If I had to root for just one substance-abusing celeb hoping to make a comeback, my choice would definitely be Artie Lange. For all the comedian's breakdowns and outbursts, I believe the former sidekick of Howard Stern truly deserves another shot at success: Unlike so many others with similar pasts, Lange takes full responsibility for his mistakes and is humble enough to admit publicly that going back on Stern's show would be "the greatest thing ever." Sounds to me like Lange actually learned something from his recent rehab stint: Gratitude.
It was rough going for a while there, so I don't blame Lange if he didn't see the silver lining to his life until now. His dad had a criminal past, then fell off a ladder and became a quadriplegic when Lange was in high school, leaving the family in dire financial straits. To help out, Lange tried his hand at everything from bank-robbing to working as a longshoreman before finally falling into comedy.
Of course success doesn't heal those early wounds, so Lange turned to drugs and alcohol to anesthetize himself once he started to hit the big time. I understand. Comedy can be cathartic, but it's not going to save a downward-spiraling addict from hitting the bottoms Lange was doomed to hit: Police chases, horrific withdrawals, and eventually a gory failed suicide attempt (Lange stabbed himself repeatedly in the abdomen with a 13-inch kitchen knife).
It would seem like one would have no choice but to come back from an experience like that as a changed man! Though hopefully not completely changed: We wouldn't want Lange to lose his trademark self-deprecating sense of humor, made all the more remarkable by his honesty. Perfect example: Lange, who was raised Catholic, says he seriously doubts the existence of God but is afraid to identify himself as an atheist, just in case he's wrong. Addict or not, that's a guy with both feet on the ground.
Do you think Artie Lange should be taken back on Howard Stern's show?
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