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Artie Lange suicide attempt confirmed by police

Artie1 Comedian Artie Lange, who was hospitalized over the weekend, did indeed attempt suicide by stabbing himself, police confirmed to the Jersey Journal on Thursday.

Howard Stern lifted his self-imposed ban on discussing his sidekick's suicide attempt, saying Thursday on his broadcast that when he heard the news, it was "too much to bear."

"I was surprised and glad that Artie's situation had been kept quiet.... I'm angry about it, I'm sad about it. I don't know what to think," Stern said. "I'm all over the place emotionally."

Lange is out of the hospital; an attendant in the lobby of the comic's apartment said he saw him heading out from home on an errand Thursday. Neighbors' reaction to the news was mixed, as were the comments on our Thursday post  (Ministry comments -- not that it's a scientific measure in any way -- leaned toward tough-but-sympathetic, with a few that were critical; some of the nastiest couldn't be published because we don't do profanity).

[For the record, 11:32 a.m., Jan. 9:  Earlier versions of this post had incorrect time elements regarding when Howard spoke about Artie. The comments were made on Stern's Thursday broadcast; Stern's website includes Howard talking about Artie in its Friday show "best of" roundup.]

The Ministry is of the mind that comedy comes from pain. Lange seemed to echo the idea that comics aren't perfect people -- by far -- in an interview he gave to the New York Post in early December, published online today. He invoked the names of Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison, in addition to Chris Rock, Norm Macdonald, Jerry Seinfeld and Dane Cook.

Artie and norm "I think every great comic I know who’s truly funny thinks they suck, thinks the audience sucks and if the audience likes [it] -- it’s like Woody Allen told the old Groucho Marx joke at the beginning of 'Annie Hall.' He goes, 'I would never want to belong to any club that would have me as a member,'" Lange said to the Post's Mandy Stadtmiller (before telling her that she "should be a shrink"). "Every big comedian I know thinks they suck and if a crowd accepts them and thinks they’re funny then the crowd must suck too."

If you're a fan of Artie or of stand-up in general, it's an interesting, nearly unedited interview, with a full transcript in addition to the audio. A little less than halfway in, he briefly addresses one theme that's been popping up in comments -- the notion of how can a person be miserable when he's making lots of money and doing his dream job.

He also discusses his problems, which started when he was 18:

I started doing drugs and gambling and I did, in a way I said: "I’m going to dig a hole in life for me, and if I get out of it then fine and if I don’t whatever."

Googling me, you talk about being depressed. First of all there’s 18 websites that predict my early death.

Lange was found unconscious but breathing by his mother Jan. 2; she called 911 at 9:28 a.m. EST and paramedics arrived 10 minutes later. The hospital has been identified as Jersey City Medical Center.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: From top, Artie Lange on April 27, 2006, in New York; with Norm Macdonald in the 1998 Bob Saget-directed film "Dirty Work." Credits: Stuart Ramson / Associated Press, top; Jack Rowand / MGM Pictures

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Report: Artie Lange attempted suicide by stabbing himself

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

Read more dispatches from our Office of Celebrity Health and Wellness. If that's too much of a bummer, why not check out celebrity weddings and engagements, or celebrity babies?

Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Facebook and Twitter (we're @LATcelebs). Find us on Facebook at our snappy new address, facebook.com/ministryofgossip.

Comments () | Archives (34)

Damn it, Artie, what the Hell is wrong with you? You have fame, money, people who love you, a wonderful girlfriend, famous friends and associates, and constant work. What else do you want? What else Artie? Stop acting like a spoiled brat and learn to appreciate your life instead of trying to throw it away. Howard Stern has put up with your frequent absences and drug addiction. Grow the Hell up and stop acting like a 2-year-old.

This story just simply shows us that money can't buy happiness.

Artie, go to AA. Please

WTF? Do you know how many people would kill to have your job? You've got everything going for you and still you're not satisfied? I think your problem is depression. Get treated for depression and the rest will follow. But please... take a minute to see what you have in life and be glad that you have it because a lot of people would like to be in your place. Focus, Artie, focus.

OK, all, I've published one "damn," one "hell" and one "WTF." That's about three past my profanity limit. Or six, given that I just repeated them. Moving forward on this post, the Ministry's zero-tolerance policy on cuss words is back in effect.

(Oh, this is Christie D'Zurilla from the Ministry of Gossip, by the way. We don't cuss here. At least not in public. Even in acronyms. And ast*risks won't fly, either.)

Thanks for reading and commenting. Later.


i'll be watching 'dirty work' tonight in artie's honor. that and 'american beauty' are two of the great american films of our time. get better soon artie.

twitter: any_city_usa

Sad, that Howard says he cares, but he's going to wait for Artie to call him when Robin Quivers and their station manager have already called themselves to check in on Artie. I don't think it's a revelation that Howard really is a heartless person. Sometimes you have to think of others. Howard enabled Artie and Norm McDonald predicted this for Artie too because the Stern show used Artie as a tool for their comedy. His drug addiction and loser mentality created intereting radio. Howard, be a decent human being and call Artie in his time of need.

