Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards! Oh, I'm down again!
And then, that one moment where everything kind of goes batshit crazy. Chris promises a night so chock full of activity that there's no way he can cover everything by himself, because I guess he's so tuckered out from that grueling two-minutes-of- voice-over-a-week production schedule he's been on since the last season of the show wrapped. To help him out, they've brought in special "correspondents" Charlie Maher and Stephanie Lydecker. Charlie, we might remember, was Bachelor #2 (Or, The Last Remains of the Dodo) on The Bachelorette, and Stephanie Lydecker is...well, she's blonde, for one. I actually have no idea who she is. But her last name is totally cool and it rhymes with "home wrecker," therefore making it a perfect candidate for a couplet in a revenge song about a childbearing relationship gone bad.
Oh, oh, Stephanie Lydecker
A vicious wife and cruel home wrecker
Vacuumed up our love with the soul-sucking power of a Black & Decker
Oh, sister, please keep your day job
Man, am I bored.
Anyway, Charlie Maher and Stephanie Lydecker are standing in a split-screen, chilling in formalwear and holding enormous press-conference -in-the-1950s microphones emblazoned with "Trista and Ryan's Wedding" in that MS Whirligig Faggy Sans Bold font we've come to love so well. Chris introduces Charlie and positions us, telling us we're outside Ryan's door. Charlie's looking...I don't know. Broken? But in a way like he doesn't know he's broken yet, like how you feel the day before you get the flu and you feel kind of horrible but you can't really explain what's wrong with you yet? That way? His hair has chilled out a bit, though not in a good way, and he's wearing this simpering grin that says, "I know this is beneath me, but it's hard to remember which way 'beneath' is." What I'm saying is that he doesn't seem comfortable. And even less so when Chris point-blanks, talking about Ryan and noting, "This could have been you!" Now that he's on the payroll, Charlie gets to go with a canned answer, and he spins (not literally, for that makes you dizzy!) on the recommendation of the PR folks, putting the matter to rest: "I know it sounds like a cliché, man, but I truly believe things in life happen for a reason. Trista and Ryan were meant to be together, and honestly I'm just very happy to be a part of this." Chris shoots back, "I agree with you there," and since they're just chatting like dudes and this is all very colloquial, I'll leave out the fact that Chris's "I agree with you there" technically refers to the last thing Charlie said, his response officially meaning, "I agree that you are very happy to be a part of this." Well, we're happy Charlie's back if they're happy Charlie's back, I guess. I also love that, unlike pretty much everyone else in the world, Charlie doesn't have anything written below his name when it appears on the screen. No "Bachelor contestant, Season Four," no "Returning Champion," no "Former Mayoral Wife." Nothing. Just "Charlie Maher." And that's got to be good enough for us. Chris asks Charlie how Ryan is holding up, and Charlie tells us that Ryan is utterly calm despite the pressure of the day. He takes his big-ass mic into the next room, where we find the male portion of the wedding party mutter quiet strains of "Oh, no" and "Oh, god" when they see Charlie approaching. And he really is the dorky A.V. guy wandering into the basketball players' locker room being all, "C'mon, you guys, if I don't interview you then you won't even be on the video yearbook! Come on...man!" Charlie marches up to Ryan, who is still wearing his cheese-ass velour Vail sweatshirt despite the fact that the rest of the guys are all in their tuxes already, and is all, "You're so relaxed you haven't even got your tux on!" Ryan tells him that he's not nervous because there's "no uncertainty," but Chris snarks from afar that Ryan looks like "a deer in the headlights." Watch out, Charlie. Give a wide berth between you and that testosterone den, or you're gonna get yourself pantsed.