#7 – Countdown to Christmas: ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS

I hope all of our readers are getting in the holiday spirit – our countdown is winding right down!  For today’s installment, I pay tribute to 1988’s classic comedy, Ernest Saves Christmas. As I’m sure you all agree, the collection of Ernest movies are the top-tier of incredible film making.  His characters are unforgettable, his facial expressions are laughable, and they exhibit the ultimate in story-telling and delivery.  Know what I mean, Vern?

In Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest must – you guessed it – save Christmas.  Santa Claus is getting on in years and must pass down his profession to Joe, who Santa has chosen to carry on the torch.  However, when Joe is reluctant to believe and his lazy-eyed agent is annoyed by his presence, Santa is thrown in jail and must save Christmas – with the help of Ernest P. Worrell, of course.

Now, if it’s one thing Ernest can do, it is impersonate bizarre characters, and this film is replete with them.  His seedy congressman character springs Santa out of jail.  His dentally-challenged back country snake farmer gets Santa into a closed movie set to speak with Joe.  And who can forget the curmudgeon old woman with the neck brace – my personal favorite.

In the end, Joe embraces the magic of Christmas and steps up to be the new Santa Claus.  Ernest saves Christmas, it snows in Florida, and Santa can get back to being the Sultan of Agrabah.  It truly is a Christmas miracle!

I submit that if you do not find the character of Ernest enjoyable, you are either lacking a sense of humor or you were born without a childhood.  These movies are freaking hilarious.  Good for the whole family to enjoy.  Plus, as adults, we can make a nice drinking game and take a shot every time Ernest says, “Know what I mean?”

Ernest embodies everything great that the 80s had to offer, right down to his styling wardrobe.  Jim Varney (may he rest in peace) is like so many other great artists – his brilliance was never fully appreciated.  I won’t say he was type-cast, at least not to his relatives, but found a niche as one character and one character only, and played the shit out of it.  I have to give him major respect for that.

2/5 Snoopies, Vern!


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