5 ways to fix Charlie Sheen's live tour

No refunds! That fine print policy is doubtless going through the minds of some fans who are holding tickets for Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour following the Warlock-In-Chief’s opening night reviews in Detroit (all the gory details here). But could the show be saved? Improved? Made, if not actually great, at least not so … intensely boo-able? Here are some suggestions:

1. Hire some writers, fast. Sheen fighting with a comedy writer is partly what set all this in motion in the first place. But if VTOTT proved anything it was that the man needs good writers. Detroit fans wanted to see Sheen because they think he’s funny and wanted to laugh. There wasn’t enough about the show that was (intentionally) humorous.

2. Add storytelling: Sheen said he was willing to tell personal stories, but his attempt at soliciting questions from the audience backfired. His idea wasn’t bad — audiences love hearing entertaining anecdotal stories, especially from people with fascinating lives. But instead of winging it, pick the stories in advance, practice telling them well, and go out and deliver them with gusto.

3. Less video. The show was packed with silly video segments that felt like desperate padding. Nobody wants to spend $80 to watch fan-created YouTube videos. If you need filler, try live music performances or guest appearances by famous names instead (Detroit was rumored to have a performance by Snopp Dogg, which the audience was excited about, but that didn’t work out).

4. Have a point. Sheen buried his big speech at the heart of the show with a series of his  bombastic metaphorical barfly ramblings, and even he admitted they were largely nonsensical. People going to see a show called Torpedo of Truth expect just that — some honesty. Have all the speechifying go somewhere, find a sincere point to get clearly across and try and connect with your audience on more than just a superficial level.

5. Know your fans. Time and time again, Sheen managed to offend the same people he was trying to impress (and starting the show late didn’t help either). Lines that work when chatting with tabloid news outlets don’t necessarily play well in person. A show has to be for the audience; Torpedo of Truth came off like a monument to the actor’s ego and left the audience feeling like Sheen’s ATM machine.

So if Sheen works really hard to improve his show, he actually might be able to … he’s not going to do any of this, is he?

UPDATE: Charlie Sheen takes Chicago stage for Night 2. Did he take our advice?

PREVIOUS: Charlie Sheen’s Detroit disaster: Boos, walk-outs for ‘Torpedo of Truth’

PREVIOUS: Charlie Sheen’s live tour: Our top 5 predictions

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Comments (154 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim Lade

    Charlie Sheen is lip synching to the world and this proves that he lacks any and all talent without writers providing for him. He clearly isn’t funny on his own and much like Milli Vanilli doesn’t have a single to say without someone else handing him a cue card. So sad.

    • chicagonick

      …yup, like most of what American society has to offer today, fakery,grand illusions from the president to Hollywood to pro sports and back again. The entire industry should give America a ‘refund’..oh I forget most of all the lost art of journalism that would if practiced save us from most of this brainless crud these people have to offer.

      • slowhandfan

        Right on, Chicagonick. Narcissism is being worshipped in society today. Look where it’s brought us.

      • Cylon

        You think it’s any better in Europe?

      • allan

        No, it isn’t any better in Europe, but fortunately for the Europeans, Charlie Sheen hasn’t yet crossed the Atlantic to terroize them with his massive, self-indulgent ego. And so far their own delsuional crack addicted former TV stars aren’t touring over here with a “show”

    • derek

      He needs to watch An Evening With Kevin Smith, learn to spin a yarn about Hollywood, that’s what people want. Smith’s story about working on the Superman script back in the 90’s was brilliant. It didn’t just spill out of his mouth, he had to work on the delivery to make it entertaining. Bruce Campbell knows how to talk to his audience too, I don’t think he has a DVD out though. Charlie, check out the Evening With DVD, make sure it’s the first one though, by the third one, Kevin had pretty much run out of interesting stories.

      • Myra

        Totally agreed derek. Kevin Smith can hold the stage and entertain the audience just by answering questions. I just saw him do a Q&A in the Red State movie tour.

        But Smith has substance and intelligence and humanity. Not much in common with Sheen.

      • Sally in Chicago

        Do you honestly think that Charlies has that talent in him? Not!

      • Huh?

        Frank sinatra

      • watson

        That’s great advice. I saw Kevin Smith in DC and he was hysterical. But he didn’t just roll out of bed and decide to do a show. Preparation was involved. No one, especially someone who doesn’t write for a living, can put on a show with so little preparation…regardless of the amount of tiger blood he has.

      • d

        actually he needs to watch spaulding gray so he can see how to turn a one man show about his own personal demons into an entertaining and original show

      • Jennu

        Yeah but KS is a writer. He understands narrative and themes. (And his audience.) CS seems to think he can create an entire show from a few pithy phrases and one-liners. Great for tabloid sound bites, terrible for an “Evening With”.

