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#1 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 11:28 AM
Default Bert and Ernie getting married
Apparently, there is an online petition that is getting mass attention for it's cause: to have Bert and Ernie, two male puppets of Sesame Street fame, to tie the knot(link). As most people know by now, Bert and Ernie are very close roommates who share an apartment in the Sesame Street neighborhood. I personally feel that SS should leave Bert and Ernie alone. There have been serveral times where representatives of the show have stated that the roommates are just friends so I think it would be silly to go back on their word and have them get married. I think it would be better to start out with a new couple, if that is indeed their future intention. Thoughts?
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#2 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 11:37 AM
They're -puppets-. They don't have any sexuality. None of the puppets do. The human characters do have some sort of sexuality (Maria and Luis fell in love and got married sometime in the 80s, iirc - they were shown kissing and Big Bird asked them about getting married) so I could see them having a gay couple get married if they were human (though I doubt they would, because of the controversy involved) but not any of the puppets.

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#3 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 12:17 PM
Even if the puppets had a sexuality, there would be no heterosexual marriage (that I can think of, anyway) to equal them. Have fun trying to get support for that. Besides, the only apparent evidence this petition has that they are gay is the fact they share a bed. That doesn't make any sense to me, because it's not an inherently romantic thing, IMO. I, and many people I know, have shared a bed with a relative, friend, or other person they weren't romantically involved with. You don't always get romantically involved with people you share a couch with or ride in a car with, do you?

(Also, if you do get romantically involved with everyone that sits on your couch, remind me to sit on the floor.)

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#4 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 12:19 PM
They don't share a bed. They have their own bed in the same bedroom. And see above - Luis and Maria (two adult human characters on the show) fell in love and got married so there is heterosexual marriage on the show - but it wasn't presented as Heterosexual Marriage, just marriage because they loved each other and wanted to be together. I'm pretty sure Maria got pregnant and had a baby, too, later on.

(Yeah I know way too much about this - I have a toddler who loves Sesame Street.)

Even if the puppets had a sexuality, they have no genitals (though they do have gender) and they have someone's hand up their ass. That's going to make sex pretty difficult for the puppets, besides how difficult it is to get foam properly lubricated.
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#5 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 12:23 PM Last edited by Element Leaf : 11th Aug 2011 at 12:35 PM. Reason: BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL MISINTERPRET THE MEANING OF NORMAL IN THIS CONTEXT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
They don't share a bed. They have their own bed in the same bedroom. And see above - Luis and Maria (two adult human characters on the show) fell in love and got married so there is heterosexual marriage on the show - but it wasn't presented as Heterosexual Marriage, just marriage because they loved each other and wanted to be together. I'm pretty sure Maria got pregnant and had a baby, too, later on.

(Yeah I know way too much about this - I have a toddler who loves Sesame Street.)
If they simply have two beds in one room, then my point is strengthened. It's totally common to share a room with a roommate, especially considering that lots of places only have one bedroom.

As for the heterosexual marriage, I was referring to the puppets themselves (which, of course, don't have orientations).

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Instructor
#6 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 12:58 PM
I'd rather that (GOOD) parents teach their children about the truth of homosexuality, telling children that it's just a difference like brown eyes and blue eyes, left handed people and right handed people. And clear up any misconceptions like "But mommy my friend said that gays are "weird" and "gross"!!!" And have the parents say "Darling, thats just what some people want you to believe, but its not true".

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#7 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 1:10 PM
We're talking about two grown men who walk about with hands shoved up their u-no-wuts. Also, I think they're interracial.

I franky don't think we should give people like that anything. Why make special rules for them?

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#8 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 1:12 PM
Well...there are some puppets created for a cause/purpose. Kami, an HIV positive puppet, is one of those examples. Although she is only shown on Takalani Sesame/Sesame Square(The South African/Kenyan versions of Sesame Street) and acquired her condition from a blood transfusion at a young age, I remember people were very angry because of the fear that the puppet would be showcased to the American audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Even if the puppets had a sexuality, they have no genitals (though they do have gender) and they have someone's hand up their ass. That's going to make sex pretty difficult for the puppets, besides how difficult it is to get foam properly lubricated.


Well apparently puppets are known to fit a whole hand in their hind quarters for long periods of time so anything else would be like throwing a hot dog down a felt hallway.

HP does have a good point though. If Ernie and Bert were to ever tie the knot, there would be unexplained issues about why all the other Sesame Street puppets have never gotten married or shown any interest.
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#9 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 1:29 PM
Which other Sesame Street characters are actually couples? Marriage does exist among the Muppets, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's already heterosexual Sesame Street Muppet marriage, come to think of it.

Edit: Also, if we let Ernie and Bert marry, you know next Grover will want to marry a little kid...




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#10 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 1:35 PM Last edited by HystericalParoxysm : 11th Aug 2011 at 2:06 PM.
None of the puppets in the US Sesame Street are anything more than friends. Most of them, perhaps with the exception of Bert, Ernie, the Count, the "customer" who's always getting pissed at Grover, and Kermit, are supposed to be very child-like (Big Bird is supposed to be, mentally, about 6 years old, and Elmo's supposed to be about 3 or 4). There's a potty training song with Elmo as a baby, and you see his dad singing along with him... Bert has a nephew so presumably he has a sister who had a baby, and Abby the fairy talks about her mommy, so the puppets presumably have some sort of reproduction, but I don't recall them ever really referring to being married. If they did, it's been so short I haven't noticed - and I have been paying attention for a while as this subject has come up elsewhere.

