Charlie Sheen may be our best example of how forgiving the public can be when it comes to wayward celebrities.
Jay Leno referred to him as “Sir” Charlie Sheen when he introduced him on Monday’s “Tonight Show” on NBC, and the studio audience jumped to their feet for a sustained standing ovation.
That’s not bad for a guy who has publicly admitted his massive use of illegal drugs, and also threatened former co-workers such as “Two and a Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre with bodily harm.
But that’s Charlie Sheen — the man in the Teflon-coated suit. The cheers and warm feelings emanating from the “Tonight Show” studio audience just kept on coming as Jay asked Charlie about last week’s rumors he was being courted for one of the now-vacant judges’ jobs on “American Idol.”
"Have you considered this? Is this something you want to do?" Leno asked him.
"Never thought about it," Sheen said. "I heard it on the news. … And I thought I'd better respond to that [so] I came up with my terms and I published it and I'm waiting to hear back!"
And the audience cheered and cheered — despite the fact that the Charlie Sheen becoming a judge on “American Idol” hardly seems possible.
Jay then asked Charlie about the $1 million Sheen had just recently promised to give the USO. And Charlie explained that the money will go toward funding a traumatic brain injury center for seriously wounded war vets.
“These guys are the real heroes,” said Charlie, who then revealed that his largesse is tied somehow to the success of his current TV show, “Anger Management” on FX.
Though it wasn't made entirely clear, Sheen explained that the $1 million will be accumulated on behalf of the USO brain-injury facility through a "one-point" participation in the profits generated by "Anger Management." But since that show is still in its infancy, and its ratings have been declining sharply week-to-week, there's no evidence yet that "Anger Management" will be profitable enough to generate the $1 million he has pledged to the USO, nor any money above that figure.
Charlie indicated that the initial $1 million could certainly increase if "Anger Management" takes off in the ratings. In theory, that could lead to a lucrative run in rerun syndication, which is when the USO's "one point" could be really valuable. However, syndication - if it does happen - won't kick in for several years.
On “The Tonight Show,” Charlie laid at least some of the responsibility for the show’s success on the audience, telling those gathered in the “Tonight Show” studio, “You guys gotta make this thing a hit!”
New episodes of “Anger Management” air Thursday nights at 9:30/8:30c on FX.