111 Facts About Artie Lange


Artie Lange debuted as a stand-up comic in 1987 and took up the profession full-time five years later, developing his act on the New York City club circuit.

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Artie Lange was born on October 11,1967, in Livingston, New Jersey, and was raised in Union Township, Union County.

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Artie Lange's mother, Judy, of Italian descent, was a housewife, while his father, Arthur Lange Sr.

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Artie Lange attended Union High School, during which he played baseball and became an all-county third baseman.

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Artie Lange claimed he was trying to impress his girlfriend at the time, by passing the teller a note that said he was armed and demanded $50,000.

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Artie Lange's charge was reduced to disorderly conduct which required Lange to pay $500 in court fees and complete 25 hours of community service in March 1986.

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In 1985, Artie Lange gained admission to Seton Hall University in New Jersey using a connection his uncle had with an employee of the admissions department.

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Money soon became an issue in the family; Artie Lange spent a short time installing antennas and his mother became a secretary.

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Artie Lange's father died from complications of an infection in 1990, though he believes one of his father's "crazy friends" may have helped him to commit suicide.

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Artie Lange cites Richard Pryor, Richard Lewis, and George Carlin as early influences.

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On July 12,1987, at age nineteen, Artie Lange performed his first stand-up comedy routine at The Improv in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.

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In 1988, Artie Lange took acting classes for three weeks from Sandy Dennis at HB Studio in New Jersey; he quit after he could no longer afford them.

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In February 1991, Artie Lange supported his family by taking up work as a longshoreman at Port Newark, loading ships at its orange juice pier.

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In September 1992, Artie Lange quit his longshoreman job to focus on a comedy career, giving himself one year to make it at stand-up comedy.

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Artie Lange's first paid gig as a stand-up comedian followed at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, for a payment of $30.

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Artie Lange then became a paid regular for the first time in 1992 at Stand Up NY in Manhattan, followed by Comic Strip Live, where he would perform a 20-minute set from Tuesday to Saturday nights.

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The success of these shows led to a contract with the William Morris Agency where Artie Lange met Peter Principato, his manager for the next ten years.

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Artie Lange took up extra work with roles in commercials which were a "big step up", including a voiceover for Foot Locker, which entitled him to become a member of AFTRA.

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At age twenty-seven, Artie Lange was selected as one of the eight cast members in the sketch comedy series Mad TV, from the eight thousand that were screened.

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Artie Lange flew to Los Angeles in May 1995 to shoot the television pilot which was picked up by the Fox network.

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Artie Lange moved to Los Angeles two months later to film the first season.

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Artie Lange was found by his Mad TV co-stars and taken to intensive care.

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Artie Lange returned to New Jersey to complete a rehabilitation and counselling program.

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In January 1996, Artie Lange returned to Los Angeles to film the remaining episodes of the first season.

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Artie Lange returned to form in his work, ranking his performance in these episodes as "the best I've ever done in sketch comedy", including the creation of his hit character, White Mama.

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The incident began when Artie Lange lost a $15,000 bet on the Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield boxing match and turned up to rehearsals "coked up".

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Artie Lange fled the set, running through streets with his co-workers chasing him.

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Artie Lange described this time as the "most depressing period" of his life.

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Artie Lange returned home afterwards, and fell into a clinical depression.

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Artie Lange's contract was not renewed for the show's third season, but he made special guest appearances on the fifth, tenth, and fourteenth seasons.

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In 1997, Artie Lange left rehab and resumed stand-up gigs in New York City.

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Artie Lange's depression improved soon after when he was invited to audition for two network television sitcoms, which boosted his confidence "astronomically".

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Artie Lange saw a sketch that involved Lange delivering an out-of-character monologue which he found funny and noted Lange "had a melancholy about him" that reminded Macdonald of comedian John Belushi.

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Macdonald recalled Artie Lange's first reading of the script as "perfect", which landed him the role, but in order to shoot the film, MGM studios required Artie Lange to obtain an approval report from his rehab facility in New Jersey.

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Artie Lange settled the matter by paying the center $1,500 as a private donor.

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Artie Lange landed a role in a pilot television series which he co-wrote with Sam Cass, in April 1998, subsequently re-written by request from the network.

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Artie Lange felt the idea was ignored and suddenly pushed through for shooting at the last minute, which affected its quality.

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Weeks later, Artie Lange accepted a second development deal, this time with NBC worth $350,000.

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Artie Lange toured as the opening act to Macdonald's stand-up shows.

