Charlie Sheen decoded: Where 'Chaim Levine' comes from

So what was up with all that “Chaim Levine” business?

An EW reader points out that the origin of Charlie Sheen repeatedly saying Two and a Half Men exec producer Chuck Lorre (who was born Charles Michael Levine) is actually named Chaim Levine is found on Lorre’s vanity card website — specifically, vanity card #327, that aired Feb. 7 after an episode of Two and a Half Men.

On the card, Lorre talks about his visit to Israel and feeling comfortable while “surrounded with DNA much like my own.” Then he concludes:

“Which raises the question, why have I spent a lifetime moving away from that group? How did Chaim become Chuck? How did Levine become Lorre? The only answer I come up with is this: When I was a little boy in Hebrew school the rabbis regularly told us that we were the chosen people. That we were God’s favorites. Which is all well and good except that I went home, observed my family and, despite my tender age, thought to myself, ‘bull$#*!.'”

So the card at least makes Sheen’s reference, which has been called “borderline anti-Semitic,” more comprehensible.

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Comments (90 total) Add your comment
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  • Marino215

    Charlie Sheen eroded

    • Rock Golf

      And on another vanity card, he provides advance notice:


      Continued refusal to behave in a manner that pleases me will result in my unhappiness. This warning applies to people I love, people I work with, friends, relatives, strangers who wander through my personal narrative, and folks in faraway lands whose thoughtless actions cause me to become upset when I read the newspaper in the morning. As of this notice, all behavior will be required to pass an HWTAC test (“How will this affect Chuck?”). Failure to do so will result in me having a bad day. And nobody wants that, right? Thank you for your consideration. You may now return to your regular activities.

      • Kris

        Yes, Chuck surely is a monster for expecting his talent to control himself. Katherine Heigl is a super bitch for saying that she wasn’t given “Emmy-worthy” writing during one season of Grey’s Anatomy yet Charlie Sheen is a poor victim for being forced on hiatus after calling his show crap, calling his boss all sorts of names and insulting the fans of Two and a Half Men. People like you need help.

      • Hi Charlie

        Stop surfing the news sites and posting comments Charlie.

  • Spin City

    Surprised that Charlie Sheen (er, actually Carlos Irwin Estevez) would be ribbing someone about a name change

    • Alex

      VERY good point!!

    • Ana

      Carlos himself made that same point today. As messed up as he is right now I don’t think his intent was to be anti-Semitic. Thanks for clearing up why he referred to him as “Chaim” though. I thought that was weird.

      • Doremifah Solatido

        I find Lorre’s own self-hating Jew comments more deplorable than Sheen’s. No rabbai I ever met told me we were better than everybody else. The term “Chosen people” refers to Jews being the people chosen to carry God’s word, the Torah. God offered it to six other peoples (who refused) before offering it the Jews, so we weren’t even his first choice! Just because Lorre chose to misinterpret it to rationalize his own self-hatred doesn’t mean he knows what the hell he’s talking about.

      • walt kovacs


        lorre is like many jews in hollywood…disconnected from his people and his faith.

        and you are right…there isnt a rabbi in the world who will say jews are better than anyone….and jews are only chosen to keep the torah

        but i still believe sheen to be a jew hater, as he is a troofer…and all troofers are jew haters underneatht the surface

      • i think

        ive heard both jews and christians refer to themselves as the chosen people. and i have heard many self righteous religious people who do consider themselves to be better than others. i’m not saying this is doctrine, but being self righteous and condescending goes hand in hand for many religious folks.

      • Dayn

        Being self-righteous and condescending goes hand in hand with being a human being. Most people are always in search of that *thing* that will make them better, more special, than everyone else, whether it’s their church or their club (country or otherwise), their degrees and the college they got them from, what kind of car they drive . . . that’s just human nature. You’ll find self-righteous condescension whether you’re looking at people in a church service or a Sierra Club meeting.

      • RK

        It’s amazing that nobody here has pointed out that Jewish babies are given English AND Hebrew names. So Chaim may be Lorre’s Hebrew first name, but that doesn’t make “Charles” a name change — only the name used in every context other than, say, getting called up to the Torah.

      • Rizka

        We care because jerks like him make milniols of dollars doing a job that thousands could do, but just didn’t have the career path that they did and they squandered it. They piss in the faces of the public that watch their shows, follow their careers, and pay money for magazines, songs, tickets, etc. We care because we have helped make millionaires out of a$$h0l3s who take our money and flip us off. Instead of showing us gratitude for their success (for WE are who made them rich) by showing class they implode, they show their true colors of greed, indulgence, and indifference to the less lucky around them.

    • james

      nobody was ribbing him, there is nothing anti-semetic about it — he simply used his real name. that’s it.

      • yup

        exactly. and still every site keeps posting that he said something anti semitic. it’s ridiculous. i cant stand ppl who are thin skinned. and i refute the notion of a politically correct society. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be polite and respectful of others. but the politically correct thing takes it to a whole nother level.

      • Marilyn

        It’s not being thin-skinned. His tone implied it – he is an a#@.

      • Courtney

        Expect that it wasn’t his real name, but whatever.

      • argo

        You’re obviously not old enough to understand context. While he used a real name … he used it as an assault.

  • Sam

    He makes it clear that it had nothing to do with it being a jewish name.

    • Ice Princess

      I think Jewish men are kinda sexy.

  • Jobu

    Chuck Lorre walk away.
    Let them mail the checks to you.
    The Ma-Sheen isn’t hurting anyone. Mind your own personal business.

    • rouge

      Charlie…is that you?

