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"Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

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"Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Old 07-24-22, 11:42 PM
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"Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

I was an avid watcher of Sesame Street in the 70s but I somehow missed this the first time around- in February 1976, Margaret Hamilton reprised her role as the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, dropping in on Bid Bird and company. This scared a few kids and resulted in more angry letters from parents (and a few kids) than the show had ever triggered before- it was soon decided those scenes would never be shown again. The first Betamaxes were just coming out then so there's little chance anyone taped and kept the original airing. A couple years ago, they were shown at a fan event and someone shot some low-quality video with their phone which at least gave us a look at it.

I was a bit slow in hearing this, but just a few weeks ago someone acquired the entire episode from a master tape and put it online. It's since been re-uploaded by several users on YouTube and Archive.org, and at least hasn't yet been pulled by Sesame Workshop. Many consider this a holy grail of "lost media".

Here are the scenes in question:

And the entire show if you have time, with several favorite segments included:

I don't know how 3-year old me would have taken this. I remember a time when Maria went into Oscar's garbage can and the whole segment was depicted with electronic-generated eyes in the dark against a black background, and that freaked me out pretty badly. Still hoping for a DVD or at least an online resource in perfect quality where EVERY segment ever made for the show (at least while they kept that format, it seems a bit different now and I know it's been reduced to 30 minutes) is available.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:05 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Cool.
Old 07-25-22, 12:17 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

That was great!

I like the joke, too, about her not drinking coffee. I'm sure lots of us remember her doing the Maxwell House commercials, in the '70s.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:31 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

I was hoping this was the one where Big Bird walked in on Bert and Ernie doing the nasty, and everyone was trying to explain to him what he saw.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:39 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

I would have been 7 when this episode first ran.

You’ve got to wonder who’s idea this was? That’s like having Darth Vader or a Xeonomorph appear in an episode (actually, I think the Wicked Witch is must scarier).
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Old 07-25-22, 01:07 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

I read official confirmation from someone closely involved in the show that Bert and Ernie are not gay- they sleep in separate beds after all. I remember one rumor though, which turned out to be nothing more than that, where they were going to have Ernie get a terminal illness and be killed off for good as a way to teach kids about that. Big Bird would have been a better choice for that, since they couldn't get a better replacement for his voice. The current voice for him sounds like he did go through a serious illness. He's always been dim-witted but he's a badass in this episode, grabbing the baseball bat and all that.
Old 07-25-22, 01:18 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Incidentally, Northern Calloway who played "David" on the show, who is now dead, has a rather bizarre history. He went nuts around 1980 and wasn't fired from the show until 1989. Look him up.
Old 07-25-22, 01:19 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
I read official confirmation from someone closely involved in the show that Bert and Ernie are not gay- they sleep in separate beds after all. I remember one rumor though, which turned out to be nothing more than that, where they were going to have Ernie get a terminal illness and be killed off for good as a way to teach kids about that. Big Bird would have been a better choice for that, since they couldn't get a better replacement for his voice. The current voice for him sounds like he did go through a serious illness. He's always been dim-witted but he's a badass in this episode, grabbing the baseball bat and all that.
Uhh. Big Bird is supposed to be 6.
Old 07-25-22, 01:30 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Incidentally, Northern Calloway who played "David" on the show, who is now dead, has a rather bizarre history. He went nuts around 1980 and wasn't fired from the show until 1989. Look him up.
Holy Toledo!

On the morning of September 19, 1980, Calloway was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee. He had been a guest in the home of Mary Stagaman, marketing director of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, after performing there on the 13th. Calloway beat Stagaman with an iron, causing serious head and rib injuries. He then fled into the suburbs of Nashville, where he smashed a plate glass window and storm door at one house and did extensive damage to the interior of another, destroying the family's collection of fine crystal, smashing a television set, and breaking light bulbs with his bare hands.

He also stole a backpack from a first grader, smashed a windshield with a rock, and stole a bag of herbicide from elderly resident Douglas Wright. Calloway spilled it on his body and was rolling on the ground and running around, at which point Wright attempted to hold Calloway at gunpoint and fired a warning shot at him, causing Calloway to dive to the ground and scream that he was shot. He then jumped up and washed his hands and face in the Wrights' birdbath before fleeing the scene, where witnesses reported him wearing only a Superman T-shirt. He was arrested after hiding out in a couple's garage, screaming, "Help! I'm David from Sesame Street and they're trying to kill me!" The actor was taken to a mental hospital for examination. These events were not publicized, and Calloway was allowed to continue appearing on the show as he sought help.

In his authorized history Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, author Michael Davis writes that Calloway's final years on the show were marked by periods of deteriorating health and ability punctuated by episodes of erratic behavior. During these years, he cites that Calloway reportedly bit music coordinator Danny Epstein during an on-set fight. Davis also states Calloway once appeared unannounced at Alison Bartlett's ("Gina" on Sesame) high school and proposed to her, as he was 23 years Bartlett's senior, plus Calloway's fellow cast members observed subtle clues to his sometimes erratic behavior and they kept their distance. In addition, his criminal record caused him to be banned from Canada, where Follow That Bird was filmed, hence he is completely absent in the film.

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Old 07-25-22, 07:36 AM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
I read official confirmation from someone closely involved in the show that Bert and Ernie are not gay- they sleep in separate beds after all. I remember one rumor though, which turned out to be nothing more than that, where they were going to have Ernie get a terminal illness and be killed off for good as a way to teach kids about that. Big Bird would have been a better choice for that, since they couldn't get a better replacement for his voice. The current voice for him sounds like he did go through a serious illness. He's always been dim-witted but he's a badass in this episode, grabbing the baseball bat and all that.
They killed off Mr Hooper when the actor who played him died. It was a big deal. That would have been cheapened by having a fictional death of a muppet.
Old 07-25-22, 12:44 PM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

where he smashed a plate glass window and storm door at one house and did extensive damage to the interior of another, destroying the family's collection of fine crystal, smashing a television set, and breaking light bulbs with his bare hands.


That's called a peaceful protest now. Funny how times change.

Old 07-25-22, 02:02 PM
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Re: "Banned" Sesame Street episode finally leaked online

All episodes are available at the Library of Congress and can be viewed there, including this episode previous to the leak online.

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