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In 1999, Lange joined the cast of Macdonald's sitcom The Norm Show during its second season as Macdonald's half brother, Artie.

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Artie Lange stayed with the show until its cancellation in 2001 after three seasons.

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Artie Lange enjoyed a period of wealth during this time, being paid $35,000 per episode for a show with "ridiculously lame, easy jokes", liked working with his castmates and lived in a $4,000-a-month condo in Beverly Hills.

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Artie Lange was introduced to the show in 1982 by his father, and since became a big fan.

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Artie Lange thought he blew his chance early on after he learned the jokes he was writing for Stern were not working out.

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Artie Lange was prepared to return to Los Angeles if he did not land the job, but he accepted a contract to join the show full-time which began from October 29,2001, describing the offer as a "blessing".

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Around this time, Artie Lange teamed with producer and writer Sam Simon for a comedy show pilot for DreamWorks to air on NBC, but it never materialised.

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In September 2003, Artie Lange scored a one-year talent holding deal with ABC and Touchstone Television.

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On December 13,2004, Artie Lange released his first stand-up DVD titled It's the Whiskey Talkin, formed of 45 minutes of material he performed at the Tempe Improv in Tempe, Arizona, a time in his career when he was "playing more clubs".

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Development began in 2001 when Artie Lange started on a script with director and producer Frank Sebastiano, based on a 17-minute film Artie Lange wrote, funded and starred in 2000 titled Game Day.

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The stress of putting the film together, and doing nationwide gigs on weekends, caused Artie Lange to drink heavily and take "twenty painkillers a day".

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Artie Lange took four days off work in June 2005 to get through the illness caused by withdrawals at home, which prompted concerns from his family and radio colleagues of a drug relapse.

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When Sebastiano and production staff threatened to cancel the film if he did not show up, Artie Lange obtained Subutex from a doctor that got him well enough to return to work.

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Artie Lange revealed the true reason for his absence to Stern on September 21,2006.

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In June 2008, Artie Lange headlined a comedy tour he formed, named Operation Mirth, with the United Service Organizations to entertain American troops serving in Afghanistan.

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Artie Lange was inspired to do so after watching Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie, a documentary about comedian Jeffrey Ross' own USO tour in Iraq.

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Artie Lange picked comedians Jim Florentine, Nick DiPaolo, and Dave Attell to join him, with The Howard Stern Show's producer Gary Dell'Abate as the tour's master of ceremonies.

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Artie Lange had relapsed in heroin use in the previous seven weeks after he was offered it while drunk at a pool hall.

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Comedy Central was willing to cover the $65,000 in costs to send an ambulance for him to the airport and fly him to Los Angeles on a private jet with a doctor, but Artie Lange declined and began treatment with a therapist recommended by comedian Richard Lewis, who contacted Artie Lange to help.

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In January 2009, Artie Lange went to West Palm Beach, Florida, to complete a 21-day rehab program after he had relapsed on heroin the month prior.

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Artie Lange returned home and booked three nights at Caroline's comedy club in the same week, earning $35,000 back.

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Artie Lange later revealed a $200,000 offer to appear on Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew that he had declined.

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On June 15,2009, Artie Lange made a controversial appearance on the first episode of Joe Buck Live, exchanging insults with host Joe Buck that HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said "bordered on bad taste" with a "mean-spirited" tone.

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In July 2009, Artie Lange was charged of driving under the influence of an intoxicant and careless driving after he became involved in a minor traffic accident in New Jersey.

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In October 2009, Artie Lange took one week off from The Howard Stern Show, citing depression and a "mini nervous breakdown".

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Artie Lange's second stand up DVD and CD, Jack and Coke, was released a month later.

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In November 2009, Artie Lange cancelled his stand-up gigs booked for the rest of the year and throughout 2010.

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Situation culminated on December 9,2009, when Artie Lange showed up at The Howard Stern Show having spent the previous seven hours drinking whiskey and taking painkillers, which affected his performance on the air.

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On January 2,2010, Artie Lange attempted suicide for the second time at his home by drinking bleach, slitting his wrists, and stabbing himself in the abdomen nine times with a 13-inch kitchen knife.

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Artie Lange was found on the floor by his mother who, unbeknownst to him, was outside planning an intervention for him with his sister, two uncles, and comedian Colin Quinn.

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Artie Lange was taken to a hospital for surgery, and was transferred to a psychiatric ward a week later.

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An executive for SiriusXM stated that Artie Lange would be welcomed back onto The Howard Stern Show following his recovery, but Stern later decided against it, thinking it would not aid in his recovery.

