CBS’s search for a suitable performer to replace the fired Charlie Sheen on its hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men” came to an end earlier today, when the network announced that it has picked current Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to play the replacement for Sheen’s character Charlie Harper. Berlusconi will play the new character of Luigi Santoro, a wealthy old writing partner of Charlie Harper’s who inherits his Malibu home after Harper dies in a brothel fire. Santoro then allows Harper’s brother and nephew, to live on in Charlie’s house with him.
CBS President Nina Tassler stated, “CBS could not be happier about this casting. Silvio’s fun-loving, bad boy persona will generate the same comic tension with Jon Cryer’s classic uptight persona that his predecessor’s did, while Silvio’s Italian nationality and other idiosyncrasies will give ‘Men’ an exciting jolt of energy as the show heads into its ninth season.”
While Berlusconi has no previous acting experience, the role of a fun-loving billionaire with a loose moral code is not far from the persona he has carved out for himself in his years of public life, during which Berlusconi has interrupted a tour of an earthquake site to ask a female counsellor if he could fondle her, made light of the Holocaust at a diplomatic meeting with German officials, and, most memorably, hired 20 young Moroccan belly dancers for a private party at which they were to perform an erotic ritual known as ‘bunga bunga.’
According to “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre, Berlusconi’s indiscretions, far from hurting him, made him the perfect fit to replace Sheen. “The more we heard, the more we liked. As the Italian people have discovered while voting him in and out and in and out of office, you just can’t stay mad at Silvio. And when we learned that he had defended his fondness for teenaged girls by saying ‘it [is] better to be fond of pretty girls than to be gay,’ well, that kind of humor just shouts ‘Two and a Half Men’. We knew right then we had found our replacement. Come this fall, Monday night will be a great time to be a ‘Man.’”