THE WRITERS from "Saturday Night Live" have a skip to their step this week. The makers of HBO's "Entourage," having imitated Hollywood life to a T, now watch open-mouthed as Charlie Sheen repeatedly channels their show for all to see.
"I've got tiger blood and Adonis DNA," Sheen told one of his many interviewers over the past few days. He told another, "You borrow my brain for 5 seconds and just be like, 'Dude, can't handle it. Unplug this bastard.' "
Is he manic, bipolar or just plain wacky? Or is this part of a "gotcha" ploy to make him more marketable than ever? Remember that, besides his recent notoriety for drug use, turning his home into the porn star version of the Playboy Mansion and visiting hospitals involuntarily, Carlos Estevez is, at his core, an actor.
Then again, he also was born rich, the spoiled-brat son of an actor.
So if it sounds as if he's 15 all the time, maybe it's because he is 15 all the time.
"Sorry my life is so much more bitchin' than yours," he said at one point of his endless media onslaught. "I planned it that way."
To those who follow sports regularly, the man-child is far from a new phenomenon. We shake our heads so often, it's a miracle more of us don't wind up in traction. Like Charlie, a slew of jocks out there, in every major sport, speak their gibberish so profoundly, they often wear a look of self-satisfaction afterward.
So instead of making the usual kind of sports list, how about one that celebrates Charlie? We'll call it the "Vintage Balderdash" list, in honor of one of his more memorable rants from the week that was. We'll take some of what Charlie said this week, run it up against some of the insights from those roaming our world, and maybe, by the end, Charlie won't seem as wacko as first appeared.
Or maybe it will make you think twice about approaching some of your favorite sports stars for an autograph.
Let's start with a "practice" round, since Charlie directly channeled Allen Iverson in explaining why he did not see the great harm in missing days of shooting "Two and a Half Men."
"We're talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice? We're talking about practice, man," Iverson said, in part, during that famous postseason rant of 2002.
Now here's Charlie, arguing that he had not cost the network money via his behavior: "I missed practice. To quote the great Allen Iverson, 'We talkin' about practice.' "
It gets better. Here's Terrell Owens, when asked whether he was in love with himself: "Yes, I am a narcissist. The best, too."
Here's a sampling from Charlie this week:
"I am special, and I will never be one of you."
And, "My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math."
Here's Terrell explaining why he is who he is: "People have doubted me and criticized me my whole life, and that's why I'm the way I am."
Here's Charlie: "I'm 45, I've got five kids, and I've been dumped on for too long."
Because he gave out so many lengthy interviews, Charlie touched all the bases this week, hit all levels of crazy, contrived or not. "I have a disease? [BS.] I cured it with my brain," he said in response to a question about addiction. Then, either channeling his superhero or his many personas, Sheen said, "Thought you were messing with one dude? Sorry."
Perhaps the closest cousin to this week's edition of Charlie Sheen, though, is Mike Tyson, back when the self-described "baddest man on the planet" began to feel vulnerable.
Even in his bad weeks, the old Mike Tyson could out-Charlie Sheen anybody. He threatened to feed Lennox Lewis his own heart once. This was after Buster Douglas scored his Tokyo TKO. Presumably seeking to regain his edge, Tyson threatened to eat children, to kill himself and others, even once offered to make Razor Ruddock, an upcoming opponent, "my girlfriend."
Charlie gave him a run for his money this week, though, touting his "fire-breathing fists" in his battles with network executives and promising, "When I'm fighting a war, there's no room for sensitivity.
"They can't hang with me," he said. "Their bones would melt like wax.
"Mistook this rock star, bro."
Ah, yes, the rock star. Sheen went on to call Mick Jagger and Keith Richards party wimps in comparison, this time channeling Joe Walsh's classic "Life's Been Good":
"It's hard to handle this fortune and fame;
Everybody's so different, I haven't changed."
"I'm still alive, which is pretty cool," Sheen said.
On that, I think, we can all agree. *
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