Mr. Snuffleupagus (Snuffy) - Sesame Street

Mr. Snuffleupagus is a character from the long-running children's television show "Sesame Street." He is a large, brown, woolly mammoth-like creature with long eyelashes and a long trunk, which is sometimes referred to as a "snuffle." Mr. Snuffleupagus is known for his slow, deliberate way of speaking and his friendly demeanor.

In the early seasons of the show, Mr. Snuffleupagus was portrayed as Big Bird's imaginary friend, and none of the other characters on the show believed he existed because they had never seen him. However, in later seasons, the show's producers decided to make Mr. Snuffleupagus a real character on the show, and he was introduced to the other characters.

Snuffy's History

Mr. Snuffleupagus was first introduced on "Sesame Street" in 1971, during the show's third season. At that time, he was portrayed as Big Bird's imaginary friend. Big Bird would often talk to Mr. Snuffleupagus and play games with him, but none of the other characters on the show ever saw him. This was because Mr. Snuffleupagus was meant to represent the idea of an imaginary friend, and the show's creators wanted to help children understand that it was okay to have imaginary friends and that they could be a source of comfort and fun.

However, as the years went by, some viewers and educators began to raise concerns that the show was perpetuating the idea that children should keep their imaginary friends a secret, or that adults would not believe them if they talked about them. In response to these concerns, the producers of "Sesame Street" decided to make Mr. Snuffleupagus a real character on the show.

In 1985, during the show's 17th season, Mr. Snuffleupagus was introduced to the other characters on the show. This was a momentous occasion, as it marked the first time that anyone besides Big Bird had seen him. The other characters were surprised and delighted to meet Mr. Snuffleupagus, and he quickly became a fan favorite.

Since then, Mr. Snuffleupagus has been a regular character on "Sesame Street." He is often used to teach children important lessons about friendship, communication, and emotional regulation. He has also been involved in many of the show's most memorable storylines, such as when he helped Big Bird cope with the death of Mr. Hooper, the beloved storekeeper on Sesame Street.

In recent years, Mr. Snuffleupagus has been portrayed as a bit more energetic and playful than he was in the early years of the show, but he remains a beloved and important character on "Sesame Street."

Snuffy's First Appearance

Mr. Snuffleupagus made his debut on the show during the third season, in an episode that aired on November 8, 1971. At that time, he was portrayed as Big Bird's imaginary friend, and only Big Bird could see him. In his first appearance, Mr. Snuffleupagus was introduced to the audience through a series of clues and hints dropped by Big Bird.

Throughout the episode, Big Bird kept talking to Mr. Snuffleupagus, but every time he turned to introduce him to the other characters on the show, Mr. Snuffleupagus would disappear, leaving Big Bird frustrated and confused. This led the other characters to doubt Big Bird's sanity, and they began to worry that he was talking to himself.

Finally, at the end of the episode, Mr. Snuffleupagus appeared in person, causing a great deal of excitement and surprise among the other characters on the show. They were amazed to see this huge, furry creature, and they welcomed him warmly to Sesame Street.

Snuffy's Family

Here is what we know about Snuffy's family:

Snuffy has a little sister named Alice. Alice was introduced to the show in the 1980s, and she is one of the few other members of Snuffy's species that has been seen on the show.

Snuffy's parents have never been seen on the show, and very little has been said about them. In one episode, Snuffy mentions that his mother had to stay home because she had a cold, but that is the extent of what we know about her.

Snuffy has a grandmother who has been mentioned a few times on the show. In one episode, Snuffy says that he is going to visit his grandmother, and in another episode, he tells a story about his grandmother making him a sweater.

In some episodes, Snuffy mentions his "cousin," who is never seen on the show.

Snuffy's Performers

Michael Earl (1971-1981): Earl was the original performer of Snuffy, and he brought a gentle and friendly demeanor to the character. He left the show in 1981.

Martin P. Robinson (1981-1998): Robinson took over as Snuffy's performer after Michael Earl left the show. He played Snuffy for many years and helped to develop the character's personality and mannerisms.

Peter Linz (1998-present): Linz has been performing Snuffy since 1998, and he has continued to bring warmth and charm to the character. He has also performed other characters on the show, including Herry Monster and Ernie.

