POP Review: Charlie Sheen’s Torpedo of Truth Tour

POP Contributor Mike Finkelstein decided to go to Radio City Music Hall Sunday night in hopes to see his favorite G-Rated show, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Unfortunately for him, a crazed warlock had taken over the Hall, and what followed was a trip  his mind could have never prepared for.  Here is his review of “Charlie Sheen Live: My Violent Torpedo of Truth”

PLOT: I have NO friggen clue…whatever Charlie Sheen wants it to be…?

Check out the Fake 20/20 Interview:

MIKE’S REVIEW: When I first talked to my friend about seeing “Charlie Sheen: My Violent Torpedo of Truth”, it was more of a joke.  We really weren’t going to spend the money to sit in a theater watching Sheen rant with no direction about everything he hates.  He had no set plan (obvious after hearing about Detroit), and why would you pay to just watch an obvious train wreck?

And then we realized…train wreck.  Hmm…this could actually be interesting!  And Ho-ly crap, was it interesting…

The night started off about twenty minutes late (expected from all the other reviews).  Music played in the theater that seemed like it was telling a story of Sheen’s life.  “Kryptonite”, “Margaritaville”, Eminem’s “Soldier”, “Gin and Juice”, all part of the selections.  The lights dimmed, and an announcer asked “What is going through the mind of Charlie Sheen?”  The answer was a truly mesmerizing video montage that was borderline hypnotic.  It started with a few Sheen clips from the late 80s.  Then, the JAWS theme started playing and we moved into a weird trippy 70s style run of specifically JAWS clips(I don’t know).  Finally, it was an all out free for all, jumping through clips of every violent movie from SERPICO to SCARFACE to APOCALYPSE NOW. The creepiest part, however, was no specific movie, but the incorporation of a still beauty shot of ex-wife Denise Richards, and the shot from THE DEPARTED where Martin Sheen is falling to his death (below)…Yeah, made me feel a little uncomfortable, too…


Would you put in this clip if it were YOUR dad?

Soon, Charlie entered through the back of the audience like a prize fighter headed to the ring, and the crowd went wild!  A few comments and chants about winning and living, a few f-bombs, and Sheen turns the teleprompter away from him and out toward the audience, promising a show that was completely unscripted and spontaneous.

What followed had its moments.  The whole show was basically one long Q&A session with his co-host and the audience.  You had your usual Sheen-isms (I’m bi-winning, quad-winning, tiger blood, etc), and there were a few highlights:

1) The first question was from a girl who wanted to be Goddess #3.  She was brought up on stage, and Charlie called out his other two goddesses to judge.  Based on the mixed audience reaction, it was a “we’ll get back to you”.

2) Charlie asked for any doctor in the audience to come up and figure out his “bi-polar” problem.  A very obviously drunk guy came on stage and started saying how his ex-wife thought he was bi-polar, but he was actually bi-winning like Charlie and screw her.  The guy admits he wasn’t a real doctor, but a doctor of life.  Charlie throws him off stage for being a liar.

3) A guy asks Charlie how much money he has left after “Two and a Half Men”.  Charlie asks the GUY how much money HE has.  The guy says not much and asks for some of Charlie’s money.  Charlie gives him $100.

The best part, though, had to be completely surprise appearances by James Lipton and Darryl Strawberry!  Suddenly, Sheen says he has some friends in the audience.  He first introduces Lipton and the crowd begs Lipton to go on stage to interview Sheen.  Lipton asks one question: ”What’s your favorite curse word?”  Sheen responds “either F*** or Denise” (I’ll get into that later).  Everyone is laughing and cheering.

Then, Darryl comes up, and everyone who knows New York baseball is going crazy.  Darryl asks Sheen if he likes the Dodgers or the New York teams.  Sheen answers obviously New York (that’s when people in LA are going “Traitor!!”), and he gives Darryl a hug and they part ways.

The show was filled with these random moments…everything from Sheen suddenly taking off his shirt to show his chest tattoo (and surprisingly ripped torso, mind you) to offering to buy everyone in the house a “winning” tattoo to showing up in the second mezzanine just to “see the view” and answering questions while running back and forth on stage.  And those random moments are what made it so hard to look away.

But here’s the catch…with all those moments, I realized I was being entertained for all the wrong reasons.  The man was rambling for so long and bitching so randomly, that it felt exactly like seeing Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman for I’M NOT THERE, or seeing Tony Clifton for the first time.  Except for Charlie, it wasn’t a joke or an act.  It was a very self indulgent, egotistical him.  Remember when I said my friend and I went in expecting to laugh at a train wreck?  We were expecting to be entertained by Sheen’s downfall, not by a good show.  And in a very sad way, that’s exactly what happened.

If you want the biggest example of this, watch the 20/20 Video Mock Up below.  Tell me the humor isn’t something your pothead friend would come up with and then laugh his ass off at, while you sit there thinking to yourself “Wow…you’re really never going to amount to anything, are you?”  Don’t think so?  Check out the one minute and three minute marks.  I give it 30 seconds before you stop the link.  And in the show, this was called the “best f***ing interview ever”.  (Ego, much?)


1 min and 3 min. C’mon…I dare you

Charlie Sheen pulled this show out of his ass.  Somehow, he was able to convince some of the biggest venues in the world (Radio City being one of them) to book him, and he hasn’t planned a damn thing.  He was running and rambling and chain smoking.  He kept repeating how he was having a great time, and everyone else should because they were with him.  He ranted about basically all the same nonsense you’ve heard him rant about in the newspapers (Marriage, Lorre, Denise Richards).  He still thinks he’s God’s gift, and he has tiger blood and Madonna’s DNA.  While he wants his job back at “Two and a Half Men”, he still says horrible stuff about Warner Bros and Chuck Lorre, and despite her not saying a word bad about him throughout this whole ordeal, he throws in cheap shots about Denise Richards.

Yes, the show was entertaining (and apparently a thousand times better than whatever happened Friday), but by the end of the show, the cheering and applause had dwindled, and the squirming had started.  Charlie was begging people to ask questions of him so he could tell the same stories about how he “banged a 7-gram rock”, but instead, got questions like “Do you like Canada?”  Yes, people still cheered when they heard “winning” and “New York”, but it was more like an arm spasm from a corpse after death or Pavlov’s dog salivating to a bell whistle.


Sheen’s audience…same type of thing…and I include myself in that

And yet, with all that, you can’t really blame the guy, because we, the audience (like he so boldly pointed out), actually paid money for these tickets.  We wanted to see the train wreck that is Sheen.  We wanted to be entertained by a person’s plummet, because hey, isn’t that what we all want to see?  Someone falling from the graces? I think the scariest thing about this entire show was to think that either A) Charlie Sheen is that screwed up on drugs that this is the stuff he comes up with to save his career, or B) Charlie Sheen is that screwed up overall, that this is actually him as a real person.  And I’m terrified to say that it might be B.  The show was a good way to shut off my brain and be mindlessly entertained for an hour, but what stuck with me far after and into this morning is the fact that this is a man’s life.  I was amused by Sheen’s antics, but we really are witnessing the fall here of a great actor that was something for such a long time.  And I, for one, am sad to see him look like such a joke to so many people.

Grade: Irrelevant

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