A tamer, Kutcher-ized version of Two and a Half Men began taking its final bows this week, still stomping on taboos and offending anyone it can for a chuckle. The 12th season of the billion dollar show will be its last. Charlie Sheen is long gone. The half man is a now a full man. And the show’s glue–its real star–Jon Cryer, one of television most durable actors, will begin endearing himself to America all over again in something new as soon as it’s over. We just don’t know what yet. (Right now he’s in the movie Hit by Lightning, electrifying theaters this weekend.)
Cryer has been with Two and a Half Men so long that his wife has never known him when he wasn’t also Alan Harper. He told CBS that when the show’s over she could be in for a surprise: “She doesn’t know. I could be, you know, that guy who just walks around the house in a threadbare bathrobe and, you know, with the Brandy Alexander and wear my sunglasses and just like watch reruns of the show. That could be me.” Cryer auditioned via videotape for the role of Chandler Bing on Friends, but it got cast before his tape arrived. So instead of Ashton Kutcher, he might have ended up with Monica Geller. Cryer first worked with Charlie Sheen on Hot Shots in 1991. Cryer skipped college to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.