At the end of each episode of “Two and a Half Men,” a card filled with type flashes by along with the credits. Those who tape the show and freeze-frame it will find that the flash is of a “vanity card,” on which producer Chuck Lorre writes messages to his audience. It has become his trademark.
“I started it on `Dharma & Greg,”‘ Mr. Lorre said. “I’ve got about 120 of them, all now available on chucklorre.com, if you want to read them.”
After people began to write to Mr. Lorre about the cards, he said, “I felt an obligation to write them. What was fun became a burden. But also it’s enjoyable sometimes to sit down and write a piece of prose, if you call it that. They’re really haiku. They have to be very concise. You learn to cut.”
Lately, when he doesn’t have time to write or thoughts to share, he inserts a card that explains he is taking the week off.
What is the purpose? “To communicate, period. I have ideas, thoughts, something bothering me, childhood issues I need to work out. Why not work them out with a few million people that are willing to read them?”
He said the idea came out of his pre-Hollywood background as a journeyman musician: “We grew up when albums came with pictures and liner notes. It was part of the experience that came with the music. This is my attempt at adding something like that to the package.”
Still, Mr. Lorre has had second thoughts about some of the cards. “There are quite a few I regret writing. I wish I could take them back,” he said. “Too much information. Not well written. Should get an editor.” n
-ALEX BEN BLOCK