If Charlie Sheen took anything away from Saturday's debacle in Detroit, it's if you got something good, then go with it.
In an exclusive interview with E! News, the self-declared Vatican Assassin Warlock reflected on Sunday night's turnabout in Chicago, which saw his newly retooled Torpedo of Truth stage show receive a standing ovation just 24 hours after he was practically booed off the stage in Motor City.
Was it winning? Here's what Charlie had to say and also what some
trolls critics thought.
A minute after the curtain when down, Sheen told E! News that the show was still a work in progress and that he still might tinker with the format.
"There's a couple things here I've got to f--king work out," said the erstwhile Two and a Half Men star. "I don't know if I start the show alone and it turns into this [a Q&A format] or I just say with this 'cause it's f--king working and we'll f--king return to it if I don't."
By this, Sheen means the much more raw and real presentation he gave in the Windy City, which saw him fielding questions from an interviewer and the occasional fan and telling stories about his surreal celebrity life.
Gone were the opening standup act, the pseudo-presidential Warlock
address call to arms, YouTube clips, videos, and rap bits that drew scathing reactions from fans and press alike.
On a high after the much improved reception he received last night, Sheen said that he was thinking about integrating more Q&A with the crowd in future shows, though he admitted that how much "truth" he'll dish out to them depends on his mood and the question.
"We've already got [questions] submitted and we say, you know, so-and-so from f--king Bakersfield or Loserville, F--king Michigan, wants to know," he said. "Then it's like, 'Yeah, I don't feel like talking about that' [or] 'You know, that's a really good f--king question, wow." '
The unemployed actor also talked about how he adjusted on the fly after the disaster that was Detroit, reworking his entire act.
"Yeah, we talked about it on the bus coming back, tons of input, then when I got back to the hotel and I wrote, we started writing, just to get some thoughts out, some feelings out, just some stuff that would be interesting, just stories, you know, themes, whatever, just bullet points," said Sheen.
He continued: "I was up till about 5, 6:30 [in the morning], kept working on it, came here at 8:30, sat on the stage, looked out, came up with just the chair idea and we started talking about it...the interview thing. And then I went back and took a two-hour nap and came here and did it. Yeah, so there was a moment on the bus when it was like, we can just keep going, we can drive home."
Sheen was quick to add: "I'm like, yeah, that's what losers do, man. F--k it, you know? Maybe I just, you know, needed a bigger challenge." Especially with the naysayers circling and tickets selling under face value on StubHub.
But all the last-minute shake-up appears to have paid off, most of all with critics who, while still panning the show for Sheen's constant rambling, did at least give him props for the changes.
Here's a sampling:
- "Sheen has a limited but undeniable skill set as an actor, interpreting other people's writing...but to command a stage in front of a large audience you have to bring it," commented Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper, noting "talent wins" and Sheen "was doomed to fail as a live act."
- "While it didn't fully justify $80 main-floor ticket prices, it got the job done. And it gave the tour--which looked doomed after Saturday--a format it can work with going forward," opined the Chicago Tribune. "The show was still not 'My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option,' as the tour title promises, but it was at least a forward-moving projectile of moderate dish about celebrity."
- "Laid back and comfortable, Sheen became the guy Detroit came to see, but didn't get. This was just funny, funny Charlie," praised CNN.
Sheen's next tour stop is Tuesday night in Cleveland.
(Originally published April 4, 2011, at 9:22 a.m. PT)