rtie Lange can find humor in any situation — ANY situation.
He lambasted entertainers who won’t admit the movitation of
He’s cracked jokes about his past issues with cocaine and heroin abuse.
He’s made light of attempting suicide and a months-long stay in a psychiatric ward.
And all that was just during a 20-minute phone interview with a person whom he’d never met.
Lange seems to be in a good place now. His “The Nick and Artie Show” with co-host Nick DiPaolo is in its second year on XM Radio. The follow-up book to his 2008 best-seller “Too Fat to Fish,” “Crash and Burn,” is due to hit shelves in October. And his stand-up comedy slate is still full, including an upcoming stop this weekend in Niagara Falls with his radio partner.
All of this would not have seemed possible in early 2010, when Lange repeatedly stabbed himself in a suicide attempt. He survived and ended up in a psychiatric hospital for eight months, an experience that provided much of the material for his second book.
“All of it is funny just because of its craziness, but a lot of it’s dark stuff,” he said. “But it really is cathartic (to write and joke about the experience). You use the audience as a shrink. No matter how dark something is ... it gets better.”
That’s not to say, though, that his life since the suicide attempt has been entirely altruistic.
“I’m not going to be too idealstic about what I’m doing. I do enjoy the money,” I said. “Secondarily, I do hope that it helps people to hear what I went through.”
In doing so, Lange said he offers readers and watchers of his stand-up show a brutally honet portrayal of what he went through and what his life’s been like since. That helps him deliver the bestshow possible, he said, in the image of comedic legends lke Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy and Howard Stern, whose show he co-hosted for the better part of a decade.
“The best kind of comedy is comedy that’s based in honesty. Not all comedy is like that. That doesn’t mean it’s not funny, but it’s just about Pollyanna (expletive),” he said. “If something crazy happens to me, a lot of times my first reaction is, ‘I can’t wait to tell everyone.’ “
That definitely includes the bad as well as the good. In early August, Lange tweeted he’d been suspended from the radio due to misconduct (accounts vary on exactly what happens, but the common demoninator is that urination in the studio was involved). Lange tweeted he was quitting the show due to unhappiness with the punishment, but the issue was quickly resolved.
“If what you’e doing is good, you’re always going to have problems with management,” said Lange, who adores stand-up because of its inherent lack of structure and censorship. “If we were doing this 10 years ago before Twitter, no one would have ever heard about it.”
Lange said he’s not too focu
sed on the future, content instead to make what’s hapening now as good as it can be. he will continue his stand-up rounds while also promoting the book and fine-tuning his radio show. He will also be open to acting opportuities, including a guest role on Louis C.K.’s FX comedy “Louie” and the Showtime series “Californication.”
Whatever he takes on, though, will be directed squarely at the pubic that’s stood by him for more than two decades.
“I like money, but the high of onnecting,the high of being relevant, is great. Why do the Rolling Stones do a 50th anniversary tour? They love to connect with the audience,” he said. “The selfish thrill of getting that (expletive) thrill ... every time you get a cheer, a hard laugh ... it’s the closest high I can tell you there is to heroin, that feeling of appreciation.”
IF YOU GO • WHAT: Stand-up show featuring Artie Lange and Nick DiPaolo • WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: Seneca Niagara Events Center at Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls • MORE INFO: Call 299-1100 or visit senecaniagaracasino.com