The most interesting part about watching the Charlie Sheen roast, which aired last nigh, is that Charlie Sheen isn’t crazy anymore. Well, not actively, undiagnosed-manic-episode crazy. It’s been months since Sheen did anything outlandish or potentially career-ending, and it’s been practically half a year since the first, second and third wave of Charlie Sheen jokes swept across America. On Sunday, Sheen extended an olive branch to the new cast of Two And A Half Men at the Emmys, even that troll Jon Cryer. But while Donald Trump, Pam Anderson and Flavor Flav are still going to wake up everyday and make a career out being the same colorful character they’ve been for the past decade, Charlie Sheen seems like he looks back at the swirl of drug use, porn stars and barely coherent diatribes with some of the same confusion we do. Not that that means the roasters weren’t going to lay him out on a pig on a spit, because they did.
Ladies and gentleman, Anthony Jeselnik!
I said it before with the Donald Trump roast and I’ll say it again: this guy. All I want to do is watch Anthony Jeselnik rip people’s throats open, metaphorically-speaking. “The only reason you got on TV in the first place is because God hates Michael J. Fox,” Jeselnik informed Sheen. Okay, so, what if Jeselnik had a show that was basically the darkest version of The Soup you could possibly imagine? Please no one steal that idea before I figure out who to pitch it to.
Amy Schumer also went for the jugular and generally was a delight. One of the only moments of the night that made me truly cringe was her joke about Patrice O’Neal’s grandmother. No, not the part about his Gamma’s gaping, well-used asshole, but instead when Amy casually added, “I’m assuming she raised you” and they cut to Patrice’s face! His face. Well, watch it for yourself. Since Steve-O was also in attendance, Schumer later went for the requisite Ryan Dunn crack, joking “When Ryan Dunn died Steve-O probably was thinking it could’ve been him, with the rest of the world wondering why it wasn’t.” Which, as Ryan Dunn jokes go…could have been a lot worse.
Jon Lovitz stopped by as well, logging in a few precious moments that just made you want more Jon Lovitz in your life. “How much blow can Charlie do? Enough to kill Two and a Half Men!” he declared, adding, “Unlike all you people on this diaz, I actually know Charlie and I’m famous.” Don’t leave us again, Lovitz. Please don’t go.
As a whole, the roast had a real uneven feel to it, didn’t it? I don’t know whether it was Sheen’s turn-around, the relatively bare stage (there were only 10 roasters and some Roast staples like Lisa Lampanelli were dearly missed) or Mike Tyson, but it was probably Mike Tyson. That limerick! That limerick elicited audible groans. On the filp side, Tyson’s joke about Jeff Ross’s set (“During your performance, I wish I had bit my own ears off”) was my favorite of the night.
Really, when you get down to it, the best set of the night was Sheen’s, with it’s weird mix of contrition, self-deprecation and bizarre, overweening pride.”You can’t hurt me… I can’t even hurt me! Drugs couldn’t kill me. Sex couldn’t kill me. The press couldn’t kill me. Two and a Half Men couldn’t kill me. Did you really think your little jokes were going to kill me? I’m The Wild Thing — I’m Ricky Vaughn!,” he explains, before acknowledging, “This roast is over but I’m Charlie Sheen, and in here burns an eternal fire. I just have to remember to keep it away from a crack pipe.” Truer words, Charlie. Truer words.