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Added by Geektacular on 24 Mar 2019 01:55
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Ernest P. Worrell: A Complete Viewing/Watch Order

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Ernest started as a commercial character created by an ad agency for regional businesses, such as dairies, car dealerships, gas companies, etc. This is a collection of commercials starring Ernest from the early-to-mid 1980s, when the character was still fairly new. (This is usually titled "Ernest's Greatest Hits Volume 1" in most current DVD releases.)
After Ernest became popular for his commercials in certain regional markets in the early 1980s, his ad agency aired this special in those markets to satiate Ernest fans in 1983. It's a collection of short vignettes where Jim Varney plays different relatives & ancestors of Ernest, each with their own amusing personality and story.
Ernest continued to be a popular character for advertisements, so this is a collection of commercials from the mid-to-late 1980s. Most of the commercials are from after "Family Album" was released, but before Ernest made the transition to starring in films.

(The comedic book "The Ernest P. Worrell Book of Knowledge" also came out around this time, first released in 1985. There was also an official "Ernest Fan Club" that could be joined via mail from approx. 1984-1987, which at one point reportedly had 30,000+ members. The club mailed out a regular comedic newsletter to its members titled "KnoWhutImean? News".)
While this sci-fi comedy film is only tangentially related to Ernest, he does in fact appear twice in the film: once at the beginning having been sold a mysterious shape-shifting machine, and once at the end as a shape-shifted disguise donned by the main villain. Jim Varney plays several characters including the main villain (Dr. Otto), and this is technically Ernest's first appearance in a full-length motion picture.

(Dr. Otto also re-appears in the 1988 Ernest television show, "Hey Vern, It's Ernest!")
People who added this item 233 Average listal rating (134 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.5
After two Disney executives personally witnessed the massive response that Ernest received as a regional guest star at the Disney-themed 1985 Indianapolis 500 Festival, they struck a deal to put Ernest on the big screen.

This was the first in a series of widely released theatrical Ernest films produced by Touchstone Pictures (owned by Disney), and it was both a critical and box office success.
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
After the popularity of "Ernest Goes to Camp", Ernest got his own Saturday morning children's television show on CBS for one season, which lead up to the release of his next film.

(This series actually won two Daytime Emmy Awards: "Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series" & "Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Title Design". Kenner also released the only Ernest toy ever based on this series, which was a 16" talking doll.)
People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.6
This is the second widely released theatrical Ernest film produced by Touchstone Pictures. It also enjoyed box office success, though it received less critical acclaim than "Ernest Goes to Camp".
Riding high on the success of his previous two films and his award-winning television show, Disney bestowed upon Ernest the honor of being the first person to ride "Spalsh Mountain", their new theme park attraction. This comedic 30-minute TV special featuring Ernest aired to commemorate the event in 1989.

(This TV special has never been officially released on home media, but it can be found online and on an unofficial DVD release.)
People who added this item 180 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.4
This is the third widely released theatrical Ernest film produced by Touchstone Pictures. Similar to "Ernest Saves Christmas", it wasn't a critical success, but it was a box office success.
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.7
This was the fourth and final widely released theatrical Ernest film produced by Touchstone Pictures. It grossed significantly less than the previous films at the box office and also received the worst critical reviews of all of the Ernest movies to date. As a result, Touchstone was not involved in any future Ernest projects.
People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 4.6 IMDB Rating 5
Released independently in theaters by the director's production company, Emshell Producers, this film lost money at the box office: having a budget of $7 million dollars but only making $1.4 million in ticket sales. As a result, this was the last Ernest film to be released in theaters.

(The comedic book "Ask Ernest: What, When, Where, Why, Who Cares?" also came out around this time, released in 1993.)
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.6
This was a direct-to-video collection of skits where Jim Varney showcases several different Ernest-related characters across a series of very short (30-60 second) skits. Each skit features a short introduction by the character "Astor Clement" (a pompous businessman played by Jim Varney), who laments the antics of "commonfolk" like Ernest.
People who added this item 84 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 3.7 IMDB Rating 4.7
This was the first direct-to-video full-length Ernest film.
People who added this item 54 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 3.6 IMDB Rating 4.6
This was the second direct-to-video full-length Ernest film.
People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 3.7 IMDB Rating 4.6
This was the third direct-to-video full-length Ernest film.
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 4.1 IMDB Rating 4.7
This was the fourth direct-to-video full-length Ernest film, and the final release in the Ernest franchise.

Jim Varney died from lung cancer two years later. (He is also known for several other non-Ernest roles over the years, including voicing "Slinky Dog" in Toy Story 1 and 2.)

This is a list of all of the specials & films featuring Ernest P. Worrell.

Buying Guide: Everything listed here (except the "Splash Mountain" TV special) can be found on a combination of DVD releases:

* The 10-disc "Best of Ernest" DVD boxset from 2012 is out-of-print now but can still be found new & used online for a reasonable price. (Due to its inclusion of several rare films, including "Dr. Otto", and the fact that each feature is on a separate DVD, this is a great release to start with...and it will get you most of the way to completing your Ernest collection.)

* You can then find 3 of the 4 Touchstone films on Blu-ray fairly easily ("Camp" & "Jail" are common both as standalone releases or on a combo Blu-ray disc, with "Scared Stupid" being slightly harder to find). You can get "Saves Christmas" on DVD by itself and the television series on a 2-disc DVD set, both of which are still in print. The "Splash Mountain" TV special has never been officially released on home media, but you can watch it online or find it on an unofficial DVD release, if desired.

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