Ernie – Sesame Street

Ernie is a beloved character from the long-running children's television series "Sesame Street." He is a bright orange Muppet with a distinctive high-pitched voice and a playful, fun-loving personality.

Ernie is best known for his close friendship with his roommate Bert, and their hilarious interactions on the show. He often engages in imaginative play, loves to sing and dance, and has a fondness for rubber ducks.

Throughout the years, Ernie has been a favorite of many children and adults alike, and his positive and lighthearted attitude has helped to make "Sesame Street" one of the most beloved and enduring programs in television history.

Ernie's History

Ernie, the lovable orange Muppet, was created by Jim Henson and first appeared on "Sesame Street" in 1969. Along with his best friend Bert, Ernie has been entertaining children and adults for over 50 years.

Ernie's personality is defined by his playful and curious nature, his boundless energy, and his mischievous sense of humor. He often engages in imaginative play, pretending to be a pirate, a cowboy, or even a superhero. He loves to sing and dance, and is known for his catchy songs such as "Rubber Duckie" and "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon."

One of Ernie's defining characteristics is his love for his rubber duck. He often carries it with him everywhere he goes, and has even dedicated a song to it. Ernie's relationship with his best friend Bert is also an important part of his character, as the two of them have a close and sometimes tumultuous friendship.

Over the years, Ernie has been featured in countless "Sesame Street" sketches and segments, including the popular "Ernie and Bert" sketches, where he and Bert engage in comedic banter and playful antics. He has also appeared in various "Sesame Street" movies, specials, and albums.

Ernie's First Appearance

Ernie, the lovable orange Muppet from "Sesame Street," made his first appearance on the show's very first episode on November 10, 1969.

In his debut, Ernie was introduced as the best friend and roommate of Bert, another popular character on the show. The two of them were featured in a sketch where Bert was trying to read a book, but Ernie kept interrupting him with various antics, such as playing a trumpet or singing loudly.

This sketch set the tone for Ernie's character, showcasing his playful and mischievous nature, as well as his close relationship with Bert. Ernie's signature laugh, high-pitched voice, and energetic personality quickly made him a fan favorite among viewers of all ages.

Ernie's Personality

Ernie, the beloved character from "Sesame Street," is known for his playful and fun-loving personality, which has endeared him to generations of children and adults alike.

One of Ernie's defining traits is his curious nature. He is always eager to explore the world around him, asking questions and seeking answers. He is particularly fascinated by the natural world, and has been known to collect rocks, shells, and other objects that he finds on his adventures.

Ernie is also known for his boundless energy and love of play. He often engages in imaginative play, pretending to be a pirate, a cowboy, or even a superhero. He loves to sing and dance, and is known for his catchy songs, such as "Rubber Duckie" and "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon."

Another defining characteristic of Ernie is his mischievous sense of humor. He enjoys playing pranks on his best friend Bert, and is always ready with a joke or a silly song to brighten up someone's day.

Despite his mischievous tendencies, Ernie is also a kind and caring friend. He is always there to lend a listening ear or a helping hand, and is quick to apologize if he has inadvertently hurt someone's feelings.

Overall, Ernie's personality is defined by his playful spirit, his love of adventure and discovery, and his kind and caring heart. His infectious energy and enthusiasm for life have made him a beloved character and an icon of children's entertainment.

Ernie's Family

Although Ernie, the popular character from "Sesame Street," is known for his close friendship with his roommate Bert, little is known about his family.

Ernie's backstory has never been fully explored on the show, and there have been few references to his family over the years. However, some details about his family have been revealed in various "Sesame Street" books and other media.

In the book "The Sesame Street Dictionary," it is mentioned that Ernie has a cousin named Ernestine, who is also a Muppet. However, Ernestine has never appeared on the show, and not much else is known about her.

In the book "Ernie and Bert's Different Day," it is revealed that Ernie has a baby cousin named Ernestine, who comes to visit him and Bert. In the book, Ernie is shown taking care of Ernestine, playing with her, and making sure she is safe and happy.

