First, A Little Background
Charlie Sheen, at some point in his career, had a drug problem. There, I said it. Of course, it's no secret, and news about his problem (specifically cocaine) have been told as far back as 1994, wherein he decided to experiment with injecting cocaine, and had to go to hospital. This drug addiction was never more publicised than in and around 2010, in which he spent a brief period in a drug rehabilitation centre, cancelling the last two scheduled episodes of season 7 of Two And A Half Men (this was the season where Chelsea was a main character, so we couldn't really have been happier for him). No arguments just yet, as this is the tip of the iceberg. Somewhere in the summer of that year, Sheen decided he may or may not have had enough of the show. To keep him on the show, Sheen reached a deal with CBS to be given a 78% pay raise if he agreed to stay for another two seasons, which he did. That's $1.78 million. Per episode. For 24 episodes. In a year. For the more calculable among you, that's $42.72 million for filming about 8 or 9 hours of fart, beer and sex jokes. May I also remind you that Charlie Sheen was already being paid the sum of $1 million per episode of last year's fart, beer and sex jokes. As if this wasn't enough?! Now apparently, Sheen was once quoted as stating that "in perspective, I'm actually quite underpaid", and while it does make sense to some miniscule degree, just let it go! I understand how hard comedy can be, but this is just a fun, dumb little show that makes a lot of money because it's just that, fun and dumb. All you really had to do was nail the intonation of the word "bong" and you've made Two And A Half Men gold! But, I digress, as there is a lot more ground to cover here. Two And A Half Men moved along just fine throughout season 8, almost like clockwork, but with blackjack, and hookers. The biggest change was pretty much Charlie Sheen's shorter haircut, which co-star Jon Cryer mocked in the very first episode of this particular season. Then, in January, Sheen checked himself into rehab for the third time in a year, ceasing production of Two And A Half Men. It ended quite fittingly, actually, with Charlie's character (named Charlie, like every other character Charlie Sheen has ever played) going to Paris with Rose, who has held some strange and manic crush over Charlie for the entirety of the show's tenure.
During the hiatus, effectively cancelling the last third of the season, Sheen went on somewhat of a rampage, spouting several "allegedly" anti-Semitic claims and garnering controversy from the fact that he does, in fact, have tiger blood. But then again, all rock stars from Mars have tiger blood, right? The scandal was known to practically everyone, with the late night talk show hosts having their easiest weeks since Andy Kaufman was alive. In fact, CBS's own Craig Ferguson got Sir Michael Caine of all people to voice his opinion on the topic during an interview. Ferguson did, however, show his respect for his fellow man and claimed that he would "stop making Charlie Sheen jokes" due to his evident problem. Racism of any kind is both a sensitive topic as well as a difficult term to use, with each individual holding different limits and boundaries as to what they believe to be racist or offensive, so Sheen's comments could be seen as harmless (Sheen used Lorre's real name whilst calling him out during an interview), but to others, including Lorre himself, it was too far. In April 2011, Lorre decided that he had grown tired of Sheen, deciding to take the show in a new direction. This led to a rather popular and easy joke to make. Here's how it works: 1) Something bad happens because of someone and that someone needs replacing. 2) Tell your friend that said someone "will be replaced by Ashton Kutcher." Comedic genius! Needless to say, Ashton Kutcher made his first appearance at the very end of the premiere episode, "Nice To Meet You, Walden Schmidt." Much debate was present throughout this ordeal, with a sum of 28.74 million viewers turning in to see how the episode would play out. The episode was average at best, but the introduction of Kutcher's character, Walden Schmidt, through the ashes of Charlie was truly a moment worth remembering. More on that later. Now that you have been introduced/refreshed on the situation, click "next" to see how it turned out for all of the key players.