Sesame Street Episode 847
Scan of a February 8, 1976 newspaper article on the then-upcoming episode/higher quality scan of the photo included therein.
Status Lost
On February 10, 1976, Sesame Street Episode 847 aired, featuring Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The central plot involves the Witch losing her broom while flying over Sesame Street; throughout the episode, she threatens to turn Big Bird into a feather duster, David into a basketball, and electrocute Maria with her broomstick.[1]

Oscar the Grouch is the only one who takes to her, even to the point of having a crush on her. Big Bird eventually warms to the Witch, and is saddened when she leaves (only to drop her broom again).

A large number of complaints sent from parents and children were made regarding the episode, within a relatively short frame of time. Many concerned parents reported that their children were screaming and crying in fear of the Witch.[2]


A behind-the-scenes polaroid of Caroll Spinney at Hooper's Store with Margaret Hamilton, holding a feather duster.

Additional test screenings of the episode were made, with the reactions of the children being a lot more subdued than expected. Some who watched the episode in color weren't frightened at all, but were instead fascinated by her green face. Regardless, the Children's Television Workshop made the decision never to re-air the episode, and it never has since. It could've very been likely that the episode was probably destroyed in order to avoid accidentally reairing it, but Sesame Workshop never confirmed this.

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  2. Letter, February 10th, CTW Archives.