Before the show
Many years ago, before the events of Won't You Be Our Neighbor, Earl and Jay worked together. They had formed their closet company, Closet-fornia. The business was great, high-end clients, maybe a celebrity or two. Until one day Jay came into work and Earl's desk had been cleared out. He had badmouthed Jay to half their rolodex. It was devastating and Jay had to start all over. "It was Larry Hagman. Heck of a guy. Heart as big as his hat."
Then in the present, it turns out Manny had met Earl's granddaughter Sophie and she became his new girlfriend whom he met in his theater group, something that made Jay mad when he found out that his rival was her grandfather after showing a new idea of his for work.
Gloria organized a dinner for the two men so they could work things out and they soon start disputing again and Earl is not quite happy to hear that his granddaughter is groping his rival's stepson.
Earl goes to Jay and Gloria's house because he thinks the thing between him and Jay is getting way out of control and should do something to work it out.
Manny then enters and introduces himself and Earl asks if this is "the stud who's been groping his Sophie" and Manny tries to assure him that there's nothing untoward between him (Manny) and Sophie, laughs and tells Manny he "believes" him (maybe, maybe not).
Earl sees Jay's box he had shown earlier to Manny, Gloria and Sophie and says he thinks he'll call it the Sock 'n Roll, takes the box and leaves and Jay shouts at him "The hell you are!".
Earl reappears in "The Closet Case" where Mitchell has been called to work for him in a consultant job. Earl tricks him in thinking that he wants to bury the hatchet with Jay. A van pulls up in front of Jay's house and Jay sees what has happened. That night, Jay and Mitchell break into Earl's office and Earl catches them and Mitchell is disgusted at Earl for tricking him. Earl and Jay start fighting again and later in Jay's car, Mitchell returns his father's old Rolodex to him which makes Jay very happy; Mitchell snuck it out of Earl's office while he and Jay had their fight for 10 minutes.
Earl reappears in "The Cover-Up" where it turns out that he is leaving horrible comments on Jay's new webshow and Jay and Manny track him down to his house and finds out that it's him doing it after Jay has help from Alex. After a brief fight, Earl suggests that he and Jay could make their collective show, which Jay refuses. Earl decides to make his own show instead, and desactivate commentaries much to Jay’s wrath, so Jay won’t have to troll him back.
Earl briefly reappears in "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook", dressed as the Devil and fights with Jay who is dressed as Jesus and who asked Manny to steal a picture from Earl's mansion and Jay was seen holding it. The two start fighting until Jay looks at his reflection in the mirror and gives up on trying to take the picture.
- Earl and Jay were once best friends.
- Earl is currently the only adult character to have a recast happen after his original portrayer Jon Polito died on September 1, 2016 from his battle with cancer. His new portrayer Robert Costanzo was first seen in the Season 8 episode Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook which was dedicated in memory of Jon Polito.
- Earl's portrayer, Jon Polito was gay.