Sesame street characters Mr Snuffleupagus was revealed to the adults on Sesame Street in 1985. The writers wanted children to have confidence that adults would believe them, making children less likely to hide sexual assaults
“This running gag ended with the Season 17 premiere of Sesame Street, episode 2096 (first aired November 18, 1985, following the release of the Sesame Street film Follow That Bird). Big Bird is sick and tired of not having the grown-ups believing him when he tells them about Snuffy, so he decides to arrange for them to come to his nest and meet Snuffy when he yells the signaling word, “”Food!”” He chooses this word because he knows the grown-ups will not believe him if he tells them his real reason for inviting them to his nest, and “”food”” is a more credible lure. When Big Bird calls out the word, Snuffy runs off to tell his mother about the meeting, so once again the grown-ups just miss him. Gordon, wanting to help, suggests to Big Bird that he needs someone to help him keep Snuffy in his nest, and Elmo offers to be the one. Snuffy returns, then tells Elmo he had better go home and brush his fur to prepare for the grown-ups’ arrival, but Elmo holds on to his snuffle so he cannot go. Big Bird yells, “”Food!”” and one by one the adults come and see Snuffy for the first time ever. After viewing Snuffleupagus in stunned disbelief, then cautiously approaching, Big Bird does an “”I told you so”” routine to the adults. Susan (Loretta Long) apologizes on behalf of the group for disbelieving Big Bird for so long. Bob (Bob McGrath) then tells him, “”From now on, we’ll believe anything you tell us.”” (Snuffy tells Big Bird they should get what Bob said in writing). Linda (Linda Bove) then suggests that Big Bird introduce Snuffy to everyone one by one. The entire Sesame Street cast henceforth sees Snuffy regularly on the show.
In an interview on a Canadian telethon that was hosted by Bob McGrath, 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 that had been aired 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 would just be better off remaining silent. On the same telethon, during Robinson’s explanation, Loretta Long uttered the words “”Bronx daycare””, a reference to a news event on New York TV station WNBC-TV in which there were reports of alleged sexual abuse at a Bronx daycare center. This was seen in the documentary ”