Charlie Sheen may (or may not) be a "Vatican assassin warlock," but he most certainly is out of a job. While Sheen considers his next steps now that he's officially been fired from CBS' "Two and a Half Men," producers of TV's number-one comedy are left looking for a way to keep the sitcom alive. TMZ reports that show creator Chuck Lorre has come up with a "short list of replacements" for Sheen (who himself replaced Michael J. Fox on "Spin City" for its final seasons). And, of course, commenters have been more than willing to offer their own suggestions. Here, the arguments for, and against, some rumored fill-ins:
1. Rob Lowe
Lorre's team and Warner Bros., which produces the show, have approached Lowe's agent, according to TMZ, earning the veteran actor front-runner status. Lowe is a real pro, so playing a "tiger blood relative sounds like a logical next step," says Sheila Marikar at ABC News. But landing the actor, who has some bad boy history of his own, could be complicated if Lowe has already begun production on the new season of his current show, NBC's "Parks and Recreation." The Sheen wackiness "has been fun" so far, says Christopher Rosen at Complex, but if it compromises "Parks and Recreation," "there are going to be some fisticuffs."
2. Jason Alexander
Best known for playing George Costanza on "Seinfeld," Alexander "really, really wants" this gig, says Marikar at ABC News. The evidence? Alexander's own "tongue-in-cheek" tweets, in which he volunteers to step in and generously "assume the unfinished contract of Mr. Sheen." Alexander also says he'd use massive amounts of cocaine, "fornicate with as many adult film actresses as I can afford," and "commit assaults in four and five star hotels prior to trashing the hotel rooms." Alexander says he "could also play the 'half-man' of the title, as I am considered diminutive by most measures."
3. John Stamos
Stamos has already tweeted a denial ("contrary to the rumors, i am not replacing charlie sheen on two and half men. however, martin sheen has asked me to be his son"). But that hasn't completely quieted the persistent rumors. And while Sheen himself initially said the show would "suck" with Stamos, he later gave Stamos his support: "I was out of line and you're a beautiful man, and a talented man," Sheen said. "If you get the gig, we should talk."
4. Molly Ringwald
"Two and a Half Men" may be popular, but it's really just a "mediocre" show, say Willa Paskin and Kyle Buchanan at New York. And it "isn't going to become funny with the addition of just any old competent, non-drug-addled leading man." So how about shaking things up by adding Molly Ringwald? Having her reunite with Jon Cryer, her old "Pretty in Pink" co-star, would be "swoon-worthy" — but only if Cryer immediately starts sporting a pompadour and wearing "a lot of layers and hats."
5. Or any number of female comic stars
Yes, the show is called "Two and a Half Men," says Jennifer Armstrong at Entertainment Weekly, but why not try "1.5 men plus a lady?" There's a long list of comic actresses — Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, Roseanne Barr, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, and even Julia-Louis Dreyfus — who could fill in admirably. And casting a woman to replace Sheen would be "karmic payback" for the terror he has inflicted on the women in his life.
Sources: ABC News, Complex, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Popeater, TMZ
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
Subscribe to the Week