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Take it from Ernest: "Get that ol' TV antenna fixed . . . the Channel 4 news is about to come on"

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It’s been 30 years since KDFW-TV (now Fox4) went the cornpone comedy route in a series of newscast promos starring the late Jim Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell character and his unseen friend, Vern.

As another ratings “sweeps” period begins, here’s a look at how they sold the product back in 1985. Ernest is climbing to a rooftop to urge Vern to “get that ol’ TV antenna fixed” in a hurry. Because the Channel 4 news would soon be on the air, starring anchors Clarice Tinsley and Steve Bosh, weatherman James Spann and sports dude Paul Crane. Clarice is still standing, of course. The others are long gone from D-FW.

WFAA-TV (now known as Gannett8 in these spaces) countered two years later with some very earnest homespun spots starring the late actor Dennis Weaver. But those Ernest/Vern promos are still a hoot -- even if it’s hard to imagine them ever happening in the first place. Have a look.