Sometimes, dear reader, I do things for you that no-one else would ever do. It’s what granddads are here for. A bullet flies through the window after you told the neighbor kid about his halitosis in front of his girlfriend, and who accidentally gets shot in the face? Grandpa Lou. You spill coffee on your dress right before your parole hearing, and who’s there to trade clothes with you even though you are a size 4 in women’s and now your extra-large pants are stitched together from mismatching carpet samples? Grandpa Lou. You could not care any less about Charlie Sheen, but you want to impress the morons that you see on a daily basis like your cross-eyed godnephew Michael, and who steps in and watches everything Charlie Sheen-related at 4AM on a Tuesday? That’s right grandsons and granddaughters, your dear old Grandpa Lou does those things for you, and he’d do them again if you asked him to, because he loves you.
Being as Monday was Talk Like A Pirate Day, I decided to put on my eyepatch, head on down to the bay of pirates and see if the Internet might offer me a glimpse of the human shit show that was Charlie Sheen this week. For those that have been mercifully ignorant to the social media onslaught that was Sheen—neé Carlos Irwin Estevez, though we Latinos would prefer that you call him by his made up name instead—this past summer, let me bring you up to date. A whoremonging, drug-abusing millionaire lost his amazing job and proceeded to use every opportunity possible to shit on his prior employer, piss off and alienate nearly all of his colleagues and generally make people physically ill at the mere mention of his name. For my European readers, there’s a Dominique Strauss-Kahn joke in here, but I get paid to make jokes about douchey-assholes, not scum-of-the-earth rapist sacks of dog feces*.
So Charlie, whom I previously liked alright for being a millionaire whoremonger and sometimes for his okay acting (though not particularly for his #1 TV show or all of the spousal abuse), showed his true douchey colors earlier this year by badmouthing the guys that gave his washed-up ass a shot on television. True, Charlie’s main enemy and former boss Chuck Lorre was a passive-aggressive jagoff, using a series of blink-if-you-missed-them title cards at the end of his shows to take jabs at people he didn’t like, but biting the hand that feeds you, particularly in the entertainment industry is always a bad idea.
Charlie really went bonkers out there this summer, first ruining everyone’s twitter feed by introducing “#winning!” as a thing for jagoffs to say when they did something that they thought was awesome, like passing an emissions test or finding out it was just an ingrown hair down there after all. Later, Charlie charged these same jagoffs money to stand on stage in front of them with nothing to say and see how long they could handle it. For reference, in Detroit—home of unbearable urban squalor and complete indifference to frozen-stiff homeless guys—the threshold of politeness was about thirteen minutes.
So here we are, nearly half a year later, and Sheen has been mercifully out of sight and for a good chunk of time, out of mind. This week had him on a mini-comeback tour as a presenter for the Emmys and as the guest of honor on one of these paint-by-numbers roast shows on Comedy Central, which happened to coincide with the season premiere of his old show, Two and a Half Men. So friends, I took time out of playing Pac Man on my PS3 (why didn’t anyone tell me about this game sooner!) to watch the roast AND the new sitcom.
I watched the roast first, because it actually had Charlie in it. It was your standard roasty fare, with Jeffrey Ross storming the dais with seriously killer comedy, and Seth McFarlane as roast master doing his best not to Fuck everything up, which, if you’ve seen any of his TV shows, is damn near impossible for him. Sheen was a good sport throughout the evening and managed to sit through some really hurtful stuff about his fucked up shitty life, and then said his own jokes written by people at least as funny as the ten thousand chimps on ten thousand typewriters that shit out Two and a Half men twenty-odd times a year. When it came time to sit through the season premiere of that show, I seriously had to brace myself, because I’ve seen a few episodes before, and when I hear people I know say that they like—or even, God help me, LOVE—the show, I have to use the extra 90% of my brain just to stop from chainsaw murdering them.
The premiere started with Charlie’s funeral and the canned laughter was so intense at times that I actually stopped at several points in the 23 or so minutes of the program to hug my dog and forget that this is really a hit show in the country I grew up in. Charlie’s house goes up for sale, and much like the Comedy Central roast, a bunch of “celebrity” nobodies that I kinda remembered from watching bad TV over the years stopped in to make an offer on the fictitious mega-mansion.
“Wow” I thought, as these nobodys entered the house, “It’s Dharma & Greg! Now it’s Jon Stamos! Hey there’s Ashton Kutcher! Where’s Ted McGinley to put the final nail in the coffin?!” I sat and waited, but alas, Ted McGinley never showed and therefore didn’t see his shadow and therefore we will see at least six more seasons of the second worst trick the devil ever pulled on us, more of this abomination of a show that will make Chuck Lorre richer and more powerful and shittier than ever. I can’t believe it, but in that brief half-hour, I actually missed Charlie Sheen!
In an era of TV consisting of fatsos weighing in and has-beens being voted off and hoarders and junkies and bridezillas being sold to us as “real,” it’s so great to think that there was a real person right in front of us on TV, being his real shitty self and having real human emotions, wrapped up in broad comedic strokes. The world needs Charlie Sheen more than he needs us, and one day, when Breaking Bad and Louie are finally off the air and there’s nothing good on at all anymore, we’re gonna look back fondly on the time when the TV had more than “celebrities,” it had personalities. I watched Sheen live on the Emmys, waiting for him to say something bold, but instead, he buckled down, smiled and wished his former employer continued success. You know what’s crazy? I believed him.
As this is the last New Fangled Old Stuff With Grandpa Lou column SYFFAL will publish, I’d like to take a moment to thank Tim, Joel, Kyle and the rest for making this a great pile of coal for an old hobo to rest his dirty boots. As all hoboes must do, it’s time for me to be moseying on down the road, destination unknown. Good luck to all, and maybe I’ll see you on my way to The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
*Alleged dog feces.