Who is Snuffy's Best Friend?

Mr. Snuffleupagus, or Snuffy, has several close friends on "Sesame Street," but his best friend is undoubtedly Big Bird. The two characters have a special bond that goes back to Snuffy's first appearance on the show in the 1970s.

Snuffy and Big Bird are often seen together on the show, and they have many shared interests and hobbies. They enjoy playing games, singing songs, and exploring the world around them. They also support each other through difficult times and offer each other comfort and advice when they need it.

Snuffy's Likes and Dislikes


  • Playing games: Snuffy loves to play games with his friends on Sesame Street, especially hide-and-seek and tag.

  • Music: Snuffy enjoys listening to music and playing musical instruments, particularly the harmonica.

  • Nature: Snuffy loves spending time outdoors and exploring the natural world around him. He is particularly fond of birds and flowers.

  • Learning: Snuffy has a curious mind and enjoys learning new things. He is often seen asking questions and seeking knowledge from the other characters on the show.

  • Spending time with friends: Snuffy values his friendships on Sesame Street and enjoys spending time with all of his friends, especially Big Bird.


  • Being afraid: Snuffy can be easily frightened, and he doesn't like being scared.

  • Being alone: Snuffy is a social creature and doesn't like being alone for long periods of time.

  • Conflict: Snuffy is a peacemaker and doesn't like it when his friends argue or fight.

  • Losing: Like many people, Snuffy doesn't like to lose at games or competitions.

  • Spicy food: Snuffy has a sensitive snout and doesn't enjoy eating spicy foods.

Snuffy Through the Years

Here is a look at Snuffy through the years:

1971-1980s: When Snuffy was first introduced, he was portrayed as an imaginary friend of Big Bird. Only Big Bird could see Snuffy, and the other characters on the show didn't believe that he existed. This storyline was created to address the issue of child abuse and encourage children to speak up about what was happening to them.

1980s-1990s: In the 1980s, Snuffy became a real character that all the characters on the show could see and interact with. During this time, Snuffy's personality and mannerisms began to develop, and he became a more prominent character on the show.

2000s-2010s: In the 2000s and 2010s, Snuffy continued to be a beloved character on "Sesame Street." He was featured in many memorable storylines, including one in which he started a rock band with Elmo and Abby Cadabby.

2020s: In recent years, Snuffy has continued to play an important role on "Sesame Street." He has been featured in episodes that address topics such as grief, loss, and trauma, helping children to understand and process these difficult emotions.

Snuffy's Favorite Songs

"I Love Trash": This classic song, sung by Oscar the Grouch, is one of Snuffy's favorites. He has been known to dance along to the catchy tune.

"Rubber Duckie": Snuffy is a big fan of this iconic song, which was sung by Ernie in the early days of "Sesame Street." He loves the cheerful melody and playful lyrics.

"It's a Beautiful Day": Snuffy has been known to sing this song while playing outside on Sesame Street. He loves the positive message and upbeat tempo.

"Put Down the Duckie": Snuffy was featured in this memorable musical number, which encouraged children to put down their toys and pick up a book instead. He enjoyed singing and dancing with his fellow Sesame Street characters.

"Elmo's Song": Snuffy is a big fan of Elmo's infectious tune, which encourages children to love themselves and embrace their unique qualities.

Key Elements of Snuffy's Speech

Slow and deliberate: Snuffy speaks in a slow and deliberate manner, taking his time to form his words and express his thoughts.

Deep and rumbling: Snuffy's voice is deep and rumbling, with a distinctive timbre that sets him apart from the other characters on the show.

Nasal quality: Snuffy's voice also has a nasal quality, which is due in part to the design of his long, protruding snout.

Lyrical quality: Snuffy's speech often has a lyrical quality to it, with a rhythm and cadence that is soothing and calming.

Polite and gentle: Snuffy is always polite and gentle in his speech, using "please" and "thank you" frequently and expressing his thoughts and feelings in a kind and caring manner.

What does Snuffy Say?

  • "Oh dear!" - Snuffy often uses this expression when something surprising or unexpected happens.

  • "Gosh, Big Bird, I don't know." - Snuffy sometimes responds this way when Big Bird asks him a question or makes a suggestion.

