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18-Sep-2016 15:37

I’m sorry to disappoint you but Bert and Ernie are not gay. When Jim Henson and Frank Oz created them for Sesame Street they were intended as a tribute to the grand tradition of mix-matched comic duos—Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, Felix and Oscar of ‘The Odd Couple’.

The fact that in the decades since people have come to view them as a gay couple says more about the normalization of homosexuality and the decline of the comic duo than anything intended by the Children’s Television Workshop.

In fact, they seem ready to murder each other most of the time.

It’s not just allies who suspect same-sex shenanigans at 123 Sesame Street.

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“They’re puppets,” explained Steve Whitmore, who’s performed Ernie since Henson’s death.

“They don’t exist below the waist.” But denials have only added fuel to the fire.

Men dressed in Bert and Ernie costumes have even been married at gay pride parades.

When it came to celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act last June The New Yorker chose not an image of a flesh and blood couple but an illustration of the two Muppets cuddling.

With a smirk, gay men enjoy ‘outing’ these symbols of childhood with the same relish they used to reserve for ‘outing’ Hollywood actors.With a continued dearth of same-sex role models in popular culture Bert and Ernie have been enlisted as gay marriage symbols, appearing on placards, buttons, and t-shirts.