Ernest Saves Christmas 

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

ernest saves Christmas movie

“Ernest Saves Christmas” is a comedy film released by Touchstone Pictures in 1988. Directed by John R. Cherry III, the movie stars Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell, a loveable but bumbling character known for his catchphrase, “Hey, Vern!”

The story centers around Santa Claus, portrayed by Douglas Seale, who is looking for a successor to take over the role of Santa. Santa discovers that Joe Carruthers, a has-been children’s show host played by Oliver Clark, is the perfect person for the job. However, Joe is reluctant to take on the responsibility, and Santa must convince him to embrace the spirit of Christmas.

Enter Ernest, a kind-hearted but somewhat clumsy taxi driver, who inadvertently gets involved in Santa’s mission. Through a series of mishaps and hilarious adventures, Ernest teams up with Santa to help him find Joe and spread Christmas cheer.

Throughout the film, Ernest’s good intentions and childlike wonder add heartwarming moments to the comedic story. His childlike innocence and genuine belief in the magic of Christmas contrast with the jadedness of the adult characters, making him a lovable and relatable protagonist.

“Ernest Saves Christmas” is a feel-good holiday film that emphasizes the importance of spreading joy, believing in the spirit of Christmas, and cherishing the magic of the holiday season. It mixes slapstick humor with heartwarming messages, making it a favorite among families during the festive time of year.

Jim Varney’s portrayal of Ernest was a standout in the film, and his comedic talent brought charm and laughter to the character. The movie’s success led to a series of other films featuring Ernest, including “Ernest Goes to Camp” and “Ernest Scared Stupid.”

Over the years, “Ernest Saves Christmas” has become a beloved classic, cherished by fans of all ages for its heartwarming holiday spirit and Jim Varney’s unforgettable performance as the endearing Ernest P. Worrell.

Ernest Saves Christmas 

Additional Details


  • Jim Varney: Ernest P. Worrell
  • Douglas Seale: Santa Claus / Seth Applegate
  • Oliver Clark: Joe Carruthers, The New Santa Claus
  • Noelle Parker: Pamela Trenton / Harmony Starr
  • Gailard Sartain: Chuck, Storage Agent
  • Bill Byrge: Bobby, Storage Agent
  • Billie Bird: Mary Morrissey
  • Key Howard: Immigration Agent
  • Jack Swanson: Businessman
  • Buddy Douglas: Pyramus The Elf
  • Patty Maloney: Thisbe The Elf
  • Barry Brazell: Cab Passenger
  • George Kaplan: Mr. Dillis
  • Robert Lesser: Marty Brock
  • Zachary Bowden: Boy In The Train Station


  • Director: John Cherry
  • Producer: Joseph Akerman
  • Music: Mark Snow

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and