Eli Cartwright Goggins III (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell), an African-American in a wheelchair who becomes the newly hired supervising manager of the Stuckeybowl Bowling Alley in the town of Stuckeyville, Ohio. To get the job, Eli lied that he had all sorts of bowling alley experience.
Ed Stevens (Tom Cavanagh), the owner of the bowling alley investigated Eli’s background and despite all the lies about being qualified, Ed hired Eli because he liked Eli’s confidence and positive get-things-done attitude.
The Eli character joined the series during season 3 in the fall of 2002. His character was paralyzed in a motor cycle accident.
Note: In an internet interview “Ed’s Big Chill” by Daniel R. Coleridge (TV Guide Insider August 7, 2002) paraplegic actor Mitchell who hurt himself in 2001 explains:
“I was in a motorcycle accident in November, which left me paralyzed from the mid-chest down,” the actor recalls. “This show is a great blessing. It means more to me than just a job — it’s my first job back after my accident. It was all about, ‘Will I be able to produce… spiritually, physically, emotionally?’
“It was just about coming back to work and being able to perform,” he adds. “It was a serious head trip until we got the first scene in the can! They were like, ‘We want energy and attitude.’ Well, I brought the ‘tude.”
Mitchell had previously appeared on the situation comedies VERONICA’S CLOSET and THE JOHN LARROQUETTE SHOW.