Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hey Vern, It's Ernest!: The Complete Series

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hey Vern, It's Ernest!: The Complete Series - 3 out of 5

I actually watched this a couple of months ago after it was released on DVD but never made a blog with my thoughts on the Ernest P. Worrell children's program that only ran for one season in 1988. I really don't have an excuse why I didn't write about it but I can make one up right now! I was...um...abducted by aliens that...um...made me watch Jersey Shore so I would become an imbecile while they probed me (all alien abduction stories have to have some probing...mine was a light probing). After that, they took me to the arcade where we played some Dance, Dance Revolution before we turned in for the night to re-watch Hey Vern, It's Ernest!: The Complete Series. Honestly, that really happened.

Okay, all that stupid nonsense aside, I'm a fan of Ernest and Jim Varney in general (rest in peace). As a kid, I watched this show and grew up watching all the Ernest movies--I even went trick or treating as Ernest one year for Halloween (something I should do again, me thinks). So, naturally, when I heard his old show was released on DVD, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. However, Netflix doesn't have it and neither does my library. Granted the series is only 10 bucks on Amazon.com but I get paid on a comedian's salary (and that ain't much) and I can't afford 10 dollars on a DVD collection. But thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that all the episodes were uploaded to YouTube. Yep, that's right, over the course of a few weeks, I watched all 13 episodes of Hey Vern, It's Ernest! on the internet.

As I sat in the glow of my computer monitor, warm feelings of times gone past began to fill my heart and I was once again a child repeating, "KnowwhatImean?" As an adult, I realize that each episode follows a very specific formula (although as a child, it would be hard to pick out the recipe among the seemingly chaotic show). Each episode feels like a Mad Lib and all the jokes are very predictable and come at very consistent times. However, the innocence of this show and the great character of Ernest is what truly makes it fun to watch. Not to mention that Jim Varney brings his other great characters to the show including Dr. Otto and Sergeant Glory (a character that actually pre-dates Ernest).

At its heart, Hey Vern, It's Ernest! was just a simple kid's show that had more emphasis on entertaining and making smiles than educating youthful minds. So, although it's not quite up to par with the likes of Sesame Street, Jim Varney did a great job creating a fun and innocent show that parents could enjoy with their kids. Which is why it is such a shame it only lasted a single season. However, thanks to its release on DVD (or being put on YouTube, in my case) it's still there to enjoy for other generations!

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