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Guide to the Jim Varney Collection of Advertising, 1983-2000

Abstract

Jim Varney was an actor who played the character Ernest P. Worrell in commercials, a television series (Hey Vern! It's Ernest), and numerous movies. These materials were collected and donated by Roy Lightner.

The collection (2009-0119) (100 items; 2.1 lin. ft.; dated 1983-2000) includes videotapes of Ernest films; audiocassettes of commericals; advertising kits used to pitch Ernest as a spokesman for local markets; Ernest memorabilia, including t-shirts, movie posters, buttons, a towel, and a doll; and other miscellaneous marketing tools used by the Carden and Cherry Advertising Agency. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Title
Jim Varney Collection of Advertising 1983-2000
Creator
Carden and Cherry Advertising Agency, Inc.
Language of Material
English
Extent
2.1 Linear Feet, 100 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The materials in this collection include 18 videotapes of various Ernest films; two audiotapes of Ernest pitches; five Ernest posters; t-shirts, a doll, a license plate, and other Ernest memorabilia and merchandising products; articles and other publicity materials; advertising kits from the Carden and Cherry Advertising Agency; testimonials from Ernest clients; and personal photographs from collector Roy Lightner with Jim Varney.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

The collection (2009-0119) (100 items; 2.1 lin. ft.; dated 1983-2000) includes videotapes of Ernest films; audiocassettes of commericals; advertising kits used to pitch Ernest as a spokesman for local markets; Ernest memorabilia, including t-shirts, movie posters, buttons, a towel, and a doll; and other miscellaneous marketing tools used by the Carden and Cherry Advertising Agency.

Sales pitch portfolio
Box 1
Sales kit
Box 1
Roy Lightner family photographs with Ernest
Box 1
Newspaper advertisements
Box 1
Television spot scripts, 1985-1986
Box 1
National publicity; articles about Varney
Box 1
Local publicity, 1984-1994
Box 1
Advertising photographs with products
Box 1
News reports and obituaries, 1999-2000
Box 1
Autographed photographs
Box 1
Stickers
Box 1
Greeting cards
Box 1
Mask
Box 1
Ornament
Box 1
Beach towel
Box 1
Client testimonials
Box 1
Ernest Goes to Africa
Box 1
Ernest Greatest Hits, Vol. 1-2
Box 1
Ernest Scared Stupid
Box 1
Ernest Goes to Jail
Box 1
Ernest Goes to Camp
Box 1
Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam
Box 1
Hey Vern! It's my Family Album and Ernest 'n Vern's Greatest TV Hits, 1983
Box 1
The Ernest Film Festival: 101 Ernest and Vern Commercials and Bloopers, 1986
Box 1
Hey Vern! It's Ernest! School Daze
Box 1
Hey Vern! It's Ernest! Holidays
Box 1
Hey Vern! It's Ernest! Sports
Box 1
Hey Vern! It's Ernest! Scary Things
Box 1
Ernest in the Army
Box 1
Ernest Rides Again
Box 1
Ernest Goes to School
Box 1
Hey Vern! Win 10,000...Or Just Count on Having Fun!, 1987
Box 1
Ernest P. Worrell news interviews, 1989
Box 1
Ernest/Sprite Sales Rally, 1986
Box 1
Ernest demo reel: Dairies, TV, 1985
Box 1
Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam
Box 2
Ernest Goes to Jail
Box 2
Ernest Saves Christmas
Box 2
Do I look like I have stupid written all over my face?
Box 2
KnowhutImean?
Box 2
Ernest doll
Box 3
Ernest t-shirts (3)
Box 3

Historical Note

Jim Varney was an actor most famous for his portrayal of Ernest P. Worrell, a creation of the Carden and Cherry Advertising Agency in 1980. Ernest served as a spokesman for local markets on both radio and television: his commercials typically consisted of him encouraging his neighbor, Vern, to use whatever product the sponsor sold in that particular market. Clients varied, but included dairies, gasoline, local television stations, and car dealerships. Ernest was so well-received that a television series (Hey Vern! It's Ernest) and a series of movies were produced between 1987 and 1998. Varney died of lung cancer in 2000.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jim Varney Collection of Advertising, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Jim Varney Collection of Advertising was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Roy Lightner in 2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, April 2009

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, April 2009

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.