The exact nature of the relationship between decades-long roommates Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street has always been a mystery. Some say their relationship is based on the close, but strictly platonic, relationship between Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Others say Bert and Ernie, with their mutual love of bathtime, rubber duckies, and rainbow-colored striped shirts, are much, much closer. Now, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, The New Yorker has decided to fling them out of the closet. Check out their new cover.
The cover was actually created last year, following President Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage. An image of Obama on the TV watched by Bert and Ernie was replaced by the nine justices of the Supreme Court.
Just in case you think this is the biggest public outing since Anderson Cooper, here’s Sesame Workshop’s official line on Bert and Ernie’s relationship: “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.”