The long awaited return of Two and a Half Men went to air last week, almost simultaneously in the USA and Australia. In the USA Charlie Sheen went up against his old show with The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen going to air at the same time. But Channel 9 in Australia did some smart buying and aired the show after the Two and a Half Men return on the same channel. Sticking with the title I gave them some time ago of Channel Charlie.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard all about the famed series of events, or breakdown, that led to Charlie Sheen’s sacking from Two and a Half Men. He seemed to have got away with all the bad publicity of drug binges, hookers and porn stars, but when he started to insult the producers in the media they sacked him. John Cryer towed the party line last week when he received his star on Hollywood’s walk of fame, saying they did it to help save him.
To make sure there was no come back, they killed him off in the series, which, considering he was the show, I thought was a bit mean spirited. Now death in a comedy show is not easily handled, especially of the lead character. But the writers did really well. Charlie having accidentally fallen in front of a metro train in Paris after the crazy Rose caught him in the shower with another woman.
Charlie’s funeral featured all of his old girlfriends, some of them wanting to spit on his body, but Alan said the body was not in a spit-able condition. The show continued with several cameos including John Stamos and Dharma and Greg (Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson) as potential buyers for Charlie’s beach house. Sad to see Dharma and Greg’s marriage is on the rocks.
Ashton Kutcher’s entrance as Walden Schmidt was well timed. Appearing at the window of the beach house causing Alan to spill Charlie’s ashes all over the floor, they later picked him up with a Dust Buster.
Kutcher then spent a great deal of the show naked, much to the approval of the females in the cast and probably the audience. There was a good line about drinking to feel tall, good looking and smart, to which Kutcher replied “I am tall, good looking and smart”. Very much in line with his Kelso character from That 70’s Show, except the smart bit.
There were lots of laughs and I think the show may continue to succeed and the writers will continue to surprise us with how they deal with Charlie’s departure and Walden taking his place. I assume we will find out this week how Alan and Jake continue to live in the house now that Walden is buying it, which should be interesting.
The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen was a hit and miss affair, as many comedy shows are. It was good to see that Charlie was looking fit and healthy and could laugh at all the gags at his expense. Interestingly so did Brooke Mueller, his most recent ex-wife, who was in the audience.
But a lot of the jokes were not funny and various targets were chosen for some nasty jibes. Patrice O’Neal a black comedian with diabetes and a weight problem caught a lot of racist and size-ist flack. Gay jibes were aimed Seth McFarlane (creator of the Family Guy) and the youthful Anthony Jeselnik and Amy Schumer were also a target for un-funny digs. Although in Jeselnik’s case he probably deserved it, as his segment averaged about a laugh an hour, but as he was only up for a few minutes there were no laughs.
Now I believe that anything can be a target for comedy, as long as it’s funny, but many of these guys do not know the difference between funny and just sensational and really should learn that before they are given a platform again.
Jeffrey Ross, who was unknown to me and most likely many people outside of the USA, was probably the pick of the comedy routines. He appeared dressed as Colonel Gadaffi, just why was never explained. But his material was really good, as was Patrice O’Neal’s. The rest were pretty mixed including Seth McFarlane who was the host and Mike Tyson who appeared to be drunk or high.
Jon Lovitz and surprisingly William Shatner and Kate Walsh had their moments, as did Amy Schumer. Australian viewers may have seen her before in one of the series of Last Comic Standing that was shown here, an attractive girl with some good material. But Anthony Jeselnik (who?) and Steve-O from the Jackass movies had nothing. Steve-O decided to round off the show by launching himself into Mike Tyson’s fist and breaking his nose. Apparently that is entertainment in his book.
Charlie Sheen gave a good response to all of the roastings and as I said earlier, it was good to see him looking more healthy and controlled. Personally I hope he remains healthy and we see him back in another sit-com soon.