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Ernie and Bert sketches which center around a nighttime theme, usually involving Ernie keeping Bert from sleeping.


Picture Title / First Appearance Description
Noisy Bedroom
Episode 0131
Bert complains that he can't sleep, because Ernie left the faucet dripping. Ernie drowns out the sound of the water dripping with louder noises.

This segment was taped on October 7, 1970 and directed by Jon Stone.[1]
How many sides does a circle have?
Episode 0132
Ernie lies in bed and starts talking about how a square looks like and how many lines it has, then goes on to compare a square with a triangle. And then starts to ponder about how many sides a circle has, and goes to sleep just as Bert is about to attempt to answer the question, and ends up not being able to sleep.
Putting the Basketball Away
Episode 0134
Ernie comes up with a way for him to remember to put his basketball away before he goes to sleep: he remembers things with his brain, which is in his head; his head is round, and so is the basketball. His plan works the first time, but not when Bert wants to go to sleep.
Going to the Zoo
Episode 0137
Ernie and Bert plan to go to the zoo, but they can't make up their minds. What would happen if Ernie bought a balloon, but then lost it when he gets frightened by a buffalo? Then they remember that the zoo is closed on Wednesdays.
Shoe dropping neighbor
Episode 0176
Bert urges Ernie to go to sleep, but Ernie won't go to sleep until the person living upstairs drops his other shoe. When the shoe finally drops, Ernie wakes Bert up to tell him about it.
Ernie counts sheep
Episode 0276
Ernie can't sleep, so Bert tells him to count sheep. Ernie tries to count sheep, but it's dull -- so he starts counting fire engines. The noise from the imaginary fire engine wakes Bert up. Bert says that Ernie's waking up the whole neighborhood, and tells him to count something quieter. Ernie counts balloons -- but the balloon gets bigger and bigger, finally bursting with a huge explosion that wakes Bert up again.
Cookies in Bed
Episode 0282
Bert tells Ernie not to eat cookies in bed, because he might get crumbs in the bed, and then he'll get crumbs in his pajamas, itch, and not be able to sleep. Ernie decides to eat cookies in Bert's bed instead. Written by Norman Stiles[2]
Role reversal
Episode 0299
Ernie imagines what life would be like if he and Bert had their characteristics switched around.
Imaginary Glass of Water
Episode 0459
At night, Ernie is thirsty, so he imagines drinking a glass of water. This bothers Bert, who tells Ernie to go get a real glass of water - which he does.
The Blackout
Episode 0652
Ernie notices that none of the lampposts are on, and the lights won't turn on. Bert says that there is a blackout, but has to repeat himself when Ernie suggests they watch TV, play a record and listen to the radio. Ernie decides to call someone to see if anybody else knows about it. He calls Oscar the Grouch, who grouchily asks who's calling and threatens to "see to it that you don't sleep for a week." Ernie says, "It's Bert" and hangs up.
Bert's Ice Skating Dream
Episode 0796
When Bert can't sleep, Ernie suggests that he imagine himself doing something he likes. Since Bert likes ice skating, he imagines himself doing so.
The ice-skating sequence is from one of the Ice Follies skating shows.
Ernie Sing Lallaby
Ernie Sings a Lullaby
Episode 0841
Ernie and Bert go off to sleep but Ernie starts to sing himself "Brahms' Lullaby." Bert then asks Ernie if he would mind singing quieter. So he does and then finds that he can even sing it the quietest. Bert then wonders what's going on and can't seem to go to sleep. Ernie then asks Bert if he's singing it to the extent that he can't hear him then why is he not asleep yet?
Bert's Not Home
Episode 0929
It's late at night and Bert isn't home yet. Ernie worries that he may have been abducted by monsters and is being forced to party with them... maybe even having fun. When Bert gets home, Ernie shares his stream of emotions he felt when he'd imagined something had happened to Bert: fear, sadness, and anger. Bert assures him that he was fine -- he never has fun.

