Ernest himself may have never struck oil or taken up karate or managed a traveling carnival, but dedicated Ernest fans have probably noticed a whole lot of characters over the years that sure look or sound a lot like Ernest. Actor Jim Varney carried the Ernest franchise for well over a decade, but during the long spanning era of Ernest success, Varney tackled a variety of other roles, resulting in ranging success. Though no character ever garnered nearly the same widespread following or longevity Varney experienced as Ernest, the B-side of his career was very productive as well. Here’s a look at a few of Varney’s most prominent performances that are in no way connected to his most popular role.
- Slinky Dog Toy Story (1995): While Varney didn’t play protagonist Woody or second lead Buzz Lightyear, Varney’s character Slinky Dog became one of the most beloved background characters the successful movie franchise has seen. Slinky Dog’s southern accent plays right into Varner’s wheelhouse as he portrays Woody’s checkers opponent, trusted ally and one of the few toys to believe Woody knocking Buzz out the window was truly an accident.
- Slinky Dog Toy Story 2 (1999): Varney reprises his role as Slinky Dog in Toy Story’s equally successful sequel. Slinky Dog remains one of the most prominently featured toys, again using his unique design to help the group out of pending trouble or danger. Slinky Dog appears in all three Toy Story films, though unfortunately Varney was not around to take part in the final film.
- Jed Clampett Beverly Hillbillies (1993): When the popular TV series transitioned to the silver screen, Varney was a natural choice for Jed Clampett due to his southern roots and undisputed success masquerading as a lovable backwoods character. (more…)