The Bert and Ernie Christmas Special is a fictional Christmas production featured in Elmo's Christmas Countdown. The special stars Tony Sirico as Bert and Steve Schirripa as Ernie, while the real Bert and Ernie coach the pair in their portrayals.
The special features a scene in Bert and Ernie's apartment where Ernie has a gingerbread man in his ear. Bert tries to tell Ernie that he has a gingerbread man in his ear; however, Ernie can't hear him because he has a gingerbread man in his ear. This situation gives a holiday twist to the classic "Banana in my ear" sketch performed by the real Bert and Ernie on the show.
However, Schirripa and Sirico have problems getting their characters' lines and laughs down, which causes the real Bert and Ernie to repeatedly call "cut" and run onto the set to coach the actors. Schirripa and Sirico get so frustrated that they decide, from a suggestion by Prairie Dawn, to end the special abruptly by having it fade to black, a reference to the final scene of The Sopranos.