Finally, some good news. “Sesame Street” fixtures Bert and Ernie are officially out of the closet. There are many a pun and slur that have gone around, speculating the sexual orientation of these two famous puppets, who have been on the children’s show since 1969. Mark Saltzman, one of the show’s writers, recently told Queerty that he wrote Bert and Ernie as gay characters on purpose.
Saltzman discussed how Bert and Ernie’s relationship came to be in the writer’s room, saying, “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.”
Saltzman even admits that the relationship between the characters was loosely based on his own experience as a gay man with his partner Arnold Glassman.
“And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [gay]. 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.'”