- "And if you wonder who I be, it's me it's me, it's Ernest T.!"
- ―Ernest T. Bass[src]
|Ernest T. Bass|
|Full Name||Ernest T. Bass|
|First Episode||Mountain Wedding|
|Last Episode||Malcolm at the Crossroads|
|Spin-off Appearances||Return to Mayberry|
|Romances||Romena (from the woods) (mentioned only), Charlene Darling, Ramona "Romenna" Ancrum|
|Portrayed by||Howard Morris|
Ernest T. Bass is an ignorant and obstreperous mountain man with a penchant for rock throwing, who is known to wreak havoc on the otherwise quiet town of Mayberry. He lives in the mountains neighboring Mayberry, and his appearance in town almost always means trouble for Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife. A wild, belligerent hillbilly, he has a scruffy appearance, a maniacal laugh, and often speaks in rhyme. When threatened with the law, Ernest T. generally runs off, yelling over his shoulder his famous catchphrase, "You ain't seen the last of Ernest T. Bass!" Another catchphrase comes from his greeting to Andy and Barney, "Howdy do to you and you. It's me, it's me, it's Ernest T.!"
His behavior is often summed up succinctly by Barney Fife, "He's a nut!"
Early on, Ernest T.'s most notable trait is breaking windows with rocks, and he prides himself on being "the best rock thrower in the county." He is notoriously importunate with the women he desires, and regularly uses this tactic to get their attention. He also tries to impress people by informing them that he is saving up for a gold tooth.
In his first appearance (Mountain Wedding), Ernest T. has his mind set on marrying Briscoe Darling's daughter Charlene Darling, despite the fact that she is already married to Dud Wash. He breaks the Darlings' window in the middle of the night, and then attempts to serenade Charlene by performing a sort of spoken-word song called "Old Aunt Mariah," accompanied by drumming a gas can, which he "tunes" by tightening and loosening the cap.
The family then decides to conduct a faked wedding, to which Ernest T. reacts by devising a nefarious plan to steal the bride, only to discover that it is Barney in disguise.
Despite only appearing in five episodes during the series' entire run, Ernest T. Bass is one of The Andy Griffith Show's best remembered characters, and remains a fan favorite.
Ernest T. Bass Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "Howdy do to you and you. It's me, it's me, it's Ernest T.!"
- "And you can't stop me.. Nehhh!"
- "You're my mother-figure"
- "How do you do Mrs. Wiley"
Old Aunt Mariah
- Old Aunt Mariah jumped in the fire
- fire too hot, jump in the pot
- pot too black, jump in the crack
- crack too wide, jump in the sky
- sky too blue jump in canoe
- canoe too shallow, jump in the tallow
- tallow too soft, jump in the loft
- loft too rotten, jump in the cotton
- cotton so white she stayed there all night.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Mountain Wedding
- Ernest T. Bass Joins the Army
- My Fair Ernest T. Bass
- The Education of Ernest T. Bass
- Malcolm at the Crossroads