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Bert smile
PERFORMER Frank Oz 1969-2006
  Eric Jacobson 1999-present
DEBUT 1969
DESIGN Jim Henson designer
  Don Sahlin builder
Bert-and-Ernie sketch

Concept art for Bert and Ernie.

Ernie bert jim frank
DonSahlin ebpuppets

Don Sahlin building Bert.

1207 05a

Bert courts Bertha in Episode 1207.

Bert and Ernie
Henson bert

Jim Henson contemplates a Bert toy.

Ernie Bert Sesame sign

Bert as a weatherman in When You Wish Upon a Pickle

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), eating 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.

Unlike Ernie, who has appeared regularly in Sesame Street material without him, Bert has not been seen without Ernie as frequently. Notable instances of this happening include the songs "Doin' the Pigeon," "The Subway," "Bert's Blanket," and "Stick Out Your Hand and Say Hello" with Rick Moranis, occasional Muppet and Kid scenes, like discussing emotions with John John, and various street stories in the '70s.

Bert has made cameos during the group shots of The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan, getting a line of dialogue in the latter film. He also appears in both Sesame Street movies, riding with Ernie in a plane during 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.


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, because he lost the coin toss. 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.

When You Wish Upon a Pickle sees that Bert has a longing to become a TV weatherperson, but he's too camera shy to consider such a dream possible. Ernie makes a wish on the Wish Pickle to ensure Bert can get on TV, which magically transports Bert to various TV programs as he slowly gains confidence in being on camera.

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.

Casting history[]


  • "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 Sesamstrasse's 30th anniversary in 2003, Ernie and Bert appeared on a regular episode, as well as on the show's 30th anniversary TV special. Since 2006, the two are also residents on the German co-production and appear regularly in newly produced local segments.
  • 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 has 368 bottle caps in his collection.[1]
  • According to Episode 2791, Bert was Mr. Handford's first customer during his tenure of owning and operating Hooper's Store. He bought some paperclips, providing Handford with his first self-earned dollar, which he later had framed to hang in the store.


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.


  1. โ†‘ "Happy birthday, "Sesame Street"", Brien Murphy, The State Journal-Register, November 8, 2009; It's a Secret!

See also[]

External links[]