That time the 'Wicked Witch of the West' stopped by to see Mister Rogers (1975)


Originally published at:


For all that Fred Rogers is accused of being cloying and coddling, the fact is that his mission was to always tell kids the truth. He just knew how to do it in a way most adults were incapable of doing.




i’ve seen this before, but it’s still worth watching. what a wonderful episode. and she brought her costume!


Amazing! It took an incredibly nice person to play an incredibly mean one! I’ll bet trick-or-treating at Margaret Hamilton’s house was a real thrill.


Mr. Rogers frank approach and clear, almost clairvoyant view of the emotional lives of children is so touching, especially working in the early childhood field, where we are constantly trying to make the case to legislators and the public that children’s experiences are worth understanding and investing in. His approach to fear in particular reminds me of Maurice Sendak in his final interview with Terry Gross where he talked about how scary and unsettling it can be to be a child. It broke open my own childhood memories and made me remember those feelings, and helps me daily with my own daughter, whose susceptibility to the power of stories leaves her easily terrified by scares.


ESPECIALLY witches need pockets!


Real talk: the Wicked Witch scared the hell out of me. I think she still does.


She was a school teacher from Cleveland prior to acting. Her flying monkeys gave me the creeps.


Reckon this “talk” was of course carefully scripted and re-scripted before Ms. Hamilton ever saw it.

I’m guessing she never had the opportunity to warn children about the dangers of playing with toxic green makeup.

Green makeup was made from copper oxide, which will do horrible things to you if it gets into your body. Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard Of Oz , was covered in it, and it caused a medical crisis when she suffered a severe burn during an accident on set. The burn itself wasn’t life-threatening, but getting some of that green paint into the wound absolutely was. Makeup artists had to meticulously remove every spot of paint from Hamilton’s body with alcohol before she could be effectively treated – as he said, “you don’t take chances with green.”

[Cracked (#3)]



It ain’t easy being green.


Of course, Glenda couldn’t go to visit the neighbourhood, as Mr Rogers would have seen straight through her “Good Witch” scam.


I’m not sure someone like Fred Rogers could make it onto the air today. That’s a damned darned shame.


None of the incredible public broadcast stuff would anymore, even on PBS. Mr Rogers was hugely instrumental in securing the funding PBS needed to produce and buy from affiliates high-quality programming that has not even been remotely emulated to this day. Sesame Street, Electric Company, Reading Rainbow and tons more I don’t recall right now. They were such an incredibly important part of my childhood and about theee other generations of kids that it can only be explained as some kind of perfect storm of general good will. Even the fact that he, a Presbyterian minister, was willing to bring Margaret Hamilton on, humanizing her for lots of terrified little kids in the middle of the Satanic Panic was revolutionary in his usual patient, open-hearted way. For years my children were only allowed to watch two tv shows unmonitored; Mr Roger’s Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow. Not only did I know they wouldn’t encounter something that was beyond their comprehension, but that it would be an edifying and engaging experience. Even if the only things they took from it were Be Kind! and Literacy is Empowering!

Ok, I always go on a long rant whenever something about Mr Rogers is posted. And I also post this because it will never not matter:

Edited for spelling.


When Mister Rogers passed away, I’d bet Saint Peter offered to let him skip the line and get straight into Heaven. I’m sure that if he did offer Mister Rogers would have demurred, choosing to wait his turn and get to know the people around him in line while he waited.


Rogers: Well, girls and boys like to play witches.

Damn, Fred. You age well.


Did they bowl a few frames after the commercial break?


[I know there were no commercials… just let me have this, ok?]


When Wizard of Oz was on TV I would hide behind the couch whenever the Wicked Witch was on the screen. She just creeped the hell out of me.


Mean left-hander to the 1-2 pocket. Straight spare shooter. Has made several 7-10 splits.