Ernie is a fictional character, a Muppet on the Public Broadcasting Service's long-running children's television show, Sesame Street. He and his roommate Bert form a comic duo that is one of the program's centerpieces, with Ernie acting the role of the naïve troublemaker and Bert the world-weary foil. Ernie's birthday is January 28.
Ernie is well known for his fondness for baths with his Rubber Duckie, and for trying to learn to play the saxophone although he would not "put down the duckie." Ernie is also known for keeping Bert awake at night, for reasons such as wanting to play the drums, wanting to count something (like sheep), to observe something like a blackout, or even because he is waiting for his upstairs neighbor to drop his shoes. That happens also in Play with Me Sesame.
He has a distinctive, chuckling laugh (a trait he shares with his baby cousin Ernestine). His appearance and clothing contrast noticeably with Bert, as he is the shorter and stouter of the pair, wears a shirt with horizontal stripes as opposed to Bert's vertical ones, and has a head that is wider than it is high. In addition, Ernie has no visible eyebrows, while Bert displays a unibrow.
Many Ernie and Bert sketches involve Ernie wanting to play a game with Bert, who would much rather do something else (like read). Ernie keeps annoying Bert with the game until Bert joins in – and usually, by the time Bert starts enjoying the game, Ernie is tired of playing the game and wants to do something else. Other sketches have involved them sharing some food by dividing it equally, only for one of them to have a bit more than the other, leading Ernie to make it even by eating the extra piece.
Ernie has also frequently made appearances without Bert. He has regularly appeared in skits with Cookie Monster, Sherlock Hemlock and Lefty the Salesman.
From season 33 (2002) until season 36 (2005), he and Big Bird starred in a daily segment called "Journey to Ernie".
Ernie was one of the hosts of Play With Me Sesame. One regular segment that he hosted was "Ernie Says", a variation of "Simon Says".