Ernie's Performers

  • Jim Henson (1969–1990): Jim Henson was the original performer of Ernie, and he brought the character to life from the show's inception in 1969 until his death in 1990.

  • Steve Whitmire (1993–2014): After Jim Henson's death, Steve Whitmire took over as the performer of Ernie. He played the character from 1993 until 2014.

  • Billy Barkhurst (2014–2017): Billy Barkhurst became the performer of Ernie in 2014, and he played the character until 2017.

  • Peter Linz (2017–present): Peter Linz took over as the performer of Ernie in 2017, and he continues to play the character on "Sesame Street" to this day.

Friendship of Ernie and Bert

Ernie and Bert's friendship is one of the most enduring and beloved relationships on "Sesame Street." The two characters are roommates who share a deep bond, despite their very different personalities.

Ernie is energetic, playful, and loves to have fun, while Bert is more serious, practical, and likes to stick to routines. Despite their differences, however, Ernie and Bert share a deep friendship and care for each other deeply.

Throughout their many years on "Sesame Street," Ernie and Bert have engaged in countless comedic and heartwarming moments that have endeared them to generations of fans. They have shared many adventures together, from exploring the world around them to engaging in imaginative play.

Ernie often plays practical jokes on Bert, which can sometimes lead to arguments or hurt feelings, but their friendship always endures. Bert is often the voice of reason for Ernie, helping him see things from a different perspective and helping him make responsible choices.

Their friendship has been portrayed in various forms of media, including books, cartoons, and live performances, and it has remained a central part of the show's ethos for over 50 years.

Ernie and Bert's friendship has become an iconic example of how people with different personalities and interests can come together and form a deep bond. Their friendship has taught children and adults alike the importance of acceptance, respect, and kindness, and it has helped make "Sesame Street" one of the most beloved and influential children's shows of all time.

Ernie and the Rubber Duckie

Ernie and the Rubber Duckie is a beloved song and sketch from "Sesame Street" that features Ernie singing about his favorite bath toy, a rubber duckie.

The song was first introduced in 1970, and it quickly became one of the most popular segments on the show. The lyrics, which were written by Jeff Moss, celebrate the joys of bath time and the simple pleasure of playing with a rubber duckie.

In the sketch, Ernie sings the song while taking a bath, and he is joined by a chorus of other Muppets who help him sing the catchy tune. The song has been performed by several different performers over the years, but it is perhaps most closely associated with the original performer of Ernie, Jim Henson.

The popularity of "Rubber Duckie" led to the release of a single in 1970, which became a hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 16. The song has since been covered by many other artists, and it has become a beloved classic among fans of "Sesame Street."

Ernie's Likes and Dislikes


  • Rubber duckies: Ernie is famously fond of rubber duckies and has a song dedicated to his favorite bath toy.

  • Playing practical jokes: Ernie loves to have fun and enjoys playing practical jokes on his friends, particularly his roommate Bert.

  • Singing: Ernie has a great singing voice and often bursts into song, whether alone or with other Muppets.

  • Imaginative play: Ernie loves to use his imagination and engage in imaginative play with his friends.

  • Good food: Ernie enjoys eating and often talks about his favorite foods, such as ice cream and cookies.


  • Being told what to do: Ernie doesn't like being told what to do and can be quite stubborn when someone tries to boss him around.

  • Getting into trouble: Although Ernie enjoys playing practical jokes, he doesn't like getting into trouble when his pranks go too far.

  • Being bored: Ernie is a very energetic character and doesn't like to be bored or have nothing to do.

  • Getting wet: Although he loves taking baths, Ernie doesn't like getting wet outside of the bathtub and often carries an umbrella to avoid getting caught in the rain.

What does Ernie Say?

Ernie has a variety of catchphrases and expressions that he is known for saying on Sesame Street. Some of his most famous sayings include:

"Rubber Duckie, you're the one. You make bath time so much fun!"

