“Charlie has assured us that nothing will be off limits in this roast . . . which scares even us,” Comedy Central’s original programming head, Kent Alterman, said Tuesday in a canned quote.
Make that “disingenuous canned quote” — the roast is being taped Sept. 10, giving Comedy Central plenty of time to decide what is, and what is not, “off limits” for the telecast.
“You could say I’ve been providing kindling for this Roast for a while,” Sheen said in the news release. “It’s time to light it up. It’s going to be epic.”
You know what would really have been “epic”? If Comedy Central had the nerve to telecast the Sheen roast live, or with a several-second delay, so Sheen and his merry band of roasters could react to the manner in which “Men” creator Chuck Lorre expunges Sheen’s Charlie Harper character that night — which, if the rumor mill is to be believed (hahahaha!) — involves Harper driving his car off a cliff.
The season debut of “Men” is scheduled to air from 9 to 9:30 p.m. The roast has been set for 10 p.m.
Sadly, Comedy Central is not that gutsy. Which leaves Sheen and gang spewing generic snarkiness — taped more than a week before the “Men” season debut — about the sitcom and maybe also about its new star, Kutcher, who was cast to fill the gaping hole left in the show when Sheen nuked his career.
We’ve already heard Sheen slam Warner Bros. for hiring Kutcher, observing: “Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer. . . . Oh wait, so am I!! Enjoy the show America. Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the demo every Monday, WB. . . . Enjoy Planet Chuck [Lorre], Ashton. There is no air, laughter, loyalty, or love there.”
And Sheen’s already used his best material in his Web series, Sheen’s Korner, and in his My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option tour (in which, by the way, it was reported he occasionally said he wanted back on the show).
There was also some great stuff in that $100 million lawsuit Sheen filed against Warner Bros. — which produces “Men” for CBS — and Lorre. Sadly, that gripe will play out in private arbitration, not in a public trial, after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge took a pass.
More recently, Sheen’s been rumored to be developing a sitcom with Lionsgate TV, which may or may not be the focus of a bidding war over which TBS was leading the fray. Except that TBS is owned by Time Warner, which also includes Warner Bros. TV, which just sacked Sheen in March and against which Sheen filed that suit. So TBS put the kibosh on that one with the statement: “TBS is not in discussions for a possible project with Charlie Sheen.”
And “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin recently told TV Guide that he wanted Sheen for the final season of his HBO series. Here’s a good place to mention that HBO is owned by Time Warner, which also owns Warner Bros. TV, which sacked Sheen in March, and against which Sheen filed . . . you get the drill.
A Warner Bros. TV spokesman declined to comment when asked whether any of the sitcom’s members — Jon Cryer, Conchata Ferrell, Holland Taylor — would be allowed to participate in the Comedy Central roast in the unlikely event they should they feel so inclined.
When Warner Bros. TV sacked Sheen, it cited the actor’s erratic behavior — and you could see its point, given the things Sheen had said about studio and network suits and Lorre during his Ranting on the Radio period in the days and weeks leading up to the Warner Bros. decision to give Sheen and his jingle-writing, Malibu beachfront-property-owning butterfly Charlie Harper the hook.
The season debut of “Men” was sure to pack a ratings wallop even before Comedy Central announced its Sheen roast for that same night. With Tuesday’s announcement, it’s expected to be even ratings wallop-ier.
Comedy Central certainly hopes so.