Troubled comedian Artie Lange checked into rehab earlier this month, as RadarOnline.com reported -- but he left the Pennsylvania addiction treatment center on Wednesday, November 21, to perform at a comedy show in New Brunswick, New Jersey. After the surprise appearance, however, the former Howard Stern radio show sidekick went right back to spend Thanksgiving in the inpatient treatment facility and said he still has "tons of work to do" on his recovery. Scroll through Radar's gallery for more.
Lange, 51, performed at The Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Jersey. Before the pre-Thanksgiving show, the funnyman who has struggled with addiction for years, told fans via Twitter, "Guess who’s clean?!! Been clean 18 days! The rehab I’m at let me use my phone to check things. I still have more time here but I’m doing great. I’m humble. Not bragging. Just feel well. Tons of work ahead. Sunrise detox in Sterling, N.J., helped save my life!!! They’re great!!"
Well known for his time on Howard Stern's show, Lange revealed he was allowed to temporarily leave rehab to go do a standup show.
When he announced that he was going to rehab this month, Lange appeared disheveled with a bloody nose and noted to a New Jersey radio station, "I’m about to go to drug treatment and commit to a full rehab — inpatient. I don’t know. I’m a very humble guy at this point. And I think I’m ready to go and do what I got to do. It’s been long enough."
In a series of tweets before Thanksgiving, Lange candidly told his followers, "I’m at The Retreat by Lancaster PA. This place is a Godsend! They’re not paying me. No free stay. They do it right. I’m so grateful to them. The nurses are Angels. I’m not saying I will never relapse. I pray every day!! Just happy to be alive. I ain’t checkin out yet! I love u all!"
Lange explained he wants to get sober once and for all in honor of his late friend and fellow comedian, Mitch Hedberg, who died of a heroin overdose in 2005. Lange pleaded guilty last year to heroin possession after police reported him having 81 decks of heroin.
He was sentenced to four years of probation and 50 hours of community service. The judge also ordered Lange to enroll in outpatient rehab.
Initially, Lange said he would be in an outpatient treatment program so he could continue to his comedy work and appear on HBO’s Crashing. But he later announced that he would do an inpatient rehab program "To save my life."
But right before Thanksgiving, Lange, who attempted suicide in 2010, apparently couldn't resist making fans laugh at the stand-up club. The thrilled star later tweeted, "On way back to rehab. Did show. Stayed clean. On way back. Another Thanksgiving inside someplace. Last one was jail. But I just killed for a huge crowd who felt like family. I'm fighting hard. Don't count Artie Lange out. Love u. Be back by end of month. I'm smiling. Thx."
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