Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!
Despite our fond memories, kids TV in the 80s wasn’t ALWAYS about cartoons. There were plenty of real people (well, real people paying dress-up) to entertain us, too.
We’ve already waxed poetically about Pee-wee’s Playhouse (the Christmas Special, anyway) and You Can’t Do That on Television, which means we’re now due to rocket you back down Memory Lane with our warm-fuzzy recollections of 1988’s Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!
Starring the late, great Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell, the show was a crazy amalgam of live-action sketches featuring dozens of different characters–– each one more nutty than the last.
From Earl the Barber to Matt Finish to Mrs. Simon Simmons and her manners tips, ol’ Ernest had plenty of compadres to kick around with. And Varney played plenty of other characters, too, including Baby Ernest, Dr. Otto, and our buddy Sergeant Glory.
Each show in Hey Vern‘s short run on CBS centered on a different theme (holidays, food, magic…) But to this day we still remember poor Ernest’s haircut (at the hands of Earl) that made him look like a hot air balloon. Not, as he asked, like a ‘wall street tycoon’ (8:49 of this clip):
Our good friend Ernest wasn’t long for the biz of TV shows, though. Despite the (relative) success of movies like 1986’s Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Saves Christmas and, of course, his enduring legacy as one of the 80s more popular TV pitchmen, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest! got the shaft after just 13 lil ol’ episodes.
That’s okay, Vern. We still love him, anyway.
We ♥ Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!