Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre, co-creator of hit show “Two and a Half Men,” continue to joust in a war of words, but it’s getting so ridiculous it almost seems like they’re hyping it up to boost Sheen’s eventual return to the show.
Sheen has been taking most of the initiative. He alternately slams Lorre in public while some reports claim behind-the-scenes he’s “begging and groveling” to get his job back.
Initially, Lorre and show producer Warner Bros let it be known that Sheen would not return under any circumstances.
Lorre even went so far as to suggest he is looking for a way to re-engineer the show without Sheen’s character.
But more recently the back-and-forth has taken on an almost comical edge.
At the end of last night’s “The Big Bang Theory,” according to TMZ, Lorre’s vanity card referred to a monkey on the episode that could have just as easily been referring to allegations about Sheen’s drug use.
Lorre said the monkey’s “behavior became increasingly erratic, to the point of refusing to come out of his trailer to rehearse.”
The card continues, “The monkey is a heroin addict. Yes, hard as it may be to believe, the monkey had a monkey on his back.”
It goes on to say the monkey is in detox and a 12 step program, according to the Web site.
Meanwhile, Sheen reportedly has written apologetic letters to Lorre “begging” for his job back, the National Enquirer reported.
“It was quite a surprise when Charlie’s personal letters of apology arrived for two of the producers – and Chuck Lorre. His letter to Lorre rambled on for two pages, sounding a lot like the way Charlie speaks,” a source told the publication.
“It even included the line, ‘I’m sorry from the bottom of my tiger heart,’” the source went on.
“The tone of his letters was abjectly contrite. He’s begging for forgiveness – and a return to the status quo. He desperately wants his old job back.”
There was no indication of contrition, however, in Sheen’s latest public blast, also in a letter to TMZ.
“MY fans may tune in for a minute, but at the end of the day, no one cares about your feeble show without me,” Sheen wrote.
He variously called Lorre an “a-hole pussy loser,” “nut-less sociopath,” “a stupid bitch,” “a narcissist,” “a coward,” “a loser” and “a spineless rat.”
But in the deepest dig, Sheen made fun of the show’s anemic ratings for Monday’s re-run: A 2.0 among viewers in the key 18-to-49 demographic.
“The message is crystal clear; NO CHARLIE SHEEN. NO SHOW…” he wrote. “Reap the whirl-wind you cockroach, reap it.”
Meanwhile, Lorre is trying to resolve Sheen’s lawsuit in arbitration. And it looks like CBS, which airs the show, can only live on re-runs for so long.
So what better way to keep up interest in the show, ultimately culminating in Sheen’s return and a ratings bonanza?
A decision on the fate of “Men” will be made before May 18, according to TMZ.