It's been a banner Tuesday on Sesame Street and in the Mushroom Kingdom — so much so that both "Sesame Street" and Nintendo had to issue clarifying statements about their characters' sexual natures.
Over on Sesame Street, a debate is brewing over the sexual identities of the iconic male bachelor roommates Bert and Ernie.
“Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman revealed to Queerty what many of us have long suspected: that Bert and Ernie were more than just friends. When asked if Bert and Ernie were a gay couple, Saltzman responded: “I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.”
Saltzman went on to say the Bert and Ernie relationship was inspired and formed by his relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman.
“I was already with Arnie when I came to ‘Sesame Street,’” Saltzman said. “So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.”
But the heteronormative powers that be at the Sesame Workshop Twitter account, by the nonprofit behind the show, disputed the claims of Bert and Ernie’s creator and insisted that the puppets were, in fact, just pals and did not share a burning desire for one another.
“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” reads a statement on the “Sesame Street” Twitter account. “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 characters (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Separately, a Nintendo Life Twitter account gleefully pointed out that Mario Kart and Toad (a humanoid character with a mushroom head) were trending on Twitter. Both items were trending, however, because an excerpt from Stormy Daniels’ memoir described President Donald Trump’s penis as resembling Toad.
"I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart,” Daniels recalls in her writings.
The Nintendo Life Twitter account then facetiously followed up the revelation by blaming the tweet on an intern.
“We apologize for this unfortunate tweet from our social media intern,” a follow-up tweet said. “He'll be collecting the covfefe for the rest of the week!”
Cover image: Details as more than 20 puppets and props are donated by the Jim Henson Family including Miss Piggy, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, and Prairie Dawn during a ceremony at National Museum Of American History on September 24, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)