Sesame Street, Play with Me Sesame character
Ernie (pictured on left) with his rubber ducky alongside Bert on Sesame Street in 1978.
First appearanceSesame Street Test Pilot (1969)
Portrayed byJim Henson (1969–1990)
Steve Whitmire (1993–2014)
John Tartaglia (2003)
Billy Barkhurst (2014–2017)
Peter Linz (2017–present)
AliasCaveman Ernie, Sir Ernie, etc.
SpeciesHuman Muppet

Ernie is an orange Muppetcharacter on the long-running PBS and HBO children's television show Sesame Street. He and his roommate Bert form the comic duo Bert and Ernie, one of the program's centerpieces, with Ernie acting the role of the naïve troublemaker and Bert the world-weary foil.


  • Bert wil dat Ernie helpt tuinieren, maar Ernie was van plan te gaan joggen. Bert&Ernie Movies uploaded a video 3 years ago 1:15. Bert en Ernie, Joggen in het park - Duration: 75 seconds. Bert&Ernie Movies. 3 years ago; 10,283 views; Bert en Ernie gaan joggen in het park.
  • Classic Sesame Street - Ernie and Bert - The Worlds Greatest Counter (extra 10 sec).

Bert & Ernie as Pesci & De Niro in Casino. Jun 9th, 2017 by Kevin Holmes. The desert scene in Casino, as performed by Bert and Ernie. Posted in: Humor, Movie-tastic. Tagged: bert ernie parody ← The Scottish Lilo & Stitch ‘Millennial Love’ – A Love Song for Millennials.

Ernie has a distinctive, chuckling laugh (a trait he shares with his baby cousin, Ernestine). His appearance and clothing contrast noticeably with Bert, as he is the shorter and stouter of the pair, wears a shirt with horizontal stripes as opposed to Bert's vertical ones, and has a head that is wider than it is high. In addition, Ernie has no visible eyebrows, while Bert displays a unibrow.

Ernie is well known for his fondness for baths with his Rubber Duckie, and for trying to learn to play the saxophone. Ernie is also known for keeping Bert awake at night, for reasons such as wanting to play the drums, wanting to count something (like sheep), to observe something like a blackout, or even because he is waiting for his upstairs neighbor to drop his shoes.

Many Ernie and Bert sketches involve Ernie wanting to play a game with Bert, who would much rather do something else (like read). Ernie keeps irking Bert with the game until Bert joins — and usually, by the time Bert starts enjoying the game, Ernie is tired of playing the game and wants to do something else.

Other sketches have involved them sharing some food by dividing it equally, only for one of them to have a bit more than the other, leading Ernie to make it even by eating the extra piece. Ernie makes appearances without Bert, usually within the framework of another double act. He has regularly appeared in skits with Grover, Cookie Monster, Sherlock Hemlock and Lefty the Salesman. From Season 33 (2002) until Season 36 (2005), he and Big Bird starred in a daily segment called 'Journey to Ernie'.

Ernie was one of the hosts of the show Play with Me Sesame. One regular segment that he hosted was 'Ernie Says', a variation of 'Simon Says'.

Movies, songs and specials[edit]

Ernie sang about his affection for Rubber Duckie in a skit, which aired during the first season of Sesame Street. The song from that skit – titled 'Rubber Duckie' – became a modest mainstream hit, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970.[1]

Ernie has appeared in both of the Sesame Street movies. In Follow That Bird, he and Bert searched for Big Bird by plane. Ernie piloted the plane, and eventually, after they found Big Bird, he flew the plane upside-down, singing 'Upside Down World'. However, after they lost Big Bird, Ernie blamed Bert.

In The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Ernie and Bert served as hosts, interrupting the movie whenever it looks like something bad is about to happen. Bert was worried about the bad bits, but Ernie reassured him by saying 'Bert, nothing bad is going to happen!'. Ernie reveals in Sesame Street Episode 257 that his favourite activities include watching parades, circuses and going to birthday parties.

Bert and Ernie characters.

A typical Bert and Ernie skit has Ernie coming up with a hare brained idea, and Bert trying to talk him out of it ending with Bert losing his temper, while Ernie becomes oblivious to his own bad idea. Other sketches have involved Bert and Ernie sharing a snack by division, but finding that one of them has a bit more; Ernie humorously decides to try to make it even by eating the extra piece, which goes forth until the entire snack is all eaten up.

