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Bert

Bert is a character on PBS' long running children's show, Sesame Street. He is the roomate of fellow muppet Ernie.

On the show, Bert was intelligent though also grumpy, boring, and easily frustrated. He enjoyed such dull activities as bottle cap collecting, pidegon watching, and oatmeal cooking. He was created as a foil to Ernie, who was energetic, excitable, and somehwat dopey. In other words, Bert's exact opposite.

The "Ernie and Bert" skits were usually highly comedic routines in which Ernie would come up with some sort of hare-brained idea and Bert would calmly attempt to talk him out of it. The skits would often end with Bert completly losing his temper and Ernie still remaining oblivious to his own bad idea.

The most famous of such routines was the Banana in my ear[?] sketch.

Ernie and Bert share a bedroom although they sleep in separate beds. In recent years this has led to the somewhat immature accusation that the two are gay lovers. Though this is clearly not the case, the allegation has neverless caused many rumors, urban myths[?], and even a few angry letters from parents.

Evil Bert

Bert was the subject of a heavily mirrored web site, "Bert is Evil", though the site's creator has removed it, stating that he doesn't want to undermine the character in the eyes of children who watch Sesame Street.

A photograph of a protest rally in Bangladesh supporting Osama bin Laden showed a poster of Osama bin Laden with a small but clearly identifiable images of Bert over his right shoulder. (Another smaller image of bin Laden is immediately to the right of Bert's image.) The photo is from Reuters, and was not doctored. In fact, the image of Osama and Bert had been created (using an image editing tool) by a humorist earlier and placed on a website, and the person who made the poster must have copied it from the World Wide Web, leaving the image of Evil Bert[?] in.

As a response to this, the creator of the "Bert is Evil" website has taken down the site and posted a note explaining the decision. "I am doing this because I feel this has gotten too close to reality," he says, "and I choose to be responsible enough to stop it right here." For full message text, see [1] (http://www.fractalcow.com/bert/bert.htm). For a detailed account of the use of the image, in the Mideast as well as by Western news agencies, see [2] (http://www.lindqvist.com/bert.php). (The latter also argues against the notion that inclusion of the Bert image of the photo is some kind of coded communication.)

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