There has been much speculation over the years regarding the origin of Bert and Ernie's names, ever since the program first aired. Many fans are convinced that the two derived their names from characters in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life...Bert the policeman and Ernie the cabbie. The media has helped to reinforce this urban legend, and a scene from Elmo Saves Christmas shows the two muppets reacting to a Capra excerpt that mentions both theirnames...lending yet more creedence to the rumors. But the fact of the matter is, Jim Henson and other originalSesame Streetwriters have gone on record denying any connection to the classic film. They gave their prototype muppets names that seemed to fit their looks...anything beyond thatwas simply coincidence.