As a child, he displayed the ability to memorize long poems and significant portions of the material from books, which he used to entertain family and friends. I started to do a study on how not to do stand-up comedy. As a kid, anything that gave me nightmares I had to watch. His sisters and his niece and nephew Justin Lloyd were at his bed side when he died. It's part of the lease. Five more Ernest films were released independently, mainly for the video and television markets. Image Entertainment re-released them on June 5, 2012, as part of the DVD set Ernest's Wacky Adventures: Volume 1. In 1982, Varney co-hosted the syndicated Pop! , The character of Ernest became widely popular, and was the basis for a short-lived TV series, Hey Vern, It's Ernest! The character was franchised for use in markets all over the country and was often used by dairies to advertise milk products. From 1977 to 1979, Varney was cast as Seaman "Doom & Gloom" Broom in the television version of Operation Petticoat. Yeah, it's lonely work. However, as it became worse, Varney began noticing blood on his handkerchief. Just a bit to say I did a classic. I try to make him clownish and I don't want him too low key; and he's physically funny. As Evan Earp, Varney played a con man/mechanical-inventor "genius," constantly getting himself into comedic trouble, with those around him ready to lynch him. Varney portrayed Ernest in a series of commercials for Convenient Food Mart during the 1980s. On how fortunate he was to play Ernest. From 1983 to 1984, Varney played heartthrob Chad Everett's younger brother Evan Earp in the comedy-drama, high-action television series The Rousters, created by Stephen J. Cannell, about the descendants of Wyatt Earp, a family of bounty hunters/carnival bouncers. In one, he is seen kneeling down in front of Vern's desk under a lamp hanging from the ceiling, stating, "Natural gas, Vern; it's hot, fast, and cheap. Ernest would address the camera as if it were Vern. You sign a lease that says, I will write country songs and pay my rent on time. He also played a rebel in the midnight movie Existo, as well as an old mariner in a low-budget horror film, Blood, Friends, and Money. He was said to be occasionally exasperated with fans who met him and assumed he was exactly like the Worrell character he portrayed. A winning American stage, TV and film actor was James Albert Varney Jr., a “daytime Emmy Winner.”. He also portrayed "Auntie Nelda" in numerous commercials; dressed in drag and appearing to be a senior citizen, the commercials gave off the tone of "Auntie Nelda" as a motherly lady encouraging one to do what was right (in this case, buy whatever product was being promoted). According to an interview, one of his final projects was writing a screenplay about the legendary feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, stating that his grandfather hunted squirrel with the McCoys. they're real hard to light, and you have to carry that big torch around. I like to sing. Although the appearance of a son would suggest that, at one point in time, one of the world’s goofiest cinematic characters engaged in some sort of odd sexual activity, that’s not stopping creator John Cherry from heading back to the … Neither union resulted in children. He's abrasive, but he doesn't mean to be. He listed a former teacher, Thelma Beeler, as being a mentor in his becoming an actor. Publicity Listings | In another spot, Sgt. The show had just had a major overhaul and ended shortly afterward. James Albert Varney, Jr. was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nancy Louise (Howard) and James Albert Varney, Sr. He later played a small role in the 1995 action film The Expert as a weapons dealer named Snake. These aired mainly in Tennessee, parts of Mississippi, and Ohio, where Kroger chains are predominate. level. You have to if you're in Nashville. Hot, fast, cheap; kinda like your first wife, Vern, you know, the pretty one!?" His specialty was character comedy: he would impersonate numerous characters with elaborate backstories, many of which would find their way into his later films and television commercials. He died of lung cancer in 2000, leaving two posthumous releases of Daddy and Them and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. One of Varney's final films was Billy Bob Thornton's Daddy and Them, in which he played Uncle Hazel, who had been arrested for murder. In addition to his Ernest Goes to... series, he starred as Ernest in several smaller movies for John R. Cherry III, such as Knowhutimean? At age 15 he played Ebeneezer Scrooge in a local children's theater production of "A Christmas Carol", and by 17 was performing professionally … ", Varney also appeared in several Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Stores commercials throughout the 1980s. His mother discovered that Varney quickly began to imitate the cartoon characters, so she started him in children's theater when he was eight years old. Varney also lent his voice to Slinky Dog in Disney/Pixar's Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in the Toy Story series (he was replaced by Blake Clark in Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 after his death in 2000). Varney can be seen in Hank Williams Jr.'s video for "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight", in which he is briefly shown casually riding a bull being pulled on a rope by a young lady, and later in a swimming pool with two young ladies. The Walt Disney World Resort's Epcot theme park featured Ernest. In 1985, Varney co-hosted HBO's New Year's Eve special, along with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. If you lose, you lose big time. Just prior to his stint as Ernest, he was a cast member on the notorious television flop Pink Lady and Jeff. For some unknown reason he was not mentioned on the Toy Story 2 DVD Bonus Feature Segment: "Cast of Characters" despite the fact that he was Slinky Dog in the movie. Varney played numerous other characters, including "Cookie" Farnsworth, from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, released the year after his death (Steven Barr replaced Varney for the sequel Atlantis: Milo's Return), the carny character Cooder in the "Bart Carny" episode of The Simpsons, the character Walt Evergreen in the Duckman episode "You've Come a Wrong Way, Baby", Prince Carlos Charmaine (a royal suitor Jackie dates) for a few episodes of the final season of the 1990s television series Roseanne, and Lothar Zogg in the 1998 film 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, also starring Hulk Hogan and Loni Anderson. Son of Ernest is an upcoming reboot of Jim Varney's Ernest P. Worrell character. In 1978, Varney played Milo Skinner on the TV show Alice. As a child, he displayed excellent memorizing skills and also imitated cartoon characters from TV. Varney also starred as Jed Clampett in the 1993 production of The Beverly Hillbillies and played Rex, a carnival worker/associate of Dennis Quaid in Wilder Napalm. Another final guest appearance was the Bibleman Genesis series Bibleman Jr. Volume 1 & 2 as himself. In these commercials, Ernest typically would be trying to get into Vern's house to see what food Vern was eating. In 1976, Varney was a regular cast member of the television show Johnny Cash and Friends. If you win, you win big. became a national craze almost immediately, Jim worked in TV and film for more than a decade before his famous alter-ego hit the big screen in Ernest Goes to Camp (1987). [On making Ernest Scared Stupid] I loved it. Varney and the company usually played in the outdoor theater to audiences of only a few dozen people. He once jokingly threatened a long-haired apprentice, John Lino Ponzini, that he would take him up to Hazard, Kentucky, where "you [Ponzini] wouldn't make it down Main Street without the townsfolk giving you a crewcut"..