Obviously I knew that. Though I didn’t know he had a first name. I just always referred to him as Snuffleupagus. I loved Sesame Street when I was a kid. Who didn’t? I only very rarely ever think about Snuffleupagus these days. To be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I thought about Snuffleupagus. It’s been a while.
I was shocked to learn that in 1985 Mr. Snuffleupagus became “visible” to all the rest of the denizens of ‘the Street’. I had long since stopped watching Sesame Street by ’85. But all of the characters — and everyone from the Muppet Show — have always been a part of my daily life in one way or another. My little sister and I pretty much have an entire secret language based on late 70s television.
Mr. Snuffleupagus became real to the entire cast for a few reasons. One was because the writers were running out of new ways to have Snuffy just barely miss meeting others. Another factor was increased concerns that children would be afraid to tell things to their parents and risk being disbelieved.
This really has me bothered. On the one hand I can totally understand the whole “trust” issue that an invisible Mr. Snuffleupagus presented. But on the other hand I don’t know if I can come to terms with everyone being able to see Snuffy. See, here’s the thing: He wasn’t invisible. Everyone could see him, they just kept barely missing him! The fact that Big Bird was on the verge of just losing his mind several times was what made Mr. Snuffleupagus so much fun. Well, that and his incredibly deep voice and the fact that he was a really big super hairy elephant. I think that — assuming I get to be a dad someday — I am going to just never catch sight of him in front of my kids.
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