Dear Artie, I listen to the show every day and really miss your humor. The world would be at a loss if you died. My daughter told me the story and I was not shocked but hoped you would make it. Go back on Howard's show I really miss you. love ya - Carole J

so many people hide their misery and pain behind masks...i am glad artie and howard have chronicled artie's struggles...mental illness and/or depression should not be medicated and shunned...it should be treated as what it is..an illness, not a 'weakness'...please get well artie, but even if you don't i will wish you blessings, not castigations

I can't beleive you people are calling him a spoiled brat. Also telling him to grow up cause he has fame and money. None of that stuff means anything. It does not shape people at all. Artie has severe depression. That has nothing to do with his fame money or anyting else. He's sick. Depression is very serious and when not treated can make you turn even on your self.... Get well soo Artie. Even know I don't know you personally like many of these people on here and that listen to the show love you. Get better soon. Look forward to hearing your voice soon..

So Howard, nothing funny to say about this? You're slipping, old man. I thought this kind of tasteless humor was right up your alley. Everyone else is fair game, why not your buddy, Artie?

Christine-The Howard Stern Show isn't on at night honey. He said this stuff Thursday morning. You did a decent job wtih the story though, for someone who obviously never listens to the show.

Sure, a lot of people would love to have his job and his money, his fame and his opportunities. But I doubt anyone would like to have his constant fight with addiction and depression. Stick to the program Arnie, go to the meetings, and find a doctor that can honestly help you. Get well soon, and get back to your fans. It’s never too late for a change.

@Liz Brown -- Christie D'Zurilla from the Ministry here (not Christine) -- I thought the "he said Thursday night" was odd as well, because please, I live in America, I know Stern's show is in the a.m. hours. I'm not an idiot.

But that's what it said in the source I got the quote from. You're right, I don't have Sirius radio and didn't actually hear him say it on the show. I will recheck that fact and if it was said on the show and not in another venue, I'll make a "for the record" fix.


@Liz Brown -- Christie again -- Look, fixed! Thanks for pointing out the error.


I was very sad to hear the news of your suicide attempt. How utterly alone and empty you must have felt. As difficult as it is for so many people in this world to understand what you have been going through and how you could attempt what you did... there are some who do. They've been where you were. Where you are right now. They can help if you truly want it. Please don't seek professional help for show or because anyone other than you truly wants it. Its all up to you Artie and count me as one of the many who hope you can recover from this and live a long, long life. I was you years ago and I'm in a much better place today and happy (honestly happy) that I lived through my attempt. You too, can move past your depression... it just takes a want to move past and a commitment to stay honest with yourself.

Good luck.

A quick joke to lighten the mood: "I hope it wasn't the NY Giants play that encouraged this!"

I've never seen such a badly written article.
Your lack of research and good content is horrendous.

"I thought the "he said Thursday night" was odd as well, because please, I live in America, I know Stern's show is in the a.m. hours. I'm not an idiot."

Well; no, you kind of are.

If you thought that it was odd then why didn't you bounce your info off another source....I mean the story's all over the place.

You can think the Stern show airs at night and not be an idiot

- but if you KNOW that it airs in the AM but continue to quote a source that says otherwise then YOU, my dear are the idiot.

I mean research your topic for Christ sake...especially when you KNOW your source is wrong...I mean because you're no idiot right?

And here's your "Correction".

[For the record: An earlier version of this post said Stern spoke about Artie on Thursday night after lifting his self-imposed ban. Though the linked report says he "lifted the ban Thursday night," the comments were not made that night but rather on Stern's Friday morning broadcast.]

You could have made this correction in 10 words or less.

Damn, reading this article was painful.

@Wow -- thanks for taking the time to suffer through the article, and to comment.


Does no-one here know that Friday shows are just repeats from that week? Howard talked about it Thursday morning, not Friday.

I love the comments here claiming that Artie "has it all", job, money, support etc.

Because depression and mental illness are things that can be reasoned with....

You are both wrong on when the comments were originally said!!! The Friday morning show is a REBROADCAST of an earlier show in the week. Therefore the comments were most likely said on Thursday morning......

Artie,I'm one of your biggest fans and just want you to know I wish only the best for you and hope somehow you can find a way to deal with the demons and get well bro.Youre greatly missed on the show man and I'm sick to my stomache wondering what could possibly have caused this.I really just dont know what to say except I'm such a huge fan I feel like its happened to someone close to me(I know sounds fruity,lol.but true)later man and get well soon ;)

To my fellow poster's on this thread.....spoiled people dont stab themselves 9 times...severely depressed people do that type of thing...Artie needs medication, intensive therapy and some serious rehab....the drugs have always been a symptom of his depression, not the root cause...for whatever the reason, artie has some bad wires and thats what needs to get fixed first....if he doesnt recongnize that he has value and is valued by his family and friends, he will not get better....a good shrink can help him over time, but not overnight....

To all of you who don't fully understand the human brain please refrain from making comments. This is a mental illness that requires medication and counseling that will take years to resolve. This is not an uncommon tale. I only hope Dr. Drew(or someone who understand celebs) treats him soon. Most individuals who go thru this don't live, he was spared for a reason and I hope he knows that, a second chance. As much as I like him on Howard it is clear a long break from the stress and early hours of the show are required. Hopefully he can return to a normal(normal as a celeb can have)life! We're praying for ya buddy!!!
Side Note: Jackie/Howard, Swallow the pride and work out a temporary return for the show. Yes, I know Fred and Robin are hesitant, however, the show needs it and we want to hear him back on, at least for the interim!! Think about Stern Show!!!

Get better, Artie. You're loved in Windsor Ontario, bro.

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