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Ernie is a fictional character. He is a Muppet on the television program Sesame Street. Ernie was created and voiced by Jim Henson until his death in 1990. Steve Whitmire has voiced Ernie since 1993. He is Bert's best friend. They live together.
Ernie was first seen with Bert in the test episodes of Sesame Street in 1969. His voice at that time was more similar to Rowlf the dog than Kermit the Frog. He had purple and yellow stripes on his shirt and a purple nose instead of the red and blue stripes and red nose he has now. His shirt and nose were changed in the second year of the program. In the third year, his eye focus got better.
Bert is Ernie's brother and roommate. He is more grumpy, but still likes Ernie.