Monday, Nov. 09, 2009

Snuffy Revealed!

First introduced to viewers on Nov. 8, 1971, Aloysius Snuffleupagus, the woolly mammoth better known as Snuffy, was an "imaginary friend" of Big Bird's for nearly 15 years. In a long-running series of gags, the show's favorite feathered friend unsuccessfully tried to introduce Snuffy to the rest of the neighborhood, leading to accusations that Big Bird wasn't telling the truth. (In one episode, Snuffy quietly joins a game of follow the leader, but none of the adults see him because he's last in line and leaves before the game is over.) But in 1985, the show's producers opted to end the charade — a decision they made partly because of a 60 Minutes series on molested children. "In this day of child abuse, we felt it important for children to feel they could talk to adults and be believed," the show's executive producer, Dulcy Singer, said at the time. "We didn't want to do anything to discourage children from going to their parents."