By Joshua Waddles
18 June 2022
Margaret Hamilton, the actor who played The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, reprised her role during a special appearance on Sesame Street in 1976. In the episode “David” (played by Northern Calloway) found a broom in the middle of the street. He was soon accosted by The Wicked Witch, who demanded he return the broom and threatened to turn him into a basketball if he did not. The live action segments of the episode (0847) continue the story of The Wicked Witch attempting to steal back her broom from David, who refused to relinquish the broom until The Wicked Witch “Treats (him) like a person.”
This episode drew a backlash with the show receiving dozens of angry letters and phone calls. Parents claimed the episode scared their children with instances of screaming and crying, and at least one Wiccan took offense to the negative stereotypes related to witches.
The network pulled the episode because of the outrage. The cartoon portions still circulated, but the live action scenes featuring the conflict between David and The Wicked Witch were lost, until one anonymous Reddit user found the episode and posted it on R/LostMedia
Redditers speculated that the poster, going by the name of Saraparilla170170, probably found the episode in the Library of Congress archives. Saraparilla170170 created the account one day prior to posting the episode on June 18 and gave no other information other than a download link for the episode, but YouTuber blameitonjorge apparently spoke to Saraparilla170170. In a tweet, blameitonjorge said a documentary about the search is currently in the works.