Bert's Tweet (and Other "Official" Evidence Throughout the Ages)In June of 2010, Bert took to the 'Sesame Street' Twitter account and sent out a Tweet that got everyone's attention.
What seemed like an unremarkable comment quickly became something much, much more - offering potential proof that Bert, at least, was gay. What did he say?
Casual comment, right? Not for some people, who speculated that the word 'mo' was a slang term for "homosexual." And the timing of the Tweet was also questioned: Some gay bloggers noted that several U.S. cities were hosting Gay Pride celebrations.
Little hints like this have been dropped throughout the characters' lives, and have always been little healthy nudges towards the never-ending rumors about the puppets' sexualities.
I mean, just look at these book covers.
Who did they think they were fooling?...
Sesame Street Magazine cover, October 1977
Sesame Street Magazine cover, October 1980
Okay, now they're not even trying anymore
"Love" a 1980 Sesame Street album about Love
This was, for a while, not so much a rumor, but something so blatant, that the Christian Right actually went after them.
"Bert and Ernie are two grown men sharing a house and a bedroom. They share clothes, eat and cook together and have blatantly effeminate characteristics. In one show Bert teaches Ernie how to sew. In another they tend plants together. If this isn't meant to represent a homosexual union, I can't imagine what it's supposed to represent." -- Reverend Joseph Chambers, 1994
If you're pissing off the Christian right with your characters, you know they can't be part of a "traditional" lifestyle. And really, there's nothing wrong with that. Why would anyone be against making strides towards making f*ture generations more tolerant?
Their Bathing HabitsWhile I've never seen Bert and Ernie actually in the bathtub together, I do remember one instance where Ernie played a piano as Bert was in the tub, singing (this was on an old Muppet Sing-Along record).
Ernie obviously has no problem with several people joining him in his "tubby", either.
Also, how many straight American males do you know that would casually bathe with and around their male friends?
Obviously his Rubber Duckie takes priority, but in at least one skit, Ernie's joined in the tub by Oscar the Grouch, The Count and Kermit the Frog, among others. Bert is suspiciously absent until the end of the skit, when he knocks on the door and seems surprised. Wouldn't you? Your roomie (wink wink) has just turned your bathroom into a Muppet bath house!
Their Couple-y Wall PhotosErnie and Bert 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.
According to Sesame Street's official PR, "Bert and Ernie are best friends... they were created to teach preschoolers that people can be friends with those who are very different from themselves".
But isn't that exactly what an out-of-the-closet Bert and Ernie would do?
Also, if these two aren't supposed to be able to have romantic feelings "because they're puppets", then how/why do Kermit/Miss Piggy exist?
They never outright said that they are not gay. And this is for a reason. Their wall photos are another solid example of their possible homosexuality.
Sure, you share an apartment with a same-sex friend - but do you have framed photos of the two of you together adorning the walls? Maybe, if you took like a really cool hiking trip to Colorado or went moose hunting in Canada or whatever. But what about an actual portrait-style photo?
Only couples (and hipsters) do this.
Bert and Ernie have one. In fact, they may have two: In various 'Sesame Street' episodes, a (beautifully and tastefully) framed photo of Bert and Ernie is clearly shown in the living room (over the table lamp) and in the bedroom (remember, the one they share?) over the lamp and nightstand. So they can be the last thing they see when they go to bed.
All That SingingBert and Ernie sing together. A lot. Not like air guitar, karaoke, American-Idol-reject kind of singing, either.
No, their songs are full-out productions - dare I say...show tunes? These two could easily cross over to 'Glee' and join the Warblers (you listening, Ryan Murphy?). While this isn't a lock, it certainly suggests that this pair might (again, might, stop over-thinking this) be a gay couple.
"La, La, La. La. LOVE!"
Their Perfect Housekeeping HabitsAnyone want to argue that Bert and Ernie aren't excellent housekeepers? Didn't think so.
Their basement apartment is always impeccable and, to be honest, very tastefully decorated (though we'd totally replace that woefully outdated wallpaper in the kitchen).
No video games lying around, no pizza boxes strewn haphazardly on the table or floor. No pet hair, despite multiple visits from really hairy Muppets (we're talking to you, Cookie Monster). Maybe they have a housekeeper, maybe they don't.
Maybe they're just neat freaks or maybe, as award winning novelist Kurt Andersen has said:
"Bert and Ernie conduct themselves in the same loving, discreet way that millions of gay men, women and hand puppets do. They do their jobs well and live a splendidly settled life together in an impeccably decorated cabinet."
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