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Bert ♥Ernie  Was there ever any doubt about the nature of Bert and Ernie’s relationship on Sesame Street? If so, it was pretty well dispelled when a former writer for the show, Mark Saltzman, disclosed that the two are “a loving couple” based upon Saltzman’s own relationship with his partner Arnold Glassman. The Blogosphere went wild with the news, with bitter disappointment outweighed by a giant “Well, duh.” Remarkably, PBS issued its standard denial, insisting that B&E are “best friends” and that “puppets don’t have a sexual orientation.” Okay, so tell that to Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, that inter-species (indeed inter-class) item! More jokes would follow. Quipped Adam Burke on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: “So they don’t have a sexual orientation? Yeah, but they’ve got an apartment and jobs and a sponsorship deal with the alphabet.” On the other hand, remarked Faith Salie, if they were lovers, “Ernie would totally have helped Bert out with his eyebrows.” The simple fact is that Bert and Ernie never fit into any existing model of friendship, American style. Since when do “best friends” share a bedroom (albeit with twin beds) and hang out together at bath time? It’s not that PBS needs to get any more explicit about B&E’s gayness on the show, but the denials are starting to wear thin.

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