The film's trailer premiered on Jim's birthday.
An official documentary about actor and comedian Jim Varney is coming soon. The trailer for The Importance of Being Ernest premiered today on what would have been Varney's 71st birthday. Stream the clip below.
The documentary centers around one of Varney's most beloved characters - Ernest P. Worrell.
"I had already been thinking about an Ernest documentary, said Dave Pagano, filmmaker and co-host of Ernest Goes To Podcast. "It's the 40th anniversary of the character, it's 20 years since Jim's passing. It seems like a good time to explore what went on just off camera."
"We're on a mission to tell you who Jim Varney and Ernest really were," Daniel Butler added. Justin Lloyd, Varney's nephew and biographer, rounds out the trio that is bringing the film to fruition.
For more info, head over to BeingErnestFilm.com.
Jim Varney's Ernest character first appeared in Ernest Goes To Camp (1987). The film grossed $23 million domestically. In 1988, Varney brought the character to television in Hey Vern, It's Ernest! Although the series was short-lived, Varney won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Children's Series. From there, a franchise was born that would see seven more Ernest films.
Aside from the Ernest franchise, Varney most notably starred as Jed Clampett in the big screen version of The Beverly Hillbillies (1993). He voiced the character Slinky Dog in the acclaimed 1995 Disney/Pixar classic Toy Story. He reprised the role for Toy Story 2 in 1999. In 1998, Varney appeared in an episode of The Simpsons.
Varney died of lung cancer in 2000. A year later, the Disney animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released. Varney voiced the character Jebidiah Farnsworth, and it is his only posthumous credit.
The Toy Story franchise has produced two more films - Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019). Blake Clark (The Mask, The Waterboy, 50 First Dates) took over the role of Slinky Dog. He and Varney were reportedly good friends.