Others have also involved Ernie eating part of Bert's snack he prepares for himself, and when Bert comes back from somewhere, Ernie tries to make several attempts to cover up the crime in front of Bert, which is not successful mostly. Some other plotlines involved Ernie wanting to play a game with Bert who wants to do something else; he continues playing until he gets Bert in, but when Bert finally wants to continue playing the game, Ernie is tired of playing, and wants to do something else.

Bert and ernie casino scene videos

The age of Bert and Ernie is regularly discussed on forums. Nothing official has ever been said, but most consider the duo adults, as they do not appear to be highly dependent on others. Helping suggestions of the characters being young is a comment by Sesame Street Live performer, Taylor Morgan.

Morgan said to the Macon Telegraph that 'I just kind of try to think like a six year old or a seven year old, because that's how old Bert is.'[2] However, Bert's twin brother Bart is depicted as a traveling salesman, which would mean Bert (and probably Ernie) are both adults. Ernie also appeared in the finales of The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan, in the last of which he got a line.

In Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Ernie decided to buy Bert a cigar box to store his paper clips in. However, as he did not have any money, he traded his own Rubber Duckie for it. At the same time, Bert decided to get Ernie a soap dish to put his Rubber Duckie in, so that it wouldn't keep falling into the tub, but had to trade his paper clips for it.

However, Mr. Hooper could tell that neither of them really wanted to give up their prized possessions, so Mr. Hooper gave them their things back as presents.

Ernie and Bert introduced a montage of Sesame Street clips in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Ernie also narrated a Christmas pageant, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, in A Muppet Family Christmas. In that same special, Ernie and Bert had a conversation with Doc, making them the only Sesame Street characters (not counting Kermit the Frog) to have interacted with Doc.

In Sesame Street.. 20 Years & Still Counting, he and Bert got a new video camera, and he talked Bert into using the camera to record footage of Sesame Street so that they could watch Sesame Street on television.

Jim Henson's original Ernie puppet is currently on display at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.

Performing Ernie[edit]

Ernie is a 'Live-Hand Muppet,' meaning that while operating the head of the puppet with his right hand, the puppeteer inserts his left hand into a T shaped sleeve, capped off with a glove that matches the fabric 'skin' of the puppet, thus 'becoming' the left arm of the puppet. A second puppeteer usually provides the right arm, although sometimes the right arm is simply stuffed and pinned to the puppet's chest or the second puppeteer will perform both arms.

The original segment of the song 'I Don't Want To Live On The Moon' was one of the rare instances when Ernie's full body was shown. It reportedly took three puppeteers to perform Ernie in this segment: Jim Henson performed Ernie's head and left hand, while two other puppeteers operated Ernie's right hand and feet respectively. Other puppets of this type include Cookie Monster, Fozzie Bear, Beaker, and Bunsen Honeydew.


Sesame Street is localized for some different markets, and Ernie is often renamed. For instance, in episodes that are aired in Portugal, Ernie's name has been changed to Egas, in Brazil, his name is Ênio, in Spain, he is renamed 'Epi', in Latin America, his name is 'Enrique', on Egyptian Alam Simsim (Sesame World) Ernie's name is given as 'Shadi' (rhyming with Bert's which is 'Hadi'), in Russia, he also known as Yenik (Еник), in Turkey, he is named 'Edi', in Israel, he is called 'Arik' (אריק) and in Norway, he is known as 'Erling'.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Whitburn, Joel, 'Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006', 2007.
  2. ^macon.comArchived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ernie_(Sesame_Street)&oldid=934491824'
Ernie (left), with his rubber duckie, and Bert (right) on Sesame Street in 1977.

Ernie and Bert are two Muppets who appear together in numerous skits on the popular children's television show of the United States, Sesame Street. Originated by Frank Oz and Jim Henson, the characters are currently performed by puppeteers Noel MacNeal and Kevin Clash; Clash performed Bert since 1990.

  • 4In popular culture


Bert and Ernie were built by Don Sahlin from a simple design scribbled by Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. Initially, Henson performed Bert and Oz performed Ernie, but after just one day of rehearsal, they switched characters. The original idea was to show that even though two people can have totally different characteristics, they can still be good friends.[1]

According to writer Jon Stone, the relationship between Bert and Ernie reflected the real life friendship between Henson and Oz.[2] Their names are believed[by whom?] to have been drawn from those of two minor characters in the Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life.

