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My Name is Earl Fodder

My Name Is Earl: Our Cops Is On

This episode of MNIE is easily one of the best ever. It's definitely the most frenetic episode to date. When I first read the description of this show, I wanted to offer up a virgin sacrifice to Mssr's Garcia and Buckland & Co. in homage. But I couldn't find one. So I settled for cracking open a cold beer and hoisting my frosty mug in salute. This episode is unadulterated genius, even better than I could have hoped for - Catalina's absence notwithstanding. Shot in hand-held video, it's Earl & Co. vs. COPS Meets Reno 911 with a dash of Ocean's Eleven. Greg Garcia has stated that he and the crew really enjoyed doing this type of program and would like to do one every season. Enough delay -- let's have at it.

It's Sunday afternoon at the Crabshack and not much is going on. The camera pans across the forlorn faces of the patrons and we recognize many Camden County residents from previous episodes. Randy is reading the Sunday comics. Earl's voiceover informs us that " -- he starts reading them in the morning and by mid-afternoon when he finishes them he's pretty bored."

Earl is at a table and would like to order some food, but Darnell tells him that the Shack is out of seafood and meat. Earl orders a grilled cheese sandwich. Unfortunately, the 'Shack is " -- also out of bread and cheese, and all that's left is pickled eggs and a basket of those little jelly packets." Furthermore, the pool cues and the pinball machines are broken, the kegs are all but empty except for foam, and Voicebox Guy mumbles that the vending machine is out of menthols.

Joy exits the ladies room. She's on the phone to her mother complaining that she won't be able to pick up her kids for a while yet because she's stuck in traffic. Cue celeb cameo by Tim Stack (writer of this episode). He's at the bar and says loud enough for Joy's mom to hear, "Hang up and drive, bitch." Joy's smiles sweetly at him and tells him that he's still got it.

Kenny, Willie the One-eyed mailman (played by Bill Suplee, Ethan's dad), and Patty are at the bar are staring oh so sadly into their mugs of foam ruing their pathetic misguided lives. Kenny wishes that he had joined the navy. Patty wonders whatever happened to her life ("I have a master's degree!") The mailman just wants to know why he didn't look away when she threw that bowling ball. (Smells like foreshadowing.) Randy is at the bar reading On TV Now and gets all excited. "It's coming on. It's coming on NOW!" He turns on the TV and --

Familiar theme music grabs everyone's attention. "Bad boys bad boys Whatcha gonna do -- " It's a repeat of a 2003 episode of COPS when the show visited Camden County. Oh be still my heart!

COPS opens with Deputy Bobbi Bowman (played by Kathy "Mimi" Kinney sans clown makeup from the Drew Carey Show. BTW - There is a Bobby Bowman listed in the MNIE credits as an Executive Producer.) responding to a domestic disturbance call at Pimmit Hills Trailer Park (" -- usually the Hickeys -- "). As she drives up, Joy beans Earl with a tube of peach-flavored massage jelly. She's angry that Earl would rather go stealing with his dim-witted brother than make with the beautiful love. Earl quickly explains to Deputy Bowman that Joy is from Canada where 'stealing' means to go to work and obey the law. Deputy Bowman wants to know why Earl is carrying around a box of garage door openers as it might have something to do with the recent rash of garage thefts. After getting beaned again with peppermint massage jelly by Joy – she is well-armed with $46 worth of romantic novelties – Earl makes his getaway on a kid's bike. Up and over a ramp he goes only to crash on landing. He gets back on his bike and continues on his two-wheeled crime spree. Nice clumsy exit for an ex-professional skateboarder.

Cut to Deputy Stuart Daniels (badge-loser and professional bowler-wanna-be), a four year veteran of the Camden County Police Department. He turns off his police scanner to address the camera, but unfortunately, crime finds him anyway. There is a one-legged woman (we don't know if this is before or after Earl stole her car) complaining about her crazy neighbor (who else but crazy-eyed Donny?) who's naked on his front lawn except for a boa. And I don't mean the feathery kind...I mean the reptilian kind. His naughty bits are blurred out, but the blur is soon replaced by a large snake ("I'm wearing my snake pants."). Earl, the cycling escapee, suddenly appears out of nowhere, and unintentionally shakes his box of garage door openers causing a garage door to open. Earl skee-daddles. Right about this time Kenny drives past. Seeing naked Donny wearing only a snake and a smile, he u-turns and drives past again. Veerrry slowly.

