When Charlie Sheen met television critics at FOX’s Winter All-Star party on Sunday night, one of the more quotable lines from the visit was that he was happy that his new show “Anger Management” won’t have any “d–k jokes, fart jokes, poopoo jokes, and jack-off jokes and all that. That’s when writers get lazy.”
It was a not-so-subtle hit at his old stomping grounds at “Two and a Half Men,” and after the CBS show’s TCA panel this morning, reporters asked executive producer Chuck Lorre about Sheen’s assertion. “He’s a very wealthy man” from doing those jokes, said Lorre. “If you don’t like the show, I’m sorry. I’m doing the best I can; I’ll try harder. I don’t know what else to tell you. We’re trying to put on a funny show every week,” he continued.
“We’re going to be shooting our 200th episode in a few weeks, and I’m real proud of the body of work. We’re not seeking out the lowest common denominator. We’re seeking out a way to make people laugh, that’s all.”
Earlier in the scrum, Lorre was asked about using risque jokes on the show. “I think our rule of thumb is: is it funny? If it’s not funny, it’s not worth doing. Shocking’s not really funny; it’s easy to shock an audience, but if we’re laughing, that’s the only litmus test we have; maybe other people will laugh as well,” he said.
“We have a live audience, and if they don’t laugh, it’s a pretty good test that we’re wrong. If they don’t laugh, we either rewrite the material and shoot it again, or we cut it. Every week is a humbling experience; in a way, it’s like putting up a play without much time in New Haven.”
Watch a clip from “Two and a Half Men: