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MFF Special: Analyzing the Similarities Between Ernest Goes to Jail and Paddington 2

February 26, 2018

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love Paddington 2 and think it earned its 100% Tomatometer rating. I also think its the most charming thing since Paddington and I’m not writing this post to be provocative or say Paddington 2 ripped off Ernest Goes to Jail (how crazy would that be though?). I just noticed some similarities and wanted to share them with the world because as somebody who was borns in the 1980s and grew up in the 1990s I am a big fan of Ernest P. Worrell movies despite their less-than-stellar quality. I’ve probably written too much about Ernest Scared Stupid and I can name off the Ernest films like Forrest Gump’s Bubba names off different ways you can cook shrimp.

If you’ve been reading MFF for some time you know that I write about a lot of random topics and enjoy embracing things that nobody else would care to think about. Thus, don’t take this post too seriously because I am drawing loose comparisons in an effort to add more random things to the internet.

1. They Make Money by Cleaning Things

Ernest P. Worrell works as a night janitor at the Howard County Bank in hopes that one day he will become a bank teller. Paddington cleans windows so he can buy his aunt Lucy a sweet pop-up book of London. Both aren’t content to be cleaning forever and they consider these noble jobs to be stepping stones to much better things.

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2. They Use Toothbrushes Uniquely

Paddington shoves toothbrushes into his ears to clean out gunk and Ernest created an insane invention that shoves about six toothbrushes into his mouth to cut down the time spent on brushing his teeth (I wonder how long it took to build?).

The clip of Paddington meeting the electric toothbrush is cued up below.

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3. Ernest and Paddington Aren’t Great at Their Jobs

Both Paddington and Ernest are totally earnest about doing great work but they always find ways to either magnetize themselves, destroy a dude’s hair or cause lots and lots of property destruction.

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4. Both Have Iconic Hats

When you think about Ernest and Paddington it’s almost impossible to imagine them without their iconic and familiar hats. They are on full display in both movies.

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5. The Main Characters Get Stuck in Prison Even Though They are Innocent.

Neither character did anything to be put in jail but for various reasons, they are stuck in the slammer and need to get out to prevent a robbery and clear their names. Ernest is in jail because his doppelganger Felix Nash switched places with him when he was visiting a prison for a jury duty assignment. Poor Paddington was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was blamed for a robbery that the dastardly Phoenix Buchanan pulled off.

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6. Mistakes Made While Doing Their Jobs Come Back to Help or Haunt Them

Paddington gets an insane prison sentence partly because he destroyed the hair of the judge presiding over his trial. Ernest survives the electric chair because he was magnetized earlier in the film when he was cleaning the bank.

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7. The Bad Guys Plan on Getting Rich While The Heroes are Imprisoned. 

Hugh Grant is pursuing a lost treasure while Nash plans on robbing the bank that Ernest works at.

You need to listen to the How Did This Get Made episode where they cover Ernest Goes to Jail. I love that June Diane Raphael thinks “evil” Ernest oozes sexuality.

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8. Security Guards From the Previous Films are Working for Different Companies

The MVPs of both films are Chuck (Gailard Sartain), Bobby (Bill Byrge), and Barry (Simon Farnaby). They provide legit laughs and there is just enough of them to make you want more.

Sidenote: Watch Mindhorn. It is hilarious and Simon Farnaby wrote it.

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9. Disguises are Worn

Both Ernest P. Worrell and Phoenix Buchanon love dressing up in order to fool authorities, bystanders, and security guards. I’d love to see them do a doubleheader of one-man shows that feature their greatest hits. It would be epic!

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10. Paddington and Ernest are Terrible at Washing Things

Whether it be Paddington turning all the prisoner’s clothes pink or Ernest almost killing himself in his homemade washing machine the two characters just can’t get the cleaning done successfully.

Take a look at the clip below because Jim Varney was a very good physical comedian.

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11. People in the Prison Wear Pink

The prison guards wear pinkish uniforms in Ernest Goes to Jail and the prisoners in Paddington 2 have to wear pink outfits because of Paddington being terrible at washing clothes.

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12. The Heroes Win Over the Prison’s Most Dangerous Criminals

Paddington winning over the incredibly scary  Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson) made me really happy and I loved their relationship that was based on food. Also, I really liked Ernest’s relationship with Lyle (Randall “Tex” Cobb) because it started off rough but Ernest’s weird way won over Lyle and they became buds and I see them keeping in touch while Lyle stays in prison.

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13. They Escape From Prison to Prevent Heists

The escapes vary wildly but the fact remains that both characters escaped prison and saved the day. I will say that the reason leading to Ernest’s escape was really gnarly for a PG-rated film.

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There you have it! Paddington 2 and Ernest Goes to Jail are totally different films that have many similarities.

If you like this random post make sure to check out the rest of my random data.

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