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Artie Lange is a stand up comedian, actor and radio and TV host and personality. A comedian known for his blue-collar Joisey
style of humor, he is most known for his tenure on The Howard Stern Show
as Howard's sidekick (replacing Jackie Martling) and for being part of the original cast of Mad TV
Getting his start in stand up comedy in the New York/New Jersey area in the late 80s, Artie developed his blue-collar "guy" style of humor in various clubs. He got his big break when he auditioned and got a slot as one of the first cast members of Mad TV
Due to his drug and alcohol issues, he was eventually let go, and would go on to score a role in Norm MacDonald
's movie Dirty Work
as Norm's brother, and would develop a friendship with Norm that led to him additionally getting a role on The Norm Show
. Soon after, he was asked to audition for "The Jackie Chair" on the Stern Show, a job he held for over a decade and where he achieved his highest success.
Again, his personal issues led to him being let go by the Stern show and a suicide attempt. Finally going to rehab and cleaning up his act, he returned to show business after a year and hosted a radio sports show, The Nick and Artie Show
(with Nick DiPaolo), which became The Artie Lange Show
on DirecTV's Audience channel (now more general and less sports-centric), which was also broadcast on Sirius/XM radio and and seen on its YouTube
channel. The show was cancelled in April.
He co-wrote and starred in the movie Artie Lange's Beer League
and has appeared in several small roles in other movies, most notably Elf
. He has written two books, Too Fat To Fish
and Crash and Burn
, both detailing his life at various points. He's also released several stand-up comedy CDs and DVDs, such as Jack and Coke
and It's The Whiskey Talking
. His next stand up special was recorded at the end of April and will be released in the fall of 2014.
Artie lives in the New York area and is engaged to his long-time girlfriend.
Tropes Associcated With Artie's Various Works:
- Acrofatic Despite his size and lack of regular exercise, he still excels at sports (he was quite an athlete as a kid) when prompted to play, usually surprising a lot of people who expect to run rings around him in baseball, basketball, etc.
- The Alcoholic: His drug and booze problems have cost him both his most prominent jobs on Mad TV and The Howard Stern Show.
- Big Eater: No genetic disorders here, he says he just loves to eat and that's the cause of his weight (lack of exercise too). Often jokes he's the only person who could get addicted to heroin and cocaine and get fatter.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: His infamous story of trying to score cocaine during a Mad TV shoot while dressed in a pig costume for a skit that lead to a high-speed car and foot chase away from the show's producers, talent and the police through Los Angeles still in the pig costume with trails of cocaine coming out of the pig nostrils. The underlying issue to the story is of course sad, but the visual it gives when he tells the story is hilarious.
- Butt Monkey: Announcer Mike Bocchetti is this to Artie on The Artie Lange Show, usually poking fun at his lisp, heavy New York accent, mostly terrible stand-up act, and his seemingly obliviousness to the fact he's being made fun of.
- Creator Breakdown: A very public one in his last few months on the Stern show. While he had been public about his addiction issues in the past (his cocaine issues in his Mad TV days, admitting to having had heroin problems during his time on the show) he was adamant he had cleaned up his act, despite evidence to the contrary to the staff and the listeners of the show. An inordinate amount of days calling in sick, falling asleep on the air, weight gain and failing hygene were all alarm bells to everyone one the show. By the end, they were begging him to take time off and get help, and on his last day on the show, his comedy chops began to fail him, and he was interrupting Howard inappropriately and worse, not funnily. He was sent home in the middle of the show, and has never returned. He attempted suicide a few weeks later, and then spent close to a year in rehab.
- Creator Recovery: Luckily he seems to be going through this now on his new show. Happy, (apparently) sober, engaged, and back to the old Artie.
- Deadpan Snarker: His job while on the Stern show.
- Dueling Movies: Faced this situation with his Beer League movie, which came out at the same time that the similarly-titled Beer Fest did. They added his name in front of it to try to distinguish them (although the actual plots are completely dissimlar).
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Many on the Stern show, as his alcohol-and-drug-fueled moments were Played for Laughs over the years (famously a Black Out Drunk moment in Vegas captured by the Stern TV crew and his famous story about running around in LA in a pig suit looking for cocaine). Most of the audience and the staff of the show probably weren't aware quite how bad a shape he was in until the end of his tenure there (or that he was additionally addicted to heroin and opiates for several years).
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: His insistence on saying a lot of Italian words with the correct accentuation (usually food, naturally).
- Joisey: he is the epiotome of this trope, and a proud native. Though through the years on Stern it was apparent this was more of an act, as he showed a lot of intelligence, knowledge and Hidden Depths.
- Momma's Boy: Self-admitted.
- Odd Friendship: He's a blue-collar, working class Jersey boy who loves sports and "manly" pursuits (and has some slight homophobia to boot), yet has developed a strong bond with Stern announcer, the openly gay, slightly "hoity-toity" George Takei.
- Photographic Memory: Has an incredible ability to memorize large chunks of texts, scripts, etc. Stern himself often praised this ability, and he stated this helped him land his role on Mad TV more than anything.