A few years ago, Lange became a huge hit as a member of The Howard Stern Show but he has been for years before and since a wildly successful comedian. Click here for his website.
We spoke about his fight against drug addiction, which I intend to use towards a column later, and a wide array of other subjects.
The Big Mac Blog: In regards to your show now - have you always been a sports fan and followed sports or this is relatively new for you?
Artie Lange: I've been a sports fan since I can remember. Me and my old man played catch. We hit grounders. We used to play football 15 hours a day in the fall with my buddies and we would play stick ball in the spring. Before you discover girls that's what you do, then that really screws you up.
I grew up an enormous Yankees fan. I was at the Yankee Stadium when Reggie Jackson hit the three home runs in the playoff game. I have always been romantic about sports.
The Big Mac Blog: How are professional athletes the same or any different than entertainers?
Artie Lange: I respect people in sports more because they are actually good at something you can measure. That's the thing I like about standup: You are funny or you are not. In sports, you are there because you can. You can't have nepotism in sports. Jamie Lee Curtis is in the movie business because her father is Tony Curtis; she is a good actress but that is why she is there.
I have more respect for the sports people but it's all the same in because its celebrity. Your view of life is completely distorted if you have any taste of fame. As a kid, your life is already a distorted and then you give them celebrity and you don't know which way is up.
The Big Mac Blog: If you are out and about do people expect you to be "on" and doing your act?
Artie Lange: I don’t know if they expect me to be funny or a doing set but they do expect the opinion of a regular guy. I am a celebrity. I am not an A-list celebrity. I'm more approachable than a Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise.
This happened to me once - Tom Cruise and I were in the same restaurant. People look at him and they won't bug him. He's too important. Me, they come up and give me a headlock and say, 'Let's have a beer.' My fans are pretty much are blue collar.
The Big Mac Blog: In doing your standup or your time on radio, do you regret any of the things you have said?
Artie Lange: There are things I regret. The Stern Show got heated and in the heat of an argument there are things I wish I could take back. We would get into fights about people’s family and that’s what was brilliant about what Howard created. It was so real.
There are some things I have said about certain people I worked with that I completely regret. As far as general comedy, I regret it if I look back if it's not funny. The worst thing you can do in comedy is be boring. The least sin is you can commit is if you offend somebody.
The Big Mac Blog: Your new book, 'Crash and Burn' comes out in November and Joe Buck wrote the forward. Did he really write it?
Artie Lange: Yeah. Joe buck did me a favor. I called him and he took a few months to write about it. The forward is funny and he really explains the whole situation on his show. OK, there is an example - something I regret. The thing I regret is people thought I was trying to ruin his show. I loved Joe and I loved the show and I wish HBO had really given it a chance.
I thought I was making the show funny. He said backstage, 'Let me have it. Roast me.' My mistake was, and I do this a lot, I didn't assess the situation properly and I went to Rated R.
The first joke I said got an enormous laugh and applause. That's fuel. The first few minutes I was killing and then it stopped. I didn't even know who Jason Sudekis was. Paul Rudd is an actor. I saw blood in the water. I'm going to keep going and it created awkward TV.
The problem was the show at that point was boring. He had Chad Ochocinco and Brett Favre on before us and they gave him nothing. They were so boring. What we did was akward but it was entertaining. Joe understands that. No one ever remember I was on his second show. He was never mad at me.
The Big Mac Blog: Do you still hear about it?
Artie Lange: Every single standup I get it. It's the most talked about thing I have ever done. At least it was interesting.
The Big Mac Blog: Looking ahead to the NFL season - Giants going to be any good and what of the Jets?
Artie Lange: I'm Giant/Yankee fan. If the Jets are in it, I'll roote for them. I'll never root for the Mets. The Jets are going to be horrible. They have no receivers. There is no one for Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez to throw to. I root for Tebow. They have no offense. I think they win six.
The Giants will overachieve. I like Eli Manning and I think he loves the position of no one is going to give me any attention and he wins big games in the clutch. I think they will make the playoffs but the Super Bowl is a reach.
The Big Mac Blog: You think the Cowboys have any shot with Tony Romo?
Artie Lange: Here is the thing about Romo: I don’t think he is Roger Staubach or even Jim Kelly. I don't think he is a Super Bowl quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys are the greatest organization in sports. They will get back to being OK but as long as Romo is there I don't see it happening.
The Big Mac Blog: I really do appreciate this.
Artie Lange: No problem. Just remember to tell them the Nick and Artie Show starts on Sept. 7 on DirecTV.
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