Charlie Sheen has been rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pains. The details are what you'd imagine. Partying. Porn star. Wine-stained shirt.
And that’s why I’m fascinated by Charlie: Despite existing in a hellish fugue state, he doggedly commits to a muted self-portrayal. For years, Sheen's dined out on the sitcom version of a womanizing, hard-living lout. Pretend Charlie is a playful Bill Maher -- were Maher vacuous.
It turns out, Real Charlie is the caricature. Off set, Sheen is a sex-crazed whirlwind of a werewolf, torn asunder by what he mines for banal comic relief. His lascivious lifestyle has dark sides that network TV would sooner forget, facets that include domestic abuse allegations, overdoses and an assault conviction.
While most actors, comedians and pop stars exaggerate their personalities, this odd, depraved duck profits from selling what he tones down. Has there ever been an entertainment figure like this?