Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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YoB&E: Day 11--Surprises

Surprise! Today we have two sketches, and because they each have a surprise ending (and because I'm lazy) they don't have thumbnails to go with them.

Bert is locked out of the apartment and imagines the worst.

Ernie brings home a surprise.

My goal for this week is to show that not every Bert & Ernie sketch ends in Bert's suffering.

The reason that Bert & Ernie work so well is that they're flawed characters: Ernie is reckless and can be really inconsiderate; Bert is uptight and can be really impatient. The first sketch shows how much they genuinely care about each other in spite of those flaws. It's also a nice showcase for Bert, in which his main conflict is less with Ernie and more with his own fears and anxieties. Frank Oz milks Bert's emotions for all they're worth. It's a nice juxtaposition with Bert getting more and more upset and Ernie remaining completely calm. There's also a funny moment right after Ernie finally lets Bert in: "Did you want me to mess up the place, Bert?" By the way, one of the guests at the party is Guy Smiley, America's Favorite Game Show Host. Ernie must be connected.

It gets to the point where you get conditioned to think that Ernie's guessing games will end in humiliation or frustration for Bert, and then the writers throw you a curveball like the second sketch. An adorable, furry curveball. I imagine the stated educational goal was to get kids to guess the surprise, but it also teaches us to stay on our toes and not make assumptions.

Did anybody else notice that the door opens the wrong way in the first sketch? I understand why it had to be that way, but it's a little distracting. Also, I can't help but notice that the door doesn't have a latch, which makes one wonder how Bert could possibly be locked out.
Tags: year of bert & ernie
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