"Hey Bert!"

"Bert, do you want to play a game?"

"I know! Let's play a game!"

"Ernie loves his rubber duckie."

"I was just thinking, Bert..."

"Yay for [insert something he likes]!"

"Gee, Bert, it's a beautiful day today."

"Hey, Bert, have you seen my [insert something he's lost]?"

"Ernie's got a song to sing."

Ernie Through the Years

Here is a closer look at Ernie through the years:

1969-1970s: In the early days of "Sesame Street," Ernie was portrayed as a fun-loving, mischievous character who loved to play practical jokes on his best friend and roommate, Bert. He was known for his playful personality and his love of singing and playing with his favorite toy, a rubber duckie.

1980s-1990s: In the 1980s and 1990s, Ernie's character evolved, and he became more of a responsible and caring friend to Bert. He continued to love singing and playing with his rubber duckie but was also depicted as more sensitive and thoughtful.

2000s-present: In the 2000s, Ernie's character continued to develop, and he became even more of a thoughtful and compassionate character. He was shown as being more empathetic to the feelings of others and was often the voice of reason when his friends needed advice.

Appearance: Ernie's appearance has also undergone some changes over the years. In the early days of the show, he was often depicted with shorter, more spiky hair, and he wore a striped shirt with a collar. Later on, his hair became longer and more shaggy, and he began wearing a plain, solid-colored shirt.

Ernie's signature features have remained the same over the years, including his infectious smile, expressive eyes, and playful demeanor. He has also continued to be a favorite character among "Sesame Street" fans of all ages.

Ernie's Favorite Songs

"Rubber Duckie" - This is Ernie's signature song and is dedicated to his favorite bath toy, the rubber duckie. The song is all about how much Ernie loves his duckie and how it makes bath time so much more fun.

"I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" - In this song, Ernie expresses his desire to travel to the moon but ultimately decides that he would rather stay on Earth with his friends.

"Imagine That" - Ernie sings this song about the power of imagination and how it can transport us to new and exciting places.

"It's a Circle" - This song teaches children about the concept of circles and how they can be found all around us, from the sun and moon to the wheels on a car.

"Dance Myself to Sleep" - In this catchy tune, Ernie sings about his difficulty falling asleep and how he resorts to dancing to tire himself out.

"Do De Rubber Duck" - Another song dedicated to Ernie's beloved rubber duckie, this tune is all about how much fun it is to play with the duck in the bathtub.

"Loud and Soft" - This song teaches children about the concepts of loud and soft and how they can use their voices to create different sounds.

"I Want to Hold Your Ear" - A playful parody of the Beatles song "I Want to Hold Your Hand," Ernie sings about how much he loves his friend Bert and wants to hold his ear.

Facts About Ernie

  • Ernie made his first appearance on Sesame Street in 1969. He was created by Jim Henson, who also created other popular Muppet characters like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

  • Ernie is known for his playful and mischievous personality. He often plays pranks on his best friend Bert, but he always has good intentions and means no harm.

  • Ernie is usually depicted wearing a horizontally striped shirt and red sneakers. He has a distinctive look that has become iconic over the years.

  • One of Ernie's most famous characteristics is his love of taking baths and playing with his rubber duckie. In fact, he even sings a song about it called "Rubber Duckie."

  • Ernie is also a talented musician and often plays the ukulele or sings catchy songs. Some of his most famous tunes include "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" and "Do De Rubber Duck."

  • Ernie is portrayed as being childlike and innocent, and he often learns important life lessons through his experiences on Sesame Street. He is a character that children can relate to and learn from.

  • Ernie's best friend and roommate is Bert, another popular Sesame Street character. The two are often seen together, and their friendship is a central part of the show's storyline.

  • Despite their differences, Ernie and Bert have a strong bond of friendship. They may argue and bicker at times, but they always have each other's backs and work together to solve problems.

