Artie Lange reveals dynamic of his Stern tenure
Howard Stern's new book will reportedly be out Sept 25th and Artie Lange, who worked on the show from 2001-2009, and has his own book out called "Wanna Bet" is curious to how much of him is in it. "I'm curious to see what it is, you know. He's a master of marketing. Two chapters are supposed to be about me," says Lange. "I fell asleep most of the time when I was there. The funniest I ever was was when I was asleep."
For ten years, I did the updates on the Howard Stern show on 94 WYSP and I always wondered what it would be like in studio everyday with Howard and Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, Gary Dell'abatte, and Jackie Martling all looking mic time. Artie Lange, who replaced Jackie, was in my studio talking about his experience. (video above)
"I failed upwards," says Lange. "When the other comics were there, Gary went around and told everybody the only time Howard doesn't want you to talk is when there's a guest in." Part of the job was writing jokes for Howard which Artie really wasn't very good at. "I stunk at talking in his voice, I just couldn't do it. I've always been like that, I can't write for other people." Lange, thinking he was going to lose the gig, gets called in by Howard and Gary.
"Howard says, 'Listen, none of the stuff you're writing is working out.'" Artie apologized and was ready to get his things when Stern continued, "'so I'm going to leave your mic on all the time.'" Both Lange and Dell'abatte were shocked. "What??? Howard says, 'No one else has that, even Robin's mic I turn down sometimes, so the only two people's who's mic is going to be on all the time is me and you.'" Gary later said to Artie, "Art, you should be flattered because this show is everything to him and he's putting it in your hands." According to Lange, "That's the only note I got for eight years."
Lange likened the show to great jazz improv. As for the other players... "Freddie really chose his time well when he spoke. Everything Fred said was funny or interesting, his impressions were dead on. Robin," says Lange, "was a great broadcaster and her laugh saved you sometimes. Cause' bombing during the news saved you sometimes especially if there was bombing during the news, cause' you'd hear that dead silence, then Howard would go, 'What else Robin?'" So being a failure at writing worked out for Artie because as he said, "I got to co-host the show."
See Artie Lange with Reverend Bob Levy this Monday and Tuesday Aug 20 and 21 at Playground Pier in Atlantic City. I'll be opening the Monday show.
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