ARTIE LANGE

Interview by Mark Walters

 Fans of the Howard Stern Show know the name Artie Lange well.  He cracks jokes every morning with Howard, throwing out memorable statements, and putting the eclectic guests in their place whenever necessary.  Artie is a funny guy.  After starting in standup comedy, Lange soon became a regular cast member in the early days of MAD TV.  This led into a film career, which he readily admits wasn't quite spectacular.  But it's all been a learning experience for the popular comedian.  Now Artie has a new DVD out called IT'S THE WHISKY TALKING, which features a full-length performance, along with some candid behind-the scenes extras.  He recently did a show in Dallas, and had a signing in Tower Records the following day.  I had a chance to sit down with Lange during his appearance, where we had an interview in front a large crowd.  Kind of a different thing for me, since most of the interviews I do are in private rooms, but we had some good laughs regardless.  Here is some of what we talked about:

 

MARK: First of all thanks for coming to Dallas.  I hope you're having a good time.

ARTIE: Yeah, I haven't been here in a while.  Last time I was here I wasn't on the Stern show.  I was doing standup at the Improv.  I loved it then, I'm glad I'm back.

MARK: You were talking last night at your show about how your film career didn't work out very well.  You did your film career, then you went on Stern.  Since you've been on Stern, has your popularity allowed you to get more offers for film roles?

ARTIE: Yeah, it's been a weird career.  I went standup, TV, movies... TV, radio, standup.  But the radio, because it's the Howard Stern show, OLD SCHOOL and ELF came about because I'm on Stern.  And now it looks like I'm probably going to shoot a movie that I wrote.  I got the money to do it, and I would star and all, because of being on Howard.  I mean it helps everything.  It helps everything.

MARK: Is there any kind of pressure for you to be funny on a daily basis as opposed to being funny for just a movie or a TV show?

ARTIE: It comes easier just sitting there bullshitting on the radio.  It's harder doing somebody else's jokes and a script.  On the radio it's just like being at a bar, hanging out with your friends.  That's where I'm sort of the best, I think.

MARK: Since you were there in the middle of that whole FCC fiasco, what were your personal feelings on that and how it's affected the show?

ARTIE: It's weird.  The FCC acted like a publicist for the show.  It's so crazy and ironic that they wanted him off the air, and they made the show bigger than ever.  Once you tell people something's wrong, they want to hear it.  The show's ratings are higher than ever, and that's the good part.  The bad part is it's not as good as it can be because they're so into the bleeps now.  The fines have been crazy, so the management has no choice but to cut up the show, and it sucks.  So the satellite move is inevitable.  I mean Howard doesn't care about how many people listen, I think he just wants the show to be as good as possible... for the people that are listening.  It was good and bad.  Good for ratings, bad for content.

MARK: Are you excited about the move to satellite?

ARTIE: Yeah.  I mean you know it's great being on regular radio.  You flip on a switch and you're in New York City talking into a microphone, and somebody in Texas is going to work hearing about your shit wife.  On regular radio that's what you get, you get the amount of people that listen, which is awesome.  But satellite is gonna be... I mean I can't wait to hear what the show is like uncensored.  There's times when a guest is so stupid you feel like going "What the fuck are you talking about?"  And now you can say it.  I'll be saying it a lot.

MARK: Any chance you'll be working with Norm Macdonald again?

ARTIE: Uh, if every Hollywood executive goes into a coma we'll probably work together again.  Even though I'm glad we cost Hollywood about eighty million dollars.  But no, actually he's got a Comedy Central show he just shot a pilot for and he wants me to do some sketches.  He's got an album out that I'm on.  I did a couple of bits with him.  And there's a couple of bits on the album he wants to do as live sketches, so I might go out to L.A. if the show gets picked up and shoot 'em.  I would love to though, it was a lot of fun working with him.  He's the best.  He's the funniest guy I've ever met.

MARK: How cool was it shooting a scene with Don Rickles, and just letting him go off on you?

ARTIE: It was my first day of work, and I almost got fired.

MARK: Why is that?

ARTIE: Cause I couldn't stop laughing!.

MARK: Last but not least what is the strangest experience you've had since you've been here?

ARTIE: This interview!  (laughs)  You mean in Dallas?

MARK: Yeah.

ARTIE: Um, I was on stage getting drunk which is a new thing for me.  (laughs)  No actually I haven't had a lot of time to get a unique Dallas flavor.  The chicken sandwiches were good at the show.  Everything has actually gone incredibly smooth this trip, they treated me really well here.  I'm happy to say nothing crazy happened.

MARK: No barbecue?

ARTIE: Well these barbecue chicken sandwiches last night were amazing at the gig.  They really were.  I wanted to take a couple to the hotel room... cause they were free too.  Dallas is a good town, man.  Absolutely.

MARK: Thanks for coming.

ARTIE: Nice to meet ya.

Visit Artie's official website HERE

Mark Walters and Artie Lange

Photos by Lupe Hernandez.  The photos on this page may not be reproduced without the consent of BIGFANBOY.com


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