Chuck Lorre’s massive hit Two and A Half Men made its debut in 2003. Lorre would go on to cement his place as one of modern television’s most successful hitmakers, especially with The Big Bang Theory soon after. Before that, his first show was much different with its off-color humor and it had more in common with raunchy-type comedies on cable instead of primetime. Of course, it’s almost impossible to not talk about its star, Charlie Sheen. Perhaps what’s more surprising is Jon Cryer’s affection for his co-star, along with little details from his memoir So That Happened. Somehow, some pretty shocking things were said.
It’s no surprise that Two and A Half Men has some dark behind-the-scenes stories.
Denise Richards Divorced Charlie Sheen For A Variety Of Reasons
The divorce between the pair was ugly and the public knew all about it in 2006. Many of the allegations the actress made against her husband were disturbing. Richards claimed Sheen was both violent and addicted to gambling and fornication.
Sheen was angry because she had told her divorce attorney about discovering details of Sheen’s practices regarding surfing adult video sites. Her court filings also included transcripts of abusive voicemails left by Sheen and described the explicit material he allegedly viewed online.
Charlie Sheen Was Arrested On Christmas Day
The actor already had an extensive rap sheet of random acts. But, his marriage and divorce from Richards wasn’t even the icing on the cake. On Christmas Day 2009, Sheen was arrested for allegedly holding a knife to then-wife Broke Mueller’s throat.
The Wall Street actor pleaded guilty for misdemeanor third-degree assault. However, he was only sentenced to three months probation along with attending rehab as well as anger management classes.
Sheen Asked His Co-Star For A Big Favor
Sheen came to his co-star, Jon Cryer, for one thing. He asked him to hide his collection of adult films whenever Richards was on the set. Cryer would describe the interesting encounter in his 2015 memoir, So That Happened.
“I got a knock on my trailer door. It was Charlie; he seemed panicked. “Dude! Dude! I need your help.” He handed me a heavy shopping bag. “Denise is coming over,” he said, “and I need you to hide something for me.” That was the worst Cryer had to deal with regarding Charlie’s vices.
Following Cryer’s divorce in 2004, he didn’t expect his next girlfriend to have anything in common with his co-star.
Then, Cryer Came To Sheen For Advice
Cryer’s memoir opened the vault on quite a few of the stories from the set of Two and A Half Men. What was more shocking was the amount of embarrassing stuff he revealed about himself.
The Pretty In Pink actor admitted to being an emotional basket case after his divorce from Sarah Trigger. He went to Sheen for advice on how to pay for intercourse, with his co-star directing him to his personal favorite online services.
Sheen Offered Cryer Pictures He Wouldn’t Expect
After Sheen and Richards’ marriage ended, the actor regressed to maximum Sheen. The first sign of this happening came when he began to show Cryer pictures of women genitalia.
“I would invariably think, Why just this, and not the rest of the person. And what do you say at that moment? “Thank you for that picture”? “How long have you been seeing it”? “Please tell me she was awake?” Unfortunately, it was never made clear on that.
Cryer Broke Up With A Girl After He Found Out One Thing
Following Cryer’s divorce in 2004, he was ready to date again. He met a woman named Stephanie and soon the two started going out. Cryer brought her to the set of Two and A Half Men and when he introduced her to Sheen, the two had already met.
As it turns out, Sheen had dated Stephanie before, and things went sour after that. Sheen revealed why he broke up with her and it had to do with wanting a sexual experience. Afterward, Cryer broke up with Stephanie.
Cryer’s memoir was quick to unveil details of Sheen, especially questioning when his co-star may have returned to the set too soon.
Sheen’s Pay Raise Came Following His Christmas Day Arrest
A few short months after Sheen’s domestic abuse arrest, he got a pay raise. At the time, the Major League actor became the highest paid actor on television. Sheen’s salary increased to an overwhelming $1.8 million per episode on a two-year contract. Meanwhile, Cryer was making $600,000 per episode.
Cryer joked about it in his book. “I immediately began contemplating a series of well-publicized drunken brawls in retirement homes or possibly leading cops on a destructive car chase just prior to my next contract negotiation.”
Sheen Was Forcibly Hospitalized In 2010
Sheen reportedly paid Capri Anderson $3,500 to spend the evening with him in New York. The night ultimately ended when the actor exploded into a fit of rage at the Plaza Hotel. Anderson claimed he kept verbally assaulting her as she locked herself in the bathroom for safety.
After the police had arrived, they took the Golden Globe winner to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Following the incident, Sheen allegedly texted Anderson offering $20,000 to stay silent. Instead, she filed a harassment complaint to the NYPD.
Sheen May Have Returned To Work At The Wrong Time
Cryer’s memoir was quick to unveil details of Sheen. That included what his co-star was like when he returned to work following his arrest and raise.
The Anger Management actor didn’t look very well when the show was filming its eighth season in 2010. “He started talking to himself. But most of all he just looked thinner, in a not-good way. His timing started to go off, too. Charlie just wasn’t hitting the jokes the way he used to. It was as if his psyche had been sped up.”
