In hindsight, Charlie Sheen — who appears to be trying to get his life back in some semblance of order — probably ought to have passed on the Comedy Central Roast that aired Monday night. But hey, what’s a few thousand predictable insults pointing out what a basket case you are among friends?
The evening will doubtless be a winner for the cable network ratings-wise, drafting off the premiere of “Two and a Half Men” earlier in the evening. For Sheen, though — along with the no-name roster of comics and the few celebrities and media oddities who participated in the 97-minute telecast — not so much.
The only guy there who doesn’t need another job, animation producer extraordinaire Seth MacFarlane, actually came across pretty well as the night’s roastmaster.
In Hollywood, MacFarlane said, “You can abuse drugs, you can abuse your spouse … but don’t you ever call a Jewish guy by his actual Jewish name.”
As usual, there were plenty of unusual suspects — Kate Walsh? William Shatner? Mike Tyson? Steve-O, for crissakes? — to go with the “I wish I could get a better job” group. “What a bunch of nobodies we’re left with,” quipped Jeff Ross. “Is this a roast or the Republican primaries?” And that was among the few of his jokes that he didn’t laugh at himself.
Anthony Jeselnik did probably top the no-taste sweepstakes, saying Sheen only got on TV “because God hates Michael J. Fox.” And William Shatner did get a laugh by saying that he and Sheen “look like we went to high school together,” but then used the same joke about Demi Moore.
Sheen finally took the podium and dutifully went through the customary litany of in-fun attacks on the roasters. “I’m done with the ‘winning,’ because I’ve already won,” he said, leaving you wondering as to whether he really believed that or not.
Culled from a much longer live event, the telecast left me thinking where’s Don Rickles — hell, Foster Brooks — when you need him? Fortunately, the commercial pods (God love you, TiVo) seemed to be longer than the actual content.
Sipping a glass of wine while I watched, I concluded Sheen and I have something in common.
To sit through this, we both could have used something stronger.