Remember Snuffy? He’s Big Bird’s best friend on Sesame Street, and my favorite Sesame Street character. He first appeared in 1971 as Big Bird’s “imaginary friend” thanks to a never-ending series of near-misses where the adults of Sesame Street never got to see Snuffy in person and assumed he was a figment of Big Bird’s imagination.
In the documentary Sesame Street Unpaved, Martin P. Robinson, the performer who’s operated the front half of Snuffy since 1980, revealed the thought process behind the decision to end Snuffy’s run as Big Bird’s invisible friend and make him visible to all the Street: After a string of high-profile cases in the news involving sexual abuse of small children, the show writers decided that Big Bird not being believed about Snuffy’s existence might lead children to assume adults wouldn’t believe them about someone abusing them. In 1985, during the premiere of the 17th season of the show and 14 years after his first appearance, Snuffy finally met all the residents of Sesame Street in person and everyone knew Big Bird was telling the truth all along.
I found this Snuffy plushie for the first time today, and according to the tag he’s a Walmart exclusive. He cost me $27, stands about 18” tall and seems to be very well made. His seams are nice and tight, he’s well balanced and doesn’t tip over easily and he’s perfectly stuffed for optimum cuddles. Best of all, he’s made entirely of soft cloth (including his eyes) which means he’s machine washable and dryable (cold water and low heat according to his tushie tag).