Ernest P. Worrell, the yokel character that Jim Varney and producer-director John P. Cherry developed as a spokesman for local Nashville retailers, went national in a series of low-IQ comedies for Disney. The third one had taxi driver Ernest chauffeuring “his big red oneness, the Claus” (Douglas Seale), on a mission to find a replacement Santa. This allows Ernest to rhapsodize about everything from carols to Christmas trees: “You can keep your Chanel Number 5, just give me a whiff of the old lonesome pine.” Only marginally insufferable, the Ernest movie is included here as a big-screen example of the TV-sitcom tendency to go broad and sappy with a token Yuletide show each December. These episodes try to tickle you with seasonal cynicism and mistletoe jokes, and then, around minute 22, they hit you with piety in your face. Know-whut-ah-mean?
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