The Charlie Sheen debacle: 4 viral internet phenomena
The actor's public breakdown is providing loads of fodder for websites and viral videos. Behold, some of the most talked about Sheen memes
Charlie Sheen's very public transformation from troubled-but-successful sitcom star to catchphrase-generating "Patron Saint of WTF" has, unsurprisingly, given birth to a number of viral online hits — from the usual LOLcats to video mashups to glossaries explaining Sheen's unique phraseology. Here, a look at four ways Sheen's many outlandish quotes have morphed into online phenomena:
1. Charlie Sheen dictionariesAn "extensive glossary of Sheenisms is a must" for making sense of the actor's impromptu ramblings, says Kyle Buchanan at New York. In Sheen's world, for example, a "goddess," refers to a woman "who fell from the heavens (or the strip-club stage, whatever) to fulfill Sheen's every need," according to the Flavorwire glossary. And "tiger blood" is what "runs through Sheen's veins, making him all-powerful," says the Los Angeles Times in its "totally gnarly, bi-winning guide to the actor's best quotes."
2. LOLcats and other cute animalsSheen's puzzling turns of phrase take on new meaning when juxtaposed with cuddly felines. Last year, we "dulled the crazy of Mel Gibson with kittens," says Donna D. at Buzzfeed. But "Charlie Sheen is no Mel, so he only needs bunnies to even out the insanity." Sheen's instant catchphrases have also been paired with baby sloths.
3. Classic comicsCombining Sheen's rants with adorable animals was inevitable, says Laura Hudson at Comics Alliance, but "we found a better use for them: putting them in the mouths of superheroes." Others have blended the actor's words with the Family Circus comic strip and New Yorker cartoons. Comic artist Michael Kupperman tweeted his followers a re-imagining of the original Charlie Brown comic strip, now about Sheen. And on his late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel took the Charlie Brown idea even further by creating a new "holiday special" (see video below).
4. "Who said it?" quizzesSheen's bizarre statements are being compared and contrasted with those of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, among others. "Granted, the stakes are vastly different in their battles," says Sarah Jersild in the Chicago Tribune, but "strangely, the overheated nature of their rhetoric is about the same." Can you tell who said what? The Guardian devised a 10-question quiz, while the Chicago Tribune tries 20 quotations. New York adds a third option in its game: Glenn Beck.