They’ve been best friends and roommates for almost 50 years now, but how did it all begin? Sesame Street parodies Will Smith‘s Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song to explain how Bert & Ernie became “One half of a whole, One part of a pair.” It’s very sweet.
Sing along with the lyrics below:
Now this is a song all about how
My life got flipped, turned up eyebrow
Won’t take long, just a minute you see
We’ll tell you how we became Bert and Ernie.
On Sesame Street born and raised
Learning letters, numbers — Singing Sunny Days
Growing up, moving, flying the coup
Said buh-bye to my Mommy, off to 1-2-3 stoop.
There I met a grouch who didn’t smell too good
Told me to – Scram! Leave the neighborhood
It was then I remembered what my mom used to say
— Keep your head up, be kind, and you’ll find your way!
I said “hello” when I got near.
He said –“Oh what’s that,” I’ve got a banana in my ear.
Wanna be friends who laugh, learn, and share?
Ernie pointed to the seat and said, “Sit right there!”
Showed him my paperclips, He thought they were great.
Introduced him to Rubber Duckie as our new roommate.
One half of a whole, One part of a pair
That’s the story of how we became, Ernie and Bert — Put it there!
Remember though, despite what you think, Bert & ernie are NOT lovers. Sesame Street famously released a statement in 2011:
“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”