Charlie Sheen made a sudden live appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, carrying test results that declared him drug-free and proclaimed, “I’m super-bitchin’ [and] I don’t believe myself to be an addict.” Morgan called Sheen “the Che Guevara of television” and “one of life’s great characters.”
Sheen said that CBS president Les Moonves came to his house and told him, “ ‘Try to pull it back a little bit,’ and I said, ‘No problem, boss.’” The actor said he was thereafter surprised when production was shut down with what he said were eight more shows to complete the season.
“I would urge Les or Chuck [Lorre] to call in,” said Sheen during the live broadcast. Alas, they did not.
When Morgan asked him whether he felt any responsibility as a role model when he’s the star of Two and a Half Men, “the number one family comedy,” Sheen snickered that the content of any given episode of Men is “juvenile or gross,” containing a quantity of lewd jokes that “eclipses stuff I do on my most epic nights.”
Sheen said if the rumors are true that CBS is courting John Stamos to replace him on Men, “you guys [at CBS] deserve everything that happens later,” implying low ratings, and adding he didn’t forgive Stamos for ridiculing him on Howard Stern’s radio show.
Sheen said Mel Gibson had called with comforting words – “He’s a stone cold dude,” Sheen said of Gibson. “Sean Penn was over [at my house] the other night and we had a few laughs,” he added.
The irony of appearing on CNN, to be followed by an Anderson Cooper 360 show devoted to Libya and the latest statements by Muammar Gaddafi, was not lost on Sheen. “For me to be the biggest headline while this is going on,” he said, “that’s crazy.”
It was, it must be admitted, an impressive performance – on the wacko terms that Sheen has redefined for himself as decent public behavior. He was quick and frequently funny. Sheen continued to heap scorn on those who would armchair diagnose his condition and urge him into rehab or an organization such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Sheen said he found the rhetoric of addiction is “vintage balderdash” and that to join AA, “you gotta sit in a room and be all lame. I’m a winner and they look like losers.”
Morgan told Sheen that he believed Sheen was “entitled to behave however you want” provided it wasn’t illegal.
“I don’t think you sound that crazy at all,” said Morgan. And indeed, Sheen came across as an intelligent, complicated man – jumpy and a yammerer, to be sure, compulsively rephrasing nearly every sentence he uttered, but by no means out of control or incoherent.
What do you think of Sheen’s appearance on Morgan’s show?