10 Ways Charlie Sheen Can Make His New Video Podcast Much, Much Better (Or At Least Bearable) by Dan Bialek
This past Saturday night I had the good fortune of being home at 7pm Pacific Time when recently unemployed television star Charlie Sheen launched the first episode of his live Ustream talk show “Sheen’s Korner.”
For the past couple of weeks Sheen has been lighting the internet on fire with a flurry of entertaining television and radio interviews, trending Twitter topics and a deluge of hilarious meme-making catchphrases. However, all this was just too good to last.
Sheen’s Korner [sic] had none of the spontaneity, humor or unabashed awesomeness of the star’s previous media interviews. And Sheen fans seemed to lose interest in it pretty quickly. The show peaked with about 115,000 Ustream viewers at minute-one of the show, but quickly dwindled to less than 85,000 views within the first ten minutes on the air.
Here are 10 ways Sheen’s Korner could have (and should have) been better.
1. Sex Appeal
Charlie Sheen has mentioned many, many times in the press that he is currently living with and/or dating two female adult film actresses that he calls “The Goddesses.” However, only one of these goddesses was present during his maiden broadcast. And she was fully clothed, and sitting behind three dudes farthest from the camera. C’mon, Charlie, everyone knows sex sells. If you’re going to have hot women on your show at least have them acting and looking hot while they’re there.
2. Get Better Co-hosts
Radio shows, podcasts and videocasts are a collaborative effort. If you’re going to have co-hosts or guests at least get ones that are compelling and who say interesting things. Two or three dudes in bowler hats mumbling incoherently and agreeing with everything you say makes for a very mundane show. Next time book someone who has an opposing or at least different take on the day’s events than you do. People love to watch conflict and heated discussion, not yes men sucking up to their bosses in front of a webcam.
3. Cat Pics + Fart Machines = Fail
Within the first ten minutes of the show Sheen and his cohorts ran out of things to talk about so they played a cued up series of funny cat and dog photos from the Internet and played sounds from a joke store fart machine over them. This would have been awesome if Sheen’s Korner was a morning zoo radio show in 1991. However, it’s not and there is a lot more compelling content out on the net to share with your audience and comment on. Check out Ray Williams Johnson’s web series “Three Equals.” He’s a master of this and has created a very fun to watch weekly show solely based around clips he finds on YouTube.
4. Talk Trash On Celebs
People love to hear gossip, especially when it’s about the rich and famous. With over 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry Sheen’s bound to have hundreds of stories and anecdotes about famous actors and actresses that he’s worked with. So, why not have a little fun with this info. What female actress has bad breath? What famous handsome actors wear toupees? Have you ever worked with somebody who was a chronic bedwetter? Inquiring minds want to know. Sell you friends down the river and give us Average Joes something to entertain us and make us feel better about our mundane lives.
5. Talk About Your Crazy Media Interviews
We’ve all seen and heard the clips on the television, radio and Internet. It would be really awesome to hear the story behind those interviews. Were the people who interviewed you really nice in person and then talked smack about you once they got into the editing room or on the air once you left the building? It’s boring to keep calling people in the media “trolls.” But explaining exactly why you feel this way would be fascinating.
6. Explain Your “Crazy”
Speaking of fascinating disclosure, it would be great if Sheen would take a moment to honestly and directly address his recent erratic behavior. Sheen says that he has enjoyed and used drugs in the past and that he is now cured of them. This is terrific news. However, it’d be great to hear about his mindset while he was actually using these drugs. Were the interviews he gave a few weeks ago drug-fueled? Part of a manic episode? Or, just want he considers being everyday awesome? Whatever the reason, people would love to hear about it. Speak up, Mr. Sheen. We’re listening.
7. Quit Saying “Duh” And Using Words Like “Gnarly”
Sheen used the words “duh” and “gnarly” in excess of two dozen times during Saturday night’s webcast. Not exactly the most original or compelling turns of phrase, especially coming from a man who in past weeks has given the American vernacular such literary gifts as “Vatican assassin,” “Tiger’s blood” and “I’m an F-18, bro.” Sheen came off less like a modern day superman and more like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle who drives a hot pink Hummer covered in energy drink stickers almost every time he opened his mouth. Fix this now. You’re better than that, Charlie. And you know it.
8. Three New Catchphrases A Show
The new “Winning” tattoo on his left wrist is beautiful and assuredly holds deep meaning and significance for Sheen on many levels. However, it’s also so one week ago. In order to keep winning Sheen is going to have to keep adding new words, catchphrases and meme-worthy bon mots to the English lexicon or else his audience is going to lose interest fast. Grab a thesaurus and a copy of a snowboarding magazine and get to work. The world is your oyster and it’s your job to fill it with pearls of your unique verbal wisdom.
9. Rent A Studio
Hosting what you’d like to become a popular and ongoing show from a spare bedroom is fine if you’re a broke 15-year-old who loves doing action figure reviews for a few dozen friends on Vimeo. However, Sheen is a millionaire film and television star. His show deserves a studio worthy of his stardom and celebrity. Why not spend a couple thousand dollars to rent out a small studio with proper sound equipment and decent lighting? That way you can leave the house and go into the studio so that your show will actually seem like work and guests and co-hosts will take it more seriously. Or, better yet, why not cut a deal with a local theater like the Upright Citizens Brigade or Fake Gallery here in Hollywood and do the show weekly in front of a live audience. Both venues would be happy to have you and there’s little doubt you’d be able to fill a hundred seats a taping.
10. Take Live Calls From Fans And Answer Live Questions From Twitter And Chatrooms
Even if doing a live show in front of a studio audience isn’t the way Sheen wants to go, there are still thousands of people at the tip of his fingers that he can interact with to help liven up his broadcasts. Most podcasting sites allow shows to take toll-free calls from listeners via phone or Skype for a small monthly fee. The Ustream channel that Sheen broadcast this past Saturday already has a built-in chatroom and Twitter stream functionality. Play off of fans and make them a part of your show. It will give you something to fill up those gaps and flat spots (which Saturday’s broadcast had many of) when you’ve run out of things to say or talk about.
11. Bonus Tip – Help Out A Charity
Right now Charlie Sheen has millions of people eagerly anticipating the next thing to come out of his mouth. Why not leverage this incredible media clout to do something good for the less fortunate. Have fans make donations to a different charity each show and then get a sponsor to come on board and match these donations at the end of each show. It’d be a great way for Sheen to help keep us all entertained while doing something to lend a hand to those in need. Sure, being rich and living the high life feels great, but helping those who can’t help themselves feels even better than drinking tiger’s blood while flying through the bandwidth airwaves in an F-18.