Ernie And Bert And The Binoculars
starring Ernie (Jim Henson) and Bert (Frank Oz)
(The scene is Ernie and Bert's living room. Bert's reading a book with a picture of a pigeon on the front. Ernie enters wearing his pith helmet and carrying a pair of binoculars through which he surveys the room.)
Ernie: (quietly) Bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum, mmmmmmm.
(Ernie slips behind the chair and Bert looks over his shoulder too late. Ernie comes up at the top of the chair then slips behind before Bert looks.)
Ernie: Bum-bum, bum, bum, BA-BUUM!
Bert: Oh, Ernie. (Bert goes back to his reading but Ernie continues staring at him through the binoculars.) Ernie, what are you doing?
Ernie: Friend watching, Bert.
Ernie: (takes binoculars away from face) You're my best friend, I'm watching you, Bert. (puts binoculars back)
Bert: Why, pray tell, are you watching *me*, Ernie?
Ernie: (takes binoculars away) Oh, because I'm so happy that you're you and that you're the nicest, kindest, most wonderful friend and that you're sitting there reading a book and that I'm just lucky enough to
be able to stand here and watch my good buddy read a book. (puts binoculars back) Pay no attention, Bert.
Bert: That's very touching, Ernie, but isn't there something else you could watch maybe, huh?
Ernie: Oh, sure, Bert, I could watch birds or buses ...
Ernie: ... or TV ...
Bert: Good, why don't you? 'Cause I'm trying to read this book, see?
Ernie: Oh, because, Bert, watching my best friend is much, much better.
Bert: Uh huh, I see. (goes back to his book and tries to ignore Ernie but finally) AAAAAA! Ernie, I can't stand this! I mean, you are staring at me through those binoculars and it's driving me bananas!
Ernie: (takes his binoculars from face) Oh, oh, Bert, I didn't want to drive my old buddy bananas, I'll just put away these silly binoculars. Besides that, I don't need binoculars to watch you anyway, Bert. (starts staring at Bert, inching closer and closer until they're nose-to-nose when Bert turns around.)
Bert: (puts up with this for about 30 seconds before exploding) AAAAAA! Ernie, will you stop it?! That is no good either, I don't want you to stare at me, binoculars or not. I'm trying to read!
Ernie: Gee, Bert, you mean you're not enjoying having a friend just sort of stand here and think how marvelous you are, Bert?
Bert: Well, no, Ernie, I'm sorry but, see, when someone is staring at me all I can do is think about *them* being *there* ... staring! And I'd very much like to be able to concentrate on my book.
Ernie: Gee, I don't understand, Bert.
Bert: AAAA! I'll show you, here, take the book. (Ernie hesitates) Take it, take it, take it, take it, take it!!! (Ernie takes the book as Bert gets out of the chair)
Ernie: Okay, Bert.
Bert: Sit down, sit down. (Ernie sits) Now, now *you* try and read, go ahead. (starts staring at Ernie)
Ernie: (starts to read the pigeon book) Hmmm, okay ... Oh, gee ... (Bert looks at the camera, his eyebrows shoot up and he inches closer to Ernie as he reads. Bert's nose is now practically in Ernie's ear he's so close!) ... Wow ... (engrossed in the book and not noticing Bert at all) Hey, Bert, this is a great book, Bert. Gee, thanks for letting me read it. You know, like I said, you're the nicest, most wonderful best friend a guy ever had, Bert.
(Poor Bert rests his head against the back of the chair and lets out a heavy sigh as Ernie continues to read. The closing music plays a brief riff from "Someone To Watch Over Me" as Bert begins slowly banging his head on the side of the chair's back.)
Transcribed by Patrick Clancy and the ever watchful archive's webmistress Tiny Dancer