Hey Vern, It's Ernest!

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Hey Vern, It's Ernest!
Hey Vern, It's Ernest!.jpg
Directed byJohn R. Cherry III
Coke Sams
StarringJim Varney
Gailard Sartain
Bruce Arntson
Mac Bennett
Daniel Butler
Bill Byrge
Debi Derryberry
Mark Goldman
Denice Hicks
Jackie Welch
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producer(s)John R. Cherry III
Andy Heyward
Robby London
Producer(s)Coke Sams
Stacy Williams
Running time18–22 minutes
(Not including commercials)
Production company(s)Emshell Producers Group
DIC Entertainment, L.P.
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 17 – December 24, 1988

Hey Vern, It's Ernest! is an American children's television program. It aired on Saturday mornings on CBS for one season in 1988. Each episode involved short sketches on a certain theme or scenario, featuring Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney), his unseen friend Vern, and various others. The filming locations were in Nashville, Tennessee and Burbank, California. It was a production of Ernest creator John Cherry's production company, The Emshell Producers' Group, in association with CBS, and was distributed by DIC Entertainment. The series was later rerun on The Family Channel in the early 1990s.


Actor Role
Jim Varney Ernest P. Worrell, Auntie Nelda, Dr. Otto, Sergeant Glory, Baby Ernest, Astor Clement
Gailard Sartain Chuck, Lonnie Don, Matt Finish
Bruce Arntson Existo the Magician, Mike the Clown, Bill, various singers
Mac Bennett Mac
Daniel Butler Willie the Homemade Robot, Earl the Barber, Ernest's Tongue
Bill Byrge Bobby
Debi Derryberry Skeeter, various
Mark Goldman Eddie, various
Denice Hicks Mrs. Clown, various singers
Jackie Welch Mrs. Simon Simmons, Coo, various singers

Recurring sketches and characters[edit]

  • Lonnie Don's School of Hollywood Sound Effects: A fictional sound effects wizard demonstrates how to make a sound from one of his movies. The procedure is always the same: he places the meaty part of his hand over his mouth and blows a raspberry.
  • Haircut: Ernest walks into Earl the Barber's shop and asks him to make him look like a "Wall Street tycoon." However, the barber always misunderstands him, and instead fanatically styles his hair into something that rhymes with the word "tycoon" (e.g., a "baby baboon," a "clock set on noon," "large feet in a cartoon," a "deadbeat raccoon", etc.) Whatever the hairstyle, Ernest initially is aghast, but then stares at it thoughtfully in the mirror and says, "It could work."
  • Sergeant Glory: Varney plays a fast-talking military Sergeant teaching a class of recruits about the subject of the day. He gives them two rules to remember, the second of which is almost always "Obey all rules." The character originated in an ad for Purity milk a short while before the character of Ernest was created. (In "Hobbies," the rules were both "They seldom stand.")
  • My Father the Clown: A spoof on family-friendly sitcoms which featured a professional clown, his stay-at-home wife, and two kids: an aspiring clown (Skeeter) and his straight-laced brother (Eddie) who is routinely the victim of the antics.
  • Existo the Magician: A clumsy magician who stumbles over his words, and attempts to perform tricks that always go awry. He is absent in the episode "Food".
  • Matt Finish: A self-described "photographer at large" who loves taking pictures of everything. His name is a pun on matte finish, a type of non-glossy photo paper.
  • Mrs. Simon Simmons' Mind Your Manners: A spoof of Emily Post, Mrs. Simon Simmons teaches the ways of proper etiquette, but in many cases, breaks other norms of social protocol in the process. She is absent in the episode "Pets", "Food", and "School".
  • Ernest's Tongue: Ernest's tongue talks about certain tongue related things and gets sprayed with different kinds of food.
  • Mac and George: Mac and his "roommate" George, an Iguana who supposedly can do many of the same things a person can.
  • Chuck and Bobby: Chuck and his brother Bobby (who rarely speaks), get themselves into various adventures. These two characters made appearances together in Ernest Saves Christmas as the Orlando Airport's storage agents and Ernest Goes to Jail as security guards for a bank while Bobby made an appearance with his younger brother, Tom in Ernest Scared Stupid. Bobby's final film appearance was in Ernest Goes to School.
  • Willie the Robot: A homemade robot with a bucket head and a '70s "Have a nice day" Smiley face. Originally appeared in Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam.
  • Baby Ernest: Ernest as a baby would talk about a situation involving his parents and end by saying "Boy, grownups sure talk funny. KnowhatImean?"
  • Woody: A ventriloquist dummy who looks like Ernest.
  • Dust Bunny: A dusty rabbit, named after dust bunnies, who appears to live under dusty furniture, and always gets in and out of the picture by sneezing.
  • Dr. Otto: The main character from Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam would sometimes be featured in his lab creating new things. When he feels he has a great idea, he would sometimes exclaim "Viola!" ("Voila!") or "Eureka, California!" ("Eureka!")
  • Bill and Coo: A country music duo who sing sad but funny songs. They only appeared in two episodes, "Pets" and "School."


