Won't you tell us how to get, how to get to Kemper Arena?

We're Awfully Fond of You 

Won't you tell us how to get, how to get to Kemper Arena?

Romance on the set of Sesame Street must be strange. When writer Annie Evans responds to our nostalgic inquiry as to whether Snuffleupagus is still on the show by admitting that she is dating the actor who plays Snuffie, we can't help but wonder what it's like to date a creature whose species is a cross between anteater and elephant. At least her boyfriend is no longer imaginary.

For readers who haven't seen the show in a while, we have an update: Snuffleupagus is out in the open. The question of why the other characters were finally allowed to see Snuffleupagus is not new to Evans. When the Sesame Street team tours, Evans says, "The questions are always, 'Are Bert and Ernie gay?' and 'Why did you let Snuffleupagus be seen?'"

The answer to the first question is "Bert and Ernie are puppets."

The answer to the second question is more complex. A doctor wrote a letter to the show's creators, concerned about the fact that no one believed Big Bird. What message might that send to youngsters who suffer from abuse and are afraid to tell anyone about it? What message might that send about the value of telling the truth, no matter how shocking it may be? Ever the good liberal show, Sesame Street took these concerns seriously, and Snuffleupagus finally appeared after decades of being shrouded in mystery.

For all its changes, Sesame Street remains true to its progressive origins. And Sesame Street is still a magical place. "You can do anything on that street," Evans says, "as long as you ground it in the characters who live there. You can have a sheep and The Letter A sit and talk to you if you want."

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