“Despite falling off the wagon, a rocky marriage, looming felony charges and possible time behind bars, he managed to secure a massive raise [to $1.8 million an episode], fully three times what I was being paid.” — Jon Cryer, reflecting on the incredulous story of his former costar, Charlie Sheen
Two and a Half Men, which ran on CBS for 12 seasons (from September 22, 2003 to February 19, 2015) was a popular American sitcom about two adult brothers living together in Malibu with one brother’s son. It originally starred Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones. When Charlie Sheen very famously left the series over behavior issues, Ashton Kutcher joined the cast. Although the show has being battling some rough seas, it remains one of the highest rated cable sit-coms. Enjoy these facts about Two and a Half Men.
32. Continuity rules
Jon Cryer, who plays single dad Alan Harper, has appeared in every single episode of the show’s 12-year run. He is the only actor on the show who can lay such a claim.
31. Charlie in stitches
Charlie Sheen has a scar on his chin. He reportedly acquired that facial feature during the filming of No Man’s Land in 1987. A prop explosive accidentally detonated, and shrapnel ripped into his chin. The actor required eight stitches.
30. If you don’t have anything nice to say…
In spite of the fact that the show was originally scheduled to run through the 2012 season, CBS and Warner Bros. decided to halt production on February 24, 2011, after made “disparaging comments” about the series’ creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre. Sheen’s contract was terminated on March 7.
29. The confusion around Sheen
Following a February 2010 announcement that Sheen was entering drug rehabilitation, the producers put the show on hiatus for a month. People magazine reported that Sheen was considering leaving the show on April 1, 2010, reportedly because he rejected CBS’s offer of $1 million per episode. Still, he eventually declared that he’d be back for two more seasons, and various sources reported that Sheen had signed a contract for two years at $1.78 million per episode.
28. When things went off the rails
In his 2015 memoir, So That Happened, Jon Cryer reveals that Sheen had been “a pretty grounded, sober married guy” at the start of Two and A Half Men in 2003, but things changed during the second season of the show. At that point, both lead actors found themselves single, as Sheen’s marriage to Denise Richards failed and Cryer split from his wife Sarah Trigger.
27. Charlie’s fall
During a rehearsal to choreograph some movement for a scene near the end of his tenure, Charlie Sheen purportedly asked the director whether he could, instead, just “stand next to this couch?” It was, Cryer later reflected in his memoir, a request designed to keep the troubled actor steady for the duration of the scene. In January, 2011, at the taping before a live studio audience of what would be Sheen’s last appearance on Two And A Half Men, Cryer recalls that his co-star simply couldn’t remember his lines.
26. Raking it in
Between May 2010 and May 2011, actor Charlie Sheen earned $40 million. That, said Forbes magazine, made him the highest-paid American actor at the time.
25. Going one better
In 2012, Ashton Kutcher replaced Sheen not only on the show, but in his ranking as the highest-paid American actor. Kutcher received $700,000 per episode to start. Between June 2012 and June 2013, he earned an estimated US$24 million, which tallies out at US$750,000 per episode. For his part, Cryer was no slouch, ranking as the second-highest paid star with earnings of US$600,000–$700,000 per episode.
24. Angus makes it, too
For a time, Jones was also a TV moneymaking superlative. In addition to a US$500,000 signing bonus, he made US$300,000 per episode and was the highest-paid child TV actor.
23. The billionaire count
When Lyndsey asks Walden how many billionaires there are in the world, Walden tells her that there are 1,226. That number, according to Forbes magazine’s May 7, 2012, annual review, was the correct figure when the episode aired. Just 10 days later, however, Forbes subsequently stated that there were 1,426 billionaires in the world.
22. What could have been
When the producers were casting for Friends, actor Jon Cryer submitted a video audition for consideration that was recorded in London. He was interested in the Chandler Bing role. Unfortunately, the tape didn’t arrive in time. The rest, as Matthew Perry could tell you, is history.
21. In on the in jokes
In season 9, when Lyndsey commented, “That casting director said he could get me on Melrose Place,” it’s a private lob to Courtney Thorne-Smith’s role as Alison Parker on that show from 1992 to 1997.
20. The call of the church
Angus T. Jones, who famously played the show’s eponymous half man, Jake Harper, said in a November 2012 interview that he’d converted to Christianity and joined a Seventh Day Adventist church. More than that, he laid into the morals of the show, and even urged viewers to stop watching it. Sheen issued a public statement to respond to the swirling controversy in which he claimed that “Jones’s outburst isn’t an isolated incident but rather a symptom of the toxic environment surrounding the show.”
