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January 8, 2018

Snuffleupaguses: The All-Time Definitive Ranking

Filed under: Feature,Fun Stuff — Tags: , — Ryan Roe @ 9:00 am

Okay, I’ve had enough. I am sick and tired of every website from BuzzFeed to the Wall Street Journal posting their sorry excuse for a list ranking all the Snuffleupaguses that have been seen on Sesame Street. These people obviously don’t know ANYTHING about Snuffleupaguses. It’s time for a Snuffleupagus expert to weigh in.

By the way, isn’t it interesting that Snuffy, the most prominent one, has the last name “Snuffleupagus” and also is a Snuffleupagus?  I guess that’s pretty common in the Muppet world, though.  Bears with the last name Bear, monsters named Monster, and all that. Someday I hope I meet a person with the last name Human.

Anyway, I’m taking this into my own hands. What you’re about to read is the All-Time Definitive Ranking of Snuffleupaguses. There can never be another one. (Big thanks as always to the people of Muppet Wiki for info and images!)

Honorable Mention: Spike Lee 

Director Spike Lee often appears on-camera in his films. When he couldn’t quite get the performance he was looking for from the star of his movie Summer of Snuffyhe put on a snuffle and did the scene himself. It wasn’t a bad performance considering he was playing a different species. 

12Señor Snuffleupago

There’s no video online of Snuffy’s Mexican cousin played by Marty Robinson. But as documented on Muppet Wiki, we’ve heard a few things about an incident wherein a heavy sombrero was placed on the head of a Snuffy puppet to turn it into Snuffleupago. The weight of the hat caused the puppet to collapse. Yikes! For almost crushing the performers, Snuffleupago goes last on this list at numero doce. 

11The Snuffle-fairy

According to Muppet Wiki, the Snuffle-fairy was featured in an episode in which “Mr. Snuffleupagus tells Alice Snuffleupagus about the time when he learned that the Snuffle-Fairy isn’t real.”  Whoa, that’s heavy. Especially considering the fact that, technically, Snuffy isn’t real. And neither is Alice. So that’s a fictional character telling a fictional character about an even-more-fictional character. Wait… How can I be sure I’m real?! What if I only exist in the imagination of some Snuffleupagus somewhere? I can’t think about this anymore. NEXT!  

10. Jane Snuffleupagus

Jane, played by Marty Robinson, looks a lot like Snuffy wearing a headband and leg-warmers. She demonstrated exercises on TV in a 1986 episode. She doesn’t rank very high on my list because back in ’86, there were so many exercise videos to choose from that even being 1,000 pounds and shaggy isn’t a good enough gimmick to make Jane stand out. (Hey, is there anyone here old enough to remmeber when Jane was derisively known by her critics as “Hanoi Snuffleupagus?”)



9. Arnold Schnuffleupanegger

Arnold, played by Noel MacNeal, looks a lot like Snuffy with a sweatshirt.  He demonstrated exercises on Sesame Street in a 1993 episode. Apparently physical fitness is very important to Snuffleupaguses… I guess that’s why they’re all so svelte. Why does he rank higher on the list than the aforementioned characters? Because 8 is a lower number than 11, 10 and 9. And because of Noel MacNeal’s entertaining performance, which of course was inspired by the star of the hit movies Junior and Jingle All the Way. 

8. Abigail Snuffleupagus 

Abigail, played by Marty Robinson, looks a lot like Snuffy with a flowery necklace. Dr. Nobel Price, the easily-confused scientist who was on the show a lot in those days, referred to her as a “shagaphant.” Just think: If Dr. Price had actually been the first to discover the species, to this day, people on the internet would be constantly misspelling the name of Big Bird’s friend “Mr. Shagaphant.” 

7. Snufertiti

This ancient Egyptian queen Snuffleupagus, played by Marty Robinson, looks a lot like Snuffy with a headdress.  It was she who officially designated cabbage as the favorite food of Snuffleupaguses, inarguably an important moment in snuffle-history. But wait… What about the Snuffleupaguses who don’t like cabbage? What if they prefer a completely different food, like lettuce? Do they still have to fall in line and consider cabbage their favorite, just because some lady a thousand years ago said so? That doesn’t seem fair.

When she died, in accordance with Egyptian Snuffle-law, Snufertiti was buried in a really, really, really big sarcophagous. 

6. Rosalyn

Rosalyn, played by Jennifer Barnhart, looks a lot like Snuffy with fluffy Red Fraggle-style pigtails. We don’t know a lot about her, but she’s Snuffy’s friend from snufflegarten. Or “snufflegarden,” as the wiki page’s title calls it. The wiki page also says it’s a preschool for Snuffleupaguses, which is odd, because normally kindergarten is where kids go after they finish preschool. Or is it small-minded of me to insist that Snuffleupagus culture should be the same as ours? I should try being large-minded instead. Like Rosalyn.

5. Uncle Abe

Snuffy’s Uncle Abe, played by Noel MacNeal, looks a lot like Snuffy with a hat and a tie and glasses.  He runs into Big Bird and Snuffy on the street in a 2000 episode, calls him “Al,” and declares him his favorite nephew. What a nice uncle! Unless, of course, he tells all his nephews that… or Snuffy is his only nephew. In which case he’s full of crap. 

4. Granny Snuffle

Granny Snuffle, who has been played by Noel MacNeal, David Rudman, and Jennifer Barnhart, looks a lot like Snuffy with an old lady hat.  She’s his grandmother from Cincinatti, and enjoys visiting with her relatives, making coleslaw and spaghetti soup, and singing “Snuffle Off to Buffalo.”  Who could ask for a better grandmother than that? Actually, I’m okay with my grandmothers never making me coleslaw. A little of that stuff goes a long way. 

3. Mommy Snuffleupagus

Mommy, who has been played by Jerry Nelson, Noel MacNeal, Martin P. Robinson, David Rudman, and Jennifer Barnhart, looks a lot like – ah, you get the idea. She seems like a nice lady, even if she can’t quite decide what her voice sounds like.  Get this: Her shoe size is a 423 quadruple E! 

2. Alice

Snuffy’s little sister, played by Judy Sladky, is the smallest Snuffleupagus we’ve seen. She’s just a little kid, so her vocabulary is limited, but she’s as adorable as a woolly mammoth-looking creature could possibly be, and I have no idea why she stopped appearing on the show. I’m also grateful it was Alice who became a reality, and not the proposed character of Snuffy’s brother, who appeared in a drawing with only two legs — a freakish, mutant half-fleupagus.

1. Aloysius “SnuffySnuffleupagus 

Look, I could have picked a different Snuffleupagus for #1 just to be contrary or controversial or a contrabassoon, but everyone knows Snuffy is the best. He survived years of grown-ups believing he didn’t even exist to become friends with everyone on the street. (A lot of folks in their late 30s and early 40s who haven’t kept up still don’t realize he wasn’t imaginary!) For years, he always entered scenes to the sounds of some terrific walk-on music that was just as good as Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show theme. He’s a complex character, somehow managing to sound depressed much of the time even though he’s a pretty happy guy. And of course, he’s a good friend to Big Bird and all that stuff. 

He’s the best of all Snuffleupaguses! Disagree? YOU’RE WRONG. 

Click here to eat cabbage on the Tough Pigs forum!

by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com



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