One of Kentucky's weirdest celebrities ever was the great Ernest P. Worrell, better known to his mom as Jim Varney. His character, which began in TV commercials and ended up spawning a movie empire, was something like a hillbilly Pee-Wee Herman meets Larry the Cable Guy meets Ace Ventura, but years before any of them. Ernest was definitely ahead of his time.
Most people don't even realize Jim Varney was a Kentuckian, and even fewer realize he's buried in Lexington Cemetery. When you enter the cemetery, veer left and watch for his grave on the right-hand side.
Among the many fascinating films in the Ernest oeuvre: Ernest Rides Again, in which Ernest and a professor must protect an antique Revolutionary War cannon from thieves; Slam Dunk Ernest, in which an angel (played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) gives Ernest a pair of magic shoes that enable him to play pro basketball; Ernest Goes to Africa, wherein Ernest and his girlfriend are inexplicably kidnapped and taken to Africa over some stolen jewels; and Hey Vern, It's Ernest!, a Saturday morning children's television series.
Varney's final work, Ernest the Pirate, had completed shooting and was in post-production at the time of his death, but still remains unreleased.