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Sesame Street Episode 847 with Margaret Hamilton

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by gavry3, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure many of you heard of Sesame Street: Episode 847, right?
    If you haven't, look it up.

    I was looking around the internet in search of any other photographic evidence other than the one above for episode 847. I'm surprised NOBODY interviewed any cast members or behind-the-scenes workers for what happened to it. It's such a mystery, and yet nobody asks about it. I mean- it's just so silly! And nobody on the internet bothered to say if they saw the episode once. There is absolutely NOTHING on the internet giving more information about the episode.
    I will be going to see the CTW archives very soon, and hopefully I can find something about it- for example, an angry letter's parent, or a screenshot of the episode, or even kids watching the episode itself on the TV!

    Nobody seems to bother that what happened to this episode is a question that could last forever if nobody speaks. WE NEED TO FIND MORE INFORMATION!
    Blue Frackle and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well, I doubt anything bad happened to the tapes for the episode. Remember there are hundreds and hundreds of episodes that we have very little information on and the public hasn't seen since the 70s and 80s. Just like those, i'm sure this one is safe and sound in Sesame Workshop's vault. The only difference with this one is there's just more public interest in it because it had Margaret Hamilton in it as her character from The Wizard of Oz and because they stopped airing it due to concerns it might scare children.
    But like I said, there are loads of episodes that have yet to resurface and i'm sure SW still has them all in their archives.
    MikaelaMuppet and Blue Frackle like this.
  3. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    1. Yes, there is a chance SW has the tape somewhere safe, but some think it could have been destroyed in fear of it airing again.
    2. Hey, the 50th anniversary is in 3 years... They might reveal some more info on the episode at that time.
  4. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    But that's all just pure speculation from people who never even worked on Sesame Street.
  5. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    You have a point. We just have to wait until someone who DID work at sesame street admits something.
  6. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Hey maybe we'll even get to see that unaired divorce episode too.
  7. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    Hm, maybe! Except they've recently done a few videos about divorce. Nevertheless, the episode could be interesting.


    Everybody has been waiting to see 847, even me. I'm certain Sesame Workshop still has it. I wonder what were the sponsors of 847, but I'm pretty sure that the number sponsor was a number between seven and ten.
  9. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    What if they can't show it now because of an issue with MGM (who produced the 1939 Wizard of Oz Movie) or Margret Hamilton's estate / family relating to the episode? Copyright issues or royalty fees. Pretty sure when they aired and showed clips of R2 and C3PO Lucasfilm may have gotten some sort of payment out of it at the time.
    Or maybe SW is just not proud of the episode and doesn't want people to see it again for whatever reason.
  10. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    The reason they banned it was because it scared kids too much because of the witch's behavior and there were angry parent letters.
  11. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    That's probably why they're not proud of it then.
  12. Blue Frackle

    Blue Frackle Well-Known Member

    OMG, there is actually recent discussion on this. :)

    We should never give up hope on this episode, though I believe as long as SS remains on the air, we will never see this or the Snuffy divorce episode. :(

    THIS is what gets me. With 'Cracks' there were a legion of people combining ideas and memories of the short, but this is dead silence. One airing; you think someone must've seen it, though there's a bit more info than you give credit for here: http://lostmediawiki.com/Sesame_Street:_Episode_847_(Lost_"Wicked_Witch_of_the_West"_Episode;_1976)

    Interesting take; this would be a total bummer if true.

    Yup, and 40 years after the fact I wonder how much it matters to them; heck, I think tons of people would shell out dough for a lost SS episodes collection. This episode far more interests me than the divorce one, but package those two back-to-back and oh boy.


    Okay, so I dug a little deeper and it appears at least some people on the forum have seen it, who are probably long inactive: http://www.muppetcentral.com/forum/threads/margaret-hamilton-on-sesame-street.22236/#post-432437

    I think the issue is CTW really has no reason to release it. :( What do they care about the oldheads and some obscure episode?

    It probably wasn't that bad; it's probably just that some cackling witch scared kids, but the aura of this episode is too unreal and we're too far gone.

    Episode rundowns exist, so that may be the best bet for at least something, a la this one for the 'Cracks' research:


    I mean, we could email people, but it just seems like an impossible feat. :(
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  13. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    Impossible? I think it is. We just need lots of answers from the cast. Besides, we did a good job of finding ''Test Show Gordon'', why can't we figure this out?

    But it just seems so interesting!

    They deserve the money. I mean, sure they could be greedy people only want the money, but people have been searching for that episode for a very loonng time, in which if somebody gets anything else, everybody is gonna go crazy. We only get brief descriptions of the episodes instead of any evidence, such as a script or a picture.

    Overall... What you've gathered up helped a lot, but only by a bit. I hope you kind of understand what I'm saying. But I just have to say- you're a genius.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  14. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    Apparently she made an appearance on Mr. Rogers as well. Maybe it was around the same time?
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  15. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    That was actually in 1975, a year before the SST episode aired.
    Colbynfriends likes this.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd say that's more than likely the case. Whatever red tape and character rights that's in MGM's court. It's not like this is some obscure film that wouldn't make sense outside of a small cult following. This is the most iconic film of all time, so iconic that every other Wizard of Oz retelling was a flop...at least until Wicked hit. If it was a parody, they wouldn't have much of a problem, but this is a character name checked and played by the original actress. As far as the Star Wars characters are concerned, Lucas has always had a good relationship with Henson, so by extension, I'm sure he had one with Sesame Workshop. And I'm sure Disney's probably got a good enough relationship with SW that releasing that wasn't much of a problem either. After all, they have to deal with them for Kermit rights, so that's not much of a stretch.

    Still, you wonder how much of the archive has yet to be digitized if it hasn't already.
    Blue Frackle and Colbynfriends like this.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Actually, Warner Bros. has owned the rights to the film since 1997. And Warner Home Video has the video rights to Sesame Street, so I imagine that would make it easier to clear. They'd probably still have to deal with Margret Hamilton's estate over royalties, though.

    I wonder if there would be clearance issues with Warner. On one hand, The Wizard of Oz is in the public domain (I assume the characters are as well, but on the other hand, the witch was made to look like she did in the movie, and I believe other adaptations are not easily allowed to have a green witch because of it.

    I wonder how aware the people at Sesame Workshop are of this episode's existence/controversy. Pretty much all of the info Muppet Wiki has comes from documents at the CTW Archives. I've never seen anything official about this in recent years. There's no mention of it in the 40th anniversary book, for example.

    I have heard of examples of other things being done to prevent airing banned episodes by mistake. I've read that for a banned episode of You Can;t Do That on Television, they put a sticker that said "do not air" on the master tape. And I've read that some of the Looney Tunes shorts that Cartoon Network won't air are not at the station's headquarters. I believe I've read that one employee has a box of the "censored eleven" at home so they don't accidentally air on the channel, and I've read that after CN obtained the rights to every short, Warner Bros. simply didn't send a number of controversial shorts to the station ("Injunn Trouble", the last WB short from the classic years, is the only one I know of off-hand).
  18. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    That actually could be a possibility.
  19. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's possible. That version of the character, and I think the other depictions (Dorothy, Tin Man), may be subject to copyright by Warner Brothers (thanks for the correction on that). Here's an article about it as well.

    I'll get you, my pretty, and your little copyright too!
  20. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    What? So something in the public domain gets adapted and gets copyrighted. I can't complain, though. There really isn't much we can do about. If they DO want to show the episode again, I guess Sesame Workshop and Warner need to talk things out.

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