Actor Charlie Sheen is making a classic Hollywood comeback. Well, probably. The former star of Two and a Half Men and Anger Management is making a new show with Doug Ellin, the creator of the sort-of show business satire show Entourage. In this new show, Sheen will be playing himself, as well as an enormous ensemble cast. Seriously, the cast includes The Soprano’s Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Scrubs’ John C. McGinley, famous rich person and Shark Tank shark Mark Cuban, and not surprisingly, the elder Sheen, Martin. Also the Kevins from Entourage, Connolly and Dillion (that’s E and Johnny Drama, respectively). So why probably a comeback? For one thing, Charlie Sheen has been persona non grata in Hollywood after decades of bad behavior, and for another, this show has not been picked up for distribution as of yet.
The show, titled Ramble On, is about Hollywood veterans looking to revitalize their careers (in other words, washed-up actors looking for a boost). In a sense, casting Charlie Sheen is kind of perfect and feels like it would be a bit insulting to the star of Hot Shots! and Hot Shots! Part Deux. After all, when someone comes to you and essentially says, we’re making a show about people whose career in show business is pretty much over and we want you to play yourself, it would be hard not to read between the lines. Then again, for a person whose public persona has been that of a megalomaniac rock star with tiger blood, Sheen has always had a surprising sense of self-awareness. After all, he starred as an alcoholic named Charlie for years on Two and a Half Men for years and was handsomely paid for it (until his character was killed by a falling piano. Seriously).
It sounds like Ramble On is planned to be a near-companion piece to Entourage. While Doug Ellin’s HBO show was all about up-and-comers in Hollywood succeeding constantly through almost no effort of their own, this one seems to be the darker end of that, as longtimers try to cling to what they have or reinvent themselves. And Charlie Sheen certainly does have a need to reinvent himself. For nearly the entirety of his career, Sheen has been known as one of the wildest cards in Hollywood. While a promising young star (and son of the legendary Martin Sheen), he was already famous for his wild partying and outlandish behavior. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it only seemed to intensify, leading to a notorious public kind of breakdown. During that time period, he traveled with a kind of public speaking live show and gave interviews in which he claimed to be a “warlock” and to have “Adonis DNA.”
But it does seem like playing himself in a show about show business is the part Charlie Sheen was born for. The pilot episode is currently in production and Doug Ellin is shopping it to different networks. Maybe soon we’ll be seeing an all-star cast, plus Charlie Sheen, trying to make a second or third act in Hollywood.