Ernest and Bertram

Ernest & Bertram is a 2002 tragic comedy short film written and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and actor Peter Spears. The film spoofs Sesame Street characters Ernie and Bert. The film is based on Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour, and depicts Bert and Ernie after they are outed by Variety magazine. Although the film was a success at the Sundance Film Festival and the U.S Comedy Arts Festival, it kept from further distribution when Sesame Workshop served the film's producers with a cease and desist order for copyright violation.[1]

Ernest and Bertram
Directed byPeter Spears
Produced byPeter Spears
Screenplay byPeter Spears and TC Smith
Based onSesame Street, The Children's Hour
CinematographyAaron Barnes, Thomas Richter
Edited bySteven Friedland
Release date
Running time
8 minutes
CountryUnited States


When the film starts, Miss Piggy has discontinued a romantic relationship with Bert when rumors of the roommates being gay hit the media. After Ernie arrives home, the two converse, and upon learning of the break-up, reveals that he does love Bert "that way." Bert seems not to share this sentiment, resulting in Ernie's suicide.


  1. ^ Goodridge, Michael (July 23, 2002), "The best films you can't see: Ernest & Bertram is the latest in a series of acclaimed queer films banned from public view because their makers stepped on some famous toes", The Advocate

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