Confusing Things About Bert and Ernie’s Apartment

Michael Wermuth – One of the most iconic locations of Sesame Street is Ernie and Bert’s apartment, located in the basement of 123 Sesame Street. It seems like a simple place to live… So why are there so many confusing things about it?

First of all, let’s look at their living room. Often there’s not much here–just two windows, a shelf on the wall, a framed picture of Ernie and Bert (which has changed over the years), a lamp on a table, and a door on the right. But there’s also additional furniture that appears depending on the scene. There’s the counter, which is often there. And then there are the big chairs that are often in the living room but not always. There was also a couch that appeared in the living room once. They also have a TV sometimes, but usually they don’t.

And what about the bedroom? It’s identically to the living room, except that it has beds. When the Count slept over, he slept in Bert’s bed while Bert slept on the couch in the living room. And the morning after the sleepover, the Count and Ernie both entered the living room through the front door, still in their pajamas. But there have been occasions where characters were shown outside the door, meaning it wasn’t just a hallway leading from the bedroom to the living room. And the first season even had some segments where the two had their own separate bedrooms.

Ernie and Bert live in the basement, but the windows only show plain blue backgrounds. Shouldn’t we see some of that gutter thing that’s over their windows out front? Or parts of the street? It’s interesting how they can live in a basement apartment, yet have windows in many rooms. And in the Twiddlebugs segments, Ernie is shown from the outside of a window, which is clearly on a higher floor. In fact at the end of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, they are shown waving at Big Bird from a window above Hooper’s Store, in their pajamas.

And they seem to have had different bathrooms over the years. In the first episode they just used the living room set and put a bath tub there. Then they used a plain blue background for Ernie’s classic performance of “Rubber Duckie.” Then a few more bathroom sets were used, it’s hard for me to describe their differences… there’s the one used when Bert took his bath in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, and when Bert and Ernie got Brad ready for his bath. And then there’s another bathroom, with a window and much bigger bath tub, used in such numbers as “Do De Rubber Duck” and “I Gotta Be Clean.”

Just lots of confusion there. For two guys who never seem to have jobs and live in a basement apartment, they sure do have a lot of rooms, lots of bathrooms, plenty of windows with good sky views, I didn’t even mention the kitchen that was only seen in one sketch, and the structure is quite confusing. Either Bert and Ernie remodel a lot, move a lot, or we’re looking into this way too much. You decide!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

3 thoughts on “Confusing Things About Bert and Ernie’s Apartment

  1. My brain hurts. When I was little I always thought the chairs/couch somehow turned into their beds and they just put frames on them. And my brain hurts. And I thought they painted the gutter wall blue for the day and at night they put a black cloth over it for night. By hey! That was a tiny child minds. (Yes, I said minds)
    Hugs and Giggles~Maria G. Kersey

  2. Number one with me was how they could see blue skies (and in some cases, even TREES) outside their windows when they're supposed to be in the basement.

    The first season was more accurate, in this from inside their apartment, we saw trashcans in front of the windows and a grayish looking backdrop behind it, but I can't imagine whose idea it was for them to have blue skies outside their windows.

    I've heard somewhere before they once had a backdrop of rooftops and antenna outside their window, which REALLY doesn't make sense.

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