You never know, Bert, you never know
February 10, 2016 9:04 PM   Subscribe

For years my mom has said the phrase "you never know, Bert, you never know." It's usually a joking explanation for over-preparing, over-packing, or over-worrying (there's a lot of anxiety in my family). It presumably came from a Sesame Street scene between Ernie and Bert, and I'd love to know which one.

My dad said the phrase recently (which is weird, because I don't ever remember him saying it, and my parents have been divorced for a decade) and it made me wonder what scene it came from and what the exact context is. I can't find a clip on YouTube, or the quote on Google, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. It's also possible that we've mis-rememebered the scene or the phrase.

Stranger things have been identified in AskMe so I thought I'd throw it out to a hive. Anyone remember this, or better yet, have a clip?
posted by radioamy to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's the sketch described as "Newspaper Expedition" here, but it appears to be well and truly lost (I couldn't even find shady streaming sites that had episode 93). Maybe someone has torrented it?
posted by babelfish at 9:22 PM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is it this one, where Ernie is getting ready to take a bath? He gathers up soap, a towel, his rubber duckie, a flashlight, an umbrella, and Bert's bowling ball. When Bert asks him why he needs all those things, he says the flashlight is in case a fuse blows and the power goes out, the umbrella is in case it starts to rain, and the bowling ball is because "you never know when somebody's going to wander by and ask to borrow a bowling ball." Bert is exasperated and says it's completely silly and he can't borrow the bowling ball.

Of course, while Ernie is taking his bath, a fuse blows and the light goes out, there's a rainstorm in the bathroom, and the neighbour comes by and wants to borrow the bowling ball.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:23 PM on February 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, it's the newspaper expedition sketch, as described by several commenters on this YouTube video. One comment even quotes the phrase. I think this may be the sketch in German?
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 9:39 PM on February 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: You guys are awesome. That is definitely the sketch. My husband speaks German so he gave me a rough translation of that clip. Even in German Ernie says "you never know ".
posted by radioamy at 10:22 PM on February 10, 2016 [7 favorites]

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