Sesame Street
The Wicked Witch of the West loses her broomstick
Air date February 10, 1976
Season Season 7 (1975-1976)
Sponsors I, Z, 9
This episode guide has been compiled from materials provided by a trusted source.


In this episode of Sesame Street, The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton, reprising her role from The Wizard of Oz) wreaks havoc on the street when she loses her flying broomstick.



Margart Hamilton on set with Caroll Spinney.

The stated curriculum goals of the episode were to demonstrate fear and "the value of planning by creating and implementing methods of retrieving the broom."[1]

The episode prompted an unusually large amount of mail responses from parents, almost entirely negative, within a short time frame. Typical responses included parents concerned that their children were afraid and now refused to watch the show, using such phrases as "screams and tears" and "the threat of the witch's power remains in children's eyes." A somewhat atypical missive came from a self-proclaimed Wiccan, concerned with the perpetuation of a negative fairy tale stereotype and recommended a segment "portraying witches as they really are, now."[2]

Due to the overwhelming reaction, additional test screenings were held from March 1 through the 5th, "to assess children's reactions to the Wicked Witch of the West." The tests showed that children were "exceptionally attentive during the Margaret Hamilton segments," and those who watched the episode in color were fascinated by her green face. The issue of fear was difficult to fully judge, due to confusing answers and the fact that the children were surrounded by their peers and adults, and not alone watching. However, due to the parents' reactions, the letter content and testing observations, Anna Herera of the CTW Research Department suggested "that the Margaret Hamilton show not be re-run."[3]


