Last season, the punchlines on “Two and a Half Men” included jokes about breast implants, pregnancy fetishes and Las Vegas hookers. Overhearing some of these bawdy quips was a 13-year-old, the titular “half” of the highest-rated sitcom on primetime TV.
Angus T. Jones, who has played Jake on “Two and a Half Men” since 2003, says the show’s success might go on until he can legally see what everyone’s joking about.
“I never thought about how long it would last,” Jones says. “Now I think the show might even go to 200 episodes and nine seasons. I’ll be 18.”
As the seasons passed, he’s heard more jokes than anyone can bear about the show eventually being renamed “Three Men.” For now, though, he’s happy as the half man, honing his comedy chops opposite two Emmy-nominated actors, his onscreen uncle Charlie Sheen and fictional dad Jon Cryer.
“They are both just so funny. I’ve learned a lot — the timing of how to laugh and not laugh, how to deliver the lines in a certain way that’s funniest,” he says. “I owe Chuck, Charlie and Jon for that.”
“Men” executive producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre first spotted Jones as Dennis Quaid’s son in 2002’s family sports pic “The Rookie.”
“It was a small part, but Angus was terrific,” Lorre says. “There was no second choice (for the role of Jake). There was Angus or never mind.”
Lorre adds that Jones has already perfected an “impeccable” sense of comic timing.
“He has unbelievable instincts,” Lorre says. “He’s performing entire scenes in front of a live audience, and he’s really a highly trained, deeply experienced actor.”
On top of the master class in situational comedy, Jones’ other job perks include playing videogames with Cryer and Sheen — cool benefits for a now 14-year-old who insists he’s like any other middle-school kid.
“I go to school, I skateboard, I play videogames, I play guitar. I’m not that much different from other regular kids,” he says, though he concedes that “growing up on the show, I also get to do stuff that I don’t do in real life: I get to work with people who are hilarious.”