A Little Bit Bert

NEWS UPDATE: January 20, 2010

According to TVShowsonDVD.com, The Jim Henson Company is releasing The Animal Show and Song of the Cloud Forest on DVD on April 13th, 2010. The Animal Show DVD will feature five episodes of the show, “Zebra and Lion,” “Tiger and Tiger Beetle,” “Raccoon and Polar Bear,” “Chimpanzee and Hyena,” and “Grizzly Bear and Hedgehog.” The Song of the Cloud Forest DVD will include a bonus episode of Fraggle Rock (“River of Life”) and two bonus episodes of The Animal Show (“Owl and Frog” and “Kangaroo and Frog”).

If you missed Sesame Street’s appearance on Cake Boss on Monday, the full episode is now online on TLC’s website. Now you too can see Cookie Monster freak out when he receives a giant cookie!

We will return to our Weekly Muppet Wednesday schedule next week.

A Little Bit Bert

Justin H. Piatt – I never identified with Bert. I never understood the character. I could get Oscar. Who hasn’t been a grouch? Ernie was who I wanted to be, and at times I very much am. Grover is a sweet, good-natured, wonderful character that I admire and love. I could identify with almost any Muppet… except Bert.

Then, a few years ago, I realized who this character was, why he worked, and that I truly did identify with him. Perhaps everyone can. I gained a new appreciation for who Bert is. And I—like you and everyone else— am a little bit Bert.

Bert is a surprisingly complex character, despite his initially being perhaps the simplest, most uninteresting of Muppets on Sesame Street. When he was first introduced to the world, Bert was nothing more than the straight man. An old stick in the mud, whose only personality trait was to be dull. But there is so much more to him than that. And here’s why I can relate to Bert.

Though considered a “stick in the mud,” Bert actually can never resist a good game. I identify with this aspect of Bert’s personality – his initial reluctance to join in on a game or one of Ernie’s other activities. For me, I want to join in, but am frequently too shy to do so. With Bert, I think he’d like to do both. He wants the peace and quiet to enjoy his book, but can’t help it when he realizes just how much fun Ernie is having. At the last wedding I attended, I didn’t dance. I didn’t dance until the very last song I was there to hear. In this, I am a little bit Bert.

Bert has his obsessions. His love of pigeons, his fondness of paper clips and bottle caps. Oatmeal. I don’t know if anyone on Sesame Street has ever really questioned Bert’s love of these things, but they certainly don’t share it. Well, I do. Not specifically his love of paper clips and such, but I identify with the love of something unpopular. The “nerd” aspect of Bert’s personality, if you will, in which he preaches the greatness of paper clips, the wonder of bottle caps, the majesty of pigeons, and the oatmealness of oatmeal. All things which are generally considered “uncool” that Bert can’t help but claim otherwise.

I think this is something all Muppet fans can relate to. We are frequently among the “misunderstood.” The “nerds.” Very few under the age of thirty have any sort of appreciation for the Muppets. Muppet fans are very much a minority, even with the recent rise in their popularity. Perhaps Bert expressed this best in his song “I Wish I Had a Friend to Play with Me.” Acknowledging that he knew of no one who shared his interests, he reflected what we all feel at times: A sense of loneliness in our attachment to the Muppets, and a feeling of being out of place at times because of it. But, we know what we love and what we love… is oatmeal. Er, Muppets. We’re not ashamed of it, just as Bert is not ashamed of what he loves most. In this, I am a little bit Bert.

There is much more to Bert to discuss, but this is what I learn from him. This is how I am Bert. Now, how are you a little bit Bert?

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

5 thoughts on “A Little Bit Bert

  1. I agree that generally we all are a little Bert, and we all should be. How else could we keep our lives and apartments organized. Although I am a self-confessed Ernie devotee (see http://ernieaday.blogspot.com), I find it interesting how other people's Ernieness makes me a little more Bert. In my first long-term relationship, I was totally and happily the Ernie, carefree and silly, willing to let my Bert clean the toilet and make sure we had enough provisions to survive the winter. In my current relationship, I find myself as more Bert than I ever expected to be. And the more Bert I become, the more I realize that I never have been as cool as Ernie, and I look way better in vertical stripes.

  2. I'm a little bit Bert in that I am tall and gangly and feel as though people stare at me a bit when I walk around. I'm a little bit Bert in that I perfectly happy to be happy and fun by myself, but when people 'expect' me to be fun and interesting…I suddenly find myself reading a boring book and peeking over the top of it. I'm a little bit Bert in that I have to frequently pluck my eyebrows…

    Okay, maybe not the last one.

    This comment was brought to you by the confirmation word: butwa, which is a word that Bert would probably find NOT funny…

  3. I am a little bit Bert in that the most recent bunch of people I have met and worked with dubbed me Bert. Only because i was one too many Rob's but I'm proud of my monobrow and irritability.

  4. Although i'm more commonly identified by others as Ernie, I love Bert!! he is just so nerdy, anal, and lovable. I'm like bert in all of the above: nerdy, lovable, anal, and best of all, I also love verticcal stripes. I stripe nearly everything I have, from the guitars I make to tables, rolling pins, chairs, yes i'd love to pin stripe my car, but that's yet to come.

    Loved this post!

    guitar innovations made by musicians for musicians

  5. Oh gosh… I'm a nerd, I have such geeky interests, I love Bert, I'm actually pretty organized in my messiness and yes I do feel out-of-place and lonely sometimes that no-one really shares my interests… I mean some do but I'm even typing this in Bert's voice… I am definitely a bit Bert. ❤

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