By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He may have looked like he was "winning," but actor Charlie Sheen took it on the chin on Saturday night at a Comedy Central TV roast where his sex life, drug use and talent drew punches -- and punch lines.
Sheen, once TV's highest paid actor on the comedy series "Two and a Half Men" before he was fired in March by the CBS network, has seen numerous ups and downs in recent years.
He was arrested on charges of assaulting his former wife Brooke Mueller, who turned out for the Comedy Central roast. He saw his drug and alcohol use make headlines around the world. And after his firing, Sheen went on a public rant against his old bosses.
The actor, 46, posted videos of himself online saying he had "tiger blood" and was always "winning" against rivals. He dated two women at one time he called his goddesses, and some onlookers wondered if he had become mentally unstable.
"This is hard. How do you roast a meltdown?" joked comedian Jeffrey Ross, dressed in military costume to look like a caricature of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"How much blow can Charlie Sheen do?" asked former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Jon Lovitz, "Enough to kill 'Two and a Half Men.'"
Rocker Slash ushered Sheen onto the Comedy Central stage, and host Seth MacFarlane introduced the roasters -- an odd mix of celebrities including Ross, Lovitz, actor William Shatner, actress Kate Walsh, "Jackass" stuntman Steve-O and former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson.
While many of the jokes used language too strong for print, as is typical of these programs, the roasting of Sheen was fairly lukewarm compared to others.
Through it all, the actor, dressed in a gray suit and red tie, sat in his chair and took the hits, mostly laughing, sometimes rolling his eyes.
"It's true I've hung around a lot of shady characters," Sheen said when he took the microphone for his turn to speak, "but to have you all here on one night is really special."
The Comedy Central roast airs on September 19.
(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Will Dunham)