      • Teddy

        I once saw Whoopi Goldberg in a lecture forum, & she was hilarious, raunchy, and amazingly poignant. I was dragged to see Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” show, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great she was. Both Whoopi and Carrie Fisher were willing to make themselves completely vulnerable when telling their stories. That takes considerable self-reflection, as well as some serious cajones. Sheen has enough life material to make a good show, but it won’t work unless he is completely honest about his own faults. At this point in his life, he doesn’t seem capable of doing that. Maybe he will someday…if he survives.

    • Mike

      Why WOULD anyone want a refund?!? This is on the level of Roman gladiatorial fights.

    • the dude

      All Charlie needs to make this show a smash hit is
      – a producer to develop a funny concept
      – writers to write funny lines for him
      – a director to give him 5 takes to say the lines in a funny way
      – an editor to cut out all the un-funny parts

      Hmm., where could he get something like that? Oh yeah, the TV show he was on for years, getting paid way too much for way too little talent.

      • Janell

        ITA! What is a comedy show without a Producer, Writer, Director and Editor? These overpaid actors and actresses need to get over themselves.

      • Al

        Too true. And this wakeup call, isn’t going to do much for his ‘sobriety’. Realizing he needs writers and people other than a bobbing-head yes men around him, is going to be a harsh slap in the face. Eh, what was I thinking? I’m sure he’ll blame it on something like the video clips, or Snoop not showing up. Anything but his own bad decisions. After all, it was ‘the man’ who took away his kids and job; not anything he did.

    • Janell

      It is the same crowd that keeps the no talent Kardashians in the spotlight.

    • Razor

      The people who bought tickets to this crapfest did so with the expectation that they would get to see good ole Trainwreck Charlie, but from a safe and respectable distance. Guess what? The passenger cars derailed too, and all of you deserve it for buying a ticket in the first place.

      • Jeni

        Apt analogy.

    • kerry

      Nobody performs on stage without memorizing a script in advance. Not even comedians.

      • done with this

        Have you ever seen the cable specials done by standup comedians who describe their years in the business? They talk about how brutal it was until the comedian found a workable bit/formula. Until then, they work in seedy lounges and comedy clubs in front of irritable drunks trying to perfect their acts. Why would Sheen think he could just stroll in and be a huge hit on the first try? Oh yeah, his monster ego.

    • Bluto

      I’m sorry—but why exactly is ANYONE other than Charlie Sheen concerned with “how to save” his tour?

    • scroo yoo

      They should have given him a table full of blow onstage and some furniture to break.That would make a good show

    • ikie12pts

      The only way to save Charlie’s tour is to remove Charlie.

  • Jake Fogelnest

    There really could not have been a funnier line to end this article! PERFECT.

    • Toni

      Yeah. That’s the definitive statement about the man, his show and his life: “he’s not gonna do anything to change it, is he?”.

    • Barb

      Exactly. It is obvious where the story is headed. There’s plenty of hubris. All that’s needed to make this into a tragedy is a hero.

      Maybe this is a tragedy, after all….one more drug tragedy, as Sheen’s father implies that it is. I have heard that Charlie Sheen has been more than a few uncommonly decent days, in his day. Mostly, I hope he’s one of the ones that lives long enough to repent. Hollywood doesn’t need another elaborately sad celebrity headstone. If he died today, though, he’d get one.

  • Mo Town

    The Way to fix it… Give refunds. This torpedo exploded!

    • crispy

      Those people don’t deserve refunds

    • Junior

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  • Matt

    These are great suggestions! Now, if only they somehow landed in Charlie’s lap and he made these adjustments, he’d be fine.

  • Jeff Roszkowski

    Charlie Sheen has cost himself more money in the long run than what he’s gained by doing this tour. It was just a terrible mistake from a place of revenge in his heart.

    I like #5 a lot. I think he doesn’t even care about who his fans are though. He saw this as a way to make money and promote him instead of doing it because he’d actually enjoy performing.

    • Tony

      This is the root of the problem; Sheen’s desire for revenge. It seems as though he’s obssessed with bringing anyone down that didn’t go along with his ongoing trainwreck. He thought that he didn’t need the series because he had such star power. Well, there’s a difference between celebrity appeal and talent.

      • orville

        I really hope that CBS pays attention to this trainwreck of a tour and rethinks bringing him back to the show (as rumored). They might just realize that his fans won’t stick with him through anything.

      • Zane

        @Orville: I would be astonished if CBS was still willing to bring Sheen back at this point. Chuck Lorre is probably having one of the greatest weekends of his life just reading the headlines.

      • kerry

        The root of his problem is that he is an addict. Charlie is a very talented actor, and acting is a skill. People are foolish if they think it’s easy to make somebody else’s words funny every week.

  • Digdug

    The man is obviously making a statement about how much the entertainment industry is built on bulls*t. The man is an ARTIST…a Sheenius! Or…maybe he is just really crazy.

