The crying-on-the-inside kind, I guess

After years of battling addiction on-air, Howard Stern Show writer/performer (and, in a very indirect way, CBC employee) Artie Lange has finally had his long-dreaded Richard Pryor moment, ending up in hospital after a bloody suicide attempt. The New York Post‘s story this morning, almost certainly provided by law-enforcement sources, was essentially confirmed by Stern on today’s show.

The incident presents Stern, nearing the end of his contract with satellite radio monopolist Sirius XM, with one of his greatest performing challenges. His entertainment philosophy has traditionally been “Anything personal I find out about my cast is fair game for the air”. Robin Quivers’ disclosures about being sexually molested by her father have been a running gag on the show for 15 years. But Lange’s act of frightening self-violence is on an entirely different level (though it arrives against an ugly, intensifying backdrop of deaths and criminal-justice run-ins for Stern’s “Wack Pack” of peripheral freaks and misfits), and Stern is obviously flustered and discouraged.

What strikes me about the incident is that Artie Lange could get his hands on a gun easily enough if he wanted to. Equally obviously, what he did was done in earnest. But self-harm doesn’t always mean that one is pursuing extinction per se. Over the period in which Lange’s personal problems and addictions have been fodder for the show, the comic has talked endlessly about his psychological issues concerning his father, who was paralyzed in a fall when he was in high school. One notices, however, that he was discovered on Saturday by his mother when she came to drop off food—which, as listeners know, she does almost every day. (Hell, listeners can tell you what specific dishes were probably in the tinfoil.) So my question is: who was Artie really trying to hurt?




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The crying-on-the-inside kind, I guess

  1. Artie you made me laugh since i met you when filming dirty work in toronto you are good man you will prevail

  2. SO let me get this straight — "in a very indirect way", a dead man pays your salary.

  3. That is truly a sad story. Poor Artie. Hopefully he recovers and is able to turn his life around. Getting out of showbiz seems like a good first step.

  4. Macleans has always been a great magazine. But this blog entry – especially the way it ends, with a completely inappropriate question about "who Artie was trying to hurt", goes too far. The show will deal with the situation in it's own way as we've come to expect. But to ask a question like that when someone is at their worst is completely wrong.

    I'm not going to turn around and give up reading Macleans – but you've turned a news story into a tabloid. Shame.

  5. The speculation does seem rather lurid and unfounded, even irresponsible.

  6. I've had it with the Maclean's blogs and their constant "Quick Change" references.

  7. Completely agreed. I'm sorry that Colby Cosh finds it necessary to speculate on Lange's motive, especially in such a tongue-in-cheek way.

  8. Looks like IntenseDebate has flagged you with the exclamation point warning label.

  9. Please remember that Macleans magazine is not in the business of providing you with news. They're in the business of providing advertisers with your momentary attention. Since tabloids are doing better than news publications, Cosh is Macleans experiment with tabloid style news… don't like it? Look at the advertisers on the side and write to them, tell them how you're surprised they'd advertise along side a story like this.

  10. gotta hustle if you're gonna make Final Jeopardy

    • I dont have time to sit in my underwear all day and vote for my own posts under various user names like Crit_Reasoning.

  11. Why do we need to assume that Artie was trying to hurt someone else? Couldn't it just be a cry for help? It would seem to me that attempting suicide is much more likely to be an attempt to defend oneself from something (by ending your life and no longer having to deal with it, or getting help through a desperate act that serves as a plea for assistance) than for it is for it to be an attempt to attack someone else.

    The tone of "what was his REAL motivation for stabbing himself?" also left me a bit cold, but I don't think it bothered me as much as The DAB above.

  12. Clare it was not an insult. I think we all genuinely get a kick out of it when someone comes on and runs up a bit ID deficit to start. There was one individual in particular before you that had her rating somewhere in the negative 50s i think before it turned around. most of us dont pt much stock in the numbers, they are mostly influenced by frequency. welcome.

  13. This is an example of a once-respected magazine (practically Canada's only version of 'Time' or 'Newsweek' dumbing down to meet the lowest common denominator. Rather than focussing on objectively and dispassionately presenting news, this suggests Macleans is trying to serve a niche already served by tabloids and such-like. I think sometimes Canadians try to ape their British and American cousins and only end up vulgar. I don't want to over-exaggerate because of one piece, but this is the type of writing that introduces Macleans to newbies. There are no facts except innuendo, claims without specific examples, and a final sentence completely out of place in a national magazine. I understand this is a web-'blog', but it appears under the masthead 'Macleans' which apparently confuses navel-gazing for journalism. But then, sic transit gloria mundi.

  14. Is an attempted suicide “on an entirely different level” than being sexually abused by one’s father? An entirely different level of what — of seriousness?

    Maybe I have a stunted sense of humour, but I don’t think either is an appropriate topic to kid someone about. I guess that’s why the broad appeal of Howard Stern is lost on me.

  15. Please remember that Macleans magazine is not in the business of providing you with news. They're in the business of providing advertisers with your momentary attention. Since tabloids are doing better than news publications, Cosh is Macleans experiment with tabloid style news… don't like it? Look at the advertisers on the side and write to them, tell them how you're surprised they'd advertise along side a story like this.

    That was great Thwim.

  16. The crying-on-the-inside kind, I guess – Very much enjoyed each and every segment.

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