Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
December 1, 2016 8:09 PM - Subscribe

Lovable bumbler Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) helps Santa Claus as he searches for his successor. Trailer.

This breezy, strictly seasonal caper derives the bulk of its humour by abruptly updating any cosy fireside notions of traditional Yuletide entertainment. Thus our sack-swinging senior citizen is plunged into the unfamiliar terrain of late 80s middle America when he alights at Orlando airport to announce his retirement and the need to find a replacement, and in so doing has much opportunity to observe the morality of modern life.
3 stars and 8+ from CommonSenseMedia, 38/41 on RT

hey, Vern! Everything's online, knowhatimean?

Jim Varney passed away in 2000.
posted by the man of twists and turns (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This was a surprisingly entertaining and sweet movie.
posted by davidmsc at 11:58 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

The "air brakes" line still makes me laugh every time I think about it.
posted by minsies at 6:03 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm an unapologetic Ernest fan, and this might be the best Ernest movie. So sweet and funny, and the only time Vern "appears" in an Ernest movie. Fellow Ernest nerds should check out Ernest Goes to Podcast .
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:34 AM on December 2, 2016

The scene where Varney tears all the wiring out of Vern's walls is genuinely, amazingly anarchic in a way movies don't seem to know how to do anymore.
posted by maxsparber at 8:28 PM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I do still sing "O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree ... o Christmas tree, o Christmas tree."
posted by RobotHero at 10:49 AM on December 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

This was better than I expected, but still so squarely aimed at people whose age can be noted with a single digit that seeing it for the first time as a grown-up, it didn't do a lot for me. My kid liked it, though.

One plot complaint: Joe doesn't decide to become Santa because he feels the Christmas love in his heart or even because he wants to choose something pure instead of the sleazy Christmas Slay; he chooses it because he sees the sleigh out the window and gets incontrovertible proof that the Santa thing is real and is thus a better job.

It would have been a better message for kids if he turned down the scummy movie with its swearing and violence because he was taking a moral stand... then stepped outside and was rewarded with the knowledge that Santa is real and that there is a better, more honorable job awaiting someone like him who still believes in what's good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:50 AM on December 9, 2016

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