Overlooking Crazy

Charlie Sheen is a certifiable nutbar, there’s no question about it. 

But he also makes a very funny sitcom and he tends to throw himself on the mercy of public opinion in a very endearing and self-deprecating way.  It’s really difficult to dislike him.

deniseWhen he was married to Denise Richards, Charlie apparently lived in the couple’s TV room, watching live sports, expecting his wife to fetch him beer and nachos.  After they broke up and reconciled (the first time) Sheen’s statement to the entertainment media was, “I’ve realized that you can tape the games and watch them later!”

That didn’t last long and the actress/model was gone with their two young daughters faster than you could say “first down”.  They waged a very public tug of war over custody and support.  It got pretty ugly.

It seemed awfully quick when Charlie found himself a new, beautiful wife who quickly bore him twin sons.  Meanwhile, Two and a Half Men soared in the ratings and Sheen became the highest-paid sitcom star of all time.  The show warrants it – it’s extremely funny – although Jon Cryer deserves just as much credit.  But I digress.

Along comes this Christmas in Aspen and Charlie and wife Brooke have a huge blowout that involved both of them drinking large amounts of alcohol despite having a shared history of its abuse and of rehab.  It ended with her panicked call to 911 to report her husband weilding a knife.  He spends a little time in the pokey, she takes to the ski hills, they both give statements about counselling and hopes of saving their marriage


He’s definitely a mess.  He’s 44 years old (she’s 32) and he still hasn’t gotten it together.  He has the world by the tail, the best job in showbiz, an adoring public and peer group and he’s still chased by demons.  Part of you wants to shout at him, get it together you fool!  Like comic Mitch Hedberg once said, alcoholism is the only disease you can get yelled at for.  No one yells, “Damn it Otto, you have lupus!” 

But for some reason, instead of it being a huge turnoff, one still roots for Sheen to come out ahead.  Maybe it’s because of his talent.  Maybe it’s just in thanks for all of the laughs.  But maybe this time – maybe – he’s had enough of a wake-up call to know that a little wine leads to a lot of wine which leads to trouble, so next time, he’d be better off to  take a pass on a little wine.