Question: I can't seem to make up my mind between two "randy" TV gentlemen. Specifically, My Name Is Earl's not-too-bright brother Randy or Captain Stottlemeyer's not-too-bright lieutenant, Randy Disher, on Monk. Ethan Suplee gives Randy a child's innocence and enthusiasm complete with a wonderful twinkle in his eye. Plus the way he carries a not-too-subtle torch for Catalina gives an uncharacteristically warm and gentle subplot in contrast to Joy's white-trash screeching at poor Crab Man. On the other hand, Jason Gray-Stanford's Disher is a top utility character who consistently improves a scene while running the gamut of emotions. He can go from cocky to insecure in a heartbeat and be equally convincing, not to mention his great comic delivery. He's a nerdish underdog and I love his underplayed crushes on Monk's assistants. I'd also love to see both men receive more attention as second bananas, but if you had to choose, which Randy would you single out for a possible Emmy nomination?
Answer: That's easy. I often cringe at how stupid and bumbling they make Disher on Monk. His behavior is too often too predictable. It's not my favorite part of that show, so he takes a distinct backseat to the brilliant childlike idiocy of that gentle giant Randy on Earl. I'll be shocked if Ethan Suplee (and Jaime Pressly, for that matter) isn't nominated for Earl. As sweet as Earl himself is on his road to redemption, he's often humbled by the utter guilelessness of Randy. It's a hilarious, but more importantly endearing, performance in a role that could so easily have been a caricature of a white-trash dim bulb.