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CBS May Replace Charlie Sheen With Mel Gibson
LOS ANGELES (CAP) - CBS has announced that rather than cancel its hit comedy Two And A Half Men, producers have begun holding auditions to replace embattled star Charlie Sheen. But critics are questioning whether the actors they're considering, including troubled film star Mel Gibson, might actually make the situation worse.
CBS is looking to replace Sheen after he slammed show creator Chuck Lorre in several interviews last week. Although the show has survived Sheen's past benders, rants, drug arrests and alleged abuse of women including his wives, apparently calling the show's creator a "punk" was a step too far, leading Lorre and CBS to shut down production.
"I can live with a star who gets caught with a suitcase full of cocaine or smacks women or locks a porn star in a hotel toilet while he wrecks the room, but not one who hurts my feelings," said Lorre, tearing up.
Rather than put cast and crew out of work, however, Lorre and CBS have begun auditioning people to take Sheen's place. But a list of actors who've performed screen tests, leaked yesterday to TMZ.com, suggests that the producers may not have learned their lesson.
"I can't help but wonder if Mel Gibson is really going to be an improvement over Sheen," said Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales. "At least Sheen is only borderline anti-Semitic."
Gibson's screen test, posted in part by TMZ, would seem to justify Shales' concerns. At one point, Gibson, portraying Charlie and Alan's "Uncle Mel from Australia," is seen reading lines with Jon Cryer as Alan. A partial transcript appears below:
Cryer: Uncle Mel, I'm speechless.
Gibson: Are you a Jew? The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
Cryer: Uh ... The line is "silent admiration is all I ask."
Gibson: I'll put you in an f--ing rose garden, you c--. Because I'm capable of it.
Cryer: Um ... Can he maybe read with Holland Taylor instead?
Other potential cast additions include Lindsay Lohan, who auditioned for the role of Charlie and Alan's slutty cousin Belinda; and shock jock Howard Stern as their new wacky neighbor, Howard Stern.
"I doubt the show's insurance carrier would even allow them to hire Lindsay Lohan, especially since she was officially declared a federal disaster area," noted Shales. "And Stern blew his audition to become the new American Idol judge when he convinced Ellen and Kara DioGuardi to make out on camera."
Also, talks with Oscar nominee Christian Bale to appear on the show as long-lost third brother Freddie fell apart when a cameraman walked in front of Bale during the screen test, and Bale tore out his jugular with his teeth.
"Well, he's just freakin' crazy," noted Shales.
"It's not that easy to find people who are interested," responded Lorre, now openly sobbing. "Have you seen the show? It really sucks."
Sheen, in a call-in interview last night with Piers Morgan, didn't mince words in assessing his potential replacements.
"Tell Gibson to bring it. Does that old troll think he can beat this high priest Vatican assassin warlock?" Sheen asked. "He can lay down with his ugly wife in front of their ugly kid and look at their loser lives while I'm doing strafing runs in my underwear with my fire-breathing fists ... I'm sorry, what were we talking about?"
In response, Gibson showed up drunk at Sheen's house, put him in the trunk of his car and drove him to the personal Thunderdome he had built behind his Beverly Hills mansion, where he beat him into submission with a boomerang.
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