Best of 2011: Charlie Sheen Is “I Didn’t Do It” Boy

Posted: December 31, 2011 by Keith Stone in Best of 2011, Chaz Sheen, Simpsons

It’s the end of the year so let’s look back at some of the best moments in The Suite (and give Stone a break). This was originally published on April 12. Let’s be honest, 2011 was the Year of Sheen.

In embarking on his Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option Tour on top of whatever you would call Sheen’s Korner, his Twitter feed, and all the bizarre antics over the past couple months, Charlie Sheen has fully embraced his reputation as America’s favorite nutcase. As sad as his fall from grace was, it has been the car crash that everyone is slowing down to watch.

It’s been a spectacle for sure. Entertaining, wild, crazy, funny. In a society where everything is so orderly and predictable, you never know what you’re going to get from Charlie and that’s what makes it interesting. One day, he’s chilling with Bree Olson and the other chick at the Sober Valley Lodge and the next day he’s storming the stage of Jimmy Kimmel Livewith Mark Cuban.Charlie is honest and unapologetic and that makes him endearing. He’s exposing his entire being to us, flaws and all. He’s just being himself and he’s a cool dude. Charlie’s the guy that lives next to you freshman year, drinks too much, hooks up with tons of chicks, and somehow gets an A. You could try all your life to be this guy but you never will. You might not want to be him but if you see him at a bar, you’d buy him a shot.

But we liked him because he was just living his life. Somewhere along the line, Charlie realized he could make more money and attain greater fame by sidestepping the media and making his own star. If that’s what people wanted, he could give it to them. Little by little, it became clear. The catchphrases, the appearances, the merchandise. He decided to stop being Charlie Sheen and instead started playing Charlie Sheen.

The only problem is that Charlie’s likeability is based upon his genuine insanity. Insanity is random. It’s not something you can stream on the Internet. It’s no surprise that the longer the act goes on, the more people are booing him off the stage like they did this weekend at Radio City Music Hall. An insane person wouldn’t market himself (or at least do it successfully). We like Charlie as the guy who might run on the court during a Lakers game, snort a line, and then bang Alexis Texas and Tori Black, not the guy that uses hashtags and sells T-shirts. At least Jack Nicholson would be amused.

On an episode of The Simpsons, Bart literally stumbles into superstardom after dropping the line “I didn’t do it” after ruining a sketch on Krusty the Clown’s show. The crowd ate it up and soon Bart was “I Didn’t Do It” Boy, breaking Ming vases and cracking his catchphrase. His popularity grew as audiences awaited calamity, bought “I Didn’t Do It” Boy CD’s (featuring MC Hammer), and watched him strut his stuff on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Heck, even Mayor “Diamond” Joe Quimby was stealing his phrase. Bart was dubious of the affection but soon decided he would do his absolute best give the people what they want. Of course, when he did so, they weren’t entertained anymore.

 The “I Didn’t Do It” Boy saga serves as a precautionary tale for Charlie. He may be reaping the benefits from what he thinks the audience wants, but he will find that it is something else entirely. By serving us all Charlie Sheen on his own terms, he is depriving us all from what we really want: that original lovable train wreck that smoked so much coke that he got a hernia.

We don’t want the canned catch phrases and product placement. That’s why he’s getting such negative reactions at his shows. My mom always told me to be myself. Charlie needs to follow that advice. Be yourself, not a caricature of yourself. Either that, or in 10 years we’re going to be talking about “Winning” Dude.

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