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My Name is Earl Fodder

My Name Is Earl: Chaz Dalton's Space Academy


Welcome to Pimmit Hills Trailer Park where the Hickey boys are only too glad to scrape off the gore and grey matter from your windows AND remove that pesky Crime Scene tape. Earl and Randy may not be very happy scrubbing up after an arrest gone bad, but Joy is happy. She's got Earl and Randy cleaning up the nasty, and her son Dodge doing the dishes so he can go to Chaz Dalton's Space Academy. Earl's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, I mean astronauts, and he's got a big ol' warm and fuzzy man-crush for Chaz (and Burt Reynolds).

As teens, Earl and Randy attended Chaz Dalton's Space Academy, and for the first time, Earl was interested in learning. And becoming Chaz Dalton. To that end, Earl stole Chaz' space suit and helmet and bounced on a tra-mamp-oline (as Homer Simpson calls it) to feel the effects of weightlessness. Feeling that the spacesuit could use a little sprucing up (IOW - getting rid of that teenage boy underarm funk), Earl threw the suit into the dryer causing it to shrink to Beverly Hills Chihuahua size. Unable to return the spacesuit to its proper owner, Earl never went back to space camp. Welcome to Earl's Karma list, Chaz.

My favorite part of these scenes was Young Randy in the background smelling cleaning supplies, choking down on his rising gorge.

So Earl finally returns to Space Academy bearing a Whitman Sampler, looking to make amends for past sins. He introduces himself to Chaz, explains his Karma list, proffers the chocolates, and awaits Chaz' reaction. Chaz is cool with it and he forgives Earl. He understands youthful exuberance. After all, he asks Earl, you know what fuels the space shuttle? Dreams, say Earl and Chaz in unison.

Darnell is on his computer, finally happy to be Harry Monroe again. (Blogger's NOTE - As I have stated before, Harry Monroe is the name of the character that Richard Pryor played in Stir Crazy.) He's setting himself up an account on Buddy Book (like Facebook and MySpace but without the old people). He's already got 320 friends. That's two more than anybody needs, says Joy. One who's poorer than you to make you feel rich, and one who's fatter than you to make you feel thin.

Earl wants to replace the space suit, so he goes to the local NASA field office. The nice lady there says they don't sell space suits but maybe those spend-thrifts at Cape Kennedy might be able to help. As she goes to make a call, Earl and Randy see a picture on the wall of Chaz Dalton. A picture of Chaz Dalton that looks nothing like the Chaz Dalton Earl knows. What gives? $50 to the NASA lady, a talking dog, and a Mystery Van later and Earl has Chaz' address.

Joy wants on Buddy Book too, so Darnell sets her up with an account. Darnell needs to add just a couple tidbits of information for Joy's bio...

Sex? Love it
Race? American
Sexual Orientation? Reverse Cowboy
Occupation? Pimp, no, Hustler, no, Big Baller...better just put Mom
Home Town? Your Face (just outside Dubuque I think)
Political Affiliation? Gop (pronounced Gop, not gee-oh-pee)
Favorite Book? Phone

...And Joy's good to go.

Earl and Randy track down the real Chaz Dalton (played by Curtis Armstrong from Revenge of the Nerds, Risky Business, Moonlighting), and they find him in his front yard tossing empty vodka bottles in the the trash can and scooping up dog poop. And flinging dog poop at Earl and Randy. He thinks we're Jojoba Witnesses, says Randy.

Earl explains that there's an imposter making money off of Chaz' good name, and off they go to put an end to that malarkey.

Joy's got no buddies on her Buddy Book, and she's at the Crabshack to learn the reson why. Pickled Egg Guy and Black Cowboy are no help, so she demands an answer of The Great One, Mr. Tim Stack. Tim tells Joy that she's mean. And he has syphilis. Joy was unaware of both. Learn something new everyday, huh?

Earl and Randy and Chaz make it back the Chaz Dalton Space Academy and confront the Faux Chaz Dalton. Turns out FCD's name is really Wayne, and he was a maintenance man for NASA who always wanted to be an astronaut but failed to make the cut in every category including bra cup size. Chaz recognizes Wayne as the guy he paid to go to public events in his stead.

The Real Chaz Dalton was not a big fan of the public meet-and-greet. So when the opportunity arose to dedicate the Paul Lynde Memorial Park, Chaz paid Wayne to pretend that he was Chaz, and, well, it just kind of snow-balled from there. Wayne had been successfully passing himself off as Chaz for years. Earl's not too happy about this fa├žade, and he tells Wayne, You put the "ass" in astronaut! Wayne skulks off dejectedly.

That must be a running joke on this show because I seem to recall Joy painting something very similar on Earl's car.

Next day at the Chaz Dalton Space Academy, and it's the Real Chaz Dalton on stage. Might not've been the best decision, because Chaz is pretty well liquored up. He screams at the impressionable youngsters Get offa my lawn! and passes out.

Chaz never really had was has been called The Right Stuff. He wasn't a very good astronaut suffering from claustrophobia, motion sickness, and fear of heights. Apparently, Chaz' bra cup size was never called into question. I'm not a hero, Chaz tells Earl. The people don't want Chaz Dalton the man, they want Chaz Dalton the myth. Earl sympathizes with Chaz's emotional and heartfelt confession by locking Chaz in a closet. In the closet, Chaz finds boxes of letters from kids who express their admiration for "Chaz Dalton" and dream of one day becoming an astronaut.

Earl tries to run the Space Academy by himself but soon find he also is in short supply of The Right Stuff. Rolling a kid in a garbage can and having the kids put plastic bags on their heads to simulate conditions in space are adventures likely found only in the Earl Hickey Do-It-Yourself Space Academy handbook.

Wayne returns to re-claim his lunch and Earl recruits him to resume command of the Space Academy. Wayne's a natural and the kids love him. Chaz and Earl can only stand back and watch Wayne as he dazzles and wows the young cadets. Cross off one more list item.

Darnell has lost a night's sleep by creating 352 identities and linking them to Joy's Buddy Book site. One of them looked suspiciously like Connie Chung...

Chaz Dalton called in a favor from NASA, and as the episode closes, Earl is in a space suit and helmet, piloting a shuttle simulator to the moon. Roll credits.

Posted by Randy Welk on March 6, 2009 10:40 AM
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