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Trivia / Raising Hope

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  • Acting for Two: Cloris Leachman plays both Barbara-June "Maw Maw" Thompson and her 104 year old mother Norma June Mayfair in "Mother's Day".
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the Episode "A Germ of a Story" when watching home movie from Virginia's childhood, Burt says Maw Maw looks like the horny neighbor from The Mary Tyler Moore Show — Cloris Leachman portrayed Phyllis Lindstrom on that show.
    • Virginia calls the whipped husband played by Ethan Suplee from the episode "Baby Monitor", "a skinny version of the dude from Mallrats." Ethan Suplee did play that character in the movie.
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    • Smokey Floyd, played by Jason Lee A.K.A Earl Hickey, calls Barney (Gregg Binkley) "Kenny" by accident. Guess the name of the character Binkley played in My Name Is Earl.
      • Smokey Floyd returns in "Making The Band" with a list of people he's wronged that he is making amends to, complete with My Name is Earl theme music, he is joined by the actors who played Randy, Darnell, Joy and Catalina as well as TV's Tim Stack.
    • Stephen Root plays Sabrina's eccentric, rich father, which brings to mind his role as Jimmy James.
    • In the It's a Wonderful Plot Christmas episode, Maw Maw plays the angel. Cloris Leachman once played this role in It Happened One Christmas, a gender-flipped version of It's a Wonderful Life. There was also a version of the It's a Wonderful Plot when Leachman was on The Facts of Life.
    • In "Yo Zappa Do", Brian Doyle-Murray appears as a president of a movie studio. Of course, considering who appears next, it could have been the actual Mr. Savitsky. In the same episode, Virginia (Martha Plimpton) points out that child actors never last, that they appear in a Steven Spielberg movie and then end up "as the mom on a wacky sitcom".
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    • "Credit Where Credit Is Due" features a DeLorean and Christopher Lloyd.
    • "Happy Halloween" reveals that Burt would routinely dress up in costume on Halloween just to scare Jimmy (so he'd come to him for a hug). Considering that Garret Dillahunt usually plays scary roles, and that Jimmy explicitly says that Burt tortured him by doing this...
  • Casting Gag: Most of the main cast and supporting cast of My Name Is Earl appear in various smaller roles. Often it's done with a degree of irony, such as Juan Pope playing a straight laced police officer in this show, whereas in Earl he was the shifty black market dealer Jasper.
  • The Cast Showoff: More of a guest-star showoff, but if Kate Micucci (Shelly) is in an episode, she would likely be singing and playing the ukelele.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: When the fourth (and final) season was released, it was moved from its previous Tuesday's timeslot to Friday, at 9:00 PM. Needless to say, the fourth season ratings were the lowest that the TV show ever had.
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  • Playing Against Type: Garret Dillahunt, who is better known for playing sociopaths and other unsavory characters, as the loving yet dumb and harmless Burt Chance.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • In the first season finale we meet Lucy's first victim, who is played by Bijou Phillips' actual husband, Danny Masterson.
    • In the episode "Anniversary", the cowboy running the dude ranch is veteran actor Keith Carradine, Martha Plimpton (Virginia)'s father.
    • In the third season premiere, Melanie Griffith plays Sabrina's mother as they gather for the funeral of Sabrina's grandmother, who is played by Griffith's real mother, Tippi Hedren.
    • Richard Dean Anderson and his daughter, Wylie, played father and daughter in Season 2.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Teenage Virginia, Kelly Heyer, looks uncannily like Martha Plimpton. The show later recast teenage Burt with Corey Eid, who similarly resembles Garret Dillahunt.

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