Title Original air date
1"Hey Vern, It's Outer Space"September 17, 1988 (1988-09-17)
Ernest tries to get rid of a strange, bomb-like device that he thinks is an alien weapon which eventually turns out to be Doctor Otto's toaster.
2"Hey Vern, It's Clothing"September 24, 1988 (1988-09-24)
Ernest and Vern throw a costume party for their neighbors, but Ernest can't decide what to go as. He decides to be a chicken and invites everyone in the neighborhood, but Auntie Nelda calls the police to arrest Ernest for playing loud music.
3"Hey Vern, It's Scary Things"October 1, 1988 (1988-10-01)
After reading a ghost story, Ernest braves the dark corners of Vern's house in search of the Boogeyman and tries to catch it.
4"Hey Vern, It's Movies"October 8, 1988 (1988-10-08)
Ernest enters a home movie contest.
5"Hey Vern, It's Magic"October 15, 1988 (1988-10-15)
Ernest makes Vern's dog Shorty disappear... and can't bring him back! Ernest later falls into the magic box while searching for Shorty, but the missing dog does eventually show up to him.
6"Hey Vern, It's Sports"October 22, 1988 (1988-10-22)
"Ernest the Furnace" makes the mistake of challenging the pro wrestler "Chainsaw Chester" to a match.
7"Hey Vern, It's Pets"October 29, 1988 (1988-10-29)
Ernest opens a pet day care center in Vern's house in order to save up $100.00 for his own puppy.
8"Hey Vern, It's Hobbies"November 5, 1988 (1988-11-05)
Ernest tries to help Vern capture the rare Orange Honey-Woney butterfly for his collection.
9"Hey Vern, It's Food"November 12, 1988 (1988-11-12)
Ernest enters the town bake off with his grandmother's blue ribbon surprise recipe.
10"Hey Vern, It's Holidays"December 3, 1988 (1988-12-03)
Ernest sets the world record for celebrating every major holiday of the year in one day. The final holiday is Vern's birthday.
11"Hey Vern, It's School"December 10, 1988 (1988-12-10)
Ernest tries to finish his classes in school in order to earn a flashy wrist watch.
12"Hey Vern, It's Lost & Found"December 17, 1988 (1988-12-17)
Ernest searches for a treasure that is buried under Vern's house.
13"Hey Vern, It's Talent"December 24, 1988 (1988-12-24)
Ernest enters the neighborhood talent show, but what is his hidden talent?


Various episodes were released on home video—some on DIC Entertainment's own label—in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

DIC streamed several episodes for free viewing on their KEWL Cartoons website until KewlCartoons became Jaroo.

Mill Creek Entertainment released a two-disc DVD set containing all thirteen episodes on January 18, 2011.[1] This release has been discontinued and is out of print.

On February 7, 2017, Mill Creek re-released the complete series set on DVD.[2]


Year Award Category Recipient
1989 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series[3] Jim Varney
Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Title Design Joel Anderson and Barbara Laszewski


  1. ^ Lambert, David (November 19, 2010). "Hey, Vern, It's Ernest! - Mill Creek's Bringin' Out a DVD That a BUNCH of You Wanted! Y'KnowWhatImean?". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Looking for 'The Complete Series' on DVD? It's Coming Back! Archived 2016-12-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Dubois, Stephanie (July 8, 1989). "Jim Varney Hopes Cards And Letters Keep Pouring In To Save Poor Ernest". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-06.

External links[edit]