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Monday, March 21, 2011

Howard Stern opened up about absent co-host Artie Lange

March 21, 2011: The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM satellite radio

Howard Stern (HS), Robin Quivers (RQ) and Fred Norris (FN)

HS: “It doesn’t mean that Artie will never be on. It meant that—what I was trying to convey in the article, and the way I answered that was very truthful. I am very confused by what went down with Artie. Robin knows this and I’ve discussed it with her. I’m very freaked out that I didn’t pick up on the signals. I’m very freaked out with what he tried to do to himself. I think Artie is a sensational talent and a terrific guy—a real good heart. You know that. I mean, there are times that Artie would come in here and raise money for people--"

RQ: "Or just give money to people."

HS: “And I didn’t realize his level of confusion until the end—until the last couple of months.”

(Caller asks for more information)

HS: “A lot of people say to me: ‘When’s Artie coming back? When’s he gonna come on? When’s he gonna do this?’ And really, you know what? I just can’t even process what went down with Artie, and I really don’t understand it. And, as I said in the article, the one thing I want to see is Artie stay alive. And I realize that him being on the show—he kept trying to tell me. He kept saying to me: ‘This is gonna end badly. This gonna be bad. I’m not happy. I mean, It’s the best job I ever had, but…’ I couldn’t even understand what he was trying to tell me. So, that confusion—it’s very hard for me to understand what the right thing is to do and I kind of just throw my hands up in the air and say: ‘I am not knowledgeable enough to handle what’s going on with Artie.’ I’m just not.”
Too Fat to Fish

“I don’t feel responsible. I love Artie, but I don’t know how to handle that situation and I think it’s a private matter that has to be dealt with him and whoever his close people are—his family I assume or a psychiatrist or something. And I’m telling you, that’s real life and death stuff. I mean, here’s a guy I work with for all these years and have tremendous respect for—tried to kill himself. Tried to plunge a knife into himself and end his life. This is no joke. And I don’t know how to handle it. I’ll be honest. And if you know how to handle it, you’re a better person than I am. You think—‘Hey! Put Artie on the air! Throw him to the wolves!’ Is that a good thing? I don’t know! You wanna know something? I don’t have a f***ing clue, but I DON’T want to be responsible.”

Artie Lange: Jack and Coke

“And you know what? I have so many f***ing s**theads who say to me: ‘Have Artie on! Come on! Have Artie on’. And then the second you have him on someone will say to me: ‘You f***ing irresponsible s**t! You’re taking a sick guy and you’re using him!’ and I’m just like: ‘You know what? I’ve had enough’. F**king forget it. No mas! No mas! I throw my hands up in the air! I don’t know what to do. I’m admitting it. I don’t know what to do. You know what to do? Have him on YOUR show. I don’t know what to do.”

Artie Lange - It's the Whiskey Talking

“Of course I want him on the show. I want him on the show—Why do you think I worked with him all those years?”
Dirty Work [VHS]

RQ: “It’s not wanting to hurt him or do anything that would adversely affect him.”

HS: “I feel protective of him and I don’t know what to do and I think Artie’s gotta do his own thing now and figure it out. He’s in a bad place. And I only say this cause it’s what he’s admitted it on the air before he left. He’s in a bad place. He said it. He said: ‘Everything’s gonna end badly.’ What can I tell you? I’ve answered it enough. Of course I’d love to have Artie on the show and have everything be fine.

RQ: “We’d love to be able to have Artie on the Show and have fun with him.”

HS: “If I gotta be looking over my shoulder every minute to make sure that he’s alive, I mean. What am I gonna do? I gotta do the show. Listen, he’s a great guy--a tremendous talent and my heart goes out to him. I feel terrible for him. But my days with Artie are useless. They’re over. This is bigger than me. I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not a doctor. I’m not God. I don’t know how to handle that. I’m just some dude doing a radio show. It’s not for me.”

“You know, I didn’t pick up on it. I didn’t know. I mean, I knew there was stuff wrong, but I thought he had it under control--shows you how off I was. So, my judgment is not to be trusted in this. There were other people around here who had much better judgment than I did. They go: ‘Howard. Don’t you see? The guy’s on drugs. The guy’s in trouble.’ I said: ‘He comes in and does his show. He seems to be fine. I think some of it’s sort of an act, you know?’ You know, the tough guy thing? But it wasn’t. I misread the entire thing and that freaks me out.”

RQ: (joking) "Well, you’ve been misreading Fred for years."

HS: (laughing) "What am I misreading? Please tell me! I think he’s fine."

FN: (serious again) “I think you’re making the wise choice. I mean, to anybody who says: ‘When’s Artie coming back or whatever. I mean, it’s very clear that he felt there was no other way out. Maybe he wanted to quit the show and he didn’t know how to do it so, he really went overboard."

HS: "Yeah, I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I think what Fred’s saying is right, that [Artie] kept saying to me: ‘This is gonna end badly. You’ll see.’ Like he wanted me to—“

RQ: “So, he tried to end it several times in different ways—“

FN: “And I think he wanted you to make the choice for him. I don’t think he wanted to pull the trigger on himself. He’s like: ‘I can’t walk away from this. It’s really good. I’m up. YOU fire me!’ I mean, I really think he wanted to put your back up against the wall.”

RQ: “Even the thing about the weekend gigs. You know, he was like: ‘Those are killing me but I can’t stop.’”

HS: “Yeah, and it’s like, you know, I was put in the position of being the dad so to speak, and say: ‘OK. You can’t go out and do gigs—and you can’t do this..’ and I’m like ‘Oh my God—this is a full time job managing this situation.’ “

"By the way, it was NEVER like that, until the end. I mean, the guy was a consummate pro."

RQ: “But at the beginning he was saying it was going to end badly.”

HS: “Yeah. He did say it.”

RQ: “So, you know, nobody could have foreseen from there to here, where we would wind up.”

HS: “I know everybody wants some sort of closure on the show like it’s a sitcom or something, but sorry.”

RQ: “This isn’t a movie.”

FN: “This is real life.”

by, Examiner

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