In 1939, Margaret Hamilton made cinema historical past because the Depraved Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. In 1976, she made tv historical past by reprising the function on a Sesame Road episode that was pulled from the present’s rotation instantly after it aired. It appears to have drawn Sesame Workshop, then generally known as the Kids’s Tv Workshop, a good few complaints from the dad and mom of disturbed kids. Consequently, writes Psychological Floss’ Michele Debczak, “the episode was banned for being ‘too scary’ for teenagers, and for many years it was troublesome to search out,” seen solely on low-quality video tapes and within the troubled minds of sure Era Xers.
Now Hamilton’s Sesame Road look has grow to be out there on Youtube, prepared so that you can watch with the braver kids in your life this Halloween. However then, it’s laborious to think about any twenty-first-century viewer being really frightened by it, regardless of how younger. (This in distinction to the Depraved Witch’s military of flying monkeys within the unique movie, which continues to present youngsters the creeps technology after technology.)
Some might even be delighted by the evident relish with which Hamilton performs her half, even 37 years after the primary time; as William Hughes writes at The AV Membership, she “was all the time sport to reprise the function of the Witch on behalf of academic programming; she additionally appeared, round that very same interval, on a number of episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
In Large Fowl’s neighborhood, the Depraved Witch unintentionally loses her broom to David, whom readers of a sure age might keep in mind because the spirited legislation scholar who as soon as dated the long-lasting Maria Rodriguez. Solely when the Witch reveals him some respect, David insists, will he return that valuable possession. Thus begins the Witch’s marketing campaign of terror and trickery on Sesame Road, which continues till David finds a method to outsmart her into an entirely uncharacteristic present of courtesy. This story inside the episode offers with the timeless theme of overcoming fears; and because the lengthy unavailability of the episode itself reveals us, giving in to fears — particularly these of public backlash — can have actual penalties.
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Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.