BOOTLEG FILES 808: “Sesame Street Episode 847” (1976 offering of the TV classic with guest Margaret Hamilton).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not yet.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It’s complicated.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Who knows?
In the 1970s, character actress Margaret Hamilton experienced a career upswing. She landed the part of Cora, the New England general store manager, in a long-running series of Maxwell House coffee television commercials. And she had a few opportunities to revisit her beloved film role as the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz” in several television appearances, including a kindly visit without her green make-up on “Mister Rogers” and in a wacky and ribald riff (with her green hue) in Paul Lynde’s campy Halloween special.
When I was a kid, Jim Henson was my absolute hero. He invented so many of my childhood characters, he pioneered some of my favorite television shows of all time, did so many great voices for various incredible characters, and voiced my favorite character all time, Kermit the Frog. So when he passed away it was a somber and heartbreaking occasion for me. I remember sitting through the memorial song played on television where the muppets are contemplating Henson’s death and I couldn’t even sit through it. Mid-way I literally got up and left putting the television on mute, barely able to come to terms with Henson’s passing. It felt like my grandfather, who spent so many years telling me great stories and inventing this magical world was gone. It was yet another artist going away forever.
The muppets and Sesame Street were never the same again. Sure they can pretend they rebounded, but when Jim died, everything else did, and universe for these characters was just completely pointless and oozing consumerism. Characters were no longer there to tell stories, they were just there to sell merchandise. One of the many reasons why i utterly despised and continue to despise Elmo. Seriously, I loathe that character more than Mickey an the entire cast of “Family Guy” combined. Since his death and my introduction to his work, Henson has been one of the major influences on my life inspiring my love for impressions and voices, and for creating my own characters, and I had to pay homage to the man, the legend, Jim Henson.
With almost two hours of assorted sketches, “Spoofs!” from Sesame Street is probably one of their most pleasant titles. From “True Blood” (True Mud here), to “Mad Men,” right down to “Columbo,” nothing is off limits and they make great usage of adult shows and turn them in to constructive segments that can utilize lessons given by the show. Oscar the Grouch teaches Mike Rowe how to sort our property out in “Dirtiest Jobs,” and we learn how to rhyme with “True Mud” where mud is confused for spud, dud, and thud but there’s no mention of blood. It’s funny and not crud.