Edit: Aha, I kind of love that there's all this damn info on the internet.

Oscar the Grouch apparently has (had?) a girlfriend called Grungetta: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Grundgetta
There's a family of Twiddlebugs: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Twiddlebugs
There's a Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear, and the family apparently had a new baby: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Papa_Bear
Humphrey and Ingrid are apparently married (I don't remember them at all) but their daughter Natasha is on quite a lot: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Humphrey

So I guess there are puppets with relationships, though I've never noticed any segment that goes over it too much - if it is mentioned, it's gotta just be a brief mention of a husband or wife but nothing major. Which, really, if they were going to have gay puppets, is probably the way to handle it too, both for not making it a big deal (which it shouldn't be) as well as trying to avoid some controversy - if that's even possible, considering the keruffle over Katy Perry's boobs.
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#11 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 2:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Oscar the Grouch apparently has (had?) a girlfriend called Grungetta: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Grundgetta


WTH! Do you mind putting a warning before links like that? I almost spit out my drink No wonder Oscar doesn't bring up his girlfriend often. She's definitely a looker.

Other than that, the only family I could remember on Sesame Street was the Twiddlebugs. Which would make sense because Sesame is an older show. Children shows today put a huge emphasis on family to the point were the parents often have episodes devoted to just them and not the protagonist of the show(even though that could attributed to the fact that parents often watch these shows with their children).
Instructor
#12 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 4:07 PM
My feeling is if they were designed to be gay, then they should be portrayed as such. I think characters should act according to their character's nature.

However, if the characters aren't gay, then marrying them would be just caving to fans.
Scholar
#13 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 4:20 PM
First and foremost they are Muppets not puppets, there is a difference in the medium. There is nothing in the interactions between Bert and Ernie to indicate that they are anything but asexual. The humans spend a great deal of time teaching the Muppets things that in turn teach the kids that watch the show, it's how the show works. If they really wanted to educate about the subject of gay marriage they should and I believe would do it amongst the humans.

Kids don't think the Muppets are real therefore having them be gay or married would not apply to the real world in a kids mind. It would essentially not teach the lesson that they would hopefully be trying to teach.

I watched Sesame St faithfully as a child, and yes this was at it's inception, I never thought anything about Bert and Ernie living together. I don't think kids today think anything about it. I think it's the adults that are looking at it from an adult perspective and applying there own interpretation on it.

As for sexuality amongst the Muppets, not really on Sesame St but on the old Muppet show (which I was completely devoted to as an 8 year old) and in the movies there was some. I mean that is if you could figure out how a frog and a pig could ever be sexually compatible. Oh and Gonzo and his chicken harem of course.

@Simlover they were not designed to be gay. They were created as alter egos of Jim Henson and Frank Oz, who were at the time best buddies and long time collaborators, neither of whom were gay. The byplay between Bert and Ernie has a lot of practical joke and teasing involved in it and I think adults read more into that than kids do.
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#14 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 4:34 PM
They are puppets. Muppets are Jim Henson style puppets. It's like how all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. Either way, they are imaginary characters operated by humans and have a hand up their backside.
Scholar
#15 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 5:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
They are puppets. Muppets are Jim Henson style puppets. It's like how all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. Either way, they are imaginary characters operated by humans and have a hand up their backside.


Jim Henson created them and was the original voice and operator of Ernie and of course Kermit. Kermit was originally on Sesame St prior to the Muppet show. They are Muppets, which stands for a combination of marionette and puppet. Puppets don't have functioning arms.

But as you say they are imaginary characters most certainly operated by humans.
Theorist
#16 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 5:23 PM
When I was a kid I always thought that they were brothers... besides Ernie is too fixated on his rubber duckie to notice any advances by Bert

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#17 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 5:29 PM
Ernie's also a bit grouchy. Bert could do SO much better! =-)
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#18 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 6:33 PM
...isn't Bert the grouchy one? :/

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#19 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 6:54 PM
Yes - Bert is the tall, skinny, grouchy one who collects bottlecaps and likes a quiet evening reading or listening to radio shows about pigeons. Ernie is shorter, chubbier, and much more cheerful and carefree, liking noise and excitement.
Instructor
#20 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 7:14 PM
Ah, my bad. Got the names confused. I always liked... Ernie... The orange one. LOL.
Instructor
#21 Old 11th Aug 2011 at 10:06 PM
Haha, Grundgetta. I vaguely remember her.

My favourites were the Grouch and the Count as a kid. Never liked Big Bird, he always seemed a few sticks short of a full nest.
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#22 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 3:29 AM
Well Sesame Workshop has just released this statement:

Quote:
Bert and Ernie are best friends. 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.


Hmm...I guess they were Muppets after all *shrugs*
Inventor
#23 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 3:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Yes - Bert is the tall, skinny, grouchy one who collects bottlecaps and likes a quiet evening reading or listening to radio shows about pigeons. Ernie is shorter, chubbier, and much more cheerful and carefree, liking noise and excitement.


Yes, and the lesson their relationship is intended to teach children is that even though two people can be complete opposites, they can still care about and respect one another.
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#24 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 8:50 AM
Gay marriage seems kind of tame after this.

Seriously though, it is the kind of public advocacy that Sesame Street does - tolerance, etc. It wouldn't hurt for them to have some gay characters at all, it wouldn't need to be played up, just there. But I think Bert and Ernie need to maintain their mystique.

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#25 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 9:23 AM
At most Bert and Ernie have a Bro!mance. They keep it real.
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