Ernest P. Worrell

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Ernest Powertools Worrell is a fictional character portrayed by the late Jim Varney. Ernest was created by the Nashville advertising agency Carden & Cherry and was used in various local television ad campaigns.[1]

Ernest, almost always dressed in a denim vest and baseball cap, appeared at the door of an unseen and unheard, but seemingly unwilling, next door neighbor named Vern. The spots were structured in a way to allow the viewer to be "Vern" as Varney looked directly at the camera whenever Vern was addressed. Ernest's seemingly pointless conversations with Vern – which were actually a monologue due to Vern never responding – inevitably rambled around to a favorable description of the sponsor's product, followed by his signature close, "KnowhutImean?"[2] While Vern is never shown to ever say anything, it is implied that he finds Ernest to be an unwelcome pest due to him trying to slam his door in Ernest's face on a few occasions. Vern also shakes his head no whenever Ernest invites him to do something. Despite having good intentions, Ernest is utterly oblivious to Vern's apparent distress regarding him and always regards Vern as his closest friend and confidant.

Box office[change | change source]

Movie Release date Box office revenue Reference
Ernest Goes to Camp May 22, 1987 $23,509,382 [3]
Ernest Saves Christmas November 11, 1988 $28,202,109 [3]
Ernest Goes to Jail April 6, 1990 $25,029,569 [3]
Ernest Scared Stupid October 11, 1991 $14,143,280 [3]
Ernest Rides Again November 12, 1993 $1,450,029 [3]

Recurring cast[change | change source]

Actor Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam Ernest Goes to Camp Hey Vern, It's Ernest! Ernest Saves Christmas Ernest Goes to Jail Ernest Scared Stupid Ernest Rides Again Ernest Goes to School Slam Dunk Ernest Ernest Goes to Africa Ernest in the Army
Jim Varney
(Ernest P. Worrell)
Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Gailard Sartain
(as Chuck)
Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN
Bill Byrge
(as Bobby)
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Jackie Welch
(as Various)
Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN
Daniel Butler
(as Various)
Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN
Linda Kash
(as Various)
Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN
John R. Cherry III
(as Various)
Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY

Parodies[change | change source]

Ernest has been parodied in numerous television series, including Beavis and Butt-Head, Family Guy, and The Simpsons.

Some of the "fake" Ernest movies from The Simpsons include Ernest Needs a Kidney, Ernest vs. the Pope, Ernest Goes to Broadway, Ernest Goes Straight to Video, and Ernest Goes Somewhere Cheap.

In the Beavis and Butt-Head episode "At the Movies," the boys are watching Ernest at the drive-in. Ernest is inside the Statue of Liberty and comes across a door with a sign that reads "DO NOT ENTER." However, Ernest misreads it as "donut entry" and opens the door, falling through the statue's nose.

Others that have referenced the Ernest movies include ALF, Saved by the Bell, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Kenan & Kel, The Nanny, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Teen Titans Go, and many more.

Commercials on home video[change | change source]

Most of Ernest's commercials were released on VHS tapes from Disney's Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures Home Video. Many are also available on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment and Image Entertainment.

Merchandise[change | change source]

In 1986, a paperback book "The Ernest P. Worrell Book of Knawledge" (sic) was published by Camden and Cherry. In 1989, a 16" Ernest talking doll was produced by Kenner.

Reboot[change | change source]

In October 2012, a movie reboot tentatively titled Son of Ernest was announced. As suggested by the title, the movie will focus on Ernest's long lost son, presumably Ernie P. Worrell (as mentioned above).[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Kalafut, Kathy (1990-04-13). "Hey Vern, I'm a star". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  2. "Actor Jim "Ernest" Varney dies at 50". Salon. Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Ernest Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  4. Anderton (2012-10-12). "Son of Ernest to serve as reboot of long running comedy series". FirstShowing.net.[permanent dead link]