Bert And Ernie Confirmed As Gay Couple
Welp, you can stop the conspiracy theories. It’s official.
Saltzman began writing for the show in 1984, several years after its 1969 inception. But he says that it wasn’t about pushing a “gay agenda”, he wrote the characters to reflect his own personal relationship.
Ok, so we have to address—that’s the big question, right? In the writer’s room, you’re all adults. Were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple? Did that question ever come up?
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 other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as “Bert & Ernie.”
Saltzman goes on to explain:
So you’re saying that Bert & Ernie became analogs for your relationship in a lot of ways?
Yeah. Because how else? 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. How could it not? I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, “oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me.” But those two, Snuffalupagus, because he’s the sort of clinically depressed Muppet…you had characters that appealed to a gay audience. And Snuffy, this depressed person nobody can see, that’s sort of Kafka! It’s sort of gay closeted too.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, and gender non-binary, and queer and all the other letters. Straight from the horses mouth.
Congrats to the happy couple for finally being able to live their truth.
Peep what Sesame Street had to say about this revelation on the next page…
Uh, oh…this might not go over too well. Why can’t Bert and Ernie be gay if that’s how they were written? Why so quick to disqualify what Saltzman said?