In the battle of the trailer park sitcoms, picking a winner between My Name is Earl and Trailer Park Boys is no easy task. They have a lot in common, specifically being set in close-knit, albeit not entirely lawful, communities. The cast of characters in both shows are definitely colorful, outlandish, and hilarious. That being said, there are more than a few ways the series are different from each other.
Trailer Park Boys is, without question, the bigger franchise as it’s been around in various capacities since 1999. While My Name is Earl ended after four seasons, that doesn’t make it any less funny than its competitor.
11 MY NAME IS EARL: Wholesome View Of The Trailer Park
Earl Hickey and his gang were a group of petty criminals who tormented the residents of Camden for years. But it wasn’t just them. There was a whole community of outlaws around them, some of whom were far more dangerous than the Hickey boys.
The show got rolling when Earl decided to live life on the straight and narrow, which actually caused some of the people around him to do the same. The trailer park he had lived in with Joy became a much better place when Earl became a better person.
10 TRAILER PARK BOYS: Adult Situations A-Plenty
Part of what drew people to Trailer Park Boys was the fact that things got raw real quickly. It wasn’t just that the main characters were involved in nefarious criminal activities — they were straight-up goons.
The criminals on this show were unrepentant jerks who lived on the fringes of society and were relatively happy there. Well, as happy as people who were perpetually on the verge of going to jail could be.
9 MY NAME IS EARL: Strange Examination Of Karma
Every journey starts with a single step. In the case of Earl Hickey, that first step was chasing a winning lotto scratcher into the street and getting hit by a car. When the universe wants to send a message, it doesn’t mess around.
While recovering from his injuries, Earl learned about the concept of karma from Carson Daly while watching an episode of his show. The narrative of the series was fueled by the concept of doing good things and good happening in return. It was very much a cause-and-effect situation.
8 TRAILER PARK BOYS: Charismatic Main Characters
At the core of the series were Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles. While there were a lot of characters throughout this world, the trio was the driving force behind everything that happened and were certainly the ones fans connected with.
It’s undeniable that Ricky and Julian in particular were incredibly charismatic. Bubbles, on the other hand, was not traditionally charming but still managed to garner the largest fanbase out of the three of them.
7 MY NAME IS EARL: Excellent Secondary Characters
In addition to Earl and his brother Randy, the rest of the gang was made up of Joy Turner, Darnell Turner, and Catalina Aruca. But what made the series work was that there was an incredible crew of secondary and recurring characters.
Nescobar-A-Lop-Lop was a prime example of this. He started off as someone Earl was helping, then became a recurring character who was regularly spotted at the Crab Shack just hanging out. This series did a good job developing characters like him.
6 TRAILER PARK BOYS: Anything Could Happen
There are a few live-action sitcoms that almost seem to have no rules. In fact, they’re almost like cartoons because of how absurd and unrealistic things can get. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is also like this as the gang can get up to some wild stuff.
Trailer Park Boys was about career criminals carrying out a neverending series of scams that ranged from misdemeanors to outright felonies. There’s nothing they won’t do, from selling stolen meat to running an illegal gas station. Incidentally, the gang on It’s Always Sunny also tried something similar.
5 MY NAME IS EARL: Ended Before It Got Stale
My Name is Earl got off to a pretty strong start with fans and critics alike. While Season 3 wasn’t as great, it got back to form in Season 4 and kept giving fans fun stories about Earl trying to make the world a better place.
The series ultimately came to an end after Season 4, which was unfortunate as the last episode was a cliffhanger. Still, in some ways it’s a good thing that the show ended before the core premise became dated and stale.
4 TRAILER PARK BOYS: Dug Deep Into The Trailer Park
Not surprisingly, Trailer Park Boys was set in a trailer park. The culture of the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park has been front and center since the first movie that kicked the whole phenomenon off debuted in 1999. And that culture just continued to grow over the years.
The boys conducted most of their operations out of Sunnyvale and were not the only questionable characters living there. Their battles with Mr. Lahey became the stuff of legends, and other residents factored heavily into their shenanigans.
3 MY NAME IS EARL: A Story Of Redemption
At the core of the series was Earl’s journey to find redemption for himself and his brother. Earl wanted to make his life better for himself by doing good things. But he also wanted to make life better for everyone around him, too.
The growth that Earl experienced as the show went on was both funny and inspirational. Viewers actually finished watching episodes feeling a bit better about the world as a whole.
2 TRAILER PARK BOYS: The Actors Maintain Kayfabe
Since 1999, Trailer Park Boys has become a verifiable media juggernaut. There have been multiple seasons of the live-action series, an animated series, several movies, and a variety of video games.
What’s interesting about all of this is that the lead actors who play Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles almost always maintain kayfabe. The show is a mockumentary, so they have often done interviews in character. That has served to enhance the premise and the humor in it.
1 Which Show Is The Better Comedy Series?
While Trailer Park Boys has certainly been on the air for a lot longer than My Name is Earl and has certainly made a larger cultural impact. But when My Name is Earl was firing on all pistons on Seasons 1 and 2, it’s hard to compete.
At this point, Trailer Park Boys has been on the air too long and has made too much content. It will always have hardcore fans who tune in no matter what, but My Name is Earl was an objectively funnier show with a more engaging plot.
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