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Posted: March 9, 2011 06:24 PM

Retaining the Sheen: The Worst Possible Two and a Half Men Replacements


While Charlie Sheen was jubilantly waving his roof machete and roaring "Freedom!" earlier this week, his employers were doing the opposite.

In fact, they're kind of stuck.

Warner Bros. and CBS are trying to find Sheen's replacement on their most highly-rated (if criminally overrated) comedy, Two and a Half Men. And they need someone who is, at heart, a genuinely selfish, sex-obsessed chauvinist that struggles mightily with money and identity issues obtained from familial disfunction.

Or they need someone who can pretend to be all of those things, like masterful character actor Charlie Sheen.

The history for this sort of thing isn't good. Newsradio replaced Phil Hartman with Jon Lovitz and, while it was an admirable effort, he was no Phil Hartman. He was Jon Lovitz. Kirstie Alley replaced Shelley Long on Cheers, then proceeded to eat the whole set, beginning with the stool legs and ending with Rhea Pearlman's career.

But there was that one guy who replaced Michael J. Fox on Spin City, who was able to extend the show for another two seasons. He was no McFly, if I remember correctly, but he was confident and competent and funny.

Wait. That was Charlie Sheen. Damnit.

We've heard rumors of some of the best possible replacements already. The top of the list is John Stamos. Never should the top of any list be John Stamos. We know that this probably won't end well, at this point.

So, it got us thinking: How can we make this even worse? Who are the worst possible Charlie Sheen replacements on Two and a Half Men?

Cesar Milan: Dog Whisperer

Wouldn't it be wonderfully cathartic if all it took to tame that doe-eyed, imbecilic half-man -- not Charlie Sheen, we're talking about the child character Jake -- was someone who took the time to sit down with him and treat him like a German Shepard about to be euthanized?

Mr. Ed

It would be confoundingly tacky if a talking horse was able to wrangle all of Alan Harper's commitment issues with women while staving off countless hours of glue jokes and rekindling a strictly sexual relationship with a now septuagenarian Secretariat.

Oh, who are we kidding? This would be incredible.

Let's Replace Him With Will's Aunt from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and See If No One Notices Again

It worked the first time they replaced Aunt Viv with someone who looked nothing like the first Aunt Viv. Let's try it again.

Conjoined Twins

Can't do it. Would mess with the math.

Charlie Sheen

The idea has been entertained that this charade is, in fact, one massive, Joaquin Phoenixian satire to unveil the persistence of American media's celebrity obsession. Granted, Sheen would be the first person to sacrifice his kids to Child Protective Services in order to do so. But he's just so verbose! This has got to be art!

So here's to hoping it's not.

Nancy Grace would literally pass away from embarrassment and Headline News would be forced to air truly informational news programming on their network, which would be potentially devastating to our nation's health.

Rob Lowe

Ah, the frontrunner. The perfect stand-in. The battered Oreo cookie to Jon Cryer's McFlurry of life.

Rob Lowe -- who has played every pompous a-hole in any cinematic or televisual venture since Ben Hur -- is the natural personality replacement to Charlie Harper. And he's one of Charlie Sheen's best friends.

He is also the worst possible person for the job.

Set aside the fact that he would simply become an extension of a mediocre character on a mediocre show. There's a more important reason.

We have things to do. There are a few dozen revolutions going on right now, and there may have been some life found on a meteorite the other day, but no one heard. No one heard because Charlie Sheen has a podcast now, and the news heard that he says some stupid things on it.

And we'd never hear the end of it if Charlie Sheen's best friend takes over his bad, old TV show.



Ben Collins is an Assistant Editor at Hulu. You can email him here or reach him on Twitter @globesoundtrack.

 

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