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Van Hickey

List Number(s)
19 October 2006
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Van Hickey is the 5th episode of Season 2 of My Name Is Earl, and the 29th episode overall. Earl tries to make amends with Tom Sparks (number 50 on list), the old guy they let be the lead singer in his band but then kicked out before their very first performance. While trying to arrange a reunion show, Earl must also deal with Number 51 - "Had sex with Ralph's mom".

Episode guide[]

Earl was filming Joy at a nursing home as her lawyer thought it might sway her jury to prove that she was a giving member of society, when he hears a voice say his name. The voice belongs to Tom Sparks, number 50 on his list.

Earl first met Tom when he, Randy and Ralph were singing at a drive thru and Earl came up with an idea of starting a band called Van Hickey, when Tom asked if they needed a lead singer, Earl agreed but then found out that Tom was an old man when he came up to pick up the food. The band was renamed 'Phish Tahko' but Tom's age was stopping Earl, Randy and Ralph picking up chicks, so they kicked him out of the band. That Sunday, the guys perform at the Crab Shack, went back to Ralph's house with some chicks and then sold their instruments to get more beer.

Earl tells Tom about his list and offers to give back the 20 bucks they made from the gig, but Tom refuses the money wanting rather to be back in the band. Earl tells him the band is no longer together, but Tom tells him he's the only one in the home that has nothing to look back on because Earl took that away from him; so Earl decides to get the band back together.

When Tom is back in the band, they get together in Earl's room. Ralph apologizes to Tom for kicking him out of the band, but when Catalina asks who's the old guy, Ralph wants to kick him off again, but Tom says that they can't kick him out as he's on Earl's list, between "Being wasteful" and "Slept with Ralph's Mom". Hearing this, Ralph takes the list and reads it before he confronts Earl who remembers that after their gig Ralph and Randy had sex with the girls they picked up, but Earl's girl was unconscious drunk so he slept with Ralph's mom instead. Ralph gets upset and leaves. Earl tries to tell Ralph at the Crab Shack that he wanted to tell him before he started his list, but Ralph wants to kill Earl for what he did and gives him 12 hours to live.

Earl tries to persuade Ralph's mom to get Ralph not to kill him, but she would only do it if Earl slept with her again and he flees the house, while she remarks he's a dead man. With no other options, Earl decides to leave town until Ralph's calmed down and goes to say goodbye to his parents but finds Ralph there who decides to sleep with Earl's Mom to get revenge. But when he tries to fondle her, she slaps him hard and runs out of the house. Ralph goes to kill Earl and in a panic, Earl says he wishes he could have married his mom, so Ralph makes him marry her and Earl and Randy move in with Ralph and his mom. Ralph's mom wants to have sex with Earl so he tells a different lie every night for two weeks, then lands up sleeping on the couch. Ralph tells him if he doesn't consummate the marriage he'd have to kill him, so Earl tells him he'll do it that night after the gig.

That night Phish Tahko performs at the Crab Shack and afterwards Earl tries to get drunk so he doesn't ever remember sleeping with Ralph's mom again, but gets so drunk he passes out. Darnell wakes him after everyone has left, and Earl walks home determined to finally consummate the marriage, but instead finds Tom in bed with Ralph's mom. Earl knew it was clear he didn't really belong with Ralph's mom and Tom's a much better match, so she and Tom continue seeing each other. They have their marriage annulled and Ralph is no longer mad because Earl had managed to make an honest woman out of his mother, and he finally got the father figure he never had, leaving everyone happy. The episodes ends with Earl and Randy dancing in their motel room to Mr. Roboto by Styn.


  • Excuses Earl uses to avoid consummating his marriage to Ralph's mom:
    • 1) I just ate a big meal, my doctor told me I have to wait at least three hours before swimming or humping.
    • 2) A bunch of birds unfairly attacking a squirrel on the lawn, I had to get involved.
    • 3) The string came out of my sweatpants.
    • 4) The Chinese are on the march.
    • 5) I'm on hold with Mike from Bombay, who's trying to walk me through the new toaster.
    • 6) Randy got out, I have to go find him.
    • 7) I have to drive three counties over to buy some condoms, because mine has an irregular size.
  • Catalina reveals her father was murdered by her brother.
  • This is the second time one of Earl's wives cheats on him.
  • Earl remarks Randy doesn't have to live with him everytime he moves.



  • List items reintroduced in this episode:
  1. 49; Been wasteful. ("Quit Smoking")
  • List items introduced and crossed off in this episode:
  1. 50; Kicked the lead singer out of my band.
  1. 51; Slept with Ralph's mom.

Featured music[]

  • "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group
  • "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp
  • "No Sugar Tonight" by The Guess Who
  • "Whiskey River" (Shotgun Willie version) by Willie Nelson
  • "Mr. Roboto" by Styx

Memorable quotes[]

  • Earl Hickey: (voice over) No matter how young and good looking the bass player is, chicks always dig the lead singer.
  • Chick: If I wanted to get hit on by an old guy I'd move back home.
  • Randy: That's why she always sent you a Christmas card.
  • Catalina Aruca: Men don't like it when other men sleep with their mothers. It is why my brother killed my father.




Guest starring[]

  • Larry Hankin as Tom Sparks
  • Beth Grant as Lorraine Mariano
  • Bill Erwin as Old man playing ping pong
  • Amy Amerson as Chick (Ralph's chick)
  • Natalia Reagan as Chick #1 (Earl's chick)
  • Caitie Uhlmann as Chick #2 (Randy's chick)