That was the start of it all. Read ahead to see why Sheen took shots at the show’s executive producer.
Cryer’s Lackluster Response To Sheen’s Alleged Abuse Against Mueller Was Shocking
In his memoir, Cryer recalled his reaction when he found out about Sheen’s arrest. “I texted him: Dude, my thoughts are with you. If you need to talk, give a call; if you’ve got bigger problems, call me when you get back. Situations like this are rough on your sense of friendship and loyalty because the allegations are serious, yet you know Charlie and Brooke are a drug-troubled pair.”
Despite their friendship, it’s difficult to justify such kindred texts after Sheen threatened her.
Sheen’s Relationship With Showrunners Dissolved Rapidly
By 2011, the actor had hit rock bottom. Not only was he fired from his show due to his “Winning” interviews, but he demanded another pay raise.
He said to Express that he’s “A man of my word, I’ll finish the TV show, I’ll even do season 10, but at this point because of psychological distress, I want $3 million an episode, take it or leave it. Look at what I’ve been through. I’m underpaid right now, for sure. I’m tired of pretending I’m not special.”
Sheen Crossed The Line When He Called Out Chuck Lorre
Some believe it may have to do with Sheen calling show creator Chuck Lorre a clown. However, the studio claims in their dismissal letter that Sheen’s lifestyle began to tak its toll on the show, with the following statement to Sheen’s lawyer.
“Your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill… His declining condition undermined the production in numerous and significant ways. Warner Bros. would not, could not, and should not attempt to continue ‘business as usual’ while Mr. Sheen destroys himself as the world watches.”
Sheen’s replacement only took the job for one specific reason.
Hugh Grant Almost Replaced Charlie Sheen
After it was evident that Sheen was not welcomed back, nobody knew the future of the show. The show was too popular just to end, so it was decided to have another Charlie-like character be introduced.
Before Ashton Kutcher was hired as the replacement, the part almost went to Hugh Grant. The Brit was approached for an offer of $1 million per episode, though he declined. The producers wanted him to sign on without any scripts being written.
Sheen Was Not Impressed With The Actor Who Replaced Him
It became apparent when Sheen made repeated comments on Twitter About Ashton Kutcher. He called the That 70’s Show actor a “lame sidekick”, once Tweeting “Quit barfing on my old brilliant show.”
Now, Kutcher was understandably fed up and wasn’t having it on an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in 2014. He told the talk show host “Seriously, like. Enough already. Like it’s like three years later and you’re still blowing me up on Twitter. Like, come on dude, really?” Initially, Sheen was actually apologetic, Tweeting “I was pissed at other crap & took it out on you.”
Kutcher Took The Job As Sheen’s Replacement For One Reason
Kutcher’s character of Walden Schmidt made his Two and A Half Men appearance in 2011. But, The Ranch actor actually didn’t want the job. In a 2017 interview with Howard Stern, Kutcher came out in the open that his agent convinced him to take the role for the sole purpose of a paycheck.
Initially, Kutcher made $755,000 per episode, plus he was set to earn royalties from syndication, which is more than a million dollars.
Meanwhile, Angus T. Jones still holds an accomplishment that remains untouched to this day.
Sheen Didn’t Keep His Mouth Shut
In a January 2017 radio interview with KIIS 1065, Sheen didn’t hold back from saying more awful things. He took a different approach when it came to the one actor who replaced him.
“I was stupidly mean to him because I overlooked the difficulty of taking over a show — which I did myself, I took over Spin City when Michael J. Fox was too sick. I should’ve been nicer.” A moment of self-reflection from the baseball fanatic is very shocking, to say the least.
Sheen Was Invited Back To The Show
In the series finale of Two and a Half Men, the audience learns that Sheen’s character, Charlie Harper, never actually died. Lorre released a statement after the show about Sheen’s absence.
“I know a lot of you might be disappointed that you didn’t get to see Charlie Sheen in tonight’s finale. For the record, he was offered a role. Our idea was to have him walk up to the front door in the last scene, ring the doorbell, then turn, look directly into the camera and go off on a hysterical rant about the dangers of drug abuse.”
Angus T. Jones Is Still The Highest Paid Child TV Actor
Jones became famous for playing Jake Harper on the hit CBS show, which he first joined at ten years old. In 2010, he became the highest paid child actor in television history at 17, earning a reported $300,000 per episode.
That put him above his closest runner-up, Miranda Cosgrove from iCarly, who made $180,000 per episode. The next highest paid child TV actor is Frankie Muniz, who raked in $120,00 per episode for Malcolm In The Middle by 2006.
One character on the show was supposed to be on for two episodes. Read ahead to see who it was.
Angus T. Jones Wanted To Leave The Show Too
Jones played Jake, the son of Alan Harper. The older he got, the more problematic his job became. In a 2012 interview with People, Jones said “I’m on Two and A Half Men and I don’t want to be on it… You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that.”
