August 15, 2011
It was a simpler time, perhaps, when Ernie and Bert were first introduced in 1969. Originally, the two muppets created by Jim Henson, was supposed to teach children that people could be friends despite so many differences.
Ernie is a dark colored, rotund shaped puppet and Bert is a light colored, longish puppet who lived together in an apartment on Sesame Street. On the surface of it, perhaps muppets showed children how vastly different people could get along with each other and on another level, it perhaps also reflected how the characters may have been conceived in the milieu of racial tensions in the United States.
They were probably also modeled after tandem comedians Laurel and Hardy and Abbot and Costello. Ernie is the boring, straight-laced character while Ernie is the goofy prankster and most of the skits involving the two revolve around Ernie infuriating Bert.
In the face of the legalization of gay marriage, should the muppets be used to teach children the why two people of the same sex can get married?