Kids watching Sesame Street these days are used to seeing Mr. Snuffleupagus mixing it up with his best friend Big Bird and all the other characters. But once upon a time the situation was very different. "Snuffy" was introduced to the show during Sesame Street's third season in 1971. He and Big Bird instantly became best friends. And Big Bird was eager to introduce Snuffy to all his other friends on Sesame Street, including the adults. Especially the adults!
But every time Big Bird hatched a plan that would introduce Snuffy to the grown-ups, something would always happen that would keep it from happening. Usually Snuffy would wind up splitting the scene right before the adults arrived. Other times, the adults would have their heads turned looking at something in the dire opposite direction of Snuffy, dashing Big Bird's plot once more.
This went on for... get this... FOURTEEN YEARS! It came to the point where hardly anybody believed Big Bird at all: to them, Snuffy was Big Bird's "imaginary friend".
But at long last, for Sesame Street's seventeenth season premiere on November 18th, 1985, Big Bird's scheme to reveal Snuffy to the world finally succeeded.
Reasons have varied for why Snuffy was outed. Many of the show's staff have said that by the mid-1980s there had been a lot of cases of child abuse and exploitation and the fear was that children wouldn't be believed if they had to tell their parents about "important things".
But it could also be argued that after fourteen years of "just barely missing" Snuffy, that Sesame Street's writers had completely run out of ways for the adults to keep from seeing him. Rather than stringing it out any longer, Sesame Street producers finally gave up and let Big Bird win his long battle for credibility.
I'd heard about this scene but until a few days ago had never actually witnessed it. This is... a HUGE thing for a guy like me, who did grow up watching Sesame Street and wondering if the adults would ever see Snuffy. My life is a little more complete now for getting to see this :-)
So without further ado, here is Big Bird - with a plan involving an early appearance by Elmo - revealing Mr. Snuffleupagus to the shocked and stunned adult cast of Sesame Street!