Artie Lange....It’s a weird thing with celebrities. Some of them you see or hear so much of that you could almost regard them as someone you know.
That’s kind of the way I think of the members of the Howard Stern show. The Stern show is unique in that, while they are celebrities of sorts, they also have five hours of airtime to fill each day. To fill the time around the guests, it seems little is off limits for discussion. I know Howard’s new cat is named Apple. I know about JD’s huge pimple. I know everyone thinks Benji fingered his date at the office Christmas party. I know more about the Stern show staffers than I know about some of the people I work with.
Still, it was a shock this morning to turn the radio on and hear that Artie Lange had been hospitalized. Artie has been on indefinite leave from the show since mid-December, with Howard being uncustomarily tight-lipped about the reason for Artie’s absence. I assumed Artie’s absence had to do with his mental health. Last year he took several days off as he dealt with depression over having lived past the age at which his father died.
When I heard Artie had been hospitalized this past weekend, I assumed it was drug-related. I never would have imagined it was because he had tried to take his own life. But the New York Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that Artie had “landed in the hospital after stabbing himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt.”
It’s a weird thing with celebrities. I don’t know Artie Lange at all, but I’ve heard him talk about so much of his life that I could almost regard him as someone I know. My thoughts are with Artie and his family.
Darkness on the Edge of Town.mp3
*Picture note: This was taken at Artie’s book signing just after “Too Fat to Fish” was released last year. Neither of us are looking particularly spectacular....