Character - Earl J. Hickey (Actor: Jason Lee) | My Name Is Earl Fan Site - My Name is Earl

Earl J. Hickey (Jason Lee)


Earl J. HickeyCharacter: Earl J. Hickey
Actor: Jason Lee

Character Biography (Source: Wikipedia)

Early life

Earl was born c. 1972 (episode 2.21 established that Earl turned 35 in 2007) in fictional Camden County to Carl and Kay Hickey. Supporting this, a flashback to 1973 in one episode showed Earl a baby, though his driver's license in episode 1.23 says that his birthday is April 25, 1970. He was originally supposed to be named Carl after his father, but an extra loop on a cursive „C“ on his birth certificate was Earl's first step into a life of misfortune. His younger brother, Randy, was born c. 1976.

Earl and Randy quickly developed into a pair of troublemakers and juvenile delinquents, tormenting both their parents and other children (a young boy named Kenny James was a particular target for Earl's bullying).

Earl and Randy's incre­asingly destructive antics led to them being sent to the „Right Choice Ranch“, a ranch for troubled kids. Unfortunately Earl was kicked out soon after for burning down a barn with his cigarette (he would learn years later it was actually Randy who had accidentally burned the barn).

Later life

Earl and Randy would grow up into habitual criminals who could never keep a job (most of Earl's jobs ended with him punching his bosses). Earl, by his own admission, would „pretty much steal anything that wasn't nailed down“. Some of his more bizarre crimes included stealing a car from one-legged girl (after telling her he loved her), having a garage sale while house-sitting for neighbors, peeing in the back of a cop car, fixing a high school football game, and letting mice out at a school play.

At first, Carl often bailed them out after they were arrested, but eventually stopped. He was particularly bitter after Earl's antics ruined his campaign to run for mayor.

In late 1999, Earl was seeing a woman named Jesse when, after a night of drinking at his favorite watering hole, the Crab Shack, he met and eloped with a woman named Joy Darville. She was six months pregnant, but Earl was too drunk to notice at the time. The only thing Joy remembered about the baby's father was that he drove a Ford, so they named him Dodge. At some point, Joy began cheating on Earl with Darnell Turner, an employee at the Crab Shack (who Earl calls „Crab Man“). A year after Dodge's birth, Joy had another baby, fathered by Darnell. Although the baby boy was obviously not Earl's son (Darnell and the baby both being black), he was nevertheless named Earl Jr.

Finding Karma

In 2005, Earl's life would change dramatically in more ways than one when he won $100,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. His excitement was short-lived, however, as he was hit by a car only seconds later. While he was recovering in the hospital, Joy finally left him for Darnell.

A short time later, while still in the hospital, Earl was watching Last Call with Carson Daly when Trace Adkins, a guest, asked how Carson Daly had such a great life. Carson explained his belief in karma, which would prove to be a revelation for Earl. Earl concluded that his miserable life was due to the fact that he had done nothing but bad things his whole life.

After Earl left the hospital and moved into a motel with Randy, he decided the way to improve his life would be to begin doing good things. To that end, he wrote a list of all the bad things he'd done all his life and set out to make up for them. His belief in karma was strengthened by the fact that he found his winning lottery ticket as soon as he started working on his list.

Since finding Karma

Since recovering his lottery ticket, Earl has been (usually) faithful in using his winnings to make up for actions on his list. Atoning for his past actions has come in various ways: he taught immigrants to speak English to make up for making fun of people with accents. He made up for letting his friend Donny Jones go to jail for two years for a crime Earl committed by helping Donny's mother quit smoking, thus extending her life. He made up for stealing a thousand dollars from a young man's wallet (thus ruining the man's honeymoon) by giving him a thousand dollars and covering for him at his work so the young man could have a do-over honeymoon.

The show has typically presented karma as rewarding Earl for crossing items of his list. He has become friends with Kenny James after he helped Kenny come out with his homosexuality. He has also reconnected with his long-estranged father Carl after Earl made a sincere effort to show how he'd changed. By quitting smoking, it's been suggested that Earl will live a longer life. Earl has also admitted that when he crosses items off his list, he feels he's finally going in the right direction.

Conversely, karma has been shown as punishing Earl whenever he ignores the list. When he ran away from Kenny after first learning of his homosexuality, he returned to his motel room to find Joy had ransacked it looking for his lottery money. When he put off the list to start seeing a woman, he was injured with frisbees, darts, bottle rockets, and bee stings before he made the list his first priority again.

Crossing off items has apparently changed Earl himself as well. He has become willing to help people even when they're not on the list, explaing to Randy at one point that karma makes him feel things he's never felt before.

In the final episode of season 2, Earl takes the blame for Joy's truck theft so that she won't be separated from her family and is sentenced to 2 years in prison where he shares a cell with Ralph.

Actor Biography (Source: Wikipedia)


Lee was a prominent professional skateboarder in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Notable tricks performed by Lee included: 360 flips, kickflip backside tailslides, and curb cut launched Japan airs. He was co-founder of Stereo Skateboards with Chris Pastras in 1992; the pair revived the company in 2003 after it had been defunct for several years. Chris Pastras' first Stereo Skateboard was famously thrown into a sulfur pit as part of the company's edgy advertisement campaign.

Lee and Tony Hawk were the first two skateboarders to receive a pro model shoe with Airwalk. He had a part in the 1991 Blind skateboards video Video Days, shot by Spike Jonze. Recently, he lent his voice and likeness to the game Tony Hawk's Project 8.


After taking some minor acting roles, including the Jonze-directed Sonic Youth music video for „100%“ in 1992 and a small part in Allison Anders' 1993 film Mi Vida Loca, Lee left professional skating for a full-time acting career. His first major movie role was in Kevin Smith's Mallrats which became a cult hit. He remained a close friend of Smith and has appeared in most of the director's works, including Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl and Clerks II. Lee won an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Chasing Amy as a homophobic comic book artist.

Lee graduated to leading man roles in Heartbreakers (alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Stealing Harvard (alongside Tom Green) as well as A Guy Thing (alongside Julia Stiles). He has had supporting roles in Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous as an egotistical rock star, Dreamcatcher, Big Trouble, The Ballad of Jack and Rose and Mumford, as well as a minor role in Enemy of the State. He also voiced the supervillain Syndrome in the animated movie The Incredibles and its DVD bonus video Jack-Jack Attack. Lee reprised the role as a „robot copy“ of Syndrome in the Disney on Ice play Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure. He is also the voice of Underdog from the movie that carries the same name.

Television success

Screen shot of Jason on the hit NBC sitcom, My Name Is Earl.

Lee was offered the lead role in the 2005 NBC sitcom, My Name Is Earl. According to interviews on the first season DVD, he passed on the series twice before finally agreeing to read the pilot.

In the series, Lee stars as Earl Hickey, a petty thief who finds karma and sets out to put right all his past wrongs. The series received critical acclaim and strong ratings on its debut (September 20, 2005). A hit for NBC, the show was quickly ordered for a full season — the first sitcom of the season to do so. Several months later, it was renewed for a second season. Lee received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy as well as a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Earl's brother Randy is played by Ethan Suplee, with whom Lee previously appeared in the movies Mallrats and Clerks II.

Personal life

Lee was married to actress and photographer Carmen Llywellyn from 1995 to 2001.

He and his fiancée Beth Riesgraf (who appeared on an episode on My Name Is Earl called 1×04 Faked His Own Death) have a son named Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee (b. September 28, 2003).

Lee is a member of the Church of Scientology.


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