Ernie Is a Jackass

Robin’s Elmo obsession continues unabated (he is as I type these words watching Sesame Street with his Elmo doll clutched close, occasionally crooning small remarks to the doll). So I end up watching a lot of Sesame Street, and I have to say, with the perspective of adulthood a lot of the muppets take on a different cast than they held in my hazy childhood memories.

Take Ernie. I came out of my own Sesame Street watching days having formed the impression that Ernie was an awesome dude, and Bert a huge prissy stick-in-the-mud who was basically lucky to have someone like Ernie to bring some fun into his boring life.

Now I find Ernie almost intolerable. He’s so mean to Bert! He thinks he’s so funny, always laughing at his own jokes with that smug little snigger, but actually he’s just tremendously self-involved, inconsiderate, and rude. Ernie is literally the kind of guy who will invite a bunch of strangers over to the apartment and then bail, leaving his roommate alone to manage the chaos. Ernie is the kind of guy who will wake Bert up just so he has someone to talk to, and when he’s driven Bert to sleep in the kitchen with his unreasonably loud activities, he’ll roll over and enjoy having the whole bedroom to himself. Ernie will come up to Bert when he’s trying to read, distract him repeatedly, and finally end up reading the book himself.

My point here is that Ernie is not a cool fun-loving dude, Ernie is a jackass. Bert, on the other hand, is a really sweet guy with unexpected depths of sensitivity and compassion. Sure he’s a little cranky sometimes. If you had a roommate from hell like Ernie, you’d be cranky too!

And I’m not even going to address the whole gay thing, because frankly that takes Ernie from “roommate from hell” to “emotionally abusive boyfriend,” and Bert deserves so much better. So that’s all I have to say about Bert and Ernie!

One Response to “Ernie Is a Jackass”

  • Madeline Says:

    My god, you’re right! I’ve always identified with Bert, myself. Now I can feel proud about it, instead of sheepish…

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