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‘Sesame Street’ Writer Confirms: Bert And Ernie Are Gay — And One Is Jewish

In a September 16 interview “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman put years of speculation to rest, letting the world know that Ernie and Bert are a gay couple — at least, he wrote them that way.

Saltzman told Queerty that while he worked on scenes between the odd couple roommates, he drew from his own relationship with his late partner, Arnold Glassman, and their sometimes tense dynamic. Who was who? Saltzman said he was carefree and playful, like Ernie, whereas Glassman was a tad more OCD and anal-retentive, a la Bert. Given this new bit of background, we wondered: Were Bert and Ernie written as Jewish?

The Forward reached out to Saltzman to find out, and within an hour we had our answer.

“Heavy-hearted, long-suffering Bert, yes. Ernie? Goyishe kopf,” Saltzman wrote in an email.

It’s not known to us how Bert and Ernie spent Yom Kippur, but we imagine Ernie wasn’t so strict with the fasting, much to Bert’s dismay.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected].

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