When you talk about Jim Varney you’re definitely talking about a man that belonged to a different generation of kids that grew up watching him come on TV and speak the iconic line ‘KnowWhutImean Vern?”. This was one of the funniest guys of his era and to be quite serious he was also one of the most well-known since he’d show up in movies, TV spots, and anywhere that his face could be put and he was absolutely hilarious most of the time. He even showed up on the movie version of The Beverly Hillbillies and while the movie wasn’t all that great or well-regarded he was still his usual funny self. As a person that made his way across America staying at every KOA campground and having to watch Ernest Goes to Camp at just about every one of them, it’s fair to say that like many people I came to really care about the character and in doing so would be able pick out Varney anywhere. Sadly he passed away in 2000, but his legacy has been more or less secure ever since considering that the character is ridiculous and funny all at once.
Here are a few things we learned by watching the documentary.
5. This will be about Jim Varney off camera.
Jim had quite the life off screen since he started up in theater when he was just a kid. He had quite the career before his time as Ernest and he’s done several movies that weren’t Ernest-related, proving that he was definitely far more skilled than a lot of people gave him credit for. But one thing that a lot of people might not have known was that he was a chain-smoker and started feeling the effects of this close to the date he passed away. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer he did quit smoking but it was too late as his health was already starting to deteriorate. Hopefully though we’ll get to see a lot more about how he lived and the positive things he did.
4. A lot of people might be kind of surprised at what they find out about Jim.
Given that his time as Ernest was pretty much how a lot of people came to know him it’s likely that some of what the viewers will find out could be a surprise since the role kind of took up a good portion of his life in the 80s and 90s. There was a lot more to Jim than just the Ernest character and it’s likely that we’ll see that, but it does feel as though the documentary will focus on this as well and show people just who he was, what he did for others, and how his life was interesting enough to touch so many people while he was around.
3. It’s likely that the movies will get a good deal of coverage.
How could they not? There were more Ernest movies than people can possibly recall since a few of them went straight to video while a good number of them came out in the theater in their time. Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Scared Stupid, Ernest Saves Christmas, and Ernest Goes to Jail were pretty funny to a lot of people since these were out around the time when Jim was still able to cash in on the character and really entertain a bunch of people without as much effort. The jail movie did kind of make it feel as though things were on a downward trend though, as it didn’t appear to get quite as much attention for nearly as long.
2. Going back to the beginning when Jim started up the character of Ernest is bound to be interesting.
There are likely plenty of people that can recall when Ernest was a character you’d only see briefly in short clips here and there and on commercials since he hadn’t really been let off the leash yet. But once he was given freedom with the character and his own movies, Jim really let loose with the character and managed to make him into someone that people couldn’t help but like since he was funny, caring, and just the kind of goofus that a lot of people wanted to cheer for since he had great intentions but always managed to mess things up somehow.
1. The project is being overseen by Jim’s nephew and one of the writers for the Ernest movies.
Who better than people who were around him before he passed to tell his story? The great thing about this is that these individuals will be able to tell a definitive story of the man in a way that few others could since they had the privilege of having known Jim for a good number of years and can likely be trusted to give a good accounting of the man.
Who else can’t wait for this documentary to drop?