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Sesame Street
The adults on Sesame Street finally meet Mr. Snuffleupagus
Air date November 18, 1985
(season premiere)
Season Season 17 (1985-1986)
Written by Norman Stiles
Production October 8, 1985
Sponsors J, S, 6
Syndication Sesame Street Unpaved
Releases 50 Years and Counting



Bird and Snuffy

Since Mr. Snuffleupagus made his first appearance in the Season 3 premiere, the adults had thought that Mr. Snuffleupagus was just an imaginary friend of Big Bird's. Big Bird would often try to arrange for them to see Mr. Snuffleupagus, face-to-face, but Snuffy would always be gone by the time they finally chose to look at him. After years of not seeing him and many near-misses, and in a storyline that first kicked off the previous season in Episode 1966 (where some of the adults started to believe in Snuffy sight-unseen), the adults finally got to see Mr. Snuffleupagus for the first time in this episode.

In the documentary Sesame Street Unpaved, hosted by Sonia Manzano, Snuffy's performer, Martin P. Robinson, revealed that Snuffy was finally introduced to the main human cast mainly due to a string of high profile and sometimes graphic stories of pedophilia and sexual abuse of children on shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. The writers felt that by having the adults refuse to believe Big Bird despite the fact that he was telling the truth, they were scaring children into thinking that their parents would not believe them if they had been sexually abused and that they'd just be better off remaining silent. In addition, during Robinson's explanation, Loretta Long uttered the words "Bronx daycare," a reference to reports of sexual abuse at the PRACA Day Care Center in New York City's Bronx borough, as covered by area TV station WNBC.

In 1988, a book about the adults meeting Mr. Snuffleupagus, titled Meet Mr. Snuffleupagus, was released. However, in that book, they meet him when he takes a toaster to the Fix-It Shop to get it fixed. The sequence in which the cast meets Mr. Snuffleupagus was included in Stars and Street Forever, Sesame Street Unpaved, The Street We Live On, 40 Years of Sunny Days, and Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration. In the latter, the special's host, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is digitally added into the scene and states that he believed Big Bird the whole time.

A script for most of the street scenes was featured in Sesame Street Unpaved.

The next three episodes would involve Snuffy getting to know the adults better, with Snuffy and Maria becoming friends in Episode 2097, Bob letting him play in a concert in Episode 2098, and Gordon babysitting Snuffy in Episode 2099.


Picture Segment Description
2096 01
SCENE 1 Big Bird reveals to Snuffy that something special is going to happen today: all his grown-up friends will finally get to meet his best friend face-to-face! Big Bird explains how tired he is of hearing everyone humor him about his "imaginary friend," and a flashback montage is shown of the adults admonishing Big Bird, who insists that the Snuffleupagus is real. Big Bird informs Snuffy on his plan: he has given all the grown-ups a secret word, and when he yells it they will all rush over to his nest to meet him. Snuffy is mesmerized when he hears what the secret word is: "food."
Cartoon A boy acts out his feelings as animals. ("There's a zoo in me!")
(First: Episode 0783)
Muppets Cookie Monster sounds out the word FOOD, then eats it.
(First: Episode 0601)
Song Joe Raposo sings "Dressed Up".
(First: Episode 0302)
Cartoon "Name That Food" game show hosted by Don Carrot
Artist: Len Glasser
(First: Episode 1491)
2096 02

SCENE 2 Big Bird explains how he settled on "food" as the secret word: "It just came to me while I was eating." Snuffy decides to go back home to tell his mommy about the plan, but Big Bird is eager to get it underway and calls the adults, thinking he can get them there before the slow-moving Snuffy leaves. His plan fails and everybody comes in too late as usual. Bob tries to convince Big Bird once again that Snuffy is just his imaginary friend, though Gordon, Maria, and Linda insist that he's wrong. Gordon suggests that Big Bird find someone to help him so Snuffy doesn't run away. All of the adults are too busy, but the energetic Elmo pops up and volunteers to take the job.
2096 03a

2096 03b
Phil Donahue, who has come to pick up his toaster from the Fix-It Shop, pulls a microphone from his coat and interviews the adults about whether they think Big Bird's secret word is silly or not. Maria, Gordon, Linda, and Uncle Wally say it isn't silly, whereas David, Bob, Luis, Susan, and even Piri all think it is. Oscar the Grouch doesn't care either way and says they're all wasting their time. Phil suggests it doesn't matter whether it's silly or not and that they should simply agree to disagree about the situation. Everyone starts to go back to their own business, while Maria takes a moment to tell Phil that he doesn't have to carry a microphone around with him all the time.

