It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Two and a Half Men went off the air. After 12 very successful seasons, fans of the comedy hit were treated to a decent, if not strange, series finale and were forced to say goodbye forever. There was a lot to like about the show and a lot of controversy surrounding it that made for good conversation around the water cooler. Charlie Sheen, the show’s clear-cut star, had left in 2011 with a lot of rage and a lot of oddball talk. Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator, was also quite vocal about Sheen’s departure or dismissal or both, and he seemed to hold onto a grudge until the bitter end, milking the laughs at Sheen’s expense to the very last second of the show. Angus T. Jones had his own public meltdown and criticized the show that made him the highest-paid child actor in history. Yet, the show and its viewers still trudged on. It introduced Ashton Kutcher as the new star/co-star in season 9, and kept afloat for 4 more seasons, a feat that no one thought was possible.
Amidst all the hype, public battles and fanfare, it was easy to find yourself inundated with everything you could ever want to know about the show and then some. Even today, as the show starts to fade a little more from memory, there is little that the fanbase doesn’t already know. But they don’t know everything. In the time since the show has gone off the air, some new information has come to light. Memoirs have been written and the stars have spoken out. There are also some connections that not all fans were able to make while the show was on the air. We want to bring you back down memory lane a little and look at some neat things that you haven’t heard about the one-time most popular show on television. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Two and a Half Men.
15. Angus T. Jones Misses Acting
In 2012, Angus T. Jones shocked the fans of Two and a Half Men by announcing that he was uncomfortable with his character’s new “adult” arc and thought the show was “filth.” This all stemmed from Jones’ intensified religious views. The showrunners, in turn, gave Jake a lesser role to start with, but he was eventually written off completely. When Jake returned for the series finale, it was a mind-blowing reunion because of how different he looked on set. Jones even hinted that he might return to TV at some point in the future: “Getting to be back on the set with everyone again kind of showed me how much I did like it.” Sure, it’s not a guarantee that he comes back, but this is a long way from the kid who once said, “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that.”
14. John Cryer is Nearly Bald
If you were to believe your eyes, you would think that Jon Cryer has a full head of hair just like his character Alan Harper, even if it’s kept short, but that’s all the magic of television. Cryer, who sports a nearly bald head in real life, has said that they achieve the look through a “long, involved process that starts with stuff like shoe polish, basically, that they coat your scalp at the top.” He describes it like a roller that is rolled across his head to hide the baldness because what kind of a savage is bald? You gotta hide that monstrosity. We watch television to escape reality not to be smacked in the face with it. No one wants to flick over to a show that stars a guy who can’t even grow hair properly. What kind of a message are we sending our kids?
13. Blythe Danner Was The Mom
In the original pilot episode, which went unaired, Blythe Danner was the woman playing Evelyn Harper, Charlie and Alan’s mom. While Danner suggests that there was a falling out between her and the showrunners that was responsible for her role being recast, the powers behind the show claim that Danner was trying to make changes to the show and that kind of input wasn’t received all that well. One of them went on to say, “Blythe is a wonderful actress who was put in a part that was not a good fit for her.” After Danner’s dismissal, Holland Taylor was cast as the Harper mom and the pilot was rewritten and reshot.
12. Hugh Grant Was Meant To Replace Charlie Sheen
For a brief period of time, Hugh Grant was the man who was set to replace Charlie Sheen after the public blowout and breakup with Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre. When we say brief, however, we need to make sure you understand what that means. In this case, it means roughly two hours. When Grant was offered the role, he hummed and hawed over the offer before he finally accepted. Lorre contacted Jon Cryer to tell him the news at shortly after 9:00 am. Cryer was skeptical because he had heard differently, but Lorre assured him that Grant was fully on board. Then, about 2 hours later, Lorre reached back out to Cryer and said that Grant was out. Apparently, the British star wasn’t too keen on signing on to the show long term, so he decided against it.
11. Hot Shots! Reunion
If you haven’t seen the magnificent Top Gun parody, Hot Shots! you better get on it quick because it’s unbelievable. Top Gun is so over the top that it leaves itself wide open for ridicule and the Hot Shots! team don’t miss. But there’s something more interesting about the film, at least in terms of Two and a Half Men. By pairing Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen, the TV show ended up being a Hot Shots! reunion of sorts because both Sheen and Cryer are pilots in the film. These two were also almost in Pretty in Pink together as well, as Sheen had auditioned for the character of Blane, a part that eventually went to Andrew McCarthy. Both Sheen and Cryer are considered members of the brat pack as well, so they’ll always be linked whether they like it or not.
10. Cryer Chose Alan Instead Of Battlestar Galactica
When Jon Cryer was auditioning for the role of Alan Harper on Two and Half Men, he was also in the running for another character, that of Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica. While Cryer suggests that he had his pick of the two characters, it seems that he only auditioned for the role of Baltar, a role that went to James Callis, who was familiar with the showrunner from his time on another miniseries. Cryer also almost lost out on the role of Alan because one of the producers didn’t like him. He needed to come in for another audition to personally try and impress this exec, which he did with flying colors.
9. Jenny McCarthy Was Critical Of Sheen’s HIV Handling
After Charlie Sheen revealed that he was HIV positive, Jenny McCarthy, ex cast-member and anti-vaxxer, came out and lambasted Sheen and the showrunners for not revealing that Sheen was sick earlier. When asked about Sheen’s revelation, McCarthy, who played one of Charlie’s many love interests, said “I don’t even know how to feel about that. I’m like, ‘Wait a second. If I have to be upfront about herpes, how could you not be upfront about HIV?” McCarthy criticized the show’s double standards and wondered if it was even legal to hide such information. Afterward, a statement was released saying that Sheen contracted the virus after he had been dismissed from the show, but McCarthy probably doesn’t believe in that, just like she doesn’t believe in vaccinations.
