Artie Lange was slapped on the wrist with only a warning and four years probation after he faced several charges of drug possession in June. But months leading up to that day in court reveal the troubled comic showed dangerous signs of drug abuse that nearly ended his life.
In his latest memoir exclusively obtained by RadarOnline.com, Anthony Cumia revealed never before details of his time hosting his podcast with Lange on "The Artie and Anthony" show.
According to Cumia, 57, Howard Stern's former sidekick was rarely sober on the show or anytime he'd meet up with him. When Cumia first approached Lange at his house to do the show, he described his apartment as a "fraternity house."
"Artie was really psyched about the idea of doing it, but with all the other people involved and Artie having issues with drugs, there was always a problem," Cumia admitted. "We just couldn't make it work out."
But of course, Cumia was dead set on not letting Lange's drug issues get in the way of having him come on board to host the podcast.
"Artie is just like one of your best friends, a guy you'd hang out at a bar with," Cumia explained. "It's not an act. He's just a lovable, big, funny guy. I honestly think that's the only reason he still has friends! We've all dealt with Artie's issues, some people for a lot longer than others. I was still pretty new to the whole thing when Artie came on board. I remember being at the Comedy Cellar in NYC and Dave Attell, who had been a great friend of Artie's for many years, came up to me saying, 'Welcome to world of Artie Lange: the late-night phone calls, the not showing up, and the 'I love you/you're an asshole!'"
Cumia however admitted to accepting Lange for who he was and all the problems that came along with it.
"I was kind of bewildered at first, but it didn't take long for me to be like 'Oh, this is how it is.' That demon of chemical dependency makes people give up on their family, friends, and career. I was well aware of this before making my decision to have Artie as my co-host," Cumia wrote in his book. "It's not somebody trying to hide an addiction. It's someone we all know who has addiction, and we're not enabling it. We're just keeping the guy alive."
Cumia then delved into Lange's pattern of drug abuse and how it affected his performance on the show.
"Artie goes through the highs and the lows of addiction," Cumia said. "One thing I have to say, when he gets behind that mic, god**mn is that guy funny, sharp, and quick. I really can't imagine sitting there doing the show with any other co-host at this point. I would feel like I'd be the one carrying the show again... It's not ever like that with Artie."
"Artie's attendance hasn't been the most consistent, due to his personal issues," Cumia continued. "I knew this going into it, and quite frankly it's not a problem for me whatsoever. If he's there, great, and if he's not, it's okay. I'm fortunately very comfortable running the show solo."
Things started to escalate pretty quickly weeks into the show that Cumia feared Lange's health was in serious trouble.
"There have a been few times since we've been a team show when Artie was on drugs. He was not well," Cumia revealed. "There's an overtly noticeable difference between Artie when he's sober and when he's high. The most discernible thing is that he doesn't have the focus when he's high. He's not able to really zero in on a topic and stick with it. I think sometimes he wanted to distract the people who were watching from the fact that he might be high by keeping the subjects changing. But continuously talking actually magnifies the fact that he is high."
He continued that it was "more difficult" to do the show when Lange would be high.
"I had to work extra hard to make sure the show wasn't a mess," he penned. "There were some weeks that would go like that. He went to the hospital and came back, and I realized he could do the show sober."
As Radar previously reported, Lange was facing up to five years in prison for his heroin and cocaine drug possession charges. But the judge gave him a final warning and instead sentenced to four years probation.
Cumia's book, "Permanently Suspended: The Rise and Fall... and Rise Again of Radio's Most Notorious Shock Jock," is set to be released on November 20, 2018.
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