May 27, 2011

The Original "Hey, Vern"

Remember Ernest and Vern, two TV commercial characters created by comedian Jim Varney, Jr. in 1980?  Varney would come on as "Ernest" and he would often be talking to "Vern," who remained off-camera.  The slogans "KnoWutIMean?" and "Hey,Vern...." took the country by storm.

My father and grandfather instantly became Ernest and Vern to the rest of us.  Well.  Not quite.  They became Vern and Vern.  Then, years later, my father's two sons-in-law became Verns also.  And even today it's not uncommon to hear "Hey, Vern" several times when we're all together.

"Hey, Vern..."

There were a few decades when Vern and Vern enjoyed tinkering with used cars.....
They'd buy a sweet southern car with no rust, play around with it, and finally drive it up north to sell it.  The Yankees LOVED those no-rust beauties (the cars, not the Verns) and occasionally, I'd benefit by driving the car for a few months before re-sale.

Before Vern and Vern moved south and expanded with 2 more Verns, they were working on one of my mom's old cars in grandpa's driveway.  Grandpa was in the driver's seat.  My dad was working behind the car.  Dad stood up and yelled around to Grandpa to back it up so he could check something.  Grandpa didn't wait for dad to get out of the way, he just threw it in reverse and hit the pedal.

"STOP!!" yelled my dad as the car rolled over his foot.  "Stop!  You ran over my foot!!"  Grandpa, in horror, threw the car back in drive and proceeded to run back over dad's foot.  KnowWutIMean?


mom said...

We've got so many "Vern's" in this family I never know who's talking about who! Does anyone in this family ever get called by their real name?

Marjorie said...

okay we should have discussed this in a family meeting as a child bc I have always wondered who Vern is.
I always thought it was just Papa's nickname.