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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.

      http://ernestpworrell.wikia.com/wiki/Jim_Varney

      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:

      A bit of an unusual request. In my time online, I've come across
      information stating that Ernest P. Worrell, the character from the Ernest
      movies, made a series of commercials for Blake's in the nineties. Other
      than a few sentences on the wiki sites, I haven't been able to find out
      any more about them, let alone a copy of any of them.
      Are they sites accurate about that, and if so, is there a chance the
      advertisements still exist somewhere?


      Their director of marketing got back to me the very next day.

      Hello- This is true…. If you can find copies of them, I would LOVE to know- because I don’t have them in our archives and would love to hear them!!!

      Lucy


      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.



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          Zackary Kershaw
          a week ago

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          update: I heard from the redditor who might have them on VHS somewhere! apparently he actually produced them for the ad company that Blake's hired,

          I actually produced them as i worked for Blake’s ad agency. I will sear h around my house and see it i can find some old VHS copies...

          If that lead doesn't pan out, next step is reaching out to Cherry Syndication and John R. Cherry III. I'd hope that they'd have all the footage somewhere safely archived away, but who knows. These tapes must exist somewhere.


          I'm turning into a Z-List Tom Arnold...


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              Zackary Kershaw
              2 weeks ago

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              He didn't live to get really old at all. Born in 49 and died in 2000. According to my math that is a life span of 51 years.

              You know what Vern? We all got to see his commercials, here in the south that is. They weren't just in Nashville and New Mexico. You know what I mean Vern? Vern, you hear me?

              Another thing, when I think of his character name (Ernest P.) --and no I haven't seen any of his movies-- I am reminded of the Earnest T. character from the Andy Griffith show. I wonder, Vern, if he was inspired by that character and show from his childhood.


              Sorry, I can't help you on your search for the missing Blake Lotaburger's missing ads. Know whatamean?



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                  2 weeks ago

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                  Let us take a break from the arguments to appreciate Ernest!


                  Love it when there's common ground to be found.


                  I was so sad when Jim Varney passed away, I was nine. Still getting used to at the time the idea that people sometimes just up anr died.

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