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CLINE: The train wreck that is Charlie Sheen's life

I ended up with some extra time Monday night. Thirty minutes to be exact. I assume a lot of other CBS viewers were in the same boat with “Two and a Half Men” being a rerun.

But just because you couldn’t see anything new from the top-rated sitcom on television didn’t mean there wasn’t anything new on television from Charlie Sheen. He was just on different channels at a different time.

The morning shows couldn’t get enough of one of the highest-paid actors on TV and the drama that has ensued from the fallout after CBS shut down the show because of concerns about his behavior and admitted drug abuse.

So in addition to all the other big national news, you could see Sheen on both ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning. “Today” enjoyed him so much (or at least its ratings did) that Sheen appeared on the show again Tuesday morning. Seems like everyone but CBS is finding a role for the TV star.

My first thought was: This is news? But the more he spoke, putting all other egoists to shame, the more I became sucked in by the train wreck that is his life. In a world where reality television is king, it only makes sense that Sheen’s decadent lifestyle would overshadow the show in which he pretends to have a decadent lifestyle.

There’s nothing funny about Sheen’s out-of-control ways and his reveling in excess, be it with drugs or women. But the actor seems to be just fine with it, which is precisely the point.

If nothing else, he put athletes in the background for a couple of days. He boasted better than Terrell Owens on his best day, bragging about his drug use and saying he deserved more money that the $1.8 million per episode he reportedly makes.

For a second I forgot he was wanting back on TV and thought he was asking for a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals.

In a very reserved manner, Sheen said he’s “tired of pretending I’m not a total, bitchin’ rock star from Mars,” showing that he not only puts athletes to shame when it comes to braggadocio, but rock stars as well.

So what’s the moral to this story? It’s really hard to tell, save for the fact that when it comes to watching television folks tune in for train wrecks every bit as much as for the setup and joke.

E-mail Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/toddcline.