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Arthur Steven "Artie" Lange, Jr.was born October 11, 1967 and is an American stand-up comedian, radio personality author and actor. Lange is most notable for replacing Jackie Martling on The Howard Stern Show, and as a member of the original cast of the sketch comedy series MADtv. Lange co-wrote a book with Anthony Bozza, titled Too Fat to Fish. It was released on November 11, 2008, and was named on the New York Times best-seller list on November 21, 2008
Artie Lange was born at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston Township, New Jersey, and raised in Union Township. His mother, Judy (nĂ©e Caprio), was a homemaker and his father, Arthur Sr., was a general contractor. Two weeks after he was born, his father went on trial for counterfeiting money, but was spared jail time out of the court's sympathy for his young son.His family identified themselves as Italian-Americans. During a segment of The Howard Stern Show, Lange provided a blood sample which was taken to a laboratory for DNA testing. The results indicated that Lange was 25 percent American Indian. Lange said that his father's background was a "grey area."
During high school, Lange excelled in baseball, becoming an All County third baseman, and spent his free time working with his father. Some time after Lange finished high school in 1985, his father fell from a roof and broke his back, becoming quadriplegic.Money soon became an issue within his family, and when they contacted celebrities to donate items for them to auction, the only one who responded was Howard Stern, sending them an autographed jacket, and then talking about the donation on the air, including the remark, "Does this guy think that if he puts the jacket on he's going to walk again?" which Lange's father found funny.His father would eventually die from an infection four-and-a-half years after the accident
Lange was arrested for attempted bank robbery. He claimed he was only trying to flirt with the teller by passing her a fake holdup note that said he was armed and demanding $50,000. However, the teller took it seriously and triggered a silent alarm. Lange had signed his name on the note. When he learned that the police were searching for him, he turned himself in. He was charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced to 25 hours of community service.
As part of his probation, Lange attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting from March to June 1987. Based on his work at the school, Lange was offered a radio job in Wyoming.Instead of taking the job, he stayed in New Jersey and took up work as a longshoreman to help support his family.It was around this time that, inspired by Richard Lewis, Lange first started doing stand-up comedy.He eventually quit his job to focus full time on his comedy career.
In 1995, he landed a role as one of the original cast members of FOX's sketch comedy show MADtv. Lange had previous sketch comedy experience with the improv troupe "Live on Tape". Lange later attributed his hiring to the fact that he fit the John Belushi mold that was popular in sketch comedy.His most popular recurring character on the show was "That's My White Mama".
Among his impersonations on the show were Ed Harris, Ed McMahon, F. Lee Bailey, Joe Pesci, Larry Csonka, Newt Gingrich, Richard Karn, Roseanne Barr, Rosie O'Donnell, and Yassir Arafat.
Lange stated that his lowest point of cocaine use occurred during a shooting of the MADtv sketch "Babewatch" (a parody of Babe and Baywatch), in which he played Babe the pig as a lifeguard. Because the sketch involved going through hours of make-up so as to transform the comedian into a pig, he snorted cocaine in his car in full pig make-up during a break in the shooting of the sketch. Upon returning from the shoot, he passed out in his hotel room, awakening to find he had defecated in his bed.The cast and fanbase of The Howard Stern Show now refer to this incident as "The Pig Story." During the second season of MADtv, his stint with the show came to a dramatic end. After a cocaine binge, cast and crew members attempted to have an intervention for him. Lange fled the studio running through streets and backyards with his co-workers chasing after him. The chase ended in a supermarket, where he was arrested. Lange attempted to punch one of the police officers. He was sentenced to time served and probation.Lange began psychiatric counseling and inpatient drug rehabilitation. However, the producers decided not to renew his contract for a third season.
Lange cameoed on a fifth season MADtv episode, a tenth season MADtv episode, the final episode of MADtv on FOX (on May 16, 2009), and on the season finale of MADtv's rival show, Saturday Night Live (also on May 16, 2009), hosted by former SNL castmember Will Ferrell.