If you didn’t wake up to the Sesame Street jingle growing up, well, sorry to tell you, but you missed out.
But there’s always been one question that has plagued us.
Bert and Ernie – Just besties? Or lovers?
Well, one of the writers of the hit TV show, Mark Saltzman, has come out and cleared some things up, and we’re so happy with the admission.
“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,” Mark said.
“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.”
In fact the dynamic duo are apparently a reflection of his own same-sex relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman.
He didn’t end there – apparently there’s another closeted gay among the characters.
“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,” he explained.
“I wrote sketches…Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.”
“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,” Mark continued.
“And Snuffy, this depressed person nobody can see, that’s sort of Kafka!
“It’s sort of gay closeted too.”
However, the organisation behind the program, Sesame Workshop have denied Mark’s claims.
“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” a statement read.
“They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.
“Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
The puppets were initially operated by Muppets creator Jim Henson and Star Wars puppeteer Frank Oz.
Sesame Street writer Jon Stone has previously said that Bert And Ernie’s relationship reflected the real life dynamic between Henson and Oz.