Now that we've carefully examined the episodes submitted to Emmy judges in the race for lead actor in a comedy by Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") and Tony Shalhoub ("Monk"), it's time to scrutinize the entry of poor, oft-neglected Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"). To read our analysis of the other episodes, click on the nominees' names above.
Weighing the five Emmy nominees for best comedy actor, Charlie Sheen already rules with the highest Nielsens thanks to headlining TV's highest-rated laffer. Now many Emmywatchers believe he's submitted his best performance ever to judges. And they're right. The problem with it, however, is the stuff of "Two and a Half Men," a zany, knee-slapping sitcom that doesn't give Sheen a dark, soulful moment to offset his deft comic fireworks — and, surprisingly, OK singing chops.
The premise of "Is There a Mrs. Waffles?" is outrageous: Charlie (Charlie Sheen) becomes the "King of Kid Songs" when he assumes the identity of "Charlie Waffles" and appears in TV commercials selling silly ditties to kiddies with titles like "Who Cut the Cheese?" "Grandma May Smell Funny" and "Bye Bye Boobies."
His brother Alan (Jon Cryer, who really shines here too) becomes horrified, gasping, "I just don't understand what kind of spiteful god could allow my drunken whoremonger of a brother to become a children's singing star while I toil away in poverty-stricken anonymity!"
Worse, Charlie uses his success to pick up the single moms of his wee fans when he encounters the ladies at the supermarket and CD signings. But Charlie suddenly becomes humbled — and panics — when he learns from his manager that he must perform a live concert before 1,200 kids. As he and Alan drive in the car, Charlie confesses, "I have stage fright — severe, debilitating wet-your-pants stage fright."
Later, as Charlie and Alan chat on the sofa at home, Charlie continues his piteous confession: "The last time I was in front of an audience (was) seventh grade talent show. I started shaking, sweating, felt like I wanted to throw up."
But Charlie agrees to do the concert when his manager threatens to sue him for violation of contract.
However, he shows up drunk, boasting, "I figured out what happened in seventh grade! I hadn't started drinking yet!"
He goes out on stage, tries to sit down on the piano bench and falls backward to the floor. The kids howl with laughter. When he burps, the kids cackle more. "That one's not on the CD!" he tells 'em.
The concert is a huge success and soon the DVD footage is being sold on TV too.