Talk about a “WOW!” I had no idea this even existed. And come to find out, there’s probably a pretty good reason why. If I say the name, “Margaret Hamilton,” chances are you won’t know who I’m talking about. However, if I say “The Wicked Witch of the West” from “The Wizard of Oz?”
I’m a grown person, but still, just seeing this makes me remember how much Hamilton’s performance petrified me as a child. Which leads to this, somewhat amazing story and video that’s come to light. Back in 1976, actress Margaret Hamilton was asked by the folks at Sesame Street to reprise her iconic role for an episode some 37 years after she terrorized Judy Garland’s “Dorothy.” The scenario was this: The Wicked Witch demands that the peeps of Sesame Street return her broom, even threatening to turn Big Bird into a giant feather duster. Now, according to legend, this episode provoked the ire of parents who-in droves-complained that Hamilton’s Wicked Witch had terrified their kiddos. The result? The appearance NEVER re-aired (although it was archived in the Library of Congress for public viewing). And now, it’s been uploaded to YouTube.
Interestingly, I uncovered this video as well this morning. This was not Margaret Hamilton’s only appearance on Children’s TV. I’m not sure the date on this, but I’d bet it was AFTER the Sesame Street debacle as Hamilton stopped by Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood-out of costume-for a visit. It was a very interesting interview as it appeared to serve to soften the actress responsible for horrifying children. And to explain to kids the difference between a person and a character.
Both of these videos…amazing.