How I Survived Two and a Half Days of Two and a Half Men
Yes, it was quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever done. Deciding to watch a sitcom (most likely a terrible one) for over sixty hours in a row without a break? So stupid. But, as it turned out, one of the most fun and absurd things I’ve ever done as well. I had such a great time watching the entirety of Two and a Half Men, that I’m actually going through a slight withdrawal from Charlie, Cryer and the Half-Man. That horrendously catchy theme song (beautifully composed by hitmaker Chuck Lorre, by the way) is forever ingrained in my mind. I miss the sudden, unnatural eruption of laughter from a laugh track over lines not even intended to be funny. And of course, I get sleepless thinking about all those intercourse innuendos, the thousands upon thousands of cringe-worthy sex jokes, puns, pokes and references that I will never hear again.
Actually, some of my favorite times were the ones where I thought I was losing my mind. Going from excited, silly and punch-drunk highs to yawn-y, mellow lows as the mind-numbing nonsense poured out of the television set. I loved that as soon as I’d get irritable (which happened very, very often), everyone in the room would ride me for “Sheening Out.”
All in all, there was so much stuff I enjoyed/hated, I thought it might be better to just give a rundown of moments, instead of a full-length review. So, here they are:
Total Time: 74.5 hours. Started Friday morning. Watched and didn’t sleep for 46 hours in a row, took a 4 1/2 hour nap, then watched for another 24 more hours. Ended Monday morning.
Total Episodes: 177 (plus one extra scene of “Two and a Half Men” from the end of the movie Due Date)
Total Seasons: 8
Number of Women Charlie Sheen Hooked Up With: 68 (this number plateaued in the final few seasons because Charlie had a consistent girlfriend)
Homophobic Jokes: 35
Number of Times I Genuinely Laughed: 3 real laughs and 2 half-laughs. (We decided there were some jokes that were half-laughs: ones where I laughed both genuinely and ironically at the same joke. Example: Emilio Estevez guests on the show, playing Charlie Sheen’s old friend. Not even five minutes into the show, he has a heart attack and drops dead. I laughed both with the show and at the show.)
Biggest Genuine Laugh: Sheen, hungover, vomiting into a baby carriage and onto a baby’s face.
Times I spoke complete and utter nonsense from being so sleep-deprived: 12
Some Show High/Lowlights:
–Angus T. Jones’s character being forced to eat all the time, literally every moment this poor kid was on screen. And he even loses a bunch of weight over the course of the show. They treated this kid terribly — his character was defined by his weight. At one point, they had him eat fifteen bananas in one sitting.
–Art imitates life: Charlie Sheen is a full blown alcoholic on the show. He is either hungover, passed out on the kitchen table, passed out on the front stoop, or drinking in the morning, but no one gives a shit. All the characters treat it as if it’s hilarious.
–Most of the women cast on the show play one of two characters: Bimbos or women who are very mean. If Charlie and Cryer are dating them, they’re usually bimbos. If they’re not, they’re horribly rude or very creepy.
–Everyone on the show wears the same exact awful outfit in every scene: Charlie — bowling shirt, cargo shorts, white tube socks, loafers. Cryer — button down tucked-in to his pants way to high, spray on hair (they reveal this on the show). Half-man — A generic K-mart style printed t-shirt. The Maid — a long black vest (we called her Mom Solo because her look was so similar to Han Solo’s).
–The Morphs: The intro to Two and a Half Men is one of the weirdest aspects of the show. The fact that over the course of the eight seasons, they never changed the opening, but morphed Angus T. Jones into his “current look,” was just disturbing. Here’s a video showing all the morphs:
–Jon Cryer sleeping with abnormally gorgeous women, way out of his league, and multiple times.
–Jon Cryer having a pregnant woman fetish.
–Charlie Sheen’s character, is in bed naked and grinding with his actual sister, when they find out they’re siblings. After realizing, she still wants to have sex with him.
–Charlie Sheen’s character trying to have sex with a widow at her dead husband’s funeral.
–The episode where the storyline is: “50 seagulls get stuck in Charlie Sheen’s bedroom.”
–The episode where the entire A story is: “Charlie gets a dick rash.”
–The episode with the storyline: “Jon Cryer has a threesome with guest star Carol Kane and her daughter.”
–Jon Cryer’s character gets his ex-wife pregnant while she’s married to a character played by Ryan Styles. Ryan thinks the baby is his. They are all regulars on the show. This storyline is completely dropped and never addressed again.
–Meta Moment: The Half-man asking Jon Cryer after a joke: “How is this funny?” and Cryer responding, “It isn’t.”
–Deep Toilet: For some reason, the toilet in Charlie Sheen’s bathroom was abnormally deep. When characters stuck their hand down it to grab something that fell inside it, their arms would drop down way farther than they should have. This happened three separate times. Dubbed by Curtis Gwinn: The Narnia Toilet.
