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Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Chuck Lorre, Charlie Sheen and the vanity card jabs

By Melissa Bell
Executive Producer Chuck Lorre and actor Charlie Sheen in 2005, during happier days. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Amid the spectacular radio rant of Charlie Sheen that has since caused the halt of the entire production of CBS's "Two and Half Men," one question from radio host Alex Jones helped flame Sheen's anger: What about those vanity cards?

Jones said they seemed to try to "demonize you ... they seem pretty aggressive." The vanity cards have been a trademark ending to the sitcoms helmed by executive producer Chuck Lorre for years. For a few seconds after the final credits, a white screen appears with a message from Lorre. Vanity cards traditionally flash the production house's logo at the end of the television program. Lorre's quirky meditations on life have garnered something of a cult following among his fans.

Lorre's cards appear at the end of all his popular shows, "Dharma and Greg," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Mike & Molly" among them, and contained messages as varied as a meditation on his trip to Israel, song riffs or memories of old shows. Occasionally, Lorre took digs at people in the industry. As Sheen spiraled further out of control, Lorre turned his vanity card razor wit on the highly paid lead actor of Lorre's hit show:



The vanity cards quickly went from obscure fan favorites to tabloid fodder. On Monday, Lorre posted a vanity card that read in part, "It was more fun writing these things when I was fairly certain no one was reading them. That is no longer the case ... lately it's gotten out of hand. Which is why I've decided to take a break for a few weeks. Let things cool off a little."

When radio show host Jones brought up the vanity cards, Sheen said it was "one of the few compliments that clown has paid me in the last decade."

Sheen then went off on a tirade directed at Lorre, who he kept calling "Chaim Levine," a Hebrew variation of Lorre's birth name. It was "approaching ethnic slur territory," as Liz Kelly put it in the Post's Celebritology blog.

"I've spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold," Sheen said about Lorre's writing.

Hours after the radio show aired, CBS announced it would be canceling the show for the time being, "based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition," as statement from the television show read.

Thursday night a vanity card appeared at the end of "The Big Bang Theory," it read:


By Melissa Bell  | February 25, 2011; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Just think my co-workers at Treasury used to tease me because I was a HUGE Martin Sheen "West Wing" fan so I will pray for this father!!!! Charlie needs to be FIRED to get better. Robert Downey Jr has proven you can clean up your life IF SERIOUS....

Posted by: MDlady2 | February 25, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

MDlady2, The only problem with what you wrote is that Robert Downey Jr has a lot of talent. Charlie Sheen has one character that he uses for any part. If he played Willy Loman, Romeo, or King Lear, they'd all be identical.

Posted by: cococo | February 25, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Lorre had provoked Sheen in this way. The stories that I've seen make it sound as though Sheen just went wild for no reason at all. He did go wild, and you can't possibly justify what he did, but thanks for at least providing some context.

Posted by: AdrianMole | February 25, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The yahoo will be lucky to get a gig in a ScyFy movie! Of course with an ego that big, maybe even Anaconda IV won't have monsters big enough to swallow him.

Posted by: fburgdave | February 25, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it "Mike & Molly" not "Molly & Mike?"
Not that anyone watches it anyway, but just saying...

Posted by: spekow | February 25, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, spekow.... Fixed it!

Posted by: MelissaBellPost | February 25, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with MDlady2. Charlie Sheen can only play a drunken woman chaser.
Hos and drugs. Shows his mentality.
Charlie, it was funny watching you play a drunken sl*t on TV for a couple of years but to BE a drunken sl*t all the time is sickening. Wake up before you die.

Posted by: henrysmom96 | February 26, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It was unprofessional of Chuck Lorre to mock Charlie Sheen in those vanity cards. If my boss at work broadcasted jokes about something that happened in my personal life I would be outraged. Chuck Lorre has made millions off of Charlie Sheen, and he turns around and instigates him on national t.v. feeding the media frenzy. Charlie Sheen may have poor judgement in his personal life, but Chuck Lorre just showed the world how little he respects his actors as human beings. Addiction is an illness and should not be taken lightly or joked about. He should have kept his remarks behind the scenes like a professional.

Posted by: takinitinstride | March 1, 2011 1:45 AM | Report abuse

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