Bert And Ernie Casino Scene Youtube

According to A&E'sBiography, Bert and Ernie were virtually the only Muppets to appear in the Sesame Street pilot episode, which was screen tested to a number of families in July 1969. Their brief appearance was the only part of the pilot that tested well, so it was decided that not only should Muppet characters be the 'stars' of the show, but would also interact with the human characters, something that was not done in the pilot.[citation needed]

An ordinary Bert and Ernie sketch involves Ernie coming up with a harebrained idea, and Bert trying to talk him out of it, usually getting him frustrated and Ernie dumbfounded. For example, if Ernie wanted to do something loud if Bert is doing something quiet like reading a book or the newspaper, Bert would teach him how to be quiet; however, Ernie would still make some noise, which would cause Bert to either lose his temper or leave the room.

The age of the characters is unclear. Sesame Street Live performer Taylor Morgan said in an interview that 'I just kind of try to think like a six year old or a seven year old, because that's how old Bert is.'[3]


Bert was initially performed by Frank Oz. Since 2001, Muppeteer Eric Jacobson has been phased in as Bert's primary performer after Oz retired from most of his Muppet duties to focus on directing (Oz, however, did continue to perform the character occasionally until 2006). Bert is a “hand rod puppet', which means that while the puppeteer's right arm is inserted into Bert's head to control the mouth, the puppeteer's left hand uses rods to control the arms of the puppet. Bert has one large eyebrow, known as a unibrow.


Ernie was originally performed by Jim Henson. From 1993 to 2014, Muppeteer Steve Whitmire took on the role of Ernie (following the death of Henson in 1990). In 2014, Billy Barkhurst took on the role of Ernie; currently, the character is performed by Peter Linz.

Ernie is a 'live hand puppet', meaning that while operating the head of the puppet with his right hand, the puppeteer inserts his left hand into a T shaped sleeve, capped off with a glove that matches the fabric 'skin' of the puppet, thus 'becoming' the left arm of the puppet. A second puppeteer usually provides the right arm.

Ernie's performance of 'Rubber Duckie,' wherein he sings affectionately about his squeaking toy duck and the joy it brings him during bath time, became a modest mainstream hit, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Bert and Ernie are among a handful of Sesame Street specific Muppets to also appear on The Muppet Show, making occasional cameo appearances, such as at the end of The Muppets Valentine Show, the pilot episode of 1974 for the series. While several other Muppets featured on Sesame Street such as Kermit the Frog would crossover into the other program, Bert and Ernie were primarily confined to the occasional cameo.

Sexual orientation discussion[edit]

Bert and Ernie live together in an apartment located in the basement of 123 Sesame Street. Despite sleeping in separate beds, they share the same bedroom, which has led to some speculation that they are a representation of gay lovers.

This has repeatedly been denied by Sesame Workshop,[5][6] and some of Bert's interactions with female characters do appear to show that he is attracted to women, like serenading Connie Stevens in the Some Enchanted Evening segment of a first-season episode of The Muppet Show, and recording a song about his girlfriend, 'I Want to Hold Your Ear', which was released on several albums.

In July 2013, The New Yorker magazine chose an image of Bert and Ernie by artist Jack Hunter, titled Moment of Joy, as the cover of their publication, which covers the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.[7] Sesame Workshop was reportedly so outraged by the idea that it was rumored to be considering the possibility of litigation.

In September 2018, Mark Saltzman, one of the script and songwriters for Sesame Street, alleged in an interview with Queerty that Bert and Ernie were analogues for his own intimate relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman,[8][9] despite the fact that he did not begin writing for Sesame Street until fifteen years after Bert's and Ernie's first appearance.

