Artie Lange appears to have made a pretty miraculous recovery in the eighteen months since his suicide attempt, but the Howard Stern Show comedian recently revealed that it wasn’t until September 2010 that he became invested in his own rehabilitation.
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Lange attempted suicide in January 2010 by stabbing himself nine times with a 13-inch kitchen knife, but that brush with death apparently did little to inspire him to get serious about treatment. Lange said he bailed on multiple drug rehab centers after the attempt saying that he could never “mentally commit” to the process.
So if surviving one of the most violent celebrity suicide attempts on record wasn’t enough to inspire Lange to turn things around, what was?
“You know what really screwed me up was Greg Giraldo dying,” said Lange during a revealing interview on the latest Joe Matarese podcast. “That really f***ed me up man…I knew him pretty well and there were a couple of times we partied together here and there…He was just such a talented, smart good guy and he just had a problem. And you go—after that happened I sort of said to myself… ‘This is crazy. People I know now are starting to…like I kind of knew Mitch Hedberg kind of well too and I saw him—he did the Stern Show two weeks before he died. You know, I was on heroin. He was on heroin. And we hugged each other. I was like ‘How you doin?’ and I can remember he looked so bad…after he died I felt so guilty that I didn’t just handcuff him and take him to a hospital—but I needed the same treatment. At that point I was just out of my mind. And his death affected me—but not as much because I didn’t know him as well as Greg…The whole idea of death started to freak me out more than it ever did…I was like—‘This guy’s not in Milwaukee—working. That’s not how he’s gone.. He’s gone. He’s nowhere right now.’ And he had a wife and family. And I don’t know—it just made me want to stick around. It really did. It really made me want to say: ‘Like, the people who know me—my friends. If I’m ever gone they’re going to be going through this too. It’s just selfish. Being an addict is such a self-centered thing. That’s what you learn.”
Listen to Part 1 of Artie Lange’s interview on the Joe Matarese podcast here
Greg Giraldo made multiple appearance on the Howard Stern Show–most notably during the 2006 roast of producer Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate. Giraldo died in September 2010 after an accidental drug overdose following a stand-up gig in New Jersey.
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Artie Lange sought treatment for three months at a South Florida drug rehabilitation center called Ambrosia following Giraldo’s death. Lange says he is currently attending twice weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as regular psychotherapy.
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