Dec 18 10
Now over 10 years after actor Jim Varney‘s passing, soon to be 11 this coming February, what better way to celebrate the man’s lifetime achievement than rereleasing the stories of his most prolific character, Ernest P. Worrell, in one comprehensive compilation. Unfortunately, as of now, no such box set is on the market. Though many Ernest favorites are still available for purchase, mostly online, as time has pushed demand back relative to newer children’s releases, DVDs are increasingly hard to come by.A re-released commemorative box set would help to ensure Varney’s timeless character continues on for another generation, as many adults who are now beginning to have children once enjoyed the antics of Ernest growing up. At the very least, all nine full length Ernest films should be packaged together and available for purchase, in chronological order, Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Scared Stupid, Ernest Rides Again, Ernest Goes to School, Slam Dunk Ernest, Ernest Goes to Africa, and Ernest in the Army.True fans would agree, however, the movies alone don’t do the collective body of work justice. Adding more layers to the Ernest persona are 13 episodes of the television show, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest, and seemingly countless television commercials from which Ernest was born, possibly included as part of a special features disc, not to mention a complementary copy of It’s the Ernest P. Worrell Book of Knawledge, written by Jim Varney in character as Ernest P. Worrell, arguably the greatest insight on record into the mind of the hilarious hillbilly.Perhaps the most complete Ernest collection to date is the 2-disc Essential Ernest featuring Ernest Goes to Africa, Ernest’s Greatest Hits I & II, Ernest in the Army, Hey Vern! It’s My Family Album and Your World As I See It. While it’s nice to see Ernest material bundled together, Essential Ernest focuses primarily on Varney’s latter work as Ernest, omitting the gems that endeared the character to the hearts of millions. Since the 10-year mark was either missed or ignored by studio execs, hopefully the 15 year anniversary will finally bring about the posthumous praise and tribute Varney rightfully deserves.