The goal of my question was to perhaps track down why Two and a Half Men ("2.5") after Charlie Sheen left became so lame. One can point to the clear difference in comedic acting style between Charlie Sheen and replacement Aston Kutcher, but the script writing was the real secret behind why 2.5 was such a truly funny and stand-out comedyl series. As Sheen has demonstrated more than once in speaking from his frequently obtuse delusions, he too can suck when he doesn't have good lines to read from or deliver. And his deadpan delivery combined with the outrageously acidic and adult-themed scripts he was given in 2.5 was what created the magic that led to the show's No. 1 status for so long.
But then Kutcher came along and suddenly, the show wasn't really very funny anymore, appealing more to a younger crowd and making John Crier now the "adult" and even straight man and Kutcher the hapless buffoon that Crier used to play with such comedic aplomb. The show's formula and main character assignments got turned on their head and suddenly, the show wasn't really funny anymore.
We speculated that it may have been a departure of key writers after Sheen left that resulted in vapid scripts making it to the little screen. And indeed your reference to the iMDB list of 17 historic writers for the show revealed that 2 left on or near the time that Sheen left, but what may be more telling is the appearance of 6 new writers to sign on to 2.5's script creations after Sheen left. Were these the ones who turned the feel of the show into something much more sophomoric and juvenile with mindless laugh track now in the forefront and appealing to youngsters in the pre-9 pm television segment versus the more adult later-evening demos delivered when Sheen et. al. were leading the ratings? Perhaps...
But according to Sheen, the big reason for why the show started "sucking" after he left was not as much Kutcher's fault but because the show's creator and main writer, Chuck Lorre, has too many shows to write for such that 2.5 is not getting his best work:
"I don't think that [Kutcher is] working with the best writing because [Lorre is] doing too many shows. He and Jon [Cryer] and Angus [T. Jones] deserve better material," Sheen adds.
Indeed, the opinion that 2.5 now sucks is shared by a good portion of the viewing public but what most really want is for Lorre et. al. to eat humble pie and get Sheen back on the show, even though they tried to prevent that from happening by killing off Sheen's character in advance of any possible clawbacks. Reference:
In any event, thank you for your iMDB reference and background fodder in partial answer to the underlying question as to why 2.5 just isn't funny anymore, at least to the more adult demos. I think we have a clearer picture now.
Entertainment Industry Analyst & Financier