Thoughts after the jump, in case you haven't watched yet. ...
Maybe you were lured into "My Name Is Earl" by the laugh-and-sniff stunt. Not my thing. But I was pretty well amused by the rewriting of "Rudy" as an appliance-store saga, with all the details from casting (Charles Dutton, Sean Astin, Chelcie Ross) to Dutton's monologue and the laying of the cards on the desk. Although, overall, the best thing in the episode may have been Crab Man's look when he urged the absent Joy to run.
And I do see at least one similiarity between "Earl" and last night's "The Office," which was one of those episodes that said "You think we made you cringe before? We'll show you cringing!" In both cases, the shows are just going out and doing whatever they think is funny, no matter how off the track it is, no matter how uncomfortable it would make some viewers.
"The Office" certainly showed no fear in taking Michael's insensitivity to a greater extreme -- then spinning off that into his discomfort about being with Jan. I wasn't surprised to know Jan had some quirks -- we'd already seen indications of that -- but liked the way they were used to underscore how very innocent Michael is.