Charlie Sheen is not going to play a zombie on “The Walking Dead.” Be thankful for small favors.
Oh, it’s not that Mr. Sheen would be incapable of convincingly playing a zombie. Of all the roles you could get in Hollywood, a zombie is pretty sweet. They apply a thick coat of pallor, you stomp around, and, if you’re going for Standard Zombie Stereotype, you occasionally mutter “BRAAAAIIIINNNNS” and bump into things. Can Charlie Sheen handle that? I’m betting that he could.
But the rumor that he would be on “The Walking Dead” is apparently just that, a rumor. E! Online’s intrepid Kristin Dos Santos, who as TV critic has to double as Charlie Sheen Bureau Chief, followed up on other online reports by calling AMC and getting told that there is “no truth to the Charlie Sheen casting rumor.” So, that’s that. No zombified Sheen.
More on the evils of stunt casting after the jump:
And that’s a good thing, because of all the turning points at which a show can go bad (I will refrain from referring to those moments as “jumping the shark”), stunt casting is up there with “adding a baby” and “killing off a lead character” as a sign things are heading downhill. Stunt casting is a distraction, a sign that someone at the network insisted on jamming a “name” into a show to juice the ratings. It’s bad when a show seems to lean heavily on stunt casting (“Will and Grace” comes to mind — look, Michael Douglas! J-Lo! Madonna!), and some hit shows that don’t really need that kind of thing seem to become enamored with the idea that they can get anyone they want to do the show, whether or not they have any idea what to do with them (“The Simpsons,” anyone? Or “Absolutely Fabulous”?). And it’s worst when a celebrity playing himself or herself just happens to drop in on a show’s fictional world, like the Doobie Brothers getting entangled with Rerun and the gang on “What’s Happening,” or Monty Hall — oh, come on, you remember “Let’s Make a Deal,” right? Right? — just happening to be an old friend of “The Odd Couple.” (Exception: Evil Wil Wheaton on “Big Bang Theory,” but that’s not Wil playing himself. OR IS IT???)
So there’s no reason for “The Walking Dead” to sink to the level of celebrity zombies. Charlie Sheen would do nothing but distract. Be happy that it’s apparently not true.
Chris Hardwick, on the other hand, would make a GREAT zombie. Someone make that happen.
Oh, go ahead, pick your best and worst guest stars, or your nominations for zombies, in the comments.