, an appearance that was widely criticized by parents at the time.

    Since 1976, the Wicked Witch episode has never re-run or been made available for at-home viewing. For decades, if viewers wanted to see the episode — or other episodes deemed "too scary" — they would have to go directly to the Library of Congress, where the series is archived. However, lost episodes have occasionally been uploaded to YouTube and even screened at the Museum of Moving Image, which hosted a "Sesame Street Lost and Found" event in 2019.

    This week, the Wicked Witch episode joined its fellow "found" episodes when it was uploaded to Reddit and subsequently YouTube. The recent videos boast a much clearer recording than any previously uploaded online.

    In the episode, Hamilton's Wicked Witch appears with the intention of teaching kids to overcome their fears. After the episode's initial airing, parents complained that it scared their kids too much, and the episode was permanently pulled.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Sesame Street, Margaret Hamilton, Halloween