The Count Sleeps Over
Episode 0941
Part 1: The Count sleeps in Bert's bed while Bert sleeps on the couch. Ernie tells The Count that he can count sheep to get to sleep, but the Count stays up all night counting sheep.
Part 2: It's the next morning. The Count had a good night, but he didn't sleep. His counting kept Ernie up, and now Ernie is walking and counting like a zombie.
Ernie gets thirsty
Episode 1144
Ernie won't stop saying how thirsty he is, no matter how many glasses of water Bert brings him. Even after he's finished, he still won't stop: "Boy, was I thirsty."
What time is it?
Episode 1153
Ernie tries to figure out what time it is at night. It's too dark to see the clock, so Ernie has a new solution: he pokes his head out the window and sings some loud, off-key opera ("O SOLE MIO, O SOLE YOU-OH") which causes everyone to wake up and yell at him to stop singing, and even mention what time it is. It's 3:00 AM.
Should I Wake Bert?
Episode 1187
Early in the morning, Ernie sees some pigeons through the window, and wonders if he should wake Bert.
Was Bert captured by Martians?
Episode 1208
Ernie wakes up and tells Bert it's time to get up, but notices that Bert isn't in his bed. He slowly ponders what happened to his best friend, coming to the conclusion that maybe some Martians took him away in their spaceship. As it turns out, Bert just got up early to fix some oatmeal. Ernie is relieved ... until a real spaceship lands and the Martians enter the room.
Ernie Lallaby Bert
New lullaby for Bert
Episode 1331
Bert is having trouble getting to sleep. Ernie suggests him singing a lullaby to Bert. He sings one to the tune of "Brahms' Lullaby" and Bert falls into a deep peaceful sleep. Ernie tells Bert to wake up now; it's his turn to go to sleep so it's HIS turn to sing a lullaby now.
Getting a Bang Out of It
Episode 1638
Ernie is scared of a violent thunderstorm during the night, but Bert reassures him it won't last. To cope with his fears, Ernie imagines the lightning as flashes from Olivia's camera and the thunderclaps are someone dropping something.

This segment was taped on November 4, 1981 and directed by David Heeley.[3]
An alternate version of this sketch was prepared, with Jim Henson re-dubbing the line about Mr. Hooper to mention Maria instead. However, this did not air in any episode.

A Grown-Up Friend's Hand
Episode 1640
Ernie stars in an American Express-type advertisement from their bedroom, explaining the importance of a grown-up friend's hand when crossing the street. He makes Bert get up and out of bed as they practice crossing the street with Gordon (seen mainly from the neck down).
Letting balloons go
Episode 1781
Ernie and Bert have a balloon on a post of both their beds. Ernie thinks they'll last forever, but Bert explains that balloons don't last forever. Ernie doesn't want to see them deflate, so he insists that they let the balloons go; that way the last time they see them, they'll be "fat and floaty". They let them fly out the window, and as soon as they get back into bed, Ernie (breaking the promise he made Bert that he'd go to sleep if they let the balloons go) asks Bert if the balloons are too cold up in the sky and whether they'll end up in China. Frustrated, Bert throws a fit. Ernie asks him to keep it down.
Ernie and Bert go camping
Episode 1808
Ernie and Bert are camping. It's time for them to sleep, but Ernie keeps distracting Bert by pointing out the various sounds that they hear.
"That's What Friends Are For"
Episode 1814
As Bert is trying to fall asleep, Ernie remembers that he has left a mess in the other room. And as Ernie realizes that Bert doesn't mind too much that he's messy, he recounts several other differences, and how these don't get in the way of their friendship, singing "That's What Friends Are For." As Ernie begins playing the drums, he's ultimately chasing Bert off to "sleep in the kitchen... again."
Ernie Calls Bert When He's Away
Episode 1943
At night, Ernie can't sleep because he's thirsty. Bert is out of town visiting his brother, so Ernie calls Bert on the phone to tell Bert he's thirsty. He follows Bert's advice to get a glass of water, but calls Bert again to thank him, and say he can't sleep. Bert suggests that he count sheep ... except Ernie doesn't hang up the phone.
center‎ Park Sounds
Episode 1953
Bert regrets not being able to go to the park today like Ernie did, but Ernie helps him imagine a quiet day at the park -- which has more noises than Bert expected, even at night.
This segment was taped on January 4, 1984 and directed by Jon Stone.[4]
Nightmare 1 & 2
Cookie Monster sleeps over
Episode 2027
Part 1: Bert is out of town so Cookie Monster spends the night with Ernie. Cookie is frightened of a shadow on the wall, but Ernie shows him it's just a coat on a chair.

Part 2: Cookie Monster has a bad dream in which he is surrounded by flying, singing cookies who won't let him reach them. Written by Sonia Manzano.
Funny Book
Ernie's book
Episode 2341
At night, Ernie reads a book that becomes sad, funny, scary, and then surprising. The book elicits the same reactions from Bert.
"Bert's Blanket"
Episode 2391
When Ernie sleeps over at the Count's, Bert's rare opportunity for uninterrupted sleep is thwarted by a group of sheep, singing the story of "Bert's Blanket" to educate him on his bedding's whereabouts. Bert eventually invites the sheep to sleep over in Ernie's bed, but the farm animals snuggle up to Bert instead.
Ernie writes a poem
Episode 2399
At night, Ernie gets creative inspiration to write a poem about what he likes, but has trouble with finding a word that rhymes with "dirt."
Ernie pretends Bert didn't leave
Episode 2472
Bert has gone to visit his brother Bart. Ernie pretends that Bert is still there using a drawing and a pillow, but it isn't the same. Then, Ernie remembers Bert will be back tomorrow and can go back to bed.