  • Ernie has also made friends with other Sesame Street characters over the years, including Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Elmo.

  • Over the years, Ernie's character has evolved and changed to reflect the times. For example, in the 1990s, Ernie became a more environmentally conscious character, teaching children about the importance of recycling and conserving resources.

  • Ernie has been performed by several puppeteers over the years, including Jim Henson, Steve Whitmire, and Peter Linz. However, the character's voice and mannerisms have remained consistent, making him one of the most beloved characters on Sesame Street.

Ernie in Popular Culture

  • Ernie has been referenced and parodied in numerous TV shows, movies, and other forms of media.

  • In the movie "Airplane!", one of the characters is named Roger Murdock, but is repeatedly mistaken for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Ernie's distinctive voice and mannerisms were used as the basis for Murdock's character.

  • In an episode of "The Simpsons," Homer Simpson refers to his son Bart as "Ernie" while playing a game of catch, referencing Ernie's love of playing with his rubber duckie.

  • Ernie and his rubber duckie were featured in a popular episode of "Family Guy," where they sing a parody of "Rubber Duckie" called "Freakin' Fcc."

  • Ernie's signature song, "Rubber Duckie," has been covered by various artists over the years, including Little Richard and Ernie's original performer, Jim Henson.

  • Ernie was parodied in an episode of "South Park," where he and his friends from Sesame Street are depicted as drug users.

  • Ernie has been referenced in numerous memes and viral videos, including the popular "Bert and Ernie are Gay" meme.

  • Ernie and Bert were spoofed in an episode of "Robot Chicken," where they are depicted as drug addicts living in a rundown apartment.

  • Ernie and his rubber duckie were referenced in the animated movie "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part," where they make a brief appearance in a musical number.

  • Ernie has been referenced in various songs, including "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia, which features the line "Ernie on my back, and Bert on my brain."

  • In an episode of "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon Cooper sings a parody of "Rubber Duckie" called "Soft Kitty" when he is sick.

  • Ernie's character has been referenced in various video games, including the "Sesame Street" video game series.

  • Ernie and Bert were referenced in the animated movie "The Simpsons Movie," where they make a brief appearance in a scene where Springfield is being destroyed.

  • Ernie and his rubber duckie were referenced in the TV show "Mad Men," where they make an appearance in a dream sequence.

  • Ernie has been referenced in various comic books, including "Archie Comics" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."

  • Ernie's character has been referenced in various children's books, including "The Berenstain Bears" and "Dora the Explorer."

  • Ernie has been referenced in various TV commercials, including a 1994 ad for McDonald's that featured Ernie and other Sesame Street characters.

  • Ernie has been referenced in various theme park attractions, including Sesame Place and Sesame Street at Universal Studios.

  • Ernie's character has been referenced in various art installations, including a 2015 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum called "The Rise of Sneaker Culture."

Ernie's Contribution to Preschool Children's Education

Ernie, along with the other characters on Sesame Street, has made significant contributions to preschool children's education since the show's inception in 1969. Here are some of Ernie's specific contributions:

Teaching emotional intelligence: Ernie often demonstrates his emotions through his actions and songs, which helps children learn to identify and express their own feelings.

Promoting literacy: Ernie's love for books and reading has been a constant theme throughout the show's history, encouraging children to develop a love for reading.

Encouraging creativity: Ernie often engages in imaginative play and encourages children to do the same, promoting creativity and imagination.

Introducing math concepts: Ernie's "Rubber Duckie" song teaches children about counting and basic math concepts in a fun and memorable way.

Promoting social skills: Ernie's friendship with Bert models positive social interactions and teaches children about sharing, communication, and problem-solving.

Encouraging healthy habits: Ernie promotes healthy habits like regular hand-washing and brushing teeth through his songs and skits.

Teaching about cultural diversity: Ernie's interactions with other characters from different backgrounds and cultures promote understanding and acceptance of diversity.

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