8. Berta Was Meant To Be Foreign and Not Permanent
Conchata Ferrell, the actress who played the housekeeper Berta, revealed that her character was originally written as a small recurring character, not a permanent cast member. The part was envisioned as a foreign housekeeper, who was to move out when Alan and Jake move in. Ferrell went to the audition with plans of doing the character two ways, one foreign and one her way. Yet, when she saw how many actresses were there for the part, she realized she might only get one chance. When it was her turn, she said to Lorre, “I know that you’re looking for, like, a Russian or a Polish accent, and I’ve got a pretty good Russian. However, I bring my own ethnicity to this, and I’ve worked this material. It works better in Trailer Park than it does in anything else.” They laughed, let her do it her way and loved it.
7. Jon Cryer’s Messed Up Ex-Wife
Although Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones had most of the scandal and controversy behind-the-scenes, actor Jon Cryer, who is the only actor on the show to appear in every single episode, had his fair share as well. Cryer, along with his ex-wife, actress Sarah Trigger, had a public custody battle for their son Charlie (not named after Charlie Sheen). Cryer was given the clear majority of custody, 96%, when Trigger was determined to be an unfit mother. Harsh, you’re thinking. Welp, not really. In 2009, Trigger’s new husband, David Dickey, called the police about an injury that their own son had suffered. Police arrived and noticed rope marks and burns on the child’s neck. Trigger was arrested for child abuse.
6. Sheen Threatened Kutcher
After Ashton Kutcher came in and took over as the lead on Two and Half Men, Charlie Sheen was a little quiet on the matter. In fact, the only thing of note that he said was to compliment Kutcher and the show for how it creatively handled his character’s death and Kutcher’s introduction (coming through Charlie’s ashes). After a few years and some souring viewership numbers, Sheen took to Twitter to criticize Kutcher and told him to stop ruining “his” show. Kutcher responded on Jimmy Kimmel saying, “Dude, shut the f— up! Enough already.” This seemed to get Sheen’s attention as he publicly apologized soon after… but there’s a catch. Sheen hadn’t heard Kutcher’s response on TV when he apologized. As soon as he did see what Kutcher said, he went back on Twitter with some rage: “But news flash. Dood, you ever tell me to shut the f— up ever again and I’ll put you on a hospital food diet for a year. #YaFeelMe Jr?”
5. Sheen’s Attempted Threesome With Cryer’s Girlfriend
There’s an interesting stat out there that shows how Jon Cryer’s character, Alan, slept with six of Charlie’s ex-girlfriends. Well, it turns out that this type of thing also happened in real-life. Cryer had met a woman after his divorce and had begun to date her. When Cryer introduced this woman to Charlie Sheen, Sheen pretended like he had never met her, but he had. Oh, sweet lord, had he ever. The woman said that she knew Charlie, but Sheen played it coy. Later, he pulled Cryer aside and confessed that he did know the woman; they had dated years back. Sheen then said that he had broken it off with the woman when she refused to have a threesome with a third party. You know what they say, life imitates art.
4. Angus T. Jones’ Criminal Family
You know about Angus T. Jones, but do you know about his family? Do you know about his uncle, Eric Claypool, who is serving a 99-year sentence after shooting a man (who was said to have sexually assaulted Claypool) in the back of the head? Do you know about Jones’ mother, Carey Jones, who got drunk and ripped a taxi meter out of a cab? Then, when she was arrested, she punched the cop in the face. Five years after that event, Jones’ mother was arrested again for breaking into a random home and putting on one of the homeowner’s pair of shorts. Angus’ father was also arrested a few times. One of those came when he pulled Carey Jones out of a car and pushed her to the ground. That’s a troubled pedigree.
3. Demi And The Boys
There’s a weird little connection between the main guys on Two and Half Men and Demi Moore. It was first recognized when Ashton Kutcher came on board to replace Charlie Sheen. Jon Cryer, who co-starred with Moore in the 1984 film, No Small Affair, briefly dated the actress. When Kutcher came on set, he and Moore were together, so Cryer was a bit awkward about the whole situation. That was until Kutcher approached him and said, “Oh, man, I just want to say, Demi told me you guys use to date. Totally cool. Don’t feel weird about it.” Apparently, those weren’t the only two who were connected to Moore, as Sheen’s brother Emilio Estevez, was once engaged to Moore.
2. The Proposed Ending
The series finale ending, with a Charlie Harper body double being crushed by a piano has its supporters and detractors, but there was another planned ending, which Lorre revealed after the credits. Lorre claimed, “Our idea was to have [Charlie] walk up to the front door in the last scene, ring the doorbell, then turn, look directly into the camera and go off on a maniacal rant about dangers of drug abuse. He would then explain that these dangers only applied to average people. That he was far from average. He was a ninja warrior from Mars. He was invincible. And then we would drop a piano on him.” They apparently pitched this to Sheen who turned it down. Wonder why?
1. Charlie Sheen And The Harpers
In the same post-credit write-up, Lorre also explained that Sheen had approached them about taking him back to start up another show. Instead of agreeing to be crushed by a piano after his weird rant, Sheen suggested that they give him a nice send-off, showing that they had essentially kissed and made up. They would then introduce the idea of another show called The Harpers, which would focus on Alan and Charlie’s life. Lorre obviously turned this down as well, no surprise considering how the finale was basically one long Charlie Sheen insult. While there’s no doubt that Sheen went off the deep-end with his antics and leaving the show, it seems like Lorre is the one who can’t seem to move on.