So Bert And Ernie Were Based On An IRL Couple And My Little Queer Heart Is Screaming
"I don’t think I’d know how else to write them but as a loving couple."
So, we're all familiar with iconic Sesame Street residents Bert and Ernie, correct?
There has always been a lot of speculation around the pair's relationship. Are they friends? Are they more than friends? Are they just roommates who (barely) put up with each other?
Well, we finally have a concrete answer. During a recent Queerty interview with Mark Saltzman, a writer for Sesame Street in the '80s, he revealed that Bert and Ernie were, in fact, written as a "loving couple."
"I always felt that, without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were [gay]," Mark said. "I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them...I don’t think I’d know how else to write them but as a loving couple."
Not only that, but Saltzman said he actually based Bert and Ernie on HIS OWN relationship with Arnold Glassman, a film editor.
"That’s what I had in my life, a Bert and Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert," Saltzman said.
And Bert and Ernie weren't the ONLY characters Saltzman felt resonated with young gay audiences, as he also imagined Big Bird's invisible friend Snuffleupagus (Snuffy for short) as a relatable queer icon.
"Those two and Snuffleupagus, because he’s sort of a clinically depressed Muppet…you had characters that appealed to a gay audience," Saltzman said. "Snuffy is this depressed person nobody can see."
Naturally, the internet EXPLODED with this information.
Because, while they've always been icons of the LGBT community, it's still nice to have it confirmed/made official by the person who wrote for them.
And, TBH, this is the only news that matters today.
So let all of the rumors lay to rest. Bert and Ernie are OFFICIALLY a loving couple, and all is right on Sesame Street.
The Sesame Workshop has tweeted this in response to Saltzman's quotes about Bert and Ernie: