The Magic Hour is the 1st episode of Season 4 of My Name Is Earl, and the 70th episode overall. Joy's latest con reminds Earl of a wish he stole from a dying child named Buddy, so ten years after that, he visits the kid's mother, only to find out that Buddy is very much alive. Buddy has the vision of a movie, and he wants Earl to help him produce it.
It's the grand re-opening of Mystery Funland, and Joy has a plan to get the kids in for free. With a magic marker, she draws "Make-A-Wish" on their T-shirts. Why should her kids suffer because they're healthy? All this inspires Earl to remember the time he took advantage of a Make-A-Wish kid.
One night ten years ago, a drunken Earl needed a ride home. When he spotted a giant dog (really a horse), he took advantage of the transportation, depriving dying Make-A-Wish kid Buddy of his pony ride in the 1999 New Year's Day parade. Buddy is dead, but Earl decides to do something for his parents.
As luck would have it, Buddy is still alive, and he knows just what Earl can do for him. A rabid movie fan, Buddy has written a script about international spy Max Patrick, who takes down a giant squid. He will direct and star, and Earl can produce.
Buddy has an artistic vision, and as producer, Earl must help him execute it. Buddy wants to cast someone hot yet edgy as Max's wife; Joy is perfect. Catalina is cast as a ruthless terrorist, and Randy will be the president. The only problem - Randy is the only one who can act. Claiming it's simple, Randy shows off, upsetting everyone.
Problems continue during shooting. Catalina throws a knife into Willy's eye, and Randy catches on fire. With each foible, Buddy runs to his trailer, leaving Earl to "fix it." When it's time to shoot the important final scene at magic hour, morale is low. Buddy steals an onscreen kiss with Joy, so she quits, and the rest of the cast and crew follow suit.
Buddy is upset when no one shows up for the final day of shooting. Earl reiterates that everyone quit, but he's prepared to keep going. Buddy realizes that he's already got his dream shots in the can. He just needs two weeks to edit, and then Earl can throw a premiere party. Earl thinks no one will come, but Buddy knows they will.
Since "2 the Max" is the first film shot in Camden since the documentary on the chemical spill, everyone in town shows up to the premiere party... except Buddy. Sadly, he has succumbed to his disease. Buddy's mom assures Earl that Buddy died happy, since all his crazy dreams came true while filming the movie: he met the president, saved the world from a giant squid, and finally got to ride that horse in a parade.
Everyone enjoys Buddy's movie - it's obvious that he's made something special. Inspired by Buddy, everyone decides to do the things they've always wanted to do while they still have a chance. Darnell paints, Joy designs clothing security tags, and Earl takes up the xylophone. He might not be too good at it, but he intends to give it his best shot, and make it totally awesome.
- This marks the final appearance of William.
- Guest star Seth Green and Jason Lee co-starred together in the film Enemy of the State.
- Mindy Sterling also played Seth Green's mother in the Austin Powers films.
- When Randy teaches the others how to act, he quotes the following movies - 'Taxi Driver', 'E.T. The Extraterrestrial', 'The Fugitive', 'The Elephant Man' and 'The Silence of the Lambs' as well as a speech by Malcolm X and the tagline from a Jif ad.
- List item introduced and crossed off in this episode:
- - Unnumbered list item 24 Stole Buddy's childhood dream
- "The Seeker" by The Who
- "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright
- Buddy: Sup bro, You stole my pony?
- Earl: Buddy? I thought you were dead. I saw you on the news.
- Randy: I know what happened. He made a wish to still be alive. Why don't they all do that?
- Earl: So, I take it you're a movie buff?
- Buddy: Hell yeah! You spend 95 percent of your teen years in bed you're gonna watch some flicks.
- Buddy: Have you ever seen a movie without Burt Reynolds in it?
- Earl: Not all the way through, no.
- Randy: (impersonating Malcolm X) We didn't land on Plymouth Rock! Plymouth Rock landed on us!
- Randy: (acting again) It puts the lotion in the basket. So smooth. PUT THE LOTION IN THE BASKET!
- Jason Lee as Earl Hickey
- Ethan Suplee as Randy Hickey
- Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner
- Nadine Velazquez as Catalina
- Eddie Steeples as Darnell Turner
- Dale Dickey as Patty
- Bill Suplee as Willie
- Abdoulaye N'Gom as Nescobar-a-Lop-Lop
- Gregg Binkley as Kenny James
- Trey Carlisle as Earl Jr.
- Louis T. Moyle as Dodge
- Timothy Stack as Tim Stack
- Seth Green as Buddy Zaks
- Mindy Sterling as Mrs. Zaks
- Gabrielle Dennis as Sassy
- Andy Pessoa as Young Kenny
|< Season 3||My Name is Earl Season 4|
|#01||The Magic Hour||#08||Little Bad Voodoo Brother||#15||Darnell Outed (Part 1)||#22||Pinky|
|#02||Monkeys Take a Bath||#09||Sold a Guy a Lemon Car||#16||Darnell Outed (Part 2)||#23||Bullies|
|#03||Joy in a Bubble||#10||Earl and Joy's Anniversary||#17||Randy's List Item||#24||Gospel|
|#04||Stole an RV||#11||Nature's Game Show||#18||Friends With Benefits||#25||Inside Probe (Part 1)|
|#05||Sweet Johnny||#12||Reading is a Fundamental Case||#19||My Name is Alias||#26||Inside Probe (Part 2)|
|#06||We've Got Spirit||#13||Orphan Earl||#20||Chaz Dalton's Space Academy||#27||Dodge's Dad|
|#07||Quit Your Snitchin'||#14||Got the Babysitter Pregnant||#21||Witch Lady|