Bert and Ernie are two Muppets who aren’t part of the Muppet cast of characters currently owned by Disney. They actually appear together in numerous skits on the long-running PBS/HBO children’s television show, Sesame Street. Jim Henson made sure to separate the Sesame Street characters from his other interests to ensure that they would always be available for use in children’s programming. Originally performed by Frank Oz and Jim Henson, the characters are currently brought to life by puppeteers Eric Jacobson and Peter Linz.
The original concept for the characters was to show that even though two people may have totally different personalities, they can still be the best of friends. Even live together!
Bert is usually angry or frustrated with his buddy Ernie so it’s unusual to see him with such a big smile on his face. A typical sketch involves Ernie coming up with some far out idea or activity that Bert tries to talk him out of. This rarely works, usually getting Bert all frustrated, leaving Ernie dumbfounded by his reactions. Why can’t they just get along? Of course, this also describes most of the interactions between me and my wife, so who am I to judge?
Bert is a “hand rod puppet”, which means that while the puppeteer’s right arm is inserted into the head to control the mouth, the puppeteer’s left hand uses rods to control the arms of the puppet. However, it seems that the Big Fig version is able to stand all by himself, without any help.
Bert is about 18″ tall and skinny as a rail. He is quite heavy as he is a solid casting, and not hollow, as some statuettes are. Don’t let the hole in the base fool you!
This Big Fig was produced for the Sesame Workshop in 2007. I picked him up at a local charity shop for under $20.00 CAN.
FUN FACTS: Sesame Street premiered on November 10, 1969, with Bert and Ernie being two of only a select few Muppets to appear. Their sketch tested so well with audiences that it was decided to make Muppet characters a bigger part of the show. The rest, as they say, is history! And now we know who to thank for all those cherished childhood memories.
I have one other statue from this set: Super Grover! And unlike Bert, he’s cute!