Why was the 2 & 1/2 Men sitcom so successful?

Ok, I give up: I heard this was the most successful (highly watched by a prime demographic as well) sitcom on TV. And has been around for years.

But why? At this point I have evolved beyond sitcoms, but I tried to watch it and it strikes me as just another sitcom, although not as bad as some.

Why is it so popular? Because Sheen & Ducky were both in the movies decades ago?

And for that matter, why didn’t Charlie Sheen continue in the movies (back in the 1990’s?)

Charlie Sheen is a WINNER, and people like that.

I really couldn’t tell you. It plays to the lowest common denominator which is people who never tire of sexual innuendo jokes no matter how tired or stale.
I watched quite a bit of the first season and then it just became repetitious.
In some ways it reminds me of Three’s Company which was full of sexual innuendo, really stupid, yet wildly popular.

I never watched it, but my (68-72)-year old parents love it. I’ve only seen the commercials, but when my parents rave I can’t help being all :dubious:.

Because it is the product of Adonis DNA.

This. It’s the same reason Will Ferrell’s movies make so much money.

Best I can tell is there’s a demographic in front of the TV that likes white women’s perky tatas amid rakish stereotypes, as those are the most common denominators in the episodes I saw.

Sequential thread titles:

Why was the 2 & 1/2 Men sitcom so successful?
Ask Charlie Sheen.

Holy crap. So much #WINNING.

I’ve never seen an episode of the show. I don’t know anyone who watches it - and, yes, I’m a relatively young coastal liberal, but I have solid Midwestern roots. My only guess is what others said: It uses very broad comedy that relies on dick jokes, fart jokes and sexual stereotyping.

Mind you - I can enjoy all three of those things. That’s why I actually tend to like Will Farrell movies. But that’s two self-contained hours. How you could go back to this well over and over, week after week, just boggles my mind.

I’ll just keep reminding myself that “Modern Family” also does well in the ratings, so there’s still hope for us yet.

My wife and I watched it for 5 minutes and we could not believe how ridiculously dumb the jokes were.

What I don’t get is why this show succeeds while many other lame sitcoms fail. What’s the difference?

One reason could be that it offers up a combo-platter: it has both low-brow humor and some extreme cleverness. Thus appealing to a wider demographic than shows that only reach out to one audience.

Freeze the end-card at the very end of the credits some time. There is generally a long, hilarious, essay of no relationship to the episode, but it is often the best part of the show.

True. The mind behind Two-and-a-Half Men is also the same mind behind The Big Bang Theory, which is high on nerd humor that goes over the heads of many viewers.

Also, don’t discount star power: Sheen and Ducky provide a pretty good 80s nostalgia trip.

I’ve never been able to sit through it long enough to see the extreme cleverness. Oddly enough, I have a few friends (who always laugh at my jokes, so I know they have excellent senses of humor) who love it. They said it took awhile to get into it. I’ll never find out.

I’ve wondered too why it is (or was for a while) the most popular sitcom on TV. I record that whole monday night block, but as often as not I fast-forward through that show. The women are usually hot, but the potty humor doesn’t make me laugh. Mind you, there aren’t too many sitcoms on anymore that I really like.

This will save you a lot of time and let you see all the past ones.

It’s good stuff.

The supporting cast is phenomial: Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Conchata Ferrell, Holland Taylor, Marin Hinkle, later Ryan Stilles and Martin Mull.

Occasionally there is an episode that just roars. The Bill (nee Jill) comes to mind, and the Christmas party episode was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV.

@ Annie: absolutely. I love the episode where Charlie unwittingly stumbles dick first into an evil coven to father the next coming of the antichrist (or something), and we find out that the only thing that saves him (an a disfigured Alan) is the oft-hinted, ambiguously confirmed status of their mother as the queen of all witches. Realistic? Hell no. But it was funny.

My other wonderful episode was the one where Charlie goes to the fathers of his then-girlfriend to seek advice. The couple is played by Stacy Keach and John Amos. Not exactly a breakthrough in gay rights, but it was nice to see a couple on prime time TV behave as a loving gay couple and not have one of them setting the scenery on fire.

My theory is this: I have a few episodes I love. There are other episodes I can’t watch. I propose that there are millions of Americans watching a different set of episodes, keeping the sitcom in the top ten at all times. It’s like we take shifts. But that theory might just be the Sheen talking.

One question: what exactly does “evolving past sitcoms” mean?

Keep in mind too that for a few years “According to Jim,” perhaps one of the most insipid sitcoms to ever grace primetime, scored huge ratings, and did so without the benefit of a stellar supporting cast or weekly bevy of hot babes. So that gives you some insight into the mentality of the typical network sitcom watcher.

It’s really not that successful compared with old sitcoms. It’s just that in today’s world there are so few sitcoms that it is far ahead of the pack. In fact no sitcom has touched Laverne & Shirley in terms of overall viewers and percent of viewer. And it’s unlikely any will, because that show came before cable was hugely popular. Now that cable/dish is here to stay, the audience is fragmented so even though there is more people it’s split

First of all it’s on at 8pm (9pm Eastern/Pacific) on CBS, which is a slot CBS basically has owned since “I Love Lucy” came on. In fact, in the early 80s when the sitcom was dying Kate & Allie was the only top 10 sitcom and guess what? It aired in the same time slot on the same day.

CBS’s powerhouses, Everybody Loves Raymond and Murphy Brown also aired in that slot.

But there are two REAL keys to it’s popularity.

First of all is that it appeals to MALES, specifically WHITE MALES. This key demographic makes it very valuable

Second is its rerun value, and this is where the money is really made. Hour long shows don’t really sell well in rerun syndication. This sitcom, along with the Big Bang Theory, are the only sitcoms that have made it into the year end top 15.

Reruns are where money is really made. Other shows like *American Idol *and *Dancing With the Stars * blow Two and a Half Men in terms of overall ratings but they have little rerun value, and the demographic is older people (DWTS) and teens(AI) which are much less desirable to sellers.

So while the show is popular remember its true popularity is relative.

You may be right Markxxx in comparison to sitcoms of the past, but the fact of the matter is TAHM is consistently the most popular on now. So why is that?

I think it appeals to broad humor, no pun intended. I don’t usually find toilet humor funny, but there’s a segment of the population that does. And it’s a naughty show…I’ve posted previously that in my opinion, it’s as close to softcore porn as is on American TV. So it’s dirty without being filthy.

I’m sure it appeals to white men, but my wife likes it too. I’d wager a fair amount of women watch it…but I think it’s more the age group it goes after, rather than just the gender.

You’re correct, as far as it goes, but that doesn’t explain its popularity.

It played on its characters naivete (Alan and Jake), Charlie’s sophistication and being able to win no matter what, and Conchatta Ferrell had great lines. The smart ass maid goes back a long way…to the Jeffersons, and even Hazel.

So it’s popular because people find sarcasm and naughtiness funny.