Sesame Workshop responded by claiming that Bert and Ernie have no sexual orientations, because they are both puppets.[5][6]Frank Oz, who previously performed as Bert, stated Bert and Ernie were not gay, saying, 'They're not, of course, a gay couple. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.'[10]

Sesame Street went on to clarify further, stating: No, Bert and Ernie aren't gay — they're 'best friends.'[11]

Parody and other uses[edit]

From March 30, 1997, to ca. 2002, the parody website 'Bert is Evil' displayed Bert in a number of doctored photographs, implicating him in crimes ranging from the Assassination of John F. Kennedy to those of Jack the Ripper. A similar image from another source and featuring Bert conferring with Osama bin Laden was mistakenly included by a Bangladeshi print shop on a series of protest signs in October 2001 and 2002.[12]

The comedy sketch series from Germany, Freitag Nacht News had a recurring sketch called Bernie und Ert created by Attik Kargar, who performed the puppets and supplied the voice of Bernie. Bernie and Ert are an obscene parody of Ernie and Bert, and especially redubbed on Sesamstrasse. The puppets had no nose, one eye each, and swapped hairstyles. Each sketch focused on such topics as crime, drug abuse and Friday the 13th.

In February 2003, Bernie and Ert were dropped from the series because of legal concerns; however, older episodes circulate on the internet. They also appeared in a Freitag Nacht News sequence called Bullzeye in a sketch called 'Popo Club'. Bernie & Ert wore black masks and leather jackets, disguised as Unknown No. 1 and Unknown No. 2 respectively, with another character named Winfred, propagating bizarre sexual practices.

Bert And Ernie Casino Scenes

This skit became popular that it resulted in more skits called 'Popo Club' featuring Unknown No. 1 & 2, with occasional appearances by Winfred.

Ernie and bert

The film It's a Wonderful Life (1946) includes a taxi driver named Ernie and a policeman named Bert. Jerry Juhl, a writer on many Henson projects, said that the film did not influence the creation of these two Muppets: 'Despite his many talents, Jim had no memory for details like this. He knew the movie, of course, but would not have remembered the police officer and the cabdriver.'

Bert And Ernie Casino

The special by Sesame Street, Elmo Saves Christmas, refers to the coincidence: in the special, It's a Wonderful Life plays on television continuously and, near the end, the Muppets Bert and Ernie walk by the television set and stop short when they hear their names mentioned in the movie.[13]

In the pilot episode of Eerie, Indiana, which aired in 1991, Marshal and Simon are subtly asked for help by a pair of twin brothers named Bertram and Ernest (called Bert and Ernie for short), because their mother has forced them to sleep every night in her Forever Ware containers, thus having kept them at age twelve for over thirty years. This could allude to the fact Bert and Ernie have not aged in all the years that Sesame Street has aired.

In April 2013, a pair of high energy neutrinos detected at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, possibly of extragalactic origin, were nicknamed 'Bert' and 'Ernie'.[14] The British soap operaEastEnders has confirmed that characters Bert and Ernie Moon are named after the Muppets.[15] On the animated series of 1996, Dexter's Laboratory, there are two puppet characters named Mitch and Clem who appear on a fictional series TV Puppet Pals. They are most likely a parody of Bert and Ernie.

Claims that Bert and Ernie are Puerto Rican, or were based loosely on an middle school teacher Manassas, Virginia, are unfounded, and have been debunked as urban legends by Snopes.

When were black jack sweets invented. There’s lots of lore around the stripes as well, with some saying the thickest stripe represents Jesus, while the three smaller stripes represent the Holy Trinity.Around the turn of the century, peppermint and wintergreen flavors were also added to the sweets, whose flavors could be distinguished by either a red or green stripe, for peppermint or wintergreen, respectively.In the 1950s, a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Keller invented an automated candy cane machine, to twist the candies into their popular shape. And since then, there’s been no looking back.Today, candy canes are arguably the with the longest-standing history. Back in the day, it was common to hang sweets and baked goods from the festive tree, so the candy canes were a perfect addition! Candy StripesChristmas cards from before and after the 1900s reveal that it wasn’t until the turn of the century that candy canes earned their stripes. And in the mid 1800s, candy canes were hung on Christmas trees for the first time.