Suddenly, everyone hears Big Bird yell "Food!" and they run to his nest, only to find Elmo holding onto Zoe covered with a Snuffy-like blanket. Big Bird claims that it was just practice and is satisfied that it worked. Gordon and David aren't amused, and request for no more practicing.

Animation A car drives through blocks.
(First: Episode 1446)
Muppets Muppet & Kid Moment โ€” Grover asks Maya to help him follow an arrow. The arrow changes direction until Grover falls down, exhausted.
(First: Episode 1641)
Song Joe Raposo sings "Peanut Butter".
(First: Episode 1966)
Cartoon The 'J' Train
Voice: Daws Butler
(First: Episode 1169)
cut from the Noggin version
Film People jump.
(First: Episode 0774)
Muppets Sesame Street News Flash: How the Three Little Pigs Feel โ€” Kermit gets reactions to the Big Bad Wolf blowing down the Three Little Pigs' houses.
(First: Episode 1974)
Pinball 06
Cartoon "Pinball Number Count" #6
Artist: Jeff Hale
(First: Episode 0983)
Muppets / Celebrity Edith Ann tells Herry about feeling proud.
(First: Episode 0913)
Song "Me and My Chair"
(First: Episode 1706)
Animation Seis flores
(First: Episode 1591)
cut from the Noggin version
Film Footage of a city neighborhood; includes shots of a sno-cone vendor.
Singer: "ยกLinda paloma!"
(First: Episode 0426)
Cartoon Which legs belong on the man?
(First: Episode 1691)
cut from the Noggin version
Muppets The Count sings "The Batty Bat."
Film A film insert of kittens playing, with child voiceovers in English and Spanish.
(First: Episode 0429)
Cartoon ADVENTURE! A man and woman escape a boulder, a crocodile, and other obstacles.
(First: Episode 2080)
cut from the Noggin version
Film A film insert about washing elephants at the Bronx Zoo. The song "Splish Splash" is used in part of the segment.
(First: Episode 1934)
Cartoon Farm animals are counted 1-6.
(First: Episode 1692)
Muppets Two-Headed Monster finds a pencil with a broken point, and demonstrates the fun you can have with it.
Cartoon A pencil tries to write the word DANCE.
(First: Episode 1966)
cut from the Noggin version
Film Children on a playground form the letters of the alphabet.
(First: Episode 1966)
Cartoon S - Snake: A snake charmer irritates the snake.
(First: Episode 0063)
2096 04a

2096 04b
SCENE 3 Big Bird goes over the plan once more with Elmo when Snuffy returns. Big Bird introduces him to Elmo, who quickly grabs onto Snuffy's snuffle while he runs out to get the adults. Snuffy tries to wander away but Elmo hangs on for dear life, even when Snuffy swings his snuffle around. The adults hesitantly head into the nest for the third and final time. Overwhelmed by the excitement, Big Bird stays outside and goes back and forth on whether or not to join them. He musters up his courage and decides to join them, but remarks about getting a strange feeling that he's losing an old friend.

In the nest, the adults stand in stunned silence as they get their first look at Mr. Snuffleupagus. Big Bird rejoices at the sight of the adults finally seeing Snuffy and gloats that they didn't believe him. Gordon reminds him that he, Maria, and Linda believed him, but Big Bird counters that everyone else didn't. Susan tells Big Bird that he has a right to be angry for not being believed, and she apologizes. Bob and the others promise to believe Big Bird whenever he tells them something, to which Snuffy quips "Maybe we should get that in writing." Big Bird then begins to introduce each of the adults to Snuffy. (YouTube)

Cartoon A girl inflates a balloon in the shape of an S.
(First: Episode 0414)
Muppets Ernie sings "Dance Myself to Sleep."
(First: Episode 1705)
Cartoon Two balls follow an arrow down a hole.
(First: Episode 2035)
2096 05a

2096 05b

SCENE 4 After Mr. Snuffleupagus has been introduced to everybody, Elmo suggests a group hug to welcome Snuffy with. Everyone surrounds the creature and gives him a big hug, including a curious Mr. Donahue.

Disgusted by this "revolting spectacle," Oscar announces the sponsors in voiceover. ("Hey, come on, I'll meet ya down at the swamp!")


  • This episode marks the debut of a revised, up-tempo version of the music that often accompanies Snuffy when he enters a scene. This also reflects a change in Snuffy's character, who doesn't quite do or say things as slowly as he used to from this point on.



External Links[]

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