UPDATE: Sept. 20, 2011, 7:25 pm ET
It seems that the Fox Sports Radio show Artie Lange and Nick Di Paolo will be hosting will now premiere in October in select markets. Di Paolo today tweeted, “Hi kids, it now looks like Oct. 3rd is official start date for my and Artie’s sports radio show, stay tuned.” No reason was given for the change in schedule. By all accounts, the formerly embattled Lange is still in great spirits and feeling well. In fact, he, along with Di Paolo were guests at Marc Maron’s live WTF podcast taping in Brooklyn last night.
Weeks ago, Artie Lange announced that he and longtime friend, comedian Nick Di Paolo were going to be co-hosting a new radio program from Fox Sports Radio; and it was to premiere Sept. 12 (this past Monday). But since that time there have been absolutely no mention or presence of either of the comedians on the official Fox Sports website. But just moments ago, Di Paolo finally gave a little information via Twitter. He said: “Hey, guys, sports radio talk show with Artie is supposed to start sept 26th in selected mkts. So far, miami, s.f., philly, dallas, and a couple others…that’s as specific as we can get right now. We will let you know more when we do.”
As we reported on July 21, Artie explained on comedian Joe Matarese’s podcast about the show: “It’s going to be in 250 markets around the country and me and Nick are really excited about it,” Lange said. “We’re going to be doing like a sports entertainment, comedy show… I just found out last night late that it’s a definite. They made an offer. Nothing’s been signed yet, but we’re going to do it. This is a bad negotiating tactic, but its either this or opening a landscaping business.”
Lange also said there’s a good chance the show will be set in a pizza restaurant or a diner. “This is all down the road. If it goes well enough, hopefully DirectTV will pick it up,” he added, explaining that the plan is for the show not to just be aired on radio but also television screens. “I’ll be 600 pounds within weeks,” Lange joked. “Since I’ve been clean and sober, I’ve been eating and drinking a lot of coffee and smoking a lot, so it’s fine.”
Lange has been off the radio airwaves since he attempted suicide in January of 2010; he never returned to his post on the hugely popular Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM. In September of that year, however, Lange emerged in public for the first time since the incident, showing up to New York City’s Comedy Cellar to perform a short set and to join some family for dinner. Lange, who has publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction, was accompanied by a sober coach. Since that time, Lange has been popping into club’s to do guest sets; most recently he did a set Sept. 9 at Gotham Comedy Club where Di Paolo was performing that night.
In addition to the upcoming Fox Sports Radio show and returning to stand-up comedy, Lange is actively writing his second book– a follow up to his first best-selling tome, Too Fat To Fish, which was released in 2008.
During his appearance on Matarese’s podcast Lange explained that in the last year and a half he’s been in three psychiatric wards and two rehab centers where he participated in, among other things, group therapy and art therapy. There was also some old-school gaming: “You haven’t lived until you’ve played Scrabble in a psych ward,” he said. Lange said he’s currently attending AA meetings to help stay sober. He also explained that his family and comedian friends — especially Colin Quinn — were a big part of helping him get better. Lange even said late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel would text him at least once a week to check in.