Like Charlie Sheen, Chuck Lorre can't be reined in either
"Two and a Half Men" co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre may not be talking publicly about Charlie Sheen, but he is still finding a way to get under the sitcom star's skin. Once again Lorre is using his vanity card -- the little billboard that runs with the end credits of shows he produces -- to take jabs at Sheen.
The latest swipe came Monday night at the end of Lorre's sitcom "Mike and Molly." Lorre wrote that he is "under a lot of pressure to respond to certain statements made about me recently" and offered what he described as his "uncensored thoughts."
In a nutshell, Lorre said he believes "consciousness creates the illusion of individuation" and that is the "prime motivating force for the neurotic compulsion to blot out consciousness." Lorre goes on to say that this "explains the paradox of our culture, which celebrates the ego while simultaneously promoting its evisceration with drugs and alcohol." Reading between the lines, it seems safe to say he is referring to Sheen and his habits.
The vanity cards, which appear in small type for only a second or two, are a source of pride for Lorre and a cause of headaches for Warner Bros., which makes "Two and a Half Men" and CBS, which airs it.
In previous cards, Lorre has talked of his need to attend an Al-Anon meeting and bemoaned the idea of Sheen outliving him.
Sheen has said in recent interviews that he has endured being the butt of lots of Lorre's cracks without responding and when he finally did last week, production on the show was stopped.
"Chuck needs to be put in his place," Sheen told Stern Tuesday morning.
Given all the tension surrounding Sheen, Lorre, CBS and Warner Bros., it is interesting that Lorre was able to get his vanity card on the air. A case could be made that for the moment it might be best to avoid giving Sheen's camp any more ammunition. Warner Bros. and CBS declined to comment on the card and a spokesperson for Lorre could not immediately be reached for comment.
In his "Today" show interview, Sheen picked up a copy of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and quoted from a section about acceptance and suggested that Lorre needs to accept him. It appears that Lorre is opting to go with another hallmark of AA -- the Serenity Prayer -- and is looking for the "courage to change" the things he can.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Chuck Lorre, left, and Charlie Sheen in 2005. Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images