    • Marilyn

      You are an a-hole.

    • Elaine

      Jobu: Exactly right.

    • Princess

      Charlie Sheen did not cancel the show CBS did!!! I have got to tell you I and mliilons of others love this show. I come home after work, grab a beer or a glass of wine and settle in so I can watch Two and a Half Men. I never watched network TV until this show came on. It makes me laugh my ass off and forget about the world for a brief moment in time.Come on CBS, let’s all get back to work. Let’s face it, we are not perfect but that is what makes us human. Charlie is Charlie and that is why you hired him in the first place so can we PLEEEESSSSe get back to the “Lights, Camera, Action”. I and mliilons of others need a good laugh in this crazy world and Two and a Half Men delivers that laugh.Thank you for your time.

  • Dan

    Whatever. It’s America, people have the right to change their name to whatever they want. And no one has the right to deny them from doing so. Sheen is being an obnoxious jerk.

    • ajay c

      I don’t think denying one to change his or her name was ever the issue.

    • RK

      It’s not a name change. His English name is Charles. His Hebrew name, used only in religious contexts such as getting called to the Torah, is Chaim.

  • TH

    Leave Charlie alone.

    • joe-k

      He shoulda left the marching powder alone

      • Snfpme

        CHARLIE,He is the man,he is the show, face it,deal with it. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, you have hundreds of other itpoons. He’ll be back in all of his glory sharing his grins and laughter, I hope. You go Charlie Sheen, live your life your way, for you and your family. When the network is done with you, they will merely say it’s over, the public will accept it. The public can’t get it, when the actor is the so called bad guy, wether he is or not. Enjoy your life Charlie,do what you want to do, your a man. Remember one thing, you only go around one time in life, except for the MAN UP ABOVE. God Bless,you are one of a kind.

    • Don Alex

      Shut up, dink.

    • talkin’

      won’t be hard to do

  • Hoobi

    For some stupido like me, what exactly is a vanity card?? What is it for? And where do you find them?

    • snooks

      Vanity cards are found at the end of the episodes and basically note the production company name. Chuck Lorre always has something to read – it’s a white background with black type. If you have a dvr then you can pause to read the vanity card…

      • nshi

        Nerd Alert!

      • Hoobi

        @snooks: Oh, really? i didn’t know that. Thanks for the explanation! Never realised that there was sth “meaningful” written there. Seems that I need stronger glasses :-)

    • Carol

      At the end of a TV show, the production company has their logo on the screen for a couple of seconds. Chuck Lorre instead uses that spot to flash on the screen a paragraph or two or three of random thoughts. It flashes too quickly to read, but you can read it if you pause the TV, or they’re all available at his website too. It’s kind of like the equivalent of a blog post, but it’s only on the screen for about 2 seconds.

      Here is the website:

  • Al

    He said it on the Alex Jones show. Alex Jones believes that 9/11 was an inside job and that Jews were tipped off to what was going to happen.

    • Larry

      Alex Jones is a moron. If you really want to know what is going on, check out David Icke. You will never look at the world the same way again.

      • V

        Oh no! The lizard people!

    • Rowan

      Sure. Musli Extremists who HATE jews would really tip off the people they’ve been trying to kill so the only people killed are Christians? How stupid to even think that, let alone believe it. A lot of Jewish families lost loved ones on 9/11. The anti-semetism continues.

  • Charlie Wonka

    Too much “PC” crap!!!
    Get over it!

    • Javier

      The noewtrk cancelled the show the article even states that they cannot afford to lose Chiam, that pales in comparison to the importance of Lorre to the studio. So they just made a decision based on numbers. Chiam Levine brings in more than Carlos Estevez. No biggie, just capitalism at its finest.I love uncle Charlie and what he does in his personal life is between him and Denise (which I am sure she don’t mind seeing as though she is with him on all his porn star vacations, so more power to him; I find it a little petty to out Chiam on the name drop when hardly anybody knows Carlos Estevez.

  • Mary

    Great publicity Charlie…just like the show, a bit controversial and hey, he is paid to be a comedian. What religion is humor?

  • Yuri

    So now Chuck Lorre is a self-loathing jew? O G*d, when will it all end?

    • nikki

      Chuck Lorre said he was, didnt u read what he said, duh?

  • Miley Virus

    at least him and Lohan are keeping me entertained…

    • dee dee

      Maybe they should get married

      • justjack

        Oh my lord…. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN??

  • Dan Burnstein

    I agree with Doremifah

  • walt kovacs

    sheen changed his name to play off of his father’s fame…despite the fact that bro emillio has had absolutely no probs using estevez.

    not sure why lorre felt the need to get his name changed, as it isnt hard for jewish writers to get gigs in today’s hollywood.

    i think both sheen and lorre have identity issues.

    • kerry

      I saw Charlie on George Lopez and he called hm Carlos Estevez, and Charlie said yes, I am Latino. He doesn’t have ethnic hangups about himself.

      Lots of actors chnage ther names. Doris day’s real name was Doris Kappellhoff and Dean Martin’s real name was Dino Crocetti. Even Josie Bissett from the original Melrose Place’s real name is Jolyn Heutmaker.

      • erin

        He is not Latino. Martin Sheen’s father was from Spain. That’s in Europe.

    • Can you read?

      Chuck Lorre didn’t change his name. He was named Charles by his parents and his father’s last name is Lorre. A long time ago, the family name used to be Levine. Blame his ancestors!

      • RK

        Actually, the family name was Levine when Chuck was born.

  • Dan Burnstein

    I agree with Doremifah and I don’t think he was being anti-Semitic.

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