Hey Vern, It's Ernest!

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Hey Vern, It's Ernest!
Hey Vern, It's Ernest!.jpg
Genre Family-oriented
Directed by John R. Cherry III
Coke Sams
Starring Jim Varney
Gailard Sartain
Bruce Arntson
Mac Bennett
Daniel Butler
Bill Byrge
Debi Derryberry
Mark Goldman
Denice Hicks
Jackie Welch
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) John R. Cherry III
Andy Heyward
Robby London
Producer(s) Coke Sams
Stacy Williams
Running time 18-22 minutes
(Not including commercials)
Production company(s) Emshell Producers Group
DIC Entertainment, L.P.
Original network CBS
Original release September 17, 1988 – 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 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 an aloof, 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.
  • 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.
  • Ernest's Tongue: Ernest's tongue 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.
  • 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.
  • Bill and Coo: A country music duo who sing sad but funny songs. They only appeared in two episodes, "Pets" and "School."


No. Title Original air date
1 "Hey Vern, It's Outer Space" September 17, 1988
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
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
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
Ernest enters a home movie contest.
5 "Hey Vern, It's Magic" October 15, 1988
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
"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
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
Ernest tries to help Vern capture the rare Orange Honey-Woney butterfly for his collection.
9 "Hey Vern, It's Food" November 12, 1988
Ernest enters the town bake off with his grandmother's blue ribbon surprise recipe.
10 "Hey Vern, It's Holidays" December 3, 1988
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
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
Ernest searches for a treasure that is buried under Vern's house.
13 "Hey Vern, It's Talent" December 24, 1988
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]


Year Award Category Recipient
1989 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series[2] 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. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ Dubois, Stephanie (July 8, 1989). "Jim Varney Hopes Cards And Letters Keep Pouring In To Save Poor Ernest". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 

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