Born a Gamblin' Man is the 9th episode of Season 2 of My Name Is Earl, and the 33rd episode overall. Earl tackles number 146 on his List, and decides to make 274 bologna sandwiches for Kenny James. While delivering the sandwiches, Earl moves onto a new mission, to teach Kenny how to gamble, but has trouble stopping.
It's Christmas time, and Earl is trying to make up for #146, stole gay Kenny's lunch every day at fifth and sixth grade. He decides to make 246 bologna sandwiches for Kenny. Meanwhile, Randy is trying to find a way he can finally make his move on Catalina, finally building up the courage after his encounter with the cat lady.
Meanwhile, Joy continues to pursue her goals of staying out of jail. Her deaf lawyer, Ruby Whitlow, tries to teach her to control her anger in a courtroom. After a question that is designed to trigger an angry response ("And you've been a slut for how long?"), Joy has an outburst on Ruby's translator, Doug. She calmed down, and Ruby asked another question through Doug that insulted Joy's children, causing another attack. Joy was sent to a support group by her lawyer, but due to budget cuts in Camden County people with all different types of problems met in one session which, whilst less effective, was much cheaper. Joy was angered at being sent to such a session, but the group leader told Joy that she had a "disease" that was not her fault, the sound of which she liked. She went back and told her lawyer, and Doug suggested she tried some prescription drugs for her anger.
Earl went to take the sandwiches to Kenny, who had just broken up with his boyfriend. Despite being uncomfortable around homosexuals, Earl felt compelled to stay and listen to Kenny. He explained that he wanted to be more manly as it is what most men want these days, and asks Earl to teach him to be like him, as everything about him suggests manliness. Earl agreed to help him out. They started out by going to the Crab Shack, where Catalina was wiring some money back home to ensure that the men who visit her village each week don't cut off her brother's fingers. Whilst there, Earl noticed Rosie the bookie, and decided to invite Kenny to gamble. He placed a bet on a dog, and won several times, earing himself and Earl quite a sum of money.
With the money he won, Earl bought some new tyres for the El Camino and decided that, as a manly task, Kenny could change them. He went over to Kenny's house, where he found that he had lost everything in his house due to the gambling that Earl had introduced him to. He went to the support group that Joy attended, and the group leader figured out that gambling was Kenny's way of numbing his childhood problems. The group leader then turned on Earl and asked him if he had a gambling problem, which he denied and quickly left to go and bet some more.
After winning all of Rosie's money at the Crab Shack, Earl was still hungry for gambling. He was approached by a man who told him to go to a place in East Camden where there would be some gambling action at 2:00am that night. Earl went along and found himself at a chicken coop that was surrounded by many people, all betting on which square of the pen the chicken would excrete in. After the place closed, he found an overseas betting phoneline where he could bet on all kinds of things, including who would win the elections in the Congo, which once again he won.
Randy meanwhile continued to plan for his big night with Catalina. He took her purse and tried to find things she liked; assuming that she was a fan of tic-tacs, keys and tampons as he found them there. He began to set up the motel room with bubble wrap on the floor, which he knew she liked as it reminded her of the shooting in her childhood. To keep her away, Earl took Catalina to the chicken betting pen. Whilst there, Earl saw Kenny, who admitted that he couldn't stay away from gambling. Earl encouraged him to stay and gamble, but Catalina said she had to go to start her shift at Club Chubby, and stop by the Crab Shack to wire her money home first. Earl gave her his car keys and told her to go, saying he would wire the money on his way home. She stressed how important it was for the money to get there, but he ignored her and continued gambling.
Earl felt confident that he would win once again, and made the decision to bet Catalina's money along with his own. However, before the bet could finish Randy called Kenny and told him that Catalina had been found speeding because she was late for her shift at Club Chubby. She tried to run but already was in her stripper clothes, so did not get far. He also said that once they found out she was an immigrant, she would get deported. Earl realized it was his fault Catalina was late, and he rushed back to the motel, with all his winnings, to find an upset Randy alone in the room, waiting for Catalina who he knew would never come.
Whilst things did not work out for Randy and Earl, Kenny managed to face his problems and realized that the way to move on was to not copy Earl, but to talk about them. Joy tried her anger pills in the hopes that her "disease" would finally pass. Randy decided he wanted to tell Catalina how he felt, and set off for Mexico with Earl, who wanted to fix all the problems he had caused.
- The encounter with the cat lady that Earl refers to was seen in the episode Larceny of a Kitty Cat.
- Catalina's fake driver's licence lists her as being called "Jane Driver", and is signed by supposed manager "Greg Garcia", who is the creator of My Name is Earl.
- Randy calls dibs on Catalina, and tries to tell her his feelings, but is unable. He meets Judy, a cat lady, who gives him the confidence to finally tell Catalina.
- Joy's anger issues are shown.
- Ruby is shown flirting with a mailman, to Doug's embarrasment.
- Introduced and crossed off in this episode
- #146 Stole gay Kenny's lunch every day at fifth and sixth grade.
- "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" by Elton John (Earl and Kenny first start betting)
- "Chicken Drop" by Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper (Earl first sees the chicken betting)
- "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by Rolling Stones (Catalina tries to run)
- Earl Hickey: (voiceover) When Kenny said those words to me, it made me realized something, something kinds painful... Kenny was a loser.
- Jason Lee as Earl Hickey
- Ethan Suplee as Randy Hickey
- Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner
- Nadine Velazquez as Catalina
- Eddie Steeples as Darnell Turner
- Marlee Matlin as Ruby Whitlow
- Jonathan Slavin as Doug
- Sandy Brown as Anchorwoman
- Kadeem Hardison as Owner
- Cheryl Hawker as Rosie
- Bonnie Hellman as Moderator
|< Season 1||My Name is Earl Season 2||Season 3 >|
|#01||Very Bad Things||#07||Mailbox||#13||Buried Treasure||#19||Harassed a Reporter|
|#02||Jump for Joy||#08||Robbed a Stoner Blind||#14||Kept a Guy Locked in a Truck||#20||Two Balls, Two Strikes|
|#03||Sticks & Stones||#09||Born a Gamblin' Man||#15||Foreign Exchange Student||#21||GED|
|#04||Larceny of a Kitty Cat||#10||South of the Border, Part Uno||#16||B.L.O.W.||#22||Get a Real Job|
|#05||Van Hickey||#11||South of the Border, Part Dos||#17||The Birthday Party||#23||The Trial|
|#06||Made a Lady Think I Was God||#12||Our 'Cops' Is On!||#18||Guess Who's Coming Out of Joy|