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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

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    Charlie Pulls a Mel

    By kyle | February 25, 2011

    And Charlie Sheen’s career is ending in five, four, three….claiming he has “magic and poetry” in his fingertips (and, er, anti-Semitism), Charlie Sheen self-immolates. Couldn’t have happened to a sweeter guy.

    Question: will anyone miss him? Related question: how long will it take for CBS to simply hire someone else to fill in la Darren II on “Bewitched” — and go on as if nothing happened? CBS could even slip in a few in-jokes. Jon Cryer: “My, you look a little bit….different.” Sheen substitute: “Me? Yeah, my skin is clearing up since I decided to start gargling with Listerine instead of Jack Daniel’s.” (Guffaws from studio audience.)

    I’ve never seen an entire episode of “Two and a Half Men.” Normally 30 seconds of it is enough to make me want to set fire to the TV. Has anyone else endured it to the end?

    Topics: Comedy, TV | 10 Comments »

    10 Responses to “Charlie Pulls a Mel”

    1. Christian Toto Says:
      February 25th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      I find it amusing that, after all the stunts he’s pulled in recent years, he gets yanked for insulting the boss.

    2. Retro Hound Says:
      February 25th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      I’m with you. When that show comes on after the 9:00 news, I can’t hit the mute or off button fast enough. Never seen more than 30 seconds of the show.

    3. KS Says:
      February 25th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      I haven’t watched an episode for more than five minutes. It’s obnoxious. I feel the same way about “How I Met Your Mother.”

    4. CenturionTerminator Says:
      February 25th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      I actually did watch a couple of episodes of “Two and a Half Men”. I thought it was fairly humorous. But it’s nothing but one sex joke after another.

      I confess I was just killing time.

      I was waiting to see one of my favorite shows, “Smallville”.

    5. James Frazier Says:
      February 25th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      I’m always amazed by how cynical and bleak it is for such a successful show. Just relentlessly negative (and often genuinely misogynistic) gags, with a child around for a lot of it to boot. “Seinfeld” was all about sex at times, but almost never seemed mean. “Two and a Half Men” is just depressing, and that’s apart from the lameness.

    6. K Says:
      February 26th, 2011 at 1:56 am

      = Howard Beale.

    7. Jeff Gee Says:
      February 26th, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Some of the pee jokes are good. And the Chuck Lorre vanity cards that flash on the screen for a second at the end are often excellent (the archive is at My feeling is they should resume production with somebody else playing Charlie, head wrapped in bandages due to a car crash. Upon unwrapping it turns out to be Wallace Shawn. Every week there’s another car crash, and a new actor wrapped in bandages. I would watch this.

    8. whiskey Says:
      February 26th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      Lets get real here, Kyle. Two and A Half Men is the top rated sitcom, pulls in about 14-15 million each new episode, and holds about 75% (astonishing) in re-runs. It has netted about $1 billion in profit over 8 years for CBS/WB-TV combined.

      And it all rests on Charlie Sheen. He’s not replaceable. The show is all about the dangerous bad boy women secretly aim to tame. That’s it. Its why about 14-15 million women tune in every week.

      The only actors who could replace Sheen are dangerous bad boys women would like to tame as well: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and they are not available. Good luck trying to get them.

      Yes Sheen is nuts, a drug addict, and a walking disaster zone. So what, he’s made nearly a billion dollars for the Studios.

      Chuck Lorre is the loser, and dispensable. Clearly Sheen has a problem with Lorre, so Lorre will be canned from his own show. Its happened before: Amy Sherman-Palladino was canned after star Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls complained and threatened to stop work. Kiefer Sutherland got 24 creator/producer Joel Surnow canned over lack of PC dogma on the show.

      Sitcoms are a female-dominated (at least 85% of the audience is female) and star-based medium. There’s about $250 million on the table if Sheen can be propped up, managed, and cajoled into about 44 more episodes. Its why he wasn’t replaced before and why he’s gotten so many breaks.

      Yes Sheen belongs in an institution (seriously, he’s nuts) but his female fans don’t care — and they generate a ton of money. CBS is not about to abandon their #1 sitcom (and TV’s #1 comedy) just because their star is a raving lunatic. Heck just imagine the ratings next season with the premiere!

    9. CenturionTerminator Says:
      February 26th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      Maybe his brother Emilio Estevez can take his place.

      He’s another bad boy himself.

    10. yankeefan Says:
      March 2nd, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      I’m liking Charlie more with each interview. Just heard one where one of the earnest scolds asked him why he had sex with porn stars. Mr. Estevez answered, “Duh!” That is the right answer, isn’t it?

      Also, it’s no more anti-semitic to call someone by their actual name than it is anti-Muslim to call our Prez by his full name, and surely not anti-Hispanic to call Carlos Estevez by his actual name. Let the first person who’s never called Mr. Lauren, Ralph Lifshitz cast the first stone.