    • Miss Talk

      I’ll agree with the latter. And that definitely scares me.
      I supposed he has some true friends left, they need to step into this and help Sheen to pause himself. Otherwise this is going to end really bad.
      And the media is not helping him neither. This man has lost his mind. Stop the madness.

      • kerry

        Where is his family?! He has parents and four siblings. They need to step in before he loses everything he’s worked for his whole life. Don’t forget, he has four little kids to take care of.

  • circi

    Maybe the circus offers better opportunities.

    • Al

      There’s an idea! Oh, except he’d have to work for a troll.

      • Biodun

        / Does your blog have a contact page? I\’m hnavig problems locating it but, I\’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I\’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  • renee

    only one way needed to fix this train wreck….CANCEL IT!!

    • Janell

      He needs to cancel today’s Chicago concert and go straight into rehab. It is the only way he can redeem himself in the public eye.

  • @AprilMac

    a teachable lesson to children, modern day retelling of The King has No Clothes, and how a gullible fool and his money soon part ways. Too bad Sheen isn’t Jerry Weintraub, that would be a great evening of fun (not tiger) tales!

    • Eolra

      I assume you mean “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?

    • Marly

      Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so very good and so important. I cant wait to read adntiiodal from you. I just really feel like you know so significantly and know how to make people listen to what you’ve to say. This blog is just too cool to be missed. Good things, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

  • BJ

    Please, please,just make it all go away.

  • PN

    1. Rehearse before the show!
    2. Get some better writers!
    3. No more montages of video clips–they came to see YOU, not the videos!
    4. Cut out the rambling and speak fully! You’ve got a brain, don’t you?
    5. Slam the Warner Bros. people that fired you, but keep it funny without being too offensive (they’re not hearing any of this, so this is your revenge)

    • chicagonick

      the best suggestion might be ‘put down the crack pipe charlie, its clouded your perception of reality..’

    • Ben

      They’re not hearing any of this? Really? Because aside from any Warners reps that might be there, there is this thing called the internet, and another thing called the media. Pretty sure that anything he ways will be reported and broadcast.

  • PN

    6. Start your show and be on stage ON TIME! None of that late to be on stage mess!!!!

  • allie

    The only thing Sheen has proved is that he’s NO stand up comedian, with no live theater background he has no CLUE how to work with an audience and he’s nothing without writers feeding him lines. He’s lived in his ivory tower with toadys for so long he has no real clue whatsoever how real people relate to other people. There were people, foolish though they were, who were there to support him. Actually, it takes a special kind of arrogance to alienate those who actually DO want support you.

    • Eurydice

      I think it’s called being a drug addict. By the end the only people left to alienate are those who actually love you. Everybody else has already moved on.

      • So True

        Eurydice, I think you have it. It’s gotten lost in the craziness–another sign of drug addiction. The man is completely out of it. Addicts don’t like reality and will do anything to escape it and the people who want to drag them back to it and health. Hard times. Have so many ever watched one mentally ill, drug addicted guy fall apart? Is this something new for humanity?

      • Len

        There is a limit even for those who love you. Hasn’t his father washed his hands of him at this point?

  • Serena

    im sorry but, i kno that im only 12 but i think its real funny hhow snoop dog wuz at the KCA’s instead of at the VTOTT. I was confused because, while i was watchin the kids choice awards, i noticed that it was live and that snoop dog was there. i knew that snoop dog was supposed to be woth charlie sheen. so, i was confused. i asked my parents and they were confused to. oh well. now i kno. but, thx snoop 4 cari

    • PNK

      Being 12, you have time to learn to spell and write properly. Please do so!

      • fg

        I’m not as concerned with the spelling as I am with the fact that a 12 year old would be so concerned with whats happening on Charlie Sheen’s comedy tour. This child needs a better hobby and some intellegent adult supervision.

      • JenR

        My 13-year-old daughter likes 2 1/2 men, but she watches for Jake. When he’s not on screen she ignores it. But, if you think about it, most of the humor is aimed at adolescents.

  • Elly

    I agree with these 5 ways to fix his show and agree with PN.
    If he does that his show would be solid and smart..actually i think he wanted to do somewhat that but i don’t know he was too lazy in his preparation and come on..prepare a solid show tour all over the states in 3 weeks..it was impossible..Charlie don’t give up man but rework your material..lot’s of people want to enjoy seeing you on stage.
    As for some writers Charlie can be pretty good but yeah he could have some help by some brilliant..and in all his career he certainly know some brilliant writers (and yeah i speak about more brilliant than two and a half men type of dialogue..this show can be hilarious..but brilliant..)

    • Zzzzzzzz…

      What about hiring Roseanne Barr? After all, she recently defended him in the press AND is not a fan of Chuck Lorre (who used to write for her sitcom).

      • alison

        Roseanne Barr is ALSO insane. Her problem with Lorre is the same as Charlie’s, for some strange reason Lorre thought he had a show to produce and Barr and Sheen felt his obligation was to support their drug and insanity habits.

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