–The CSI Crossover Episode: Yes, there is an actual episode of Two and a Half Men that crosses over with CSI. And the storyline is amazing: Charlie Sheen’s father-in-law, who’s just married his mother, is murdered on their wedding day, after just receiving a blow job from the mother. He’s literally found in his boxers. The rest of the show is a CSI style whodunit. This episode also has my favorite line of the entire series, from Jon Cryer to his mother. Jon Cryer is in a police precinct after the murder, when a hooker who’s been arrested recognizes him. The mother gives Jon Cryer a stern look for knowing her. Jon Cryer retorts with this gem: “Mom, at least I’m not the one who’s got lipstick on their dead husband’s dipstick.” Why do I love/hate this so much? First, blowjobs are a weird thing to discuss with your mother. Second, it’s a weird thing to call your penis your “dipstick.” And finally — your mother’s new husband has just died — on their wedding day! How can you possibly be such an asshole and make fun of her about it?!?
Some Personal Highlights:
–Pizza with Forks & Knives: On seven — yes, seven — separate occasions, the characters on the show ate pizza with forks and knives — without calling attention to it. So fucking weird.
–Chelsea Peretti, Mike Rosenstein and Jensen Karp asking if they could bring me some waffles to cheer me up, but when they brought them and I opened the box they gave me, I was surprised to see it was filled with a piece of actual dogshit.
–Guest Tim Heidecker getting excited and going crazy about seeing a cameo by Robert Wagner (who he called Roger Wagner), then being disappointed that it wasn’t actually him, beating himself up and crying that he made that mistake, then once again being okay, when he found out that it indeed was actually Robert Wagner.
–Re-enacting the pitch of the seagull storyline between Chuck Lorre and a writer with Jonah Ray.
–4 AM Monday morning, John Gemberling sticking plastic bags on his hands and singing “Baghands” to the tune of “Badlands” by Bruce Springsteen.
–Saturday afternoon at 4PM — taking “micronaps” that the sleep doctor warned me about
–Writing a spec script for an episode of Two and a Half Men with Paul Scheer.
–Getting confirmation from adult film stars Brooklyn Lee and Tori Black that Jada Pinkett Smith is into “strapping one on” and having sex with Will from behind.
–Capri Anderson (the adult film star who was in the bathroom at the Plaza Hotel when Sheen got arrested) not knowing who Amy Poehler or Will Arnett were.
–Getting real Charlie Sheen bowling shirts delivered from Jess Lane
–Playing dummies with Allan McLeod. This was based on an episode where Cryer becomes a ventriloquist. Someone actually made a gif of this.
–Almost puking from eating a tuna sandwich, while John Gemberling described and compared it to going down on the maid (Mom Solo).
–There were many more moments which I can’t fit here, but I had a blast with all my guests, including Jon Daly, Adam Pally, Paul Scheer, Dave Holmes, Scott Gimple, Jackie Clarke, Emily Strachan, Curtis Gwinn, John Gemberling, Brett Gelman, Nate Lang, Tim Heidecker, Chelsea Perretti, Jensen Karp, Mike Rosenstein, Brendon Walsh, Ali Ozeri, Alan Mcleod, Paul Rust, Jonah Ray, Ben Schwartz, Eric Appel, Taylor Orci, Matteson Perry, sleep expert Dr. Craig Schwimmer, and adult film stars Capri Anderson, Tori Black, and Brooklyn Lee.
* * *
So, even though for most of us the Charlie Sheen #tigerblood shtick is quickly getting tired, there are some people out there who are going to miss this show (my dad, your dad). I’d have to say, that although it wasn’t my cup of tea, Two and a Half Men is not as bad as some people make it out to be. It’s pretty god damn terrible, yes — the story-lines are very simple and usually deal with sex in a childish and misogynistic way (the show is much racier than I thought it would be for a CBS family sitcom), the acting is awful (very hammy, over-the-top), and nothing surprising ever really happens — it’s so, so monotonous. But, I could understand how the show could be comforting to some people. It’s easy to digest, it has elementary premises, and the classic Odd Couple format makes people attracted to it — they know what they’re going to get every week. There are and there have also been more atrocious things on TV then Two and a Half Men. Plus, I’m sure my opinion was affected by watching so many in a row. And at the very least, even in a “so bad it’s good” way, it’s been entertaining.
Again, I just wanted to thank everyone who helped me, visited me, kept me sane, and all those who tuned in and made it the most watched show on Yowie ever, as well as an all around wonderfully great time. An especially big thank you to Curtis Gwinn, Michael Pressman, Adam Pally, Emily Strachan, Ali Ozeri, Susie Fox, Andrew Furtado, Erica Shultz, Josh Clocum, Yowie and FoD. The final short will be released on Funny or Die as soon as I get the 75+ hours of footage cut down to a few minutes. For more updates on exactly when, you can follow me on twitter @gilozeri.
Gil Ozeri is a comedian living in LA who has seen much, much more Two and a Half Men than you have.