Remembering ‘My Name Is Earl,’ An Underappreciated Comedy That Helped Launch ‘The Office’ In The U.S.

TV | May 18, 2020

“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? Well, that was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting around the corner: karma. That’s when I realized that I had to change. So, I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done, and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”

Most people do not remember this, but in the fall of 2005, NBC’s Must See Thursday line-up was in shambles. Cheers and The Cosby Show were long gone, Seinfeld left the air in 1998, and the network was two years removed from the last monster sitcom of the modern era, Friends. In the 2004-2005 season, NBC’s Thursday night line-up was running on the fumes of Will & Grace in its last two seasons, and Joey, the ill-fated Friends spin-off that was renewed for a second season because NBC didn’t have anything better to put on their schedule.

Sophia Iztok


Sophia is a recent graduate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She is a freelance journalist based in New York City writing about everything from music to LGBTQ issues.

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