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Artie Lange entered a period of depression, spending most of his time at home.

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On September 27,2010, eight months after the incident, Artie Lange performed his first stand-up routine as a surprise guest at the Comedy Cellar in New York City to a positive reception.

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Artie Lange has since had "four or five" relapses between painkillers following an injury, alcohol and gambling, and continues to smoke.

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In 2013, Artie Lange accepted an $800,000 advance from Touchstone Books to write his second book.

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Artie Lange agreed to the project primarily for the money, but wished to put out something that would help others who struggle with drug abuse.

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Artie Lange wrote the book, Crash and Burn, with Bozza returning as his co-author, which covers his life and career during his final years on The Howard Stern Show, his second suicide attempt and resulting depression, and his recovery.

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Artie Lange described the book as "the most honest thing I've ever done in my life".

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Artie Lange recorded a one-hour special for Comedy Central titled The Stench of Failure that aired on October 18,2014.

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Artie Lange was Thomas Jefferson and Champion was a slave, and he attempts to whip her but fails.

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Artie Lange recorded episodes mainly from his home in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Artie Lange estimated the podcast gained "about 9,000" subscribers in its first year.

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In May 2017, Artie Lange stated the podcast would end after 400 episodes in order to tend to his comedy, filming Crashing, and his third book.

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Artie Lange aimed to resume the podcast around September 2017, either at a cheaper subscription rate or free with advertisements.

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In 2015, Artie Lange made a return to television after he secured roles on two shows.

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Artie Lange made two guest appearances on The Jim Gaffigan Show in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and was chosen to star in a pilot episode for a new HBO comedy series titled Crashing, starring Pete Holmes with producer and editor Judd Apatow.

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Artie Lange revealed his salary of $17,500 per episode on season two.

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Artie Lange was absent from the show for six weeks following his December 2017 arrest and subsequent time in rehab; he returned full-time on January 22,2018.

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On March 12,2017, Artie Lange was arrested on three charges for possession of heroin, cocaine and drug paraphernalia in his car and on himself, in the parking garage of his apartment complex.

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Artie Lange was released on a summons with a set court appearance.

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Artie Lange failed to appear in court due to miscommunication from his lawyer, resulting in a bench warrant issued by the court.

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On July 7,2017, Artie Lange was rushed to a hospital and had emergency surgery on his chest after he collapsed after performing stand-up in Chicago, and claimed he was hours from death.

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On December 15,2017, Artie Lange pleaded guilty to possessing 81 bags of heroin in exchange for the earlier charge of possession of cocaine being dropped.

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Artie Lange then checked himself into rehab on a private jet paid for by two fellow comics.

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Artie Lange left rehab in January 2018, and began an outpatient rehab program for five days a week with regular urine tests.

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On June 1,2018, Artie Lange was sentenced to four years of probation with orders to complete 50 hours of community service and complete further outpatient rehabilitation.

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In November 2018, Artie Lange announced his decision to enter inpatient rehabilitation with comedian Bob Levy, after breaking his four-year probation by testing positive twice for cocaine and opioids.

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On January 30,2019, Artie Lange was placed into custody for possession of a controlled substance and checked into a treatment center.

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Month later, Artie Lange posted a tweet which revealed he had moved on to work at a gas station.

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Radar Online reported in August 2019 that Artie Lange was progressing in rehab and would remain at least through September.

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Artie Lange was scheduled to return to a New Jersey court where a jail sentence was a possibility.

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On September 10,2019, Artie Lange left rehab and announced that had been sober for more than seven months.

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Artie Lange then resumed regular stand-up gigs in the local area.

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On September 20,2019, Artie Lange announced that he had signed a deal to start a new podcast.

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Artie Lange later said that he had returned to the public eye too soon and needed further time to work on his recovery program.

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In February 2022, Artie Lange put the podcast on hiatus once more to focus on his health.

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Artie Lange met his future fiancee Adrienne Ockrymiek in 2009 at a tanning salon; they broke up in 2014.

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Since 2001, Artie Lange has lived in a penthouse in Hoboken, New Jersey, which he bought for $620,000.

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Artie Lange put the home on the market in 2010; it was sold in 2016.

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Artie Lange has stated incorrectly that as a convicted felon, he cannot vote, which is not the case in New Jersey.

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In March 2008, LIFEbeat refused to accept further donations after Artie Lange used a variety of anti-gay epithets towards a co-worker with whom he was arguing on-air, although they later reached an amicable truce.

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