19. Recanting the rant
Just one day after actor Jones lost it on his money maker, he retracted his statement. In a public apology for his remarks, he explained that he “cannot address everything that has been said or right every misstatement or misunderstanding.”
And he’s back!
18. And the winner is
The show and its participants were lauded with recognition throughout its run. These accolades included a 2009 best supporting actor Emmy and a 2012 best lead actor Emmy for Jon Cryer, and a 2012 outstanding guest actress Emmy for Kathy Bates.
17. The 2012 highlight
At the 2012 Emmys, Two and a Half Men was nominated for four awards. The show copped three of them, the most Emmys it ever won in a single year.
16. Cryer’s start
Jon Cryer’s first IMDb credit is for No Small Affair. He starred as a 16-year-old amateur photographer in this 1984 comedy-drama that launched the careers of Jennifer Tilly and Tim Robbins, and starred Demi Moore.
15. Duckie’s first r0deo
Before Two and a Half Men made Jon Cryer’s a household name, the actor was best known for his 1986 turn as Phil “Duckie” Dale, the good-guy romantic in love with Molly Ringwald’s Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink. In season 9 of the show, Alan ironically says at one point, “When I was in high school I was dating a poster of Molly Ringwald.”
14. Life imitates art
In one episode, Ashton Kutcher was said to have been an underwear model. In real life, Kutcher actually did model underwear for a time. More than that, he also had a job modeling underwear in one episode of That 70s Show.
13. Life imitates art 2
When Charlie leaves a message from his cell phone in a scene in season 5, he’s pretending he’s at home watching TV. When a helicopter flies by, he fudges it and claims the noise is from the movie, Apocalypse Now. Apocalypse Now starred Charlie Sheen’s real-life father, Martin Sheen.
In season 8’s episode 12, Alan claims he’s meeting Lyndsey and her friends for drinks at a Bennigan’s in Encino. But eagle-eyed viewers quickly uncovered that, at the time of this episode’s airing, the only Bennigan’s left in California following its 2008 bankruptcy were in Santa Clara and San Diego. It’s as if the show isn’t actually real or something.
11. The once and future Bertha
When Conchata Ferrell, who plays the role of Bertha, was originally cast, it was only as a recurring character. But once the producers noted how much the audience enjoyed her, they upped her appearances into regular cast member status.
10. Keeping it in the family
Charlie’s real-life father, Martin Sheen, appeared on the show as Rose’s father, who ends up stalking Evelyn.
9. Faking it
Although Charlie Sheen’s character—Charlie Harper—was said to play the piano and make a living writing commercial jingles, and the show featured several scenes with him tickling the ivories, in reality, Sheen couldn’t play a bit. Dennis C. Brown composed all the jingles while Sheen’s character pretended to play the piano.
8. The Sheen bounce
After his controversial and unceremonious departure from Two and a Half Men, Sheen found a soft landing. The actor went on to star in a new TV comedy for FX called Anger Management that ran from 2012 to 2014.
7. Drawing from the script
The title of every Two and a Half Men episode comes from a line in the script. It’s a party game to watch the show and identify when they drop the title.
6. A record of success
The show’s creator Chuck Lorre has more on his CV than just Two and a Half Men. He is also the TV mastermind behind such comic television hits as The Big Bang Theory, Grace Under Fire, Roseanne and Dharma and Greg.
5. Look no further
Jones was the only child actor that the producers saw for the part of Jake. After seeing Jones play Dennis Quaid’s son in The Rookie, Chuck Lorre invited him to audition. He gave him the job on the spot.
4. Angus and addiction
Angus T. Jones confessed to being an acid and marijuana user.
3. Joe’s son
In a 2000 episode, Jon Cryer played Kevin Swanson on The Family Guy. The episode was called “A Hero Sits Next Door.”
In an episode in season 8, Charlie suggests Alan try www.malibupuddinggirls.com to fuel his masturbation habits. Later, he suggests visiting Michelle’s daughter’s bathroom-cam website, www.shaunashower.com. But when you visit both of those URLs, they redirect to a page that displays the text, “The writers of Two and a Half Men think you are one sick puppy.”
1. The awful truth
In 2004, Cryer started dating a woman named Stephanie. When he brought her to the set and introduced her to Sheen, Sheen acted as though he’d never met her before. Later, though, he confessed to his costar that he’d actually dated his new girlfriend, but had broken up when she’d refused to participate in a threesome. Upon learning this news, Cryer ditched the girl.