On Sunday, in an interview with Queerty, former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman answered the question that’s been on everyone’s mind about Bert and Ernie. When asked, point blank, “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?” Saltzman replied (bold emphasis my own):
“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 [my partner] Arnie & I as ‘Bert & Ernie.’”
Sesame Workshop released the above “best friends” statement on Tuesday, just two days after Mark Saltzman interview. So here we are, with an unsolved mystery. Who’s right in this case: the former Sesame Street writer or Sesame Street?
Some food for thought: Kermit and Miss Piggy smooch constantly—in fact, they’re probably kissing right now—which is fine and sweet because they taught us how to love one another, not despite our differences but because of them. Are we to believe they “do not have a sexual orientation”?
In conclusion, Bert and Ernie probably fuck.