Wednesday, June 22, 2005


A disturbing observation has been creeping into the consciousness of the 19 Minutes staff over the past few weeks, and it reared its ugly head again last night while we viewed the video spectacular that is "Elmopalooza". Sesame Street will do that to you.

Sesame Street actually came into the world the same year as the 19 Minutes staff - 1969. Those 36 years have also seen the evolution of the "Buddy Movie" or "Buddy TV show" genre. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the "Lethal Weapon" movies. Chandler and Joey on "Friends". Oscar Madison and Felix Unger on "The Odd Couple" (and yes, we'll stipulate the play and the movie pre-date Sesame Street). Han Solo and Chewbacca.

They're all Bert and Ernie.

They all feature one relatively straight-laced, uptight, nervous guy, and one laid-back, devil-may-care, throw-caution-to-the-wind dude.

And as a midly humorous guy, I've always basically identified with Ernie. I've stuck a banana in my ear. I can even do the Ernie laugh.

But, as I said, a disturbing observation has crept into my consciousness.

I'm Bert.

Back to "Elmopalooza". Late in the show, the Sesame Street gang is trying to extricate a pre-Daily Show Jon Stewart from behind the stuck door to his dressing room. The task falls to Oscar. (The grouch.) Oscar announces that he can do it -- if one of them has some pepper. Bert produces a pepper shaker, and as every looks at him strangely, says: What, like none of you carry your own seasonings?

Felix Unger would say that. Chandler Bing would say that. I, unfortunately, would say that.

I don't actually carry my own pepper around, but I've been known to bring my driver's license with me to the hotel pool, because you never know when you'll need some identification. (And I still remember my the number on my Iowa driver's license, which, of course, ceased to exist in 1994.) And frankly, I'd want to know why Ernie had that banana in his ear.

But I'm okay with it. I have no mono-brow, so I'm not physically Bert. Bert is the more sarcastic of the two, which gels with my whole raison d'etre. And I'm at least a bit Ernie-like, as I definitely prefer ducks to pigeons.

Actually, as I check my Blogger profile, I'm reminded of something.

I'm Kermit.

Never mind.

No comments: