Its been a question asked for decades: are Sesame Street characters, Burt and Ernie gay? Well, in the midst of the new Gay marriage ruling laid down by the Supreme court and according to next month's New Yorker magazine (left), they just might be. Or maybe not..
The two, who have been eternal roommates since the show's PBS debut in 1969, were crafted by Muppets creator, Jim Henson. The relationship of the characters was based on the real-life friendship of voice actors, Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
The puppet duo were virtually the only Muppets to appear in the pilot episode. And since they tested well, they've been a mainstay ever since.
However, allegations of the pair being "more than friends" has been circulating since the 1980's. Being roommates in a Sesame Street apartment, the duo share a single bedroom. However, they do sleep in separate beds.
This, in addition to their not having much interaction with other characters on the show, (most of their segments are self-encapsulated) especially females, has led some to suggest that they might be a gay couple.
These rumors, vehemently denied by the Sesame Street Workshop, have been spun and placed in damage control to squash the growing beliefs. Some examples to show otherwise have been segments of Bert's interactions with female characters and showing his attractions to women.
But the idea of Bert and Ernie as a couple is so sufficiently widespread that it has been used as the basis for jokes on several television shows and remains strong within the general public conscious.
Recently, The New Yorker magazine chose an image of Bert and Ernie by artist Jack Hunter, titled 'Moment of Joy', as the cover of their July 8, 2013 publication which covers the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's California Proposition 8.
As trademarked images, usage of the characters in such a fashion had to be approved, despite adding fuel to the fire. But are the allegations true? As before, executives at Sesame Street remain staunch that the characters are "sexless" and celebrate friendship, despite their "differences."
Differences? Hmm, can this be yet another question, or another can of worms opened?