A Sesame Street writer, Mark Saltzman has confirmed that the show’s characters Bert & Ernie are gay. This puts to bed skepticism held by fans about the characters in the popular TV series.
In an interview with Queerty, a news platform for the LGBT, Mark Saltzman was asked if he felt Bert & Ernie were a couple.
”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.”
Speaking further, Saltzman said the characters were modeled according to the relationship he had with one of the show’s directors, Arnold Glassman. Mark was Ernie and Arnold was Bert.
”Yeah, I was Ernie. 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 paper clips and organization? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & 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. I wrote sketches…Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.”
Bert & Ernie are gay: Writer of Sesame Street, Mark Saltzman says