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Artie Lange hospitalized; Howard Stern addresses the 'Artie quit the show' rumor

January 4, 2010 | 11:23 am

Artie Radio sidekick Artie Lange was hospitalized over the weekend in New Jersey, E! Online reports, after being absent from Howard Stern's show for most of December.

"We can confirm that Artie is in the hospital," the stand-up comic's representatives said in a statement. "Artie has chosen to keep all information on this matter between him and his doctor. There will be no further comment." A number of Lange's stand-up shows have been canceled.

On the Stern show Monday, Howard and Robin Quivers didn't offer any details about the condition of their cohort -- who has had substance abuse issues -- saying they would respect the wishes of Lange's family regarding comments. 

But Stern did dismiss Internet rumors that Lange had quit the show and that stand-up comic/radio host/Goat Boy Jim Breuer was going to replace him.

Stern "Absolutely false," Stern said. "I don't know where that comes from."

Well, we have an idea: Seems the rumor sprang up online when someone heard a rerun of a 2008 Breuer interview from after when Artie walked off the Stern show that April.

No wonder some of the messages posted online made Howard "want to vomit."

Always wise to check the expiration date on that carton of Internet rumors before drinking deeply of the contents, yes?

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Artie Lange, top, on June 16, 2006, in Las Vegas at a premiere of "Beer League." Howard Stern, left, on March 20, 2008. Credits: Ethan Miller / Getty Images, top; Evan Agostini / Associated Press.

The Ministry of Gossip, we worry, you know? Check out more dispatches from our Office of Celebrity Health and Wellness -- or heck, just skip right to the one about Jessica Simpson and ear candling.

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