Picture Segment Description
SCENE 1 David observes how windy and cloudy it is today on Sesame Street. A broom falls from the sky, surprising David at first, but he picks it up, and starts sweeping up the street. The Wicked Witch of the West encounters him and demands her broom back. Recognizing who she is, and remembering what she did to Dorothy and Toto, David is hesitant to give her back the broom. The witch leaves, vowing to get her broom back somehow …
Cartoon I-Ink (angry bird)
(First: Episode 0462)
Film A group of Latino children pick members for their baseball team. A new kid, Ramon, joins them.
(First: Episode 0440)
Cartoon "I in the Sky"
(First: Episode 0368)
Muppets Full-body versions of Bert and Betty Lou ice skate together.
Cartoon I - ice cream.
(First: Episode 0033)
Song Joe Raposo sings "Frog Struggle Song."
(First: Episode 0492)
Animation Sand I / i
(First: Episode 0619)
Film Cold things that begin with the letter I.
(First: Episode 0618)
SCENE 2 Maria and some kids enter Hooper's Store, and ask David for a glass of water. The witch, hearing that Maria wants water, makes it rain inside Hooper's.
Cartoon A Gary Owens-voiced man attempts to discuss the letter I, but is jeered by an offscreen voice. The man uses him as an example of the word "impolite".
(First: Episode 0033)
Muppets Waiter Grover: Grover brings Mr. Johnson a bowl of alphabet soup. Mr. Johnson complains that some of the letters are missing, and makes Grover run back and forth to the kitchen to bring the missing letters. When all the letters are there, Johnson complains that the soup is cold, and makes Grover take it back.
(First: Episode 0276)
Cartoon Letter I (Beep Beep)
(First: Episode 0427)
Cast No matter how you arrange these nine people, they're still nine people.
(First: Episode 0413)
Film Pizza is made.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0416)
Cartoon I for iron
(First: Episode 0314)
Song David sings "Who You Looking At, Tiger?"
(First: Episode 0371)
Cartoon The Typewriter: I for Ink
Artist: Jeff Hale
SCENE 3 David, Maria and the kids mop up the wet store. They tell Big Bird about the witch, and Big Bird picks up the broom, vowing to protect them from harm. The angry witch reappears, but can't touch the broom while Big Bird is holding it (like the ruby slippers). She leaves again, after threatening to turn Big Bird into a feather duster.
Cartoon What if I had big feet?
(First: Episode 0514)
Muppets Ernie & BertErnie is thirsty, and imagines that he's drinking nice cold water. Irritated, Bert tells him to go get a real glass of water. Ernie does, but then he annoys Bert by saying that now he's hungry. He then proceeds to eat an imaginary peanut butter and banana sandwich.
(First: Episode 0459)
Cartoon Two guys row their oars in different directions, until they decide to cooperate and row together.
(First: Episode 0510)
Film Jerry Nelson narrates a story about a green Muppet hand that learns to spin a top.
(First: Episode 0362)
Film The Mad Painter #9
(First: Episode 0338)
Cartoon Jazz #9
(First: Episode 0137)
Cartoon Three birds enter a cuckoo clock to do their job.
(First: Episode 0543)
Cartoon La palabra cerrado
(First: Episode 0481)
Cookie Counter
Muppets Cookie Monster presents to Ernie his new device “The Cookie Counter” which will notify him of the quantity of cookies inside the box. Cookie Monster points “The Cookie Counter” rod to the box of cookies, which rings five times representing the amount of cookies inside the box. Ernie is impressed by Cookie Monster’s device and talks about the benefits the device provides to the audience, simultaneously Cookie Monster eats Ernie’s box of cookies. Ernie tests the Cookie Counter by pointing the rod at the box of cookies, the box doesn’t ring. Cookie Monster asks Ernie to face the Cookie Counter rod to his stomach; it rings five times as proof of the location of the five cookies.
(First: Episode 0481)
Cartoon A monster sees a box that keeps opening and closing, saying "Abierto" and "Cerrado."
(First: Episode 0784)
SCENE 4 Oscar, upon seeing the witch, falls in love. The witch, meanwhile, disguises herself as a nice person. David introduces her to Big Bird, Maria and the kids, and invites her into Hooper's. She successfully gets the broom back and turns back into her old self. David feels foolish upon hearing that she would have left Sesame Street immediately if he'd just given her the broom. The witch fills up the store with brooms.
Cartoon Various demonstrations of DOWN and UP
Muppets Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School: Roosevelt Franklin has his students stand up and sit down to learn about the opposites.
(First: Episode 0518)
Cartoon Cherries fall through a moving hole onto a man who demonstrates up and down.
Artist: Bruce Cayard
(First: Episode 0798)
Muppets Muppet & Kid Moment — Herry asks John-John if he knows the difference between up and down.
(First: Episode 0565)
Cartoon A boy leads his sister up and down a staircase.
Artist: Cliff Roberts
(First: Episode 0693)
Film A man bounces a ball up the steps, and then it falls down the steps.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0435)
Animation A kid's father tells him what can be built out of the wheels and things he found.
(First: Episode 0268)
Muppets Here is Your Life: A loaf of bread is profiled.
(First: Episode 0709)
Animation A kid's father tells him what can be built out of the wheels and things he found. (Spanish version)
(First: Episode 0277)
Film Kids comment over footage of an eagle's view of different kinds of roads.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0377)
Cartoon zip, zoom, zoom, zig, zag, zany, zoo.
(First: Episode 0359)
SCENE 5 Everyone gathers to watch the witch leave. Big Bird is sad to see her go, but the witch is glad to be leaving.
Cartoon Z for zipper
(First: Episode 0025)
Film Penguins take a bath.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0233)
Cartoon Two alpine climbers hike up a letter Z and stake a claim on it.
(First: Episode 0281)
There's a Bird on Me
Song Joe Raposo sings "There's a Bird On Me."
(First: Episode 0416)
Cartoon "I in the Sky" (repeat)
Cartoon Jazz #9 (repeat)
SCENE 6 The witch flies away, but drops her broom again. Big Bird, noticing the mess from the wind, takes initiative to clean up the mess, but David, Maria and the kids have had enough brooms for today, so they leave him alone.


  1. "Wicked Witch to Drop Broom on Sesame Street." Chronicle-Telegraph. February 8, 1976
  2. Letter. February 10, 1976. Accessed at the CTW Archives.
  3. Memorandum. April 4, 1976. Accessed at the CTW Archives.

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