Meet Big Daddy Earl

By Randall Wise with Ray “big daddy earl” Saraceni

During rehearsals our production of “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest,” Ray Saraceni, was getting lunch at the Norristown McDonalds. As he was leaving the restaurant a man stopped him and loudly proclaimed “Hey, I know you! You’re Big Daddy Earl!” Ray, nonplussed, said, “uh, ok,” and headed back to the theater. He related the story to the rest of the cast who found it funny – not only that it happened to Ray (who seems to attract odd characters), but that it was another example of how colorful downtown Norristown can be.
Needless to say Ray became known as “Big Daddy Earl” to the Iron Age crew, and it became a tradition to have some reference to “Big Daddy” on the set of the show we were working on. Usually the Big Daddy item is a prop or small set piece, and is often,” small enough that even the actors sometimes miss it.

photvvvoThere have been “Papa Grande Earle” cigarettes in “Night of the Iguana,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-04-18 09.55.00A Big Daddy wanted poster on the set of “Fathers and Sons,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Daddy Suntan Lotion was on the set of “City of Angels” and “Heaven Can Wait”

photovaavvvChef Le Grande Papa Earle’s menu in the feast scene in “Terra Nova.”

 

 

 

 

 

2014-04-18 14.59.58Louisiana Governor Big Daddy Earle signed the warrant in “A Lesson Before Dying,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-04-18 09.56.21Big Daddy Earl was a wrestler as shown in this poster from “Requiem for a Heavyweight”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-04-18 09.53.53The rules on the door of the motel in “Fool for Love” were for Big Daddy Earle’s Show ‘n’ tell Buckaroo Arms Motel,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Big Daddy Earl signed the papal bull burnt in “Luther,”

2014-04-18 09.54.18Sir Big Daddy Earl wrote and signed the contract between the company and the Routledges in “Mana,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-04-18 15.00.12Big Daddy Earl has a tabloid advertisement in “The Elephant Man”

 

 

 

 

 

 

cardThe cast Gift of  “The Rear Column” included a Big Daddy Earl card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray himself carried the Big Daddy Earle Acme prompt book in “Moby Dick.”
And the list goes on. Not every show had a Big Daddy item – sometimes it just didn’t fit, but in most Iron Age shows, the legend of Big Daddy lives on.

More Big Daddy Earl Mythology to come including a lovely song parody and more images of props.

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