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Performer:
Frank Oz • (1969 - present)
Eric Jacobson • (1997 - present)
Bert smile
Design Team:
Jim Henson • (sketches)
Don Sahlin • (builder)
Bertdoor
Bert-and-Ernie sketch
Concept art for Bert and Ernie.
DonSahlin ebpuppets
Don Sahlin building Bert.
Bert and Ernie
Ernie bert jim frank
BertPortrait
Henson bert
Jim Henson contemplates a Bert toy.
Bert with pot on head

Bert is Ernie's best friend and roommate on Sesame Street. The pair share the basement apartment at 123 Sesame Street. In contrast to the practical-joking, extroverted Ernie, Bert is serious, studious, and tries to make sense of his friend's actions. His own passions include reading Boring Stories, collecting paper clips and bottle caps (especially the rare Figgy Fizz), consuming oatmeal, and studying pigeons. While Ernie's best companion outside of Bert is Rubber Duckie, Bert has his pet pigeon, Bernice. True to his detail-oriented, organized mind, Bert is president of the National Association of W Lovers. Unfortunately for Bert, his nose has come off of his face on a number of occasions. He has a distinctive, bleating laugh.

While Ernie has appeared in many of scenes without Bert, Bert has not been seen without Ernie quite so often. Notable exceptions include the songs "Doin' the Pigeon," "The Subway," "Bert's Blanket," and "Stick Out Your Hand and Say Hello" with Rick Moranis, as well as occasional Muppet/Kid scenes, such as discussing emotions with John John.

Some of Bert's memorable moments include riding with Ernie in a plane in Follow That Bird, and interrupting The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland whenever it looked like the movie was becoming unsettling.

Bert's extended family includes his identical twin brother salesman Bart, infant nephew Brad, and several unseen relatives, including his Aunt Matilda, Uncle Bart (who gave Bert his first paper clip), and great-great grandfather Mountain Mike. The album Sesame Street Sing-Along! also refers to Bert's Uncle Louie, who lives on a farm.

Bert and Ernie were the only Muppets to appear in the Sesame Street Pilot Episodes, and they also hosted This Way to Sesame Street, a special sneak preview special promoting Sesame Street.

Play With Me Sesame

Bert was one of the hosts of Play With Me Sesame. On that show, he often played games on a computer, such as "Pigeon Patterns" and "Perfect Pairs" (the latter of which involved matching socks). He also showcased "oatmeal art" from kids.

Specials

In Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Bert decided to give Ernie a soap dish for Christmas so that his Rubber Duckie would stop falling into the bottom of the bathtub. However, as he had no money, he made a trade at Hooper's Store, where he traded his paper clips for a soap dish. At the same time, Ernie decided to give Bert a cigar box to put his paper clips in, and traded his Rubber Duckie in order to get one. However, Mr. Hooper could see that neither of them was happy with trading their things, so he gave them their things back on Christmas Eve.

In The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, Bert and Ernie introduced clips from Sesame Street.

In A Muppet Family Christmas, Ernie narrated a Christmas pageant, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and got Bert to play Mama. They also conversed with Doc.

In Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting, Bert and Ernie got a new video camera. Bert initially wanted to use the camera to make some pigeon videos, but Ernie wanted to use it to make some Sesame Street videos (Bert wonders, "Who wants to see Sesame Street on TV? We can look at it outside our window every day!"). However, Bert eventually liked the idea, and directed the footage.

Bert served as director in Elmopalooza.

Bert made an appearance in Elmo's World in The Street We Live On, wondering how he could get out of Elmo's World.

Partial Discography

Performing Bert

Bert is a Hand-Rod Muppet, a puppet which is controlled by both hands. The puppeteer's dominant hand goes into Bert's head, operating his mouth, and at times, facial features. The puppeteer's less dominant hand controls the "arm rods", thin rods connected to Bert's hands.

Trivia

  • "I remember in the very beginning, we first built these characters and then we were trying to decide who should do which", said Jim Henson in the 1984 documentary, Henson's Place. "I remember trying Bert and Frank tried Ernie for a while, and then we settled on the present arrangement. I can't imagine doing Bert now, because Bert has become so much of a part of Frank ...In the beginning [of Sesame Street], Frank didn't like Bert. He felt Bert was too dull. But then after a while he realized that Bert's dullness was really a lot of fun, and he got into this dullness thing and turned it into this wonderful personality." Frank Oz said in the same program, "Bert is a very boring facet of myself... I don't think I would latch onto that one character as being me."
  • For the 2005-2006 season, Sesamstraat moved into new scenery. The scenery was introduced with a TV special. Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Elmo flew over to Holland for this special occasion. It was the first time the American characters visited the Dutch street.
  • Bert is left-handed. [1]
  • Bert has 368 bottle caps in his collection.[1]

Songs

See also: Ernie and Bert Songs

Bert's signature song is "Doin' the Pigeon." In one song he explains that his favorite number is 6, compared to Ernie's number 8,243,721. He has also sung "Keep the Park Clean for the Pigeons," "I Gotta Be Clean," "La, La, La," "I Wish I Had a Friend to Play with Me," "Oatmeal Box" and other songs.

Sources

  1. "Happy birthday, "Sesame Street"", Brien Murphy, The State Journal Register, November 8, 2009

See also

External links

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