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Ways in which “Two and a Half Men” can survive without Charlie Sheen

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Charlie Sheen and his poetic fingertips have been the source of great entertainment and speculation over the last several days. His antics have provided a much-needed distraction from events in that other part of the world where all that stuff is happening that I’m not really following anyway because it in no way affects me, and rising gas prices. But now that CBS and Warner Bros. have pulled the plug on the remainder of this season of his show “Two and a Half Men,” things have gotten a lot less funny and a whole lot more serious. After all,

If the show can’t return after this shortened season, it will still have a long life in re-runs and remain a cash cow. Warner Bros. still retains the syndication rights, and the show is watched almost as much in syndication each week as it is in primetime.

“Great would be an understatement,” said one studio insider asked to describe the show’s success, who said the show remains on-track to be a billion-dollar asset for Warner Bros. “This is one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of television.”

I have to admit that I have never watched more than a few minutes of the show. But given the importance of this program to the American economy, it is vitally important that it continue. It “is one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of television.”

It can’t die. Therefore I would like to present some suggestions as to how “Two and a Half Men” can continue its run.

I. Charlie Sheen’s character goes on an extended vacation with lots of beautiful women.

Although, as I’ve already stated, I have never actually watched the program, it’s my understanding that Mr. Sheen portrays a serial womanizer, who every night has sexual relations with a different woman, such as prostitutes and pornographic film stars. Perhaps the character could disappear (somewhere near the Bahamas?) with one or three or ten of these beauties. An entire season could be built around the “where is he this week?” theme. One of the characters could read postcards and emails from Mr. Sheen, in which he talks about things like,

I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists.

That is probably as funny as anything that’s ever aired on this show before.

And of course, if CBS and Warner Bros. should decide that Mr. Sheen should return to work, his character would turn up back at home just as mysteriously as when he disappeared.

II. Charlie Sheen’s character is murdered by Vatican assassins.

Again, I’ve never actually seen the show, so I’m not sure how true this would be to the reality of it, but perhaps Mr. Sheen’s character could run afoul of the famous Vatican assassins, a group of assassins who work for the Vatican, apparently. They assassinate him, and the remaining characters are left to uncover the conspiracy that led to Mr. Sheen’s character’s assassination (I just looked it up — the character is actually called “Charlie”). My suggestion is that it turns out that Charlie was in fact the new messiah, who can cure with his mind, and the Vatican feared that Charlie would announce himself to the world and thereby diminish their power.

This might necessitate a change in direction for the show — away from humor and toward more serious subjects. But the advantage of this is that the show would continue. Moreover, in this scenario, the Uncle Charlie character could always return, risen from the grave, to continue his womanizing ways, should the contract negotiations go well between all parties.

III. Charlie Sheen’s character is recast.

My first choice to pick up where Mr. Sheen left off would be Alex Jones, the radio show host in whom Mr. Sheen has confided so often. I’m not aware of any acting that Mr. Jones has done, however, as a radio host, he does have some performance background. Moreover, the show’s writers could play to Mr. Jones’s strengths by doing an episode in which the newly recast “Charlie” brings home a beautiful woman from, let’s say France, who turns out to work for the United Nations. She’s there to both sleep with Charlie and arrange for the United Nations to annex the home in which the two and a half men live. And the United States government is going to just hand it over! So Charlie has to turn on the charm and sleep with women from both the United States government, and the burgeoning new one world government, in order to prevent his home being taken from him.

There’s an episode right there — and I’m not even a professional sitcom writer! Imagine what the real “Two and a Half Men” writers could do.

IV. Charlie Sheen’s character is horribly mutilated in an F-18 strafing accident, and must be covered in bandages for the duration of the program.

This is a variation on the “recast” suggestion above, except that in this case you could just cover some random stage hand in bandages, so that only “Charlie’s” mouth and eyes would be visible. Because his vocal chords were damaged in the aerial incident, Charlie wouldn’t sound like Charlie, but, oh, would he continue to womanize!

At the beginning of next season, Charlie could be in a coma. Everyone would wonder, “Will he come out of the coma?” And then finally, at the end of the first episode, a beautiful nurse comes in and starts giving him a sponge bath. Then the machine that monitors his vital signs starts to beep wildly, and the other characters look at each other and smile and say something like, “I think he’ll be getting up!” And then they all high five each other.

Then for the rest of the season, Charlie would walk around with the bandages on, having wacky adventures (another sample adventure: a Halloween-themed “mummy” episode), while Mr. Sheen and CBS and Warner Bros. continue to work their negotiation magic. Should Mr. Sheen return to the show, the bandages would come of and voila! There’s Uncle Charlie!

V. Charlie Sheen’s character goes back in time.

This one I admit is a little bit out there. But somehow — perhaps the little boy character has a science experiment, a la Steve Urkel? — Uncle Charlie is transported back in time, and begins bouncing around through history. His first stop, a meeting with Thomas Jefferson, whom he defeats in an Octagon after challenging him to a fist fight. Although we would never actually see Uncle Charlie on screen, the little boy character (sorry I don’t have time to look up his name) would read about him in his school history books.

Entire episodes could be built around how Charlie has changed history. The characters might wake up one day to find that Alcoholics Anonymous has been replaced by coffee and underwear strafing. And that instead of saying “Hello” as a greeting, people now say, “Stop trying! Just sit back and enjoy the show.”

So those of you who were worried about the future of “Two and a Half Men,” one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, don’t. There are plenty of ways the writers and producers can handle Mr. Sheen’s supposedly erratic behavior, and save the show so that everyone who has made billions of dollars from it can continue to do so.

Defeating earthworms with his words.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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One Response to “Ways in which “Two and a Half Men” can survive without Charlie Sheen”

  1. Wayne Newton could take his place for the rest of the season.

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