He did return for the series finale, but leaving the industry sounds like it was the right choice. He told People in 2016 “I’m having fun and enjoying where I’m at. I no longer feel like every step I take is on a land mine.”
Jones Was The Only Actor To Audition For Jake
For the “half” part of the show, there had to be a search for the right kid to play off both Sheen and Cryer. Surprisingly enough, Jones was the only actor who auditioned. The reason why is because Lorre saw one of Jones’ roles before he was hired.
The executive saw him opposite Dennis Quaid in the autobiographical film, The Rookie. Lorre later called Jones to read for Jake, at which point he knew there was no point of seeing any other child actor.
Berta Was Only Meant To Be A Temporary Character
The housekeeper to Charlie and Alan was a comical character. Actress Conchata Ferrell played the part so brilliantly that it’s hard to believe she was only meant to be around temporarily.
Ferrell had initially just signed on to play the role for two episodes in the first season. Interestingly enough, her character arc involved her leaving Charlie’s employ specifically because Alan and Jake moved in. Both the character and actress became a hit on the show and she stuck around as a central cast member from season two and beyond.
All Of Rose’s Outfits Had Roses
Not only does the show make a joke about stalking, but Rose is a featured member of the cast. Actress Melanie Lynskey did an admirable job of making her stalking-like ability seem somewhat charming, and she became one of the most popular characters on the show.
One such charming detail most fans don’t know about came in the show’s DVD commentary. Apparently, every single outfit Rose wore for the duration of the show contained a rose of some kind.
Cryer’s Hair Was Painted On
During the hiatus of Two and A Half Men, something odd happened to the actor. It’s clear from the patches on top of his head that his baldness isn’t entirely by choice. He seems to prefer keeping what hair he does have pretty closely shaved.
The truth is, it’s an elaborate illusion as Cryer says that his hair was painted on. The process involves “stuff like shoe polish” and that they more or less paint his hair on with a “roller type thing.”
Jennifer Taylor Played Five Different Characters
Beyond the stalker Rose, Chelsea was the only other character to really catch on and play a role in multiple episodes. She was the woman who Charlie actually gets engaged to and genuinely seems hurt when she leaves him.
Chelsea was a recurring character in a season six, then a main character in the following season. The one interesting bit of information about the actress is that Taylor wasn’t the first character she played. Taylor appeared in the pilot as a woman named Suzie, then returned as Tina, then later as Nina before playing her final character, Chelsea.
Cryer Chose Two And A Half Men Over Battlestar Galactica
Speaking of paychecks, there’s no denying that the actor is financially set for life from his time on Two and a Half Men. According to his memoir, So That Happened, he was toiling between the role of Alan Harper or take part in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.
While Battlestar might’ve earned him a lucrative spot at sci-fi convention panels and signings for life, in terms of pure dollars, he obviously made the right choice.
Cryer Is The Only Actor To Appear In Every Episode
Being on a primetime network television show is a ton of work. Even with so many built-in breaks, actors need additional time off. When it comes to a show like Cheers, Seinfeld or Friends, some characters were virtually on every episode without missing a single day of work.
The exact same thing can be said for Cryer. In his memoir, he made a confirmation that he was the only actor to appear in all 262 episodes of Two and A Half Men.
Blythe Danner Was In The Original Pilot
The mother to Charlie and Alan was Evelyn, who was played by Holland Taylor. Besides her Emmy-winning role on The Practice, Taylor’s film and television work span six decades and covers about every genre imaginable.
However, the legendary Blythe Danner, the mother to Gwyneth Paltrow, was first cast for the part and even filmed the original unaired pilot. Footage of that has never been made available to the public, but it would have been a different sight for sure.
Find out why September 19, 2011, was a weird one for both Sheen and Two and A Half Men.
A Famous Voice Sang The Theme Song
It wasn’t actually Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones singing the Two and a Half Men theme song during the opening credits. Nobody has likely ever seen the face of the one who signs that part.
Some may have heard the voice of Elizabeth Daily, who was best known for her role as Dottie in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. In addition to that, she also voiced the role of Tommy Pickles in Rugrats and Buttercup in The Powerpuff Girls.
Most Episode Titles Came From A Line Spoken In The Show
Episode titles for comedy shows are often an art unto themselves. For Two and a Half Men, they decided to go a route that is simultaneously obvious but also rather unique. The show went with episode titles that came from a line in the show.
In the DVD commentary, all but just a few notable exceptions followed this rule. The result is silly and wordy with episodes such as “Did You Check With The Captain of the Flying Monkeys?” and “Ate The Hamburgers, Wearing The Hats.”
Comedy Central Roasted Sheen After The Season 9 Premiere Of Two And A Half Men
After the year Sheen has had – from the outrageous interviews and run-ins with the law, Comedy Central came in. The network decided it was time to give the actor his own roast, which happened on September 19, 2011.
The biggest coincidence is that the roast occurred following the season nine premiere of Two and A Half Men. Not only was this the same season Kutcher made his debut, but it was like the executives were throwing shade at their former star.