  • "Hi, everybody!" - Snuffy is always friendly and eager to greet the other characters on the show.

  • "That's a great idea, Big Bird!" - Snuffy is supportive of his friend Big Bird and often expresses his enthusiasm for Big Bird's ideas.

  • "I'm so glad to see you!" - Snuffy is always happy to see his friends on Sesame Street and expresses his joy in a warm and genuine way.

  • "Excuse me, could you please help me?" - Snuffy is polite and respectful, and often asks for help in a kind and gentle way.

Facts About Snuffy

Here are some fun facts about Mr. Snuffleupagus, or Snuffy:

  • Snuffy was originally intended to be Big Bird's imaginary friend, but was later revealed to be a real character on the show.

  • Snuffy's full name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus, although he is usually referred to simply as "Snuffy."

  • Snuffy was introduced on "Sesame Street" in 1971, and was initially portrayed as a shy and reclusive character who only interacted with Big Bird.

  • Snuffy's design was based on the woolly mammoth, and his long eyelashes and floppy ears were added to make him look more friendly and approachable.

  • In 1985, Snuffy was given a sister named Alice, who was also a snuffleupagus. She only appeared on the show a few times before being retired.

  • Snuffy's favorite food is birdseed milkshakes, which he often enjoys with his friend Big Bird.

  • Snuffy has a talent for dancing, and has been known to perform in several musical numbers on "Sesame Street."

  • Snuffy has had several performers over the years, including Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Martin P. Robinson.

  • Snuffy has appeared in a number of "Sesame Street" specials and movies, including "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street" and "Follow That Bird."

  • Snuffy is known for his gentle, caring personality and his ability to comfort and support his friends when they are feeling sad or upset.

  • Snuffy's existence was initially kept a secret from the other characters on "Sesame Street" until 1985, when he was finally introduced to the entire cast.

  • Snuffy has a long history of being the subject of rumors and urban legends, with some people mistakenly believing that he was created to teach children about the dangers of child abuse.

  • Snuffy has a pet bird named "Hairy," who is a unique character in that he is invisible to everyone except Snuffy.

  • Snuffy has been the subject of several storylines on "Sesame Street" that have dealt with important issues such as divorce, homelessness, and bullying.

  • Snuffy has a special relationship with Big Bird, and the two are often seen hanging out together and going on adventures.

  • Snuffy's appearance has evolved over the years, with changes to his fur color, size, and shape. In his earliest appearances, Snuffy had brown fur and was quite small, but he grew larger and his fur became more gray as the years went on.

  • Snuffy is known for his distinctive voice, which is deep and gravelly. The voice has been provided by several different performers over the years, but has remained consistent in its tone and timbre.

  • Snuffy has appeared in several books and other media outside of "Sesame Street," including a series of children's books and a cameo appearance in the film "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland."

Snuffy in Popular Culture

Snuffy has been referenced in several television shows, including "Friends," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Family Guy." In these shows, characters make jokes or references to Snuffy as a way of showing their familiarity with "Sesame Street" and its characters.

Snuffy has been the subject of several internet memes and viral videos, such as a video of him dancing to the song "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" that became popular on social media.

Snuffy has been referenced in several songs, including "The Snuffleupagus Polka" by the band Brave Combo and "The Ballad of Snuffy and Big Bird" by David Rudman.

Snuffy has been parodied in several comedic sketches, such as a sketch on "Saturday Night Live" in which he is portrayed as a drug addict.

Snuffy has been the subject of several books and other media outside of "Sesame Street," including a series of children's books and a cameo appearance in the film "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland."

Snuffy has been a recurring character in the video game series "Sesame Street: Elmo's World," in which he helps Elmo on his adventures.

In 1990, Snuffy made an appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show," where he discussed his experiences on "Sesame Street" and his friendship with Big Bird.

In the 1992 film "The Muppet Christmas Carol," a giant snuffleupagus-like creature appears in the background of one scene, possibly as a nod to Snuffy.

Snuffy has been referenced in several episodes of the animated TV series "Arthur," which often includes references to "Sesame Street" and its characters.

Snuffy has been featured in several live performances, including "Sesame Street Live" shows and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 2014, the "Sesame Street" episode "The Good Sport" featured a storyline in which Snuffy teaches Elmo and Abby Cadabby how to play the game of Snuffleball, which he invented.

