By JAKE COYLE and DAVID BAUDER
AP Entertainment Writers
NEW YORK — Everywhere Charlie Sheen goes, punch lines follow. And right now, Sheen is everywhere.
Throughout the very public saga surrounding his suspended sitcom and behavior, Sheen has been a free-flowing spigot of drama and colorful sound bites. News organizations have eagerly followed his unhinged activities and statements, making him ripe for comedy online and on late-night television.
It’s a veritable cottage industry, with Sheen as a living, breathing Internet meme — a walking, talking late-night monologue.
The constant cycle is often blurred because Sheen’s words can appear their own parody, with comics putting Sheen’s words into their own contexts. Already firmly in the lexicon are Sheen’s frequent assertion that he’s “winning” and that he’s on a drug called “Charlie Sheen.”
“Two and a Half Men” never had such popular catch phrases.
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel had a Sheen cartoon, using clips of Charlie Brown sitting at Lucy’s psychiatric booth. The vocals from Charlie Brown’s mouth were Sheen’s, with ABC News correspondent Andrea Canning the voice of Lucy. Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert had Sheen as a “translator” for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. On CBS, David Letterman used tapes of Sheen and actor Mel Gibson engaging in a made-up conversation.
Gadhafi has been a common comparison. Comedy site FunnyOrDie.com has promoted a video of Sheen interviewing the Libyan leader. There are also quote generators being passed around where one determines whether a quote comes from Sheen or Gadhafi. CollegeHumor.com paired Sheen quotes with another: Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy.
T-shirts that say “Winning” are readily available on sites such as CafePress.com. Glossaries, like one from New York magazine, have sprung up to decode Sheen’s ranting: “Tiger Blood: noun ... See also: Adonis DNA.” BuzzFeed.com has inserted Sheen into New Yorker cartoons and his words on cutesy bunny photos.
One place Sheen clearly appears to be “winning” is the Internet. He’s amassed more than a million-plus followers on Twitter after joining on Tuesday.
According to the social media analyst ReSearch.ly, more than 380,000 tweets in the last 48 hours have included the words “Charlie Sheen.” By its measurement, positive sentiment for Sheen has in recent days more than tripled negative sentiment for the actor.
Letterman got a laugh by opening his show Tuesday with: “I’m hooked on a drug called Dave Letterman.”
Sheen, said Letterman is “on what he calls his ‘damage control’ tour. Well, mission accomplished.”
TBS’ Conan O’Brien noted all the interviews Sheen has given in the past few days.
“Wow,” he said. “It’s almost like he’s on something that makes you want to talk a lot.”
NBC’s Jay Leno said that Sheen has claimed he wasn’t high when he gave interviews to ABC, NBC, CNN, TMZ and others. “How many people liked him better when he was on drugs?” he asked.
“Even Amtrak is calling Charlie a train wreck,” Leno said.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon cited actor Christian Bale winning an Oscar for playing a mentally unstable drug addict. “Charlie Sheen was like, ‘You can get an award for that?”’
“Charlie Sheen said he can’t remember the last time he did drugs,” Fallon said. “And there’s a reason he can’t remember: drugs.”
Not everyone is so quick to pile on Sheen, whom some wonder might need more help than laughter.
Damon Lindelof, co-creator of “Lost,” earlier blogged: “As much as we pray for Mr. Sheen to get better, that’s not what we want at all — unless he’s doing it on ‘Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.’ What we really want is fresh, salacious content. More trains. More wrecks.”
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