Rest in peace, Charlie. Charlie Harper, that is.
As the ninth season of "Two and a Half Men" got underway sans Charlie Sheen, thanks to his much publicized flameout, any possibility of a guest appearance by the winning warlock was permanently kiboshed as the camera panned across a coffin to the baby blue bowling shirt and cargo shorts Sheen's character wore on the show, a shot which was met with laughter from the audience.
As Alan (Jon Cryer) attempted to eulogize his dead brother, eruptions from the peanut gallery included Jenny McCarthy (who appeared on seasons 5 and 8) grumbling, "I didn't come all this way to spit on a closed coffin," various exes announced which venereal disease Charlie gave them as a parting gift (Tricia Helfer got the choice line, "Vaginal warts"), and the announcement by their mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) that Charlie's Malibu beach house would have to be put up for sale now that Charlie was dead. So what did him in? Turns out, it was his love of the ladies that eventually caught up with him. We learn that Charlie went to Paris, married his stalker Rose (Melanie Lynskey), cheated on her and then "fell" in front of a speeding metro train, making him explode like a "balloon full of meat." Hence the closed coffin.
At the open house, John Stamos, once rumored to be Sheen's replacement on the show, appears, leaning on a door jab, looking dashing. "I know this place. This is Charlie Harper's place right?" he asks, before saying he couldn't buy the house because of "bad memories. Charlie and I had a drunken threesome with a crazy chick on this couch."
Next Jenna Elfman arrives, gushing about the house's feng shui, followed by Thomas Gibson. Well, hello Dharma and Greg. How have you been? Apparently not great, as the two bicker their way right out the door, the house unsold.
Taking a moment with Charlie's ashes, Alan offers a heartfelt goodbye, saying, "I wanted to tell you I love you and I will miss you," before being startled by Ashton Kutcher standing outside, dripping wet.
When the audience's applause subsides, Kutcher enters, asks to use the phone and reveals that he's so depressed that his marriage has broken up that he just attempted to kill himself by jumping in the ocean, not realizing how cold it would be. Oh, and he's also a billionaire.
Alan takes his new friend, Kutcher's Internet genius named Walden Schmidt, under his wing and out for a drink, but not before Kutcher strips naked and gives Alan a big ol' hug.
At the bar, they meet two girls, bring them back to the beach house where the girls pounce on Walden, leaving Alan all alone with a bottle of booze. "This is depressingly familiar," he sighs.
The next morning a blurred-out naked Walden walks into the kitchen and runs into housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrell). "I'm Walden," he says. "I'm impressed," she grins. Meeting Alan on the steps, Walden announces he had sex with two girls and likes the beach house so much, he's going to buy it.
And that's how Charlie was replaced by Walden.
On Twitter, show reaction was mixed and included tweets such as, "Two And a Half Men Premiere was sick @aplusk killed it :)," "Two and a Half Men: still not funny," and "Two and a half men without Charlie #farfromwinning."
But the most interesting tweets were from Sheen himself who announced he was, "Surrounded by friends and watching the premier of Two and a Half Men. Odd... But cool..! So far a lot of laughs!!"
On Sunday he tweeted to Kutcher, "Seriously... @aplusk great talking to you! We'll all be watching! Make us proud!! " To which Kutcher replied, "@charliesheen good to meet you too. Wishing you the best on your new gig."
Awww, isn't it nice to see everyone playing nice in the sandbox?