Action back on Deputy Bowman. She is investigating a noise complaint. The tenant of Apartment 15 is an elderly black woman. She invites Bowman into the apartment only to find a bedroom cum greenhouse crammed full of potted plants from the family cannabis. "Oh that's my grandson's room," the woman says. "He's quite the gardener." The bathroom door opens and who should appear but Darnell. Ever quick on the uptake, he grabs a potted plant and scoots through the window.

Editor's Note – Darnell is in the Witness Protection program. His real name is Harry Monroe, which just happens to be the name of the character played by Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy.

Next up is Deputy Bob Smiley at the Quick Stop. Earl and Randy are helping themselves to the 'Get One Free' batteries and will come back shortly to pay for the 'Buy One' portion of the transaction. Behind them, the little photo booth is a-rocking back and forth (to the strains of Afternoon Delight). The little curtain opens and out comes the mailman, only now he has no eyepatch. Both his peepers seem to be working, as does Patty who follows him out of the booth. She says it's not what it appears to be, but the little pictures jutting out from the slot seem to prove otherwise. Randy kicks the deputy in the ankle and everyone escapes.

Back to Deputy Bowman. She's responding to a call about a crazy lady (guess who?) on the roof at the PHTP. Of course it's Joy, and she's tossing Earl's stuff off the roof to the enjoyment of a gathering crowd. "Stand back," she says. "I'm gonna drop this here bowling ball on to that Def Leppard mirror." She does, and with pinpoint accuracy too. Unfortunately, a shard of glass flies straight up into the mailman's eye. (See? I told ya there was some foreshadowing going on here) Cue eyepatch. "Oh snap!"

Back on the mean streets of Camden County, famous resident Tim Stack is driving erratically. He is of course presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. He's wearing his uniform from Son of the Beach. The deputy asks him if he's been drinking. Tim responds no. The deputy says, "Well, that's good enough for me. Safe drive home." Turning to the camera the deputy tells us that Mr. Stack is his hero because he's been on Punky Brewster. BTW his license plate reads "STAR PWR".

Deputy Bowman finds Patty with her hand stuck in a soda vending machine. Well, it's not exactly stuck. Patty has a customer who likes dead people and she's all about customer satisfaction. Ever the pro, she unsuccessfully offers a one-handed fiesta to a passerby.

A deputy is summoned to the Crabshack. Voicebox Guy's voicebox has been stolen by a man that he had tricked into eating pork. But Voicebox Guy is now unable to voice a complaint. What's a deputy to do?

Mr. Stack's car is up on the parkway and wrapped around a tree that jumped out in front of him. As the deputy walks up, Tim rolls down his window and orders a double cheeseburger.

Another radio call, this time about a garage robbery in progress. The deputy believes it might be " -- our friend from the trailer park." As he pulls up, we see Earl with his hands full of swag. He's not stealing, he informs the deputy. He's " -- cleaning the garage because...this is my home." Something tells me that it isn't. Anyway, right at this moment Randy enters the garage from the house with his arms full of television and states, "Man, I love stealing." Bad timing all around. Earl and Randy somehow once again elude capture. Randy tells the cameraman that he would like his very own chase scene (maybe they could chase each other?) because the chases always seem to make it on to the show. He then takes off. Earl's escape is more memorable – he steals the police car with Kevin the cameraman in the back seat who just wants to know if Earl is going to kill him. "Who's got a cop car now? Who's got a cop car now, Bee-yotch? Man, I feel alive!" Earl shouts.

Earl explains to Kevin (the cameraman/hostage) that he and his wife are having a bit of a domestic squabble. He's going to get his life in order someday, he says, but that day is not today. Earl asks the cameraman if he has kids. Yup. How many? Three. Same color? Yup. I got two, Earl says. A black one and a white one. "And it's funny. The white one is the better athlete, and the black one is a little genius." Ever the proud papa.

Eventually Earl pulls up in front of his trailer. Joy is outside and she is none too happy to see yet another police car. "You people don't stop bothering me I'm gonna go Ruby Ridge!" Earl steps out of the cop car and Joy is smitten like Juliet on the balcony. She tells her Romeo exactly how she's going to show her heartfelt appreciation for his actions, but her love sonnet is bleeped out more than Goodfellas on The Disney Channel. Earl shushes her with, "You had me at 'balls'." Jerry Maguire be damned.

