Artie Lange Talks Blackhawks, Tebow, and Being Sober

Artie Lange Talks Blackhawks, Tebow, and Being Sober

Comedian and radio host Artie Lange will be performing 2 stand up comedy shows in Chicago Saturday as part of the Just for Laughs comedy festival. Both of Lange's shows will be at Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.) TICKETS.

Artie is best known for his role in the cult classic Dirty Work, for being a cast member on Mad TV, and for being a main stay on the Howard Stern Show for many years. Recently, Lange got his own radio show which also airs on Direct TV.

"The Artie Lange Show" was originally known as "The Nick and Artie Show" and included fellow comedian Nick DiPaolo. On his own, Artie has formatted an incredibly unique sports variety show. "The Artie Lange Show" features interviews with actors, comedians, sportscasters, athletes, and musical performances as well.

Are you following the Stanley Cup Final?

I was watching the triple overtime. Everybody was saying "Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh," and Chicago had that amazing streak. I think it's their year. I dig them. I'm officially rooting for the Blackhawks. I like the Blackhawks, I like their uniforms. I'm all about Chicago this year.

You're holding your own as the driving force behind a radio show, was that a natural transition for you?

I don't know if everyone feels that way, but working with Howard for so long, I witnessed the best guy ever at doing it for years. I was a guy who literally went from being a fan to eight and a half years of working a few feet from him. I got to really see how he did it, so if it's going to be anybody it's going to be me. I enjoy it a lot.

A lot of people talk about Howard's interveiwing skills and the Wack Pack, but what are some of the nuances you picked up on from him that you emulate now?

Really, listening to the most mundane sh*t... Something you think most people would just rush somebody through, he would listen to. A guy like Beetlejuice, he would talk to him like he was a rocket scientist, and not even switch, "Oh really, so you say that's why..." And you take everything they say dead serious.

It gives them a cooler way to do an interview and you as well. It's a feather under your cap because it makes it sound to the listener like you're getting a very important interview on your show and it makes them feel like you're giving one. If you get a retarded person treat them like a genius.

The Stern Show seems to only have comedians on who are incredibly popular and mainstream and you seem to go out of your way to have on ones that aren't, but are just as funny...

How do you know someone is funny unless they're trying to be funny. You have to give people a shot. The way you get rewarded is you are immediately thrown into their world. They may not be as famous as Tom Hanks, but a lot of times the life of a comedian on the road does present you with a fascinating picture of someone's life. If you get into that and talk about it and put it at center stage, it's gold.

Have you had Norm MacDonald on your show yet?

Norm has not been a guest on my show yet, but he will be.

Have you seen his new show?

Yes, the podcast. I saw a couple episodes, I thought it was amazing. I loved it. I didn't get a chance to see it till after it was on for a little bit. He's a fascinating guy. I've known him for fifteen years. And every single day I get a little nugget talking to him that makes him fascinating.

We toured together for two years after Dirty Work came out for MGM, I opened for him. I did everything you could do with him performer wise. And when I'm not with him, I do miss him quite a bit, I look forward to seeing him again. 

Is it easier for you to stay sober now?

Yeah it is. I have so much responsibility. If I wasn't sober or doing heroin, it would be so obvious. When I was doing the Stern Show, I had to be there a lot and it was a rough schedule, but I was not driving the show, Howard was. So I could get by. Now I'm driving the show. You can't do that on heroin. If it keeps me sober then it keeps me in check and that's a good thing.

How do you come to be on the Howard Stern Show?

When we were done with Dirty Work, Norm was going on to promote it. I asked Norm if I could come to see if I could meet him. He said, "yeah man, I know you're a big fan." This is where Norm is the coolest guy. Norm says, "come in, talk about the movie." Howard was bringing up some crazy sh*t at the time.

Norm was banging Elle Macpherson and he didn't want anyone to know about it. And Howard brings that sh*t up because it was in the paper as a gossip thing. Howard brings that up and I just think he'll talk about the movie to deflect it. Sure enough Norm goes, "Hey my friend Artie is here." I sort of got thrown under the bus.

Just talking about the movie wasn't going to be strong enough to get him away from banging Elle Macpherson. As a fan, I should have known that. So as the guys put the mic on me, it's a surreal thing, I told all my family I was going to be on the show, as they put the mic on me, I hear Norm go, "Hey Howard, you'll love Artie, he got kicked off of Mad TV because of cocaine."

Norm chose that moment to bring up that story. What could I do? The only thing I could do was roll with the punches. I told the story honestly and got a few laughs, and Howard said you're a friend of the show. It was the best thing ever.

Do you think Tebow takes more than 5 snaps with the Patriots?

(laughs) It's unbelievable, there really is something in the water with that guy. The brass and the people that run the Patriots, Bill Belichick, are bright guys, I guess they know something more than we do.

I can't see that happening. I can't see him taking one. Maybe they teach him how to block or something, I have no idea. It's really weird. I guess maybe he could be a back up for Gronkowski at tight end or something like that. It's going to be odd going from a born again Christian to a guy who tweets porn star pictures.

Any plans while you're in Chicago?

I love the summer in Chicago, it's a good time. I did a gig last year in Hammond, Indiana, stayed in Chicago at that Trump place which is amazing, and I happened to luck out and the Cubbies were in town, I've been to a bunch of Cubs games over the years whenever I'm there and Sox ones.

Sunday afternoon I might see some friends, Richard Roeper is a good friend of mine, I may get some lunch with him Sunday and then fly back Sunday night. Just do the shows, get a check, enjoy Chicago for an extra day.

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