So after a disastrous opening night in Detroit and an only-slightly-better followup show in Chicago, we're left wondering who are the people making up the audiences of Charlie Sheen's "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour, and why are they suddenly so displeased with the actor's brand of egomaniacal rantings? Well, from the clip above—compiled from various news reports on audience reactions—the crowd ranges in age from 18 - 79, with a particular concentration on the demo that Sheen has long "owned" in Two and a Half Men ratings—that sought-after group of adults 18 - 49. What's also telling about the audiences at his shows is how they've responded to certain portions of the show, booing a warlock speech, cheering loudly for a lezzie kiss between the two "goddesses," and generally disinterested in his poetry. Maybe part of what disgruntled ticket holders is that Sheen needs the magic of the editing bays at 20/20 or Today to make his diatribes seem more exciting when packaged into fast-paced soundbites. The live show—which continues to be retooled—is currently clocking in at about two hours, and in long form, he's probably boring.
Initially, it seemed absolutely ludicrous to me that audience members were complaining about how Sheen's show was a nonsensical fiasco. It's like they enthusiastically bought a boarding pass for a guaranteed train wreck and were disappointed when it actually crashed. But on the other hand, such a reaction should've been totally predictable. These people didn't buy tickets because they truly, whole-heartedly believe in warlocks, trolls, Vatican assassins or even Charlie Sheen's televised drug test results. In fact, as Kacey Jordan says in the clip above, attendees were probably hoping that he wasn't clean and sober, and the fact that he appeared to be may have ruined the experience for them.
As Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams says:
Sheen's audience isn't made of people who feel Sheen is articulating something of their own experience (and the exceptions are unmitigated jerkoffs). Instead, his crowd is in no small part composed of curious gawkers looking for a glimpse of the train wreck. The big non-surprise of the Sheen tour is that it turns out that even the rubberneckers don't want to get an earful of how much they suck from a man whose main claim to fame these days is his abusiveness. Turns out being a creep is not much worth celebrating after all.
These people didn't show up for positivity or feel-good moments. They were attracted to the negativity of the actor's recent tirades. So the booing and heckling can be attributed to little else than Sheen himself, who has cultivated the vibe of these turnouts through his own erratic and straight-up cracked-out behavior. It turns out that even he isn't rich enough to "win" against karma.