‘Sesame Street’ Writer Confirms Long-Debated Suspicion That Bert & Ernie Are Indeed Gay Lovers

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie.
Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

A writer from the beloved children’s television show Sesame Street has revealed that puppets Bert and Ernie, who shared an apartment on the show, are a same-sex couple, reports The Sun.

The true nature of Bert and Ernie’s friendship has been long-debated since the show first aired in 1969 and the speculation can now finally come to an end. Most people have always suspected that the two male best friends who shared an apartment on 123 Sesame Street but slept in different beds were secretly lovers.

Many other television programs throughout the years have also portrayed a romantic relationship between the two puppets, including Friends, The Simpsons, and Family Guy.

Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman admitted that he wrote the characters as a gay couple in an interview with Queerty.

“I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked ‘are Bert & Ernie lovers?’ And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.”

The writer, who joined the show in 1984, also commented that he based the characters off his own relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman.

“I look more Bert-ish. And Arnie as a film editor — if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paperclips and organisation? And I was the jokester. So, it was the Bert and Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple…And that’s the Bert and Ernie dynamic… That’s what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert.”

The revelation was hailed by the LGBT community. When same-sex marriage was legalized in New York, fans of the show petitioned creators to have Bert and Ernie get married on screen, writes The Sun. In response, Sesame Street released a statement saying, “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics, they remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.”

Saltzman won seven Emmy awards for his work on the children’s show.