Bert is the long-suffering sidekick of Ernie. He is more serious, focused, and practical, and he considers himself the voice of reason in their friendship.  Bert can be rather eccentric.  He collects bottle caps and paper clips, plays the tuba and loves Bernice, his pet pigeon.  Bert is not always a willing participant in Ernie’s escapades; he correctly senses that the tables are destined to be turned on him or that he will end up on the short end of the stick.  However, Bert always forgives Ernie, forever remaining his “old buddy.”