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September 21, 2011  | by: Kyle Edwards

Charlie Sheen Wins the Roast

On Monday night, television viewers not only witnessed the premiere of the recasted Two and a Half Men, but also the Comedy Central Roast of the show’s former star, Charlie Sheen. Despite the actor’s convincing act of maturity at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the roast looked as if it was going to be a promising display of tiger-blooded craziness for the drug-addled warlock. To that extent, it left a little to be desired.

The Comedy Central Roasts have never been what you could call particularly wholesome television. They’re crude attempts by the cable network to capitalize on the cult status of B-list celebrities. They’re gaudy spectacles chock-full of disgusting language and insensitive hatespeech. But it’s in that aspect that they can be vaguely entertaining. That is, unless it’s censored.

Truth be told, after comic Greg Giraldo’s death in September of last year, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this roast. He was the undisputed master of his craft – a man capable of saying the foulest, most malicious things in a way that was irreverent yet oddly respectful. Sheen’s roasters couldn’t attain this perfect balance and instead came across as too soft (like seasoned veterans Patrice O’Neal and, surprisingly, Jeff Ross), too mean (like unknowns Anthony Jeselnik and Amy Schumer), or too insane (everyone else). But no matter what, the poetic rantings of Mike Tyson will never be as bad as The Situation’s horrific attempt to roast Donald Trump.

The only person on the stage capable of extracting a real laugh from yours truly (not that I’m very picky) was the roastee himself. Sheen’s most admirable quality was his ability to shake off the insults, saying, “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 jokes were going to hurt me?”

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