Book explores witches in film, TV from Oz to Sabrina

ATLANTA — Almost four decades after the Wicked Witch of the West plagued Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the green-skinned, bushy-browed one lost her broom on, of all places, Sesame Street. Actress Margaret Hamilton reprised her famous role in an episode of the children’s TV series that aired on Feb. 10, 1976, writes Heather Greene in her new book Bell, Book and Camera: a Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television (McFarland, April 2018, 234 p). “With the exception of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, the inhabitants of Sesame Street are visibly frightened of Hamilton’s character,” Greene writes. The Wicked Witch also scared the hades out of young viewers, just as she had done for decades since the release of Oz in 1939.

The Simpsons and Wiccans

It figures that the one time The Simpsons have an episode centering on Wiccans I miss out. Luckily Hulu has it on-line, so I was able to catch up. You may remember me mentioning the episode “Rednecks and Broomsticks” some time ago, when it was announced that Neve “The Craft” Campbell was going to be one of the star voices of the episode. So how was it? It was OK.

It’s called Wicca and it’s empowering!

You can try to escape “The Craft”, but it just won’t let go. That infamous witchy cult-classic film debuted 13 years ago, but the stars still find themselves drawn back into its orbit. Fairuza Balk, who was already interested in Witchcraft and Paganism, owned Panpipes Magickal Marketplace in California for six years, Robin Tunney’s new show “The Mentalist” had an especially awful Witch-themed episode this year, and now Neve Campbell will be playing a Witch again in the upcoming 21st season of the animated comedy “The Simpsons”. Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Anne Hathaway, Jackie Mason, Neve Campbell and the late Eartha Kitt are among the guest voices on the upcoming 21st season of THE SIMPSONS airing Sundays (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX … Neve Campbell plays “Cassandra,” a Wiccan accused of blinding the town with a spell (a la “The Craft”) in “Rednecks and Broomsticks.”