Bert and Ernie still not gay

or maybe they are gay, depends on who you ask. :slight_smile:

Everybody knows that Bert is closeted and Ernie is straight.

See, that’s totally legit, but it doesn’t mean that Bert and Ernie are themselves a (gay) couple. If he had said “My relationship with my brother inspired my writing of the characters,” that wouldn’t have meant that Ernie and Bert are siblings. If he had said “My parents’ interactions with each other inspired my writing of the characters,” that wouldn’t prove that Ernie and Bert are an old married couple.

Didn’t Sesame Street premiere not long after “The Odd Couple” came out? Couldn’t Bert and Ernie have been inspired, at least a little bit, by Felix and Oscar?

Sesame street started a year after the odd couple movie and a year before the odd couple TV show.

I’ve been wanted to ask this question for years now, and now my hand has been forced. Sorry to thread-jack, but while the iron is hot:

So, working with the premise that Bert and Ernie are a parody of the play and TV Show The Odd Couple, and Bert and Ernie are totally not gay even though everyone makes that comparison – was the play meant to be a tongue in cheek depiction of a gay couple? Was there a gay subtext, in the TV show, that I missed? Don’t tell me Tony Randal is flaming or something, I don’t care about his mannerisms or what they mean or what they don’t mean in his real life. I’m talking about Felix and Oscar – were they meant to be gay, or as gay as was allowed in the media at that time, or some sort of commentary on gay culture of the time.

I’m guessing some people are desperate for this confirmation, and for the fact to be established for show’s targeted viewers.

There are at least a couple of stories about the genesis of the original Neil Simon play, but the two I’ve heard both spring from actual anecdotes about (straight) friends of Simon who were temporarily staying with friends after they were divorced from their wives.

You’re talking in code words but, yes, theirs was a hand-job only relationship. It’s not gay if there’s no kissing.

This is a pretty silly issue (I doubt there’s textual support for a firm answer either way) but the “puppets…do not have a sexual orientation” dodge is a little annoying. There have been muppet characters portrayed as being in relationships that are implicitly heterosexual. It reminds me of how a gay couple holding hands on the sidewalk can get called out for shoving it in people’s faces as twenty straight couples walk by unnoticed.

“Ban all PDA “ is a cause I can get behind.

In most countries, two friends living together is extremely common without any sexual element involved at all. You may as well ask if Chandler and Joey were gay.

The problem is that Sesame Street keeps freaking out about the possibility of them being gay. They could just not say anything, or say that it’s okay however you see them. Instead, they constantly need to make it abundantly clear that anyone who thinks they are gay is wrong.

And it doesn’t help that their official statement is nonsensical. Why would them being puppet characters mean they have no sexual orientation? And why in the world would it matter if they had “something below the waist,” unless they were implying that genitals are what define sexuality?

It just seems stupid in an era where people are upset about gay erasure to go out of your way to say that anyone who thinks they are gay is wrong. A writer says he based them on a gay couple. Fine. Why does it bother Sesame Street so if people think they are gay?

Unless they plan on saying “we are straight” or “we are asexual” on screen, why does it matter?

I would guess Sesame Street wants to avoid offending people who donate money to PBS , not all of whom are liberal.

BTW, since 2016 the first run episodes of Sesame Street are now on HBO and then go to PBS after that . All the pre-2016 episodes are still on PBS.

That point is made here: Are Muppets Sexual?

Although that article makes the point that some of the Sesame Street muppets are, psychologically, children, and thus “should not be considered as belonging anywhere on an adult spectrum of sexuality.” And IMHO Ernie and Bert might possibly belong to that category.

“Freaking out”? Is that really an accurate description of their reaction?

It’s natural for them to be asked, and it’s natural for them to give the Word of God answer when asked, which is that, no, they’re not gay. And that to say that they are would be to sexualize something that is not sexual.

(It’s taking longer than we thought.)


What? Of course they were. They were also heavy into beastiality.

You gotta read between the lines on some shows.

To play devil’s advocate, Chandler and Joey didn’t share a bedroom.

Anyone who thinks puppets are not sexual has never heard of Avenue Q.

When I read that some writer who started on the show in 1984 made a claim about characters devised in 1969 it was time to close the page and move on.