Comedians are often very troubled people, and few comedians are as troubled as Artie Lange. Lange, who was previously on the Howard Stern Show for over eight years, has recently spoken out about his continuing struggles with addiction and mental health. In a new interview, Lange also made concerning comments about his future while addressing his own going struggles.
A Funnyman’s Struggles
Artie Lange first broke through on Mad TV, and he eventually made it to the catbird seat on Howard Stern, taking the place of Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling. Lange knew he had an incredible gig, and he called it “the best job ever” on the Dopey Podcast. (Lange says he was making $4 million a year when he was on Stern.) But Lange had a long history of addiction, and a number of arrests under his belt as well. Among the substances, Lange has abused are alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and he also blew a ton of money on gambling. This of course only scratches the surface, and to go through all of Artie’s issues and near death experiences would turn into a book, not a blog. (In fact, Lange has written several books where he wrote about his addictions and mental health issues with brutal honesty.)
“A Son-And-Dad Kind of Thing”
Sadly, many who suffer from addiction destroy themselves because they don’t feel they deserve what they have. “I was on the show for over eight years, but towards the end, I was a complete addict,” Lange says. Lange confesses that he and Stern had “a son-and-dad kind of thing” between them, and it was painful for the famed shock jock to see Lange destroying himself. “Howard did not understand addiction,” Lange says. “He didn’t know the extent of it. There’s no way he could’ve.” While Lange’s current feelings toward Stern are complicated, Stern did try to help Lange as much as he could. He hooked the comedian up with a therapist, got him into a rehab center, and gave him extended time to get well away from the show.
Can Lange Pull Himself Out of His Downward Spiral?
Yet during the Dopey podcast, Lange made some ominous comments about his efforts towards sobriety. As The Fix reports, “Lange indicated that Stern’s efforts” to help him “were as generous as they were futile. Lange was straightforward and serious about the reality of his addictions, admitting that he might soon relapse and never find long-term sobriety.” Lange’s downward spiral has been especially painful to watch, and many are still hoping he will eventually pull his life together. There is always the hope that Lange will one day see the light, get help and not wind up a cautionary tale.
He certainly has many in his corner rooting for him. Earlier this year, Mandy Stadtmiller wrote in The Daily Beast, “It’s hard being friends with the notoriously demon-plagued comedian Artie Lange – which, full disclosure, I am. This is no way objective. I truly want the guy to live.” Many others want to see him live as well.