Artie Lange was recently interviewed by a sports broadcaster on WEEI in Boston. Turns out the host is a big Stern fan and very fond of Artie. They discussed everything from Artie’s comedy career to his time on the Stern Show.
The last time Artie saw and spoke to Stern was in 2012.
“The last time I actually spoke to Howard was in the hospital room with Robin. Robin had just gotten her operation, I’m gonna say 2012. I went to go see Robin, because I always had a special relationship with her. I love Robin, she was always very generous to me…It was spontaneous, I didn’t know Howard was gonna be there. But I walked in and it was Howard and her, and I hadn’t seen Howard since the day I left the show, before I stabbed myself [during his 2010 suicide attempt]. And he…it was as if I saw him two minutes ago. He said, you know, ‘we gotta make Robin laugh.’ That’s what he said to me. So we put everything aside for that, and just really spoke as if we were on the air, for an hour. We just laughed like crazy. And it was like nothing ever happened. And then Howard said, ‘I gotta leave.’ And I gave him a hug and I said ‘you know, I’m sorry for everything, man.’ And he goes, ‘how are you doing? I said ‘I’m all right, I’m working again.’ And he goes, ‘well that’s good, I’ll see ya’…and I haven’t talked to him since.”
Howard won’t let him get closure.
“I called him four times, probably three or four times and left voicemails, and he never called me back. …I just don’t think he wants to deal with me in his life anymore. I think he’s got a very complicated life, and I think he’s happy I’m okay. But I don’t think he’s prepared to deal with it anymore. And I understand that, but where I’m pissed off is, you know, we were really tight, on the air and off the air, very very close. We were friends, and went through a lot of battles together. And for a decade I sat two feet from that guy, and we had what some people think are the funniest moments in radio history…and he was the best comedic partner I ever had…and I just think, all that, maybe I earned ten minutes off the air to just let me say in person ‘I’m sorry’ and hear me out and hug and say goodbye. But that never happened, that closure never happened.”
On Howard looking like a pelican.
“When I said the pelican thing, it was over. No one ever said that. And I was out of line, quite frankly. But when he said, ‘do you think I look like a pelican?’ And I said ‘yes,’ there was no going back, it was a matter of time.”
Howard has “evolved into something different.”
“Howard is 62 years old, and I think he just evolved into something different. And I think he subconsciously, or very consciously, wants to leave behind an amazing library of celebrity interviews, which he’s great at doing. The only issue I think that I agree with that the fans might have is, that it sorta seemed like he was just duping everybody for a long time. It always seemed like he was goofing on show business because he hated it and was really rebellious. And it sorta seems now like he just wanted to be a part of it. …I’m the kind of Stern show guy, both being a fan and being on the show, [who] would rather goof on Jennifer Aniston’s new husband rather than be friends with him. …At the same time, I think the fans should be appreciative of what he gave them for so many years, and respect the fact that he changed. And he’s got a right to do that.”
Howard at one point said, this came out on the air, he said, ‘look, go take as much time as you need to get better. When you come back, you have a job.’ What else could you ask a boss to say?”