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As a kid, presumably like many kids that grew up in the eighties and nineties, I watched and loved the Ernest P. Worrell movies. Starring Jim Varney, with his inimitable slapstick humor, and just plain goofy face, Ernest is a character treasured by millions.
Before the movies, Ernest starred in a series of advertisements, the production was actually quite prolific, mainly in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Looking through YouTube at the ads that have been uploaded, there are compilations hours long, this is perhaps my favorite one. Not sure if it would fly today.
One of the things I do whenever I'm bored and online is lookup stuff, could be anything, whatever I want to know more about at that moment. A while back, I looked up Ernest, just to know more about the movies that I used to watch. In the Wiki sites, I found something interesting. On Wikipedia, this single sentence intrigued me: "In New Mexico, he appeared in commercials for Blake's Lotaburger."
My homestate! And a place I go that's got pretty damned good burgers, I didn't remember ever seeing any of these commercials. Presumably, I wasn't watching the type of TV that they'd run them on at the time. I had to know more, so I put my google-fu skills to work.
Unfortunately, there wasn't much more out there on the net. Another wiki site had a few more words, but not much else, and unfortunately, no references!
During the 1990s, he reprised his role as Ernest for Blake's Lotaburger, a fast food chain in New Mexico. In these commercials, Ernest typically would be trying to get into Vern's house to see what food Vern was eating. After a lengthy description of whatever tasty morsel Vern had, Ernest would get locked out but would continue to shout from outside.
There's this reference to it in a book called "Summer Winds", but again, no new information about it.
In my searching, I found this reddit thread about this very subject. redditors can be an amazing bunch, in good and bad ways, if it existed on the net, I'm sure they'd have the answer!
But alas, they had hit the same wall as me.
Well, I guess that's that. There was one person who said they might have it on old VHS tapes cause they worked for the ad agency, but the thread was dead and archived.
But no! Like I'd give up like that, now it's time for me to start digging.
I went to the Blake's site, and filled in the "contact us" form:
Their director of marketing got back to me the very next day.
So now, I have a mission. I must find these commercials. For Lucy.
I've got a couple leads, there's the redditor who claims to have worked for the advertising agency, and I am also going to try to get in touch with John Cherry III, the director responsible for much of the Ernest stuff that was shot.
James Albert "Jim" Varney (June 15, 1949 – February 10, 2000) portrayed Ernest P. Worrell, his family, and various characters in the franchise. Contents[show] Early life Varney was born James Albert Varney, Jr., the fourth child and only son of Louise (née Howard; January 14, 1913 – August 22, 1994) and James ....×