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BERT AND ERNIE are two Muppets who appear together in numerous skits on the popular U.S. children's television show Sesame Street
Sesame Street
. Originated by Frank Oz
Frank Oz
and Jim Henson
Jim Henson
, the characters are currently performed by Muppeteers Eric Jacobson and Peter Linz
Peter Linz
; Oz occasionally performed Bert between 2000 and 2006.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Ernie * 3 Bert * 4 In popular culture * 5 Internationally * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

HISTORY

Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
were built by Don Sahlin from a simple design scribbled by Jim Henson
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. According to writer Jon Stone , the relationship between Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
reflected the real-life friendship between Henson and Oz.

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An ordinary Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
skit involves Ernie coming up with a hare-brained idea, and Bert trying to talk him out of it, ending with Bert losing his temper and Ernie remaining unaware of the results of his own bad idea. For example, in one sketch, Ernie tells Bert he started to collect ice cubes the day before, and put them under the electric blanket overnight. When he shows the ice cubes to Bert, he finds out that they have melted into water. Bert knows what happened, and tries to tell Ernie that his ice cubes melted because of the electric blanket, but Ernie takes this to mean that a fish from the ocean came into the apartment and melted his ice cubes, and vows to find the (non-existent) fish that melted them.

The age of the characters is unclear. Sesame Street
Sesame Street
Live performer Taylor Morgan said in an interview that "I just kind of try to think like a 6–year–old or a 7–year–old, because that's how old Bert is."

ERNIE

Main article: Ernie (Sesame Street)
Ernie (Sesame Street)

Ernie was originally performed by Jim Henson
Jim Henson
. From 1990 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
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
Billboard Hot 100
in September 1970.

BERT

Main article: Bert (Sesame Street)
Bert (Sesame Street)

Bert was initially performed by Frank Oz
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). 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.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

This section POSSIBLY CONTAINS ORIGINAL RESEARCH . Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations . Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (June 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message )

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

Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
live together in an apartment 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 is denied by Sesame Workshop , and some of Bert's interactions with female characters appear to show that he is attracted to women: serenading Connie Stevens
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.

But the idea of Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
as a couple is sufficiently widespread that it has been used as the basis of jokes on the shows Saturday Night Live , American Dad!
American Dad!
, Modern Family
Modern Family
, The Simpsons
The Simpsons
, Friends
Friends
, The Middle , Family Guy
Family Guy
, and Supernatural . Sportscaster Jim Rome
Jim Rome
has received emails and phone calls from listeners to his radio program on the subject, and has expressed disgust with them. More recently, The New Yorker magazine chose an image of Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
by artist Jack Hunter, titled Moment of Joy, as the cover of their July 8, 2013 publication, which covers the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8
Proposition 8
.

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
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
to those of Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper
. A similar image from another source and featuring Bert conferring with Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
was mistakenly included by a Bangladeshi print shop on a series of protest signs in October 2001 and 2002.

The German comedy sketch series 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 re-dubbed 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. This skit became popular that it resulted in more skits called "Popo Club" featuring Unknown No. 1 padding:0.4em 2em">

* Muppets portal * Fictional characters portal

REFERENCES

* ^ "ONTD_Political - Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
Come Out in the New Yorker". Ontd-political.livejournal.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2014-07-15. * ^ Davis, Michael (2008). Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. New York: Viking Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-670-01996-0 . * ^ "macon.com". macon.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. * ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007). "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006". * ^ Mikkelson, Barbara and David P. "Open Sesame". Urban Legends Reference Pages. Barbara and David P. Mikkelson. Retrieved 2007-10-28. The Children's Television Workshop has steadfastly denied rumors about Bert and Ernie's sexual orientation... * ^ 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 * ^ BBC News - Bert in the frame with Bin Laden * ^ Carroll, Jon (2000-01-03). "A Few Tiny Errors, Part I". The San Francisco Chronicle. * ^ George Dvorsky (2013-04-25). " Neutrinos
Neutrinos
From Another Galaxy Have Been Discovered in Antarctica". Io9.com. Retrieved 2014-07-15. * ^ Leigh, Rob (22 June 2014). " EastEnders
EastEnders
spoilers: Kat and Alfie Moon\'s twin boys to be named after Muppets Bert and Ernie
Bert and Ernie
- Mirror Online". Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
. Retrieved 4 September 2014.

EXTERNAL