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.
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
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?
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?
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
MARK: Are you
excited about the move to satellite?
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.
Any chance you'll be working with Norm Macdonald again?
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?
It was my first day of work, and I almost got fired.
MARK: Why is that?
Cause I couldn't stop laughing!.
Last but not least what is the strangest experience you've had since you've
This interview! (laughs) You mean in Dallas?
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.
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.
Thanks for coming.
Nice to meet ya.
Visit Artie's official website
Mark Walters and Artie Lange
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