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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hit Comedy Set in South Jersey?
A recent episode of My Name Is Earl revealed it's set in Camden County. But which one? Could be Georgia's, lots of Interneters speculate, 'cause the characters have Southernish accents. Then again, Earl and his brother drive to Hagerstown, and the best-known one's in Maryland, an easy drive from South Jersey. (No Camden County in the Old Line State.)

Had to call Greg Garcia, the NBC show's creator to set the record straight. "Camden County is a fictitious county that lives on a upside-down globe," he said.

Still sounds like South Jersey to us.

But he insisted it's not in any state. "We never say how long it takes them to get anywhere. This town, it's out there somewhere," he said. "The truth of the matter is we shoot it in Los Angeles, so there's going to be palm trees in the shots."

OK, I may have overlooked that.

Most places named-dropped on the Tuesday-night show do have Maryland roots, he admits. Like Cumberland. The Crab Shack. And on a future show, Frostburg State, where Garcia, 35, went to school.

So why Camden? Just as we suspected: There's a Baltimore connection. "My son's named Camden, after Camden Yards," he said. (It's where the Orioles play, of course.)

Unlike his main character, Earl, played by Jason Lee (pictured), "my karma's great," Garcia said. "I'm pretty pleased with myself. I think I'm doing all right."

And he's never kept a list of wrongs to make right. "I've done a lot of bad things," he admits. "I just don't feel guilty about it."

Any Philly-area examples? "I illegally bought beer when I was underage in Wildwood. I got thrown out of a TGI Friday's in Philadelphia when I was in college." And he remembers getting hassled at the Vet. Virgina-born and -raised, he's a Redskins fan and dared to let it show.

"I survived. I turned my shirt inside out and started rooting for the Eagles, because I saw another guy get pelted with hot dogs. ... It's rough up there, man. There's a lot of Earls up there in those stands."

Which is why we had to ask if Earl was one of us. Then again, the world is full of Earls.


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