  • Arab World, Iftah Ya Simsim, Bert is 'Badr', and Ernie is 'Anis'. They are called 'Anis w Badr' (Arabic: أنيس وبدر‎)
  • Brazil, Vila Sésamo, Bert is 'Beto', and Ernie is 'Ênio'. They're called 'Ênio e Beto'.
  • Egypt, Alam Simsim, Bert is 'Hadi', and Ernie is Shadi. They are known as 'Shadi w Hadi'.
  • France, 1, Rue Sésame, Bert is 'Bart' and Ernie is 'Ernest'. They are called 'Ernest et Bart'. In the French version, when Bert's brother Bart comes to visit, he is called 'Bert'.
  • Germany, Sesamstraße, they are called 'Ernie und Bert'.
  • India, Galli Galli Sim Sim, they are called Bert aur Ernie.
  • Israel, Rechov Sumsum, Bert is 'Bentz', a common short-form for the name 'Ben-Tzion', and Ernie is 'Arik', short-form for 'Arie' (Hebrew: אריק ובנץ‎).
  • Italy, Sesamo apriti, Bert is 'Berto' and Ernie is 'Ernesto'. They are called 'Ernesto e Berto'.
  • Mexico and all Latin America, Plaza Sésamo, Bert is 'Beto', while Ernie is 'Enrique'. In addition, Ernie's cousin Ernestine is called 'Enriqueta'.
  • Netherlands, Sesamstraat they are 'Bert en Ernie'. Paul Haenen provides Bert's voice, and Wim T. Schippers provides Ernie's.
  • Norway, Sesam Stasjon, Bert is 'Bernt', while Ernie is 'Erling'. Usually, they're called 'Bernt og Erling', respectively voiced by Harald Mæle and Magnus Nielsen.
  • Pakistan, Khul Ja Sim Sim, Bert is 'Bablu', while Ernie is 'Annu'. They are commonly called 'Annu aur Bablu'.
  • Poland, Ulica Sezamkowa, Bert is 'Hubert' and Ernie is 'Emil'. They are called 'Hubert i Emil'.
  • Portugal, Rua Sésamo, Bert is 'Becas' and Ernie is 'Egas'. They are called 'Egas e Becas', in the opposite order.
  • Russia, Ulitsa Sezam, Bert is Vlas and Ernie is Yenik. They are called Vlas i Yenik ('Влас и Еник')
  • Spain, Barrio Sésamo, Bert is 'Blas', and Ernie is 'Epi'. Also, they are always called 'Epi y Blas', in the opposite order. In the Catalan-language version, Barri Sèsam, they are 'Epi i Blai'.
  • Turkey, Susam Sokağı, Bert is 'Büdü', while Ernie is 'Edi'. They are commonly called 'Edi ile Büdü'.

See also[edit]


  1. ^'ONTD_Political - Bert and Ernie Come Out in the New Yorker'. Ontd-political.livejournal.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  2. ^Davis, Michael (2008). Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. New York: Viking Press. p. 166. ISBN978-0-670-01996-0.
  3. ^'macon.com'. macon.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007.
  4. ^Whitburn, Joel (2007). 'Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006'.
  5. ^ ab'Are Bert and Ernie Gay?'. Snopes. Retrieved 2007-10-28. The Children's Television Workshop has steadfastly denied rumors about Bert and Ernie's sexual orientation..
  6. ^ ab'Please see our statement below regarding Bert and Ernie'. The Sesame Workshop. 2018-09-18.
  7. ^Françoise Mouly; Mina Kaneko. 'Cover Story'. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 'It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,' said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week's cover.
  8. ^Rawles, Timothy (September 17, 2018). 'Bert & Ernie are based on a real-life gay couple'. San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^Reddish, David (September 16, 2018). 'EXCLUSIVE: Are Bert & Ernie a couple? We finally have an answer..'Queerty. Queerty. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. ^https://www.businessinsider.com/sesame-street-workshop-issues-statement-on-bert-and-ernies-sexuality-2018-9
  11. ^Vivinetto, Gina (18 September 2018). 'No, Bert and Ernie aren't gay — they're 'best friends''. Today. NBC. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^BBC News - Bert in the frame with Bin Laden
  13. ^Carroll, Jon (January 3, 2000). 'A Few Tiny Errors, Part I'. The San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^George Dvorsky (April 25, 2013). 'Neutrinos From Another Galaxy Have Been Discovered in Antarctica'. Io9.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  15. ^Leigh, Rob (June 22, 2014). 'EastEnders spoilers: Kat and Alfie Moon's twin boys to be named after Muppets Bert and Ernie - Mirror Online'. Daily Mirror. Retrieved September 4, 2014.

External links[edit]

  • Tough Pigs Anthology Transcripts of Bert and Ernie sketches
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