Snuffy has been featured in several "Sesame Street" specials and events, including the "Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Celebration" in 2019.

Snuffy has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series in 1990 for the episode "Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake" which featured Snuffy's birthday celebration.

In 2019, a documentary film entitled "Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street" was released, which chronicled the history of "Sesame Street" and its impact on children's television. Snuffy was prominently featured in the documentary, with interviews from his performers and behind-the-scenes footage of his appearances on the show.

Snuffy has also been featured in various "Sesame Street" merchandise, including toys, clothes, and home decor items. His plush toy is a popular item among children and collectors alike.

In 1995, a song entitled "Snufflelullaby" was released as part of the "Sesame Street" album "Elmo's Favorite Sing-Alongs." The song, sung by Big Bird and Snuffy, is a lullaby that helps children fall asleep.

In the "Sesame Street" episode "Big Bird's Birthday" (1988), Snuffy performs a song called "I Love Trash" with Oscar the Grouch.

Snuffy's imaginary friend, Aloysius Snuffleupagus, has been referenced in several episodes of "Sesame Street" and is a notable part of Snuffy's backstory.

Snuffy has also been featured in various parodies and homages in other TV shows and movies. For example, he was parodied as "Mr. Snuffleapagus" in an episode of "Robot Chicken," and a similar character appeared in the TV show "Family Guy."

Snuffy's popularity has led to him being referenced in pop culture beyond TV shows and movies. For example, a drink called "Snuffy's Fuzzy Navel" was created by a bar in Seattle in honor of the character.

Snuffy's friendship with Big Bird has been praised for its positive representation of male friendships and emotional openness. In a 2018 article, The New York Times cited their friendship as a key example of "healthy masculinity" in children's media.

Snuffy's voice and mannerisms have influenced other characters on "Sesame Street," including his sister Alice and the character Rosita, who is also from Mexico.

In 2018, Snuffy was featured in a public service announcement promoting early literacy and education in partnership with the non-profit organization Reading Is Fundamental.

Snuffy's Personality

Snuffy's personality is one of his most defining characteristics, and it is often described as gentle, kind, and sensitive. He is known for his calm and patient demeanor, which is a stark contrast to the more energetic and frenetic personalities of many of the other characters on "Sesame Street."

Snuffy is also a loyal friend, particularly to Big Bird, with whom he shares a close bond. He is always there to support Big Bird and offer him comfort and advice when he needs it. This friendship has been a significant part of Snuffy's storyline over the years, and it has been praised for its positive representation of male friendships and emotional openness.

In addition to his kind and loyal nature, Snuffy is also known for his imagination. As an imaginary friend, he is able to see and experience things that others cannot, which often leads to fun and imaginative play. Snuffy's imagination has been a significant part of his storyline over the years, and it has been used to teach children about the importance of creativity and the power of their own imaginations.

Despite his generally positive personality, Snuffy does have moments of sadness and anxiety, particularly when he is worried about something. These moments often provide opportunities for the other characters on "Sesame Street" to offer him support and encouragement, reinforcing the show's messages about the importance of friendship and emotional openness.

Snuffy's Contribution to Preschool Children's Education

Snuffy has made a significant contribution to preschool children's education through his role on "Sesame Street." As an imaginary friend, he has been used to teach children about the power of their own imaginations, encouraging them to explore and express their creativity. His friendship with Big Bird has also been used to teach children about the importance of friendship, loyalty, and emotional openness.

In addition to his character traits, Snuffy has been used in specific storylines to address important issues that affect children, such as anxiety, fears, and difficult emotions. For example, in one episode, Snuffy expresses anxiety about going to the doctor, and the other characters on the show offer him support and advice, helping to demystify the experience of going to the doctor for young viewers.

Snuffy has also been used to teach children about basic academic skills, such as counting, the alphabet, and shapes. His appearances on "Sesame Street" have included songs and skits that help to reinforce these skills in a fun and engaging way.

Beyond his specific storylines and educational content, Snuffy's presence on "Sesame Street" has helped to create a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. His gentle and kind personality, along with his imaginative spirit, serve as positive role models for children, reinforcing important values like kindness, empathy, and creativity.

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