Joy is driving the cop car. She's positively giddy. She'd like some tunes, preferably some Wu-Tang Clan. "When did you start to like rap," Earl wants to know. "I'm not cheating on you," she quickly replies.

Next stop Kenny's apartment. There must be a black cloud over Kenny because he's visited almost every other day by either the police or the fire department. At the town pool Kenny's such a poor swimmer he's even had to be resuscitated several times by Steve the lifeguard. He's apparently being stalked by some crazed tormentor. His window has been broken, but oddly enough all of the glass is on the outside. His hand is bandaged (" -- too much heterosexual sex -- "), but he's managed to make oatmeal raisin cookies and turn on some mood music.

Deputy Joy has pulled over a citizen. Turns out to be Natalie (Jason Lee's real wife Beth) the picnicking papier-mache-ing hiker. As she gets out of her car, Earl freaks out. He ducks down below the dash saying, "It's my ex-girlfriend -- she thinks I'm dead." Music to Joy's ears. She toys with her victim like a psychotic blond cat playing with a catnip-soaked mouse. "Put your hands on the car and spread your legs, you slut!" she says over the loudspeaker. "I'm not a slut," Natalie says. "I only had sex once." Earl grins into the camera and says, "That was me. I hit that." Poor Natalie fails Joy's field sobriety test, breaks down and cries.

Deputy Bobbi Bowman is walking back to police headquarters, her squad car having been stolen by Earl and used in a felonious traffic stop by Joy. She is about to call in to headquarters to report her missing car when she sees Darnell (aka "Marijuana Man") crossing the street. She takes off after him, but he disappears. She sees a kiddie pool and thinks he might be hiding under it. Nope. Then she sees a pile of leaves with an afro poking out the top. She utilizes a nearby leafblower and lo and behold there's the Crabman. "Is there a problem, Officer?" he asks.

Police scanner tells us that the Garage Bandit is believed cornered. Randy is stuck up in a tree and is afraid to come down. "I don't wanna fall, it's gonna hurt -- " he repeats over and over. He's scared and crying and Earl-less. Jimmy Cagney in White Heat he is not.

Another police scanner tells us about a possible abandoned police car. It's not so much abandoned as it is inhabited by a naked Earl and Joy in the backseat with all the relevant naughty bits blurred. (We still see a little too much Jason Lee and not nearly enough Jaime Pressly.) The deputy raps on the window and Earl & Joy beat a hasty retreat. But Earl trips and lands on his junk acquiring a nasty raspberry. A cameraman pursues Joy until she beans him with a brick. She's got a better arm than Nolan Ryan. The deputy finds her hiding in a Club Chubby's dumpster with a bearded homeless man (was that Greg Garcia?) who begs the deputy, "Please don't take her."

A deputy shoots a tranquilizer dart into Randy; he falls from his aerie, lands on and bounces off of a trampoline and crashes heavily on the ground. Marlin Perkins and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom would have been proud.

Roll COPS end credits.

Back at the Crabshack, the erstwhile Camden County criminals/celebrities are enjoying their thirty minutes (twenty-two after commercials) of infamy, celebrating with mugs of foam, high fives all around. Tim Stack is taking pictures with some young lovelies. Joy even signs an autograph or two. Earl is amending his list to add a few things he'd forgotten about. Randy is contentedly munching on some pickled eggs dipped in jelly. FTB.

Posted by Randy Welk on January 5, 2007 12:50 PM
Permalink |

I had read some people complaining about this episode on the board, but I have to agree... it was my favorite next to the one where Earl dances to "Bust a Move" (I have yet to see that one replayed!).

My favorite part by far was with Tim Stack. The fact that he was wearing his "Son of the Beach" uniform was hilarious.

-- Posted by: Rachel at January 6, 2007 5:40 PM

I agree - mega kudos to Mr. Tim Stack. I have to admit to committing a small infraction though. I read somewhere - possibly Wikipedia - that as of 2003 Mr. Stack's IMDb page should only have included appx 40 entries, and not the 62 or 63 (current listings) that he mentions in the episode. Shoulda caught that...

-- Posted by: randy at January 6, 2007 10:01 PM

You have to cut him some slack. After all, he was drunk. Maybe he was seeing double on some of them...

-- Posted by: Rachel at January 8, 2007 10:43 PM

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