Over the weekend he was pumping gas, boasting about interviewing The Donald and celebrating 111 days of sobriety. Now Artie Lange has been arrested. Again.
The Saga of Artie Lange
Few people have been through as much as Artie Lange. Even fewer people would ever want to. He was one of eight cast in Mad TV from a casting call of eight thousand. Then he started doing cocaine "like it was going out of style." One day Lange ran out of coke. So he drank whisky and popped pills instead. He also wrote a suicide note. It was not a good look.
Quincy Jones helped Lange get to and through rehab though, and the Mad TV man returned to end out the first season doing "the best work I've ever done in sketch comedy." Unfortunately, by the second month of filming Season 2 Lange was back on the powder. One month later he'd be fired.
Lange would also be arrested. And while he was in LA County Jail Cameron Crowe called to say Lange had been cut from Jerry Maguire. Talk about insult to injury.
But Artie Lange bounced back. Norm MacDonald and Bob Saget cast him in Dirty Work. Fox gave him a lucrative development deal. So did NBC. Then he landed a role in MacDonald's The Norm Show.
In 2001 Lange ended up on The Howard Stern Show. Lange called his casting a "blessing." It was also a bit of a curse. The increasing fame gave him increasing opportunities. Lange took them all. Monday through Friday on Stern. Weekends doing standup. Even a film of his own.
The film didn't do much at the box office, but Artie Lange did a lot of drugs to do the film. Pain killers mostly. When Lange couldn't get pills though, he did heroin. Then he started skipping the pills completely.
Artie Lange: Crash & Burn
The next five years were a blur of rehabs and relapses, each fueled in part by a seemingly constant string of successes. Lange still had the Stern Show of course. Then he tried to kill himself a second time and Stern said 'bye-bye.' Who could blame him? Lange had drank bleach, slit his wrists and taken a 13 inch kitchen knife and stabbed himself in the abdomen nine times.
Even more rehabs and relapses followed. Comedian Colin Quinn and "two huge Irish guys" threw Lange into a New Jersey detox facility. Then they made sure he went to Florida for some serious addiction treatment.
The treatment helped. Lots. Not only was Lange able to clear his head of all his demons, but Touchstone even gave him $800,000 to write about it. The result was the book Crash and Burn. It entered the NY Times Bestseller List at #8.
Crash and Burn covers Lange's life and career during his final years on The Howard Stern Show, his second suicide attempt and the resulting depression, as well as his recovery. Lange claims it's "The most honest thing I've ever done in my life." We believe him.
Things apparently didn't work out as planned though. Oh, there were some hints of successes -- two guest appearances on The Jim Gaffigan Show, a recurring role in HBO's Crashing -- but they apparently weren't enough to sate Lange's savage beast.
In 2017, Lange was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine and drug paraphernalia. And though the charges were eventually dropped to nothings, Lange missed his court date so the case never went away. Two months later Lange was pulled over for speeding and arrested again. This time he had 81 bags of heroin. Cops found one of those bags on his lap.
In 2018 Lange was sentenced to four years probation. He's twice violated that probation. Now Lange has been arrested again. And this arrest was especially brutal.
See Lange is supposedly sober now. Over 111 days sober in fact. And his recovery program has him out there pumping gas. It can't be an easy thing to do. Especially since his old boss just released a new book with Lange's name in it. Even more galling is the fact that the mention recounts their interview with The Donald. Sure, it was long before Trump went to The White House. But it is POTUS.
Lange seemed to be taking it all in stride, Tweeting a pic of him in his gas station uniform and reading Stern's latest. Lange even seems to have grasped the humility that comes with sobriety.
"I’m reading about [me and] the POTUS when a guy yells at me 'yo fill it with regular'" Tweeted Lange. "lol, my crazy life!"
Artie Lange's Comeback?
We at Recovery Boot Camp would like to congratulate Artie Lange on his new bout of sobriety. We also hope he's receiving the Relapse Prevention treatment so crucial to addicts everywhere, whether they've been fighting the disease for a year or a decade. We're especially struck by Lange's humility. And we trust his latest arrest won't hamper his sobriety. Artie Lange may have become a poster boy for addiction (just check out that mugshot!). But there's no reason he can't also become a poster boy for sobriety.
All the Best, Artie Lange!