A candid Artie Lange Monday said he felt "abandoned" by Howard Stern following his 2010 suicide attempt, in response to the radio icon claiming he was "hurt" by comments Lange and Melendez made about him.
Reaction To Stern's On-Air Comments
After Lange's controversial podcast last week with another ex-member of the radio show, "Stuttering" John Melendez, Stern took to the air Monday and said the duo spoke about him negatively and that he wasn't "thrilled about it." He added, "I was hurt, but what am I going to do?" It was a poor choice of words for Lange, who made clear he felt his one-time mentor disregarded him in his time of need after his January 2010 suicide attempt, and hasn't returned his phone calls to this day.
"It's hypocrisy to me ... this is a friend reacting to a friend just abandoning them, and not giving them a chance to say this in person, the way it should have been." Lange said he "could deal with any other reaction" than from Stern than saying he was "hurt" in the wake of such events. "My first reaction was, 'F**k off, you're hurt by it? Are you fu**ing kidding me? Hurt?' Pardon me if I don't feel sorry for you, man. What universe are you living in where that's something you get hurt by, compared to all the sh*t that's happened over the years?" Lange added, "You think a friend that close isn't just going to write you off and be fine with never seeing you again, and clearly not caring if you're alive or dead; that's the vibe I got. Yeah, you want to talk about hurt -- that hurt."
Lange, citing voicemails played on-air during his drug-addled stupors, said that the show turning his longtime battle with heroin addiction into comedic bits hurt him deeply. "I'm just reacting to him saying he's hurt -- I think that's bulls**t." Lange said that by recently using a show regular to impersonate him during news segments, he feels that Stern is "trying to f**k with him in a passive-aggressive way." Melendez said he was hurt by the on-air beatings he's taken during and after his time on the program, which ended when he went to work on The Tonight Show in 2004. "He's gone off on me in such hateful ways and said such horrible things ... for him to be hurt -- alright, I'm sorry he's hurt -- but the sh*t he said to me in the past, its been more than hurtful."
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New Hollywood Clique
Throughout the podcast, a common source of both punchlines and frustration was Stern's newfound Hollywood clique, particularly his toast-master status at Jennifer Aniston's wedding and the aftermath, where he publicly lavished praise on both groom Justin Theroux and guest Orlando Bloom. Melendez said that "it's not just one fan, it's thousands of fans" that have picked up on the dramatic shift, citing forums such as Twitter and Dawg Shed. "They all are saying that he's changed so much, and there's nothing wrong with change, but the old Howard would probably goof on the new Howard now."
Lange said that as a fan, he never cared for seeing Stern on America's Got Talent "because he's so much more talented and brilliant than those people he's on the show with," adding, "I don't feel why he feels it necessary to be accepted in that world." In an analogy about Stern sitting on the panel with Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel, Lange said, "It's like Springsteen touring with N' Sync!" Lange dipped into his own tragic past in explaining his longtime bond to Stern and the show, illustrating his frustration to be left out in the cold while Stern cuddles up with Tinseltown's elite. "The only thing that made my father laugh when he was a f***ing paraplegic was The Howard Stern Show -- we'd sit and listen to it together," Lange said. "You think Jennifer Aniston did that? You think Orlando Bloom was at your 'F**k the FCC' rally in 1987 with Grandpa Al Lewis? No, probably not."
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More On Marci Turk
Lange said that "the thing Stern's most sensitive about to me, clearly, is this woman Marci Turk," the efficiency expert linked to Getting Things Done, a book and movement that calls itself the "proven path for getting in control of your world, and maintaining perspective in your life," according to its website. Lange said "there's a lot of people who are weirded out by this whole new situation involving" Turk, who began working on the show two years ago, long after he left.
Lange, who said he's never met Turk, said that "some stories I've heard, and I can't tell you how I know them, make me worry for Howard, like he might be losing it a little bit." Lange said that "geniuses" like Stern "could become very lonely because there's no one else up on that stratosphere with them and they try to find those people to hang out with." He continued, "People compare this book, Getting Things Done, to sort of a cult thing … I don't know, it's hard for me to believe anybody could f**k with someone as intelligent as Howard, but maybe out of him searching for peers in life you could fall prey to someone like that," adding that "a lot of people who are loyal to him for a long time feel directly affected by it." Lange noted "this weird, confused applause" when Stern thanked Turk at his January 2014 birthday show, but didn't mention his longtime camera crew that had been dismissed shortly before, with the end of his video service, HowardTV. "You don't think Doug Goodstein or Scott DePace or Richie Wilson deserved a couple of minutes of him praising them in front of the fans? I think so ... again, I don't know what the woman does, but he's clearly very happy with it and it's very important to him."
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