Charlie Sheen came, he saw, and he took the high road.
And that was about it. No jokes, no asides, no nothing but earnest (on the surface, anyway) words of support for his former Two and a Half Men colleagues—many of whom, including Jon Cryer and cocreator Chuck Lorre, were in the audience tonight.
So, what did Sheen have to say before presenting the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy to Jim Parsons, who, ironically, stars on the Lorre-created Big Bang Theory?
"Thank you, good evening," Sheen said, pausing to take in the applause (which may have seemed bigger because he paused), including from Cryer, whom the cameras caught enthusiastically clapping.
"Thank you," he continued. "Before I present Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, my old category, I want to take a moment to get something fof my chest and say a few words to verybody here from Two and a Half Men. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together and I know you will continue to make great television. Now, on to the Emmy."
And that, friends, is how you cover your butt and start paving the way for your return to network TV.
With the TV Academy opting to spread the love around, apparently, Sheen's Two and a Half Men replacement got a few great lines in, too.
In an Office-style sketch in which a number of TV stars, from Mariska Hargitay and Nathan Fillion to the actual stars of The Office, discussed what they disliked about their jobs, Ed Helms' Andy walked into Michael Scott's old office to question whether the guy in Michael's chair was really the new manager.
"I think you're in the wrong place," Helms told Ashton Kutcher, who turned out to be the guy sitting there.
"I'm pretty sure [this is right], I'm taking over as the new lead," Kutcher drawled cockily, twirling a pencil.
But, Helms protested, "You're like this beautiful drifter."
"This is Warner Bros. Studios, no?" the pretty boy asked. Then, after realizing he was indeed in the wrong place, he said, "I was wondering where the half-man was!"
Later, Kutcher and Cryer presented a couple of awards in the drama categories, giving Cryer the opportunity to present himself as "that guy from Pretty and Pink," and Kutcher to introduce himself as "not Charlie Sheen."
And that, friends, is how you get people excited about your much-hyped Two and a Half Men debut!