Picture Title / First Appearance Description
Ernie Clears the Fear
Episode 3475
At night, Ernie gets too hot and opens the window. He and Bert start hearing noises from outside, which Ernie identifies. But, since neither of them can sleep with the noise, Ernie shuts the window...until he gets hot again.
Drum Experiment
Episode 3487
Ernie conducts an experiment. He wants to see if Bert can sleep while Ernie sits at his drums and doesn't play them. Fortunately for him, Bert can't get to sleep that night, so Ernie drums away. Written by Norman Stiles.
"Animals In, On and Under"
Episode 3490
Ernie sings about his strange dream, in which there were monkeys on his bed, an elephant in his drawer, and a crocodile under his bed. Bert tells him that that was just a silly dream -- but when he goes to get dressed, there's an elephant in the dresser drawer.
Counting Backwards from 10
Episode 3523
Ernie has a plan to help him sleep - counting backwards from 10. Once he finishes his countdown, Bert thinks he's fallen asleep, but Ernie claims it didn't work. He then tries counting backwards from 40. Written by Norman Stiles.
"Things That I Remember"
Episode 3656
As Bert tries to fall asleep, Ernie tries to think of things that one can do with one's head; like remembering. Ernie begins singing "Things That I Remember," and Bert joins in as a montage of classic Ernie and Bert clips plays.
Episode 3820
Ernie can't sleep, because he's afraid of dark shadows and spooky things. Bert comforts him, and the two sing "Imagination" before falling asleep.
Ernie prepares for bed
Episode 3829
Ernie get ready for bed. He puts a cup of water on the table beside his bed, so he won't need to get out of bed to get water. He brings an extra blanket in case he gets cold, and puts a fan by the bed in case he gets hot. He also brings a book to bed in case he wants to read, a flashlight so he won't turn the lights on and disturb Bert, and a pencil and pad of paper in case he wants to draw. He also brings Rubber Duckie to bed with him, in case he wants his Rubber Duckie, he won't have to get out of bed. But then Ernie realizes that he has too many things in his bed.
"What's the Name of That Song?"
Episode 3840
As Bert tries to meet the sandman, Ernie tries to remember one burning question: "What's the Name of That Song?," with a music queue following in common nighttime sketch fashion, even including a modulation. As well as with the successful coercion of Bert to join right in halfway through the song, only to ultimately be told to "knock it off."
Ernie stops and thinks
Episode 4067
Ernie has trouble sleeping, so he decides to play his bugle to make himself sleepy. His bugle playing wakes up Bert, however, and Bert tells him to think before he plays the bugle, so Ernie decides to play his drums, but then Bert tells him to think before he does anything. This is the one nighttime sketch where Eric Jacobson performs Bert.
Episode 4087
Ernie insists on watching Bert sleep. He sings a song about sleep, initially to Bert's dismay. He soon falls in, though, and then finds that Ernie is the one who has fallen asleep.
"I Love My Toes"
Episode 4092
As it is bedtime, Ernie is contemplating his toes, singing "I Love My Toes." And even though Bert thinks it's silly to contemplate them, his fascination with toes grows, and as Ernie falls asleep, Bert finds a hesitant audience for his "pigeon toes" in Bernice.
Imagining a Dinosaur
Episode 4095
Ernie imagines a dinosaur and has Bert try to imagine one too. When Bert decides to go to sleep, the big, orange, long-necked dinosaur he imagined appears and wakes him up.
"I Heard My Dog Bark"
Episode 4127
A dog is barking outside, prompting Ernie to sing "I Heard My Dog Bark". A horde of animals accompany Ernie as he works his way through the song, leaving Bert only to try convincing himself that he's dreaming.
Breakfast at Night
Episode 4133
Ernie wakes Bert up to sing to him that "Breakfast is the Best Meal of the Day", but then insists that they can't eat breakfast in the middle of the night when the song is over and goes to sleep. Meanwhile, the singing breakfast foods go to sleep on Bert's bed.

Honorary Mentions[]

Picture Summary / First Appearance Description
"I Think That It Is Wonderful"
Episode 2492
The song "I Think That It Is Wonderful" features Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, and Herry Monster each appearing to sing alone in separate bedrooms. Though Ernie and Bert still appear to both sing inside their bedroom, right next to their beds, possibly at different times.


See also[]