Lily Tomlin's Characters / Ernestine

"Hello, have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?"

Ernestine the "Phone Operator" on "Sesame Street". With creator Jim Henson.


Ernestine was a nosy, condescending telephone operator who generally treated customers with little sympathy. Ernestine often snorted when she let loose a barbed response or heard something salacious; she also wore her hair in a 1940s hairstyle with a hairnet, although the character was contemporary. In the sketches, Ernestine was usually at her switchboard taking calls in the sketches. She occasionally called her boyfriend, Vito, a telephone repair man, or her pal Phoenicia, another operator.

"We Don't Care, We Don't Have To"

Ernestine delivers a powerful commercial stance for Ma Bell.



"Mr. Veedle"

Ernestine seeks to collect on an overdue bill.



"Ernestine Gossips with Cher"

Ernestine cold calls Cher to vet her public stories.