Fans were sad to see Artie Lange’s latest mugshot on May 21, the same day the 51-year-old comedian was arrested at his halfway home, Freedom House. He was taken into custody at New Jersey’s Essex County Correctional Facility for “failing to comply with the terms of his participation in the drug program,” Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office, told USA Today. The resulting photo in jail upset fans, as they believed Artie’s nose appeared even more damaged than before. The shock and concern was understandable, considering that Artie is a beloved figure in comedy and radio — here’s what you should know about the comedian whose mugshot is now causing a stir on Twitter.
1. Artie was in a drug treatment program prior to his arrest in May 2019. Just four days before his arrest, Artie told a fan that he was “111 days clean” and was even losing weight “without cocaine.” He entered a drug rehabilitation program following an arrest in Jan. 2019. The program required Artie to hold a local job in New Jersey, and so he worked at a gas station right before he was taken into custody.
2. Artie has admitted to abusing drugs for more than 30 years. The comedian remarked that his nose was “hideously deformed” from over “over 3 decades of drug abuse” in a tweet from Dec. 2018. He also confessed to using cocaine 10 days before a court visit on Dec. 14, 2018, and heroin 41 days prior. “Today in court they drug tested me. For the last decade or more they’d have found both Heroin and Cocaine. With the help of in my eyes a miracle legal medication called Suboxen I tested negative for Heroin,” Artie explained in a tweet after the court visit. In another honest tweet, he added, “[The cocaine] should’ve left my system. But a higher power wouldn’t let. E get away with that. I’m a bad addict. I had to see if I could get high. It was awful. If ur on Suboxen don’t try it. So they are making me apply for a very strict rehab type program called Drug Court.”
2. Artie is most famously known as Howard Stern’s sidekick. Although he was prominently known as a stand-up comedian, Artie made a name for himself on the radio waves. He was Howard Stern’s “sidekick” on The Howard Stern Show between 2001 and 2009.
3. The comedian got his big break on Mad TV. Artie performed skits on the first two seasons of the comedy series, between 1995 and 1997. He returned to the small screen for the HBO series Crashing, which was executive produced by Judd Apatow. The series was cancelled in 2019.
Guys I will tweet about this once. Today in court they drug tested me. For the last decade or more they’d have found both Heroin and Cocaine. With the help of in my eyes a miracle legal medication called Suboxen I tested negative for Heroin. I haven’t used Heroin in 41 days…
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) December 14, 2018
5. Artie is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His 2008 memoir, Too Fat to Fish, earned him a $800,000 advance. He followed with another memoir, Crash and Burn, which was co-written by Anthony Bozza and released in 2013.