Ernest P. Worrell


Ernest P. Worrell is a fictional character that was portrayed by Jim Varney (1949 – 2000) in a series of television commercials, and later in a television series (‘Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!’) as well as a series of feature films. Ernest was created by a Nashville advertising agency for local television ad campaigns.

The first Ernest commercial, filmed in 1980, advertised an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Beech Bend Park, an amusement park near Bowling Green, Kentucky. The format of the commercials seldom varied. The rubber-faced Ernest, almost always dressed in a denim vest and baseball cap, appeared at the door of an unseen and unheard but seemingly unwilling neighbor named Vern.

The spots were structured in a way to allow the viewer to be ‘Vern,’ as Varney looked directly in 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?’

It is implied that Vern finds Ernest to be an unwelcome pest due to him trying to slam his door in his face on a few occasions. Vern also shakes his head ‘No’ whenever Ernest invites him to do something. Ernest, despite having good intentions, is utterly oblivious to Vern’s apparent distress and regards him as his closest buddy and confidant.


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