The "P" Stands for Powertools
Ernest was a character born in the 80's, who was portrayed by Jim Varney that started out in regional ad campaigns for businesses like auto dealers, dairy products, theme parks, and soda brands. I somehow got into an Ernest kick earlier this year and started looking into his body of work especially after watching the extremely discombobulated TV show that has a bunch of his characters and actors that worked on a bunch of other Ernest films and videos. The repertoire of characters he developed is so extensive, that Jim Varney has been said to be the "Tyler Perry of the 1980's".
Most people know Ernest by movies like Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Scared Stupid. He is also featured several other films released from 1986 to 1998, a short-lived Emmy winning TV show, and other wacky video compilations from his ads and sketches. Almost all the work Jim Varney did as Ernest was directed by John Cherry III, who was an owner/exec of the advertising agency that came up with the character.
I'll kick-off the thread with an early interview (Good Morning America, 1984) with Jim Varney, that is really interesting to see how different (gentile) he acts here than we are used to.