Jim Varney's early "viral" fame

Growing up with the television serving as my window to the world, babysitter, best friend, and Senesi, my memory of 90s nostalgia is pretty rock solid. This isn't uncommon for Millennials. We were the first true generation of "indoor kids" that had to be coaxed out of the house to go play. We didn't require much of a push out the door, but we did need one. Consequently, an unreasonable amount of commercials and jingles clutter my mind like discarded plastic in the ocean. One of the commercials I can't stop recalling belongs to those incessant ads for Ernest VHS tapes. 

Since I never actually saw an Ernest VHS, I needed to figure out who he was and why his series of videos were so popular. In the video linked above, the brilliant YouTube channel Hats Off Entertainment helped me learn about Jim Varney and why he could be considered one of the first true viral stars. I like to think that designation goes to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Spirit of Christmas, but, hey, different strokes for different folks.