A proud native of the Second City, producer Jenny Lawton joined Studio 360 in 2007. Since then, she's produced the show's American Icons specials on the Disney parks and I Love Lucy, lots of stories in the Aha Moments series, and a portrait of the Japanese tea ceremony from Kyoto. She also serves as the managing editor of studio360.org and coordinates the show's internship program. Jenny started recording interviews as a Watson Fellow in India and Spain, researching the origins of flamenco dance. She cut her teeth in journalism at Chicago Public Radio, where she filed stories on culture, politics, technology, and the environment for WBEZ as well as NPR's Morning Edition and PRI's The World, among other programs. Jenny was awarded a USC-Annenberg/NEA Arts Journalism Fellowship, and lectures about radio and sound design at NYU and her alma mater, Kenyon College.
Charlie Sheen, Chuck Lorre, and the Dangers of Vanity (Cards)
Friday, February 25, 2011 - 04:34 PM
If you’ve just tuned in for the implosion of CBS’s most successful comedy, “Two and a Half Men,” you may be wondering: who’s this Chuck Lorre fellow? (Or, as Charlie Sheen would have it, "Haim Levine.")
According to Sheen, he’s the “contaminated maggot” and “clown” who created, executive produces, and writes the show.
Lorre (a veteran of several hit sitcoms including “Roseanne,” “Dharma and Greg,” and CBS’s other top comedy “The Big Bang Theory”) is also known for telling people exactly what he thinks of them -- but, perhaps, a bit more creatively. At the end of each broadcast, following the show credits, the vanity card for Chuck Lorre Productions flashes on the screen. If you hit the Pause button on your DVR fast enough, you can read Lorre’s weekly, 200-word rant about the network, politics, marriage, his dreams of playing for the NBA.
In a 2008 interview, Lorre told Kurt that Fox was less-than-thrilled when he started blogging via vanity cards during the run of “Dharma and Greg” – “and then they made a big deal about it when they put [the series] out on DVD. It was now an ‘added feature!’” He even wrote a fiery denunciation of the Golden Globes which, he believed, perennially overlooked his “Two and a Half Men” cast. That, he says, didn’t end well.
Listen to their full conversation here:
We also got Lorre to read a title card that proved too hot for TV.
So it seems odd that now, at the height of the hullabaloo, Lorre has decided it's time to take a break from writing the cards. Last Monday's “Mike & Molly” ended with this: "These days it seems like every vanity card is getting scrutinized and criticized by network executives, corporate legal departments and publicity departments, TV journalists and tabloid bloggers..."
Touché. But wasn't that the point?