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Bert and Ernie facts for kids

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Bert and Ernie
Ernie (left), with his rubber duckie, and Bert (right) on Sesame Street in 1977.

Bert and Ernie are two Muppets who appear together in numerous skits on the long-running PBS/HBO children's television show, Sesame Street. Originated by Frank Oz and Jim Henson, the characters are currently performed by puppeteers Eric Jacobson and Peter Linz; Oz performed Bert until 2006.


Bert was initially performed by Frank Oz. Since 1997, Muppeteer Eric Jacobson has been phased in as Bert's primary performer after Oz retired from most of his Muppet duties to focus on directing. Bert is a “hand rod puppet", which means that while the puppeteer's right arm is inserted into Bert's head to control the mouth, the puppeteer's left hand uses rods to control the arms of the puppet. Bert has one large eyebrow, known as a unibrow.


Ernie was originally performed by Jim Henson until his death in 1990. From 1993 to 2014, Muppeteer Steve Whitmire took on the role of Ernie. From 2014 to 2017, Billy Barkhurst took on the role of Ernie; currently, the character is performed by Peter Linz.

Ernie is a "live hand puppet", meaning that while operating the head of the puppet with his right hand, the puppeteer inserts his left hand into a T shaped sleeve, capped off with a glove that matches the fabric "skin" of the puppet, thus "becoming" the left arm of the puppet. A second puppeteer usually provides the right arm.

Ernie's performance of "Rubber Duckie," wherein he sings affectionately about his squeaking toy duck and the joy it brings him during bath time, became a modest mainstream hit, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970.


  • Arab World, Iftah Ya Simsim, Bert is "Badr", and Ernie is "Anis". They are called "Anis w Badr" (Arabic: أنيس وبدر )
  • Brazil, Vila Sésamo, Bert is "Beto", and Ernie is "Ênio". They're called "Ênio e Beto".
  • Egypt, Alam Simsim, Bert is "Hadi", and Ernie is Shadi. They are known as "Shadi w Hadi".
  • France, 1, Rue Sésame, Bert is "Bart" and Ernie is "Ernest". They are called "Ernest et Bart". In the French version, when Bert's brother Bart comes to visit, he is called "Bert".
  • Germany, Sesamstraße, they are called "Ernie und Bert".
  • India, Galli Galli Sim Sim, they are called Bert aur Ernie.
  • Israel, Rechov Sumsum, Bert is "Bentz", a common short-form for the name "Ben-Tzion", and Ernie is "Arik", short-form for "Arie" (Hebrew: אריק ובנץ).
  • Italy, Sesamo apriti, Bert is "Berto" and Ernie is "Ernesto". They are called "Ernesto e Berto".
  • Mexico and all Latin America, Plaza Sésamo, Bert is "Beto", while Ernie is "Enrique". In addition, Ernie's cousin Ernestine is called "Enriqueta".
  • Netherlands, Sesamstraat they are "Bert en Ernie". Paul Haenen provides Bert's voice, and Wim T. Schippers provides Ernie's.
  • Norway, Sesam Stasjon, Bert is "Bernt", while Ernie is "Erling". Usually, they're called "Bernt og Erling", respectively voiced by Harald Mæle and Magnus Nielsen.
  • Pakistan, Khul Ja Sim Sim, Bert is "Bablu", while Ernie is "Annu". They are commonly called "Annu aur Bablu".
  • Poland, Ulica Sezamkowa, Bert is "Hubert" and Ernie is "Emil". They are called "Hubert i Emil".
  • Portugal, Rua Sésamo, Bert is "Becas" and Ernie is "Egas". They are called "Egas e Becas", in the opposite order.
  • Russia, Ulitsa Sezam, Bert is Vlas and Ernie is Yenik. They are called Vlas i Yenik ("Влас и Еник")
  • Spain, Barrio Sésamo, Bert is "Blas", and Ernie is "Epi". Also, they are always called "Epi y Blas", in the opposite order. In the Catalan-language version, Barri Sèsam, they are "Epi i Blai".
  • Turkey, Susam Sokağı, Bert is "Büdü", while Ernie is "Edi". They are commonly called "Edi ile Büdü".
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