Ernie is a character on Sesame Street. He is Bert's best friend. They live together in the basement of 123 Sesame Street. Ernie loves to take baths with his beloved Rubber Duckie and often goes crazy when he doesn't know where his little fowl friend is. Of course, his obsession with his duckie does occasionally affect his ability to do other things, such as play the saxophone, which he tried to learn from Hoots the Owl, who instructed him in song to "Put Down the Duckie". Ernie also plays the drums and the bugle.
Ernie's bubbly, playful personality doesn't always hit home with his roommate. Bert, who is of the more relaxed, laid back type, often sees him as nothing more than an unavoidable pest, which, in many ways, he is. Ernie usually finds a way to annoy him somehow or other. Often, he asks Bert to play a game with him right when he (Bert) would rather be doing something else, like read or admire his paperclip collection. He keeps badgering Bert to play with him until he finally gives in- then usually ends it just as his friend starts to enjoy himself. Ernie can also be very selfish. Often, when he and Bert are sharing food, he'll try to divide it evenly, but when he sees it can't be done, he makes it even by eating what's left himself. In addition, nine nights out of ten, Ernie will keep Bert awake for random reasons like talking about things he likes, wanting to count something to fall asleep, singing himself a lullaby, or letting his roommate know about a blackout. Despite all this, however, he and Bert still like each other, and there's no denying that Ernie can be quite generous when he wants to be. One such example occurs in the special "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street", when he trades Mr. Hooper his own rubber duckie for a cigar box for Bert to keep his paperclips in. Unbeknownst to him, Bert makes a similar gesture for him afterwards. Luckily, Mr. Hooper realizes how hard this is for the both of them and returns their special possessions.
Ernie frequently appears on the show without Bert as well. He often runs into Lefty the Salesman, who always has something up his sleeve to sell him, but usually without success. He also has frequent one on one interactions with Cookie Monster, who usually manages to trick him out of his cookies. Sherlock Hemlock sometimes takes cases Ernie happens upon. One member of his family who sometimes comes to visit is his baby cousin, Ernestine, who has virtually the same type of laugh as he, which is a kind of whispering chuckle. Ernestine doesn't know how to say her cousin's name yet, but can say 'Bert'. Ernie has also appeared in a number of sketches set in prehistoric times (often playing King of the Cave), done a hide-and-seek style game with Big Bird called "Journey to Ernie", and appeared with his friend in animated form in a recurring segment called "Ernie and Bert's Great Adventures". He's appeared on two episodes of "The Muppet Show" as well.
He was originally voiced by Jim Henson and currently by Steve Whitmire.