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Remember Charlie Sheen's 'sober acid trip'?

March 8, 2011 | 12:25 pm

Throughout his 30-year career, Charlie Sheen has won only one major showbiz award: the Golden Globe for ABC's "Spin City" -– a victory that surprised him so much that he called it "a sober acid trip."

Charlie sheen news story

Back in 2002, Charlie Sheen was considered a longshot to win best TV comedy actor. His competition included Tom Cavanagh ("Ed"), Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier"), Eric McCormack ("Will and Grace") and Frankie Muniz ("Malcolm in the Middle"). He had just replaced the beloved Michael J. Fox, who was battling Parkinson's disease. Fox had been such a Globes fave that he was nominated four consecutive times and won three trophies.

Sheen had some big shoes to fill, and by awarding him the win, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. decided that he filled them just fine. Strangely, the Emmys didn't follow suit. They didn't even bother to nominate Sheen for "Spin City," so the Globe win truly was a special moment for the one-time party boy who seemed to be getting his act together.

Sheen devoted his Globes acceptance speech to thanking lots of people, including Fox, his bosses at DreamWorks Television and ABC, his costars Barry Bostwick, Heather Locklear, Michael Boatman, Richard Kind and Alan Ruck, his parents and his fiancee, Denise Richards, who later would become his second of three wives.
 
Sheen gave the audience a chuckle when he said that the shocking win felt like a "sober acid trip." Nine years later, the joke doesn't seem as funny.

On Monday, Sheen's people informed TMZ that his contract with CBS stated he's to be paid for the duration of "Two and a Half Men's" run, whether or not he actually appears on the laffer. They're calling it the "Michael J. Fox clause," alluding to a similar contract between Fox and "Spin City." After Fox left that show in 2000 and was replaced by Sheen, Fox continued to receive a paycheck until ABC eventually pulled the plug on the sitcom in 2002.

When Sheen signed his "Two and a Half Men" contract back in 2003, the same clause was apparently put into effect. In other words, even though Sheen is out, he could still collect payment for all future episodes. Talk about winning. But will that contract hold up since he was fired? That's one the lawyers will be battling out.

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

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