Artie Lange


The very funny Artie Lange (above).

Artie Lange, veteran comedian and former regular on The Howard Stern Program, delighted Comedy Cellar audiences in New York City recently by performing impromptu in his unexpected return to the stage.

Howard Stern‘s troubled sidekick Artie Lange returned to stand-up with a triumphant, surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar over the weekend — his first since his grisly suicide attempt in January.

“He had a great line when he opened the show,” comic Craig Gass told The Post’s Mandy Stadtmiller. “He said, ‘Well, folks, I gotta say I am so glad that Fashion Week is over because I am [bleep]ing exhausted.’ ”

The audience gave the schlumpy 42-year-old comedian a deafening ovation during the two midnight shows he played on Friday and Saturday, following Chris Tucker one night.

http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/artie_makes_em_laugh_again_hF2ISlKH5T7RmneYJHwQwJ

Could there be any better news for Artie fans who have no doubt agonized over the comedian’s troubled plight this past year, which included a suicide attempt?  Well, there could be, but we shouldn’t hold our breaths if we are waiting for Artie’s return to Howard’s show on Sirius XM satellite radio.

Howard has hinted to the audience that an Artie return is not in the cards, and has brushed off callers who have inquired about Artie’s well being of late, usually claiming that he “doesn’t know” how Artie is or how he is doing.  On the Wrap Up Show, producer Gary Dell’Abate recently mentioned that Artie has made overtures to him about coming in as a guest, and that likely isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

I understand that the Stern staff still feels the weighty burden from worrying about Artie’s health and psyche on a constant basis, and has been troubled by the pandora’s box that an Artie return engagement, or even visit, would open.  But Gary and Howard have been a bit flip in this regard.  Gary especially, who has sort of joked around with Wrap Up Show callers inquiring about Artie–at Artie’s expense.

Gary should recall that Artie took Gary on a USO tour a few years back to Afghanistan, despite Gary having no discernible performing talents, which advanced Gary’s career and did little for the magnanimous Lange.

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Though Artie might not be appearing on Howard’s show anytime soon, J.D. Harmeyer, who pulls tape for Howard, also travels with Artie as part of his road crew on weekends, and video tapes his shows.  If Artie is getting up on stage at the Comedy Cellar, it can’t be too long before he is scheduling gigs.  If Harmeyer is still to serve Artie in the same capacity, Artie will likely become a very hot topic for Howard in absentia by nature of J.D.’s frequent on air appearances.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

The return of a few pivotal guest characters and some very funny moments, in some situations that those characters–Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie), and Glen Bishop (Marten Weiner) created.  Garner, may not appear much, but I’m sure many Mad Men fans are displeased with the character who is the reason that closeted homosexual art director Sal Romano (Bryan Batt) was fired.  Remember when Garner made a pass at Sal who nervously rebuffed him?  That’s all it took for Lee to tell Roger to cut Sal loose, which don didn’t hesitate at doing, once Roger told him it was for Lucky Strike, their number one client.

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I certainly hope everyone remembers the divorced neighbor’s (Darby Stanchfield) son, Glen Bishop, who Betty (January Jones) babysat for and who developed a crush on Betty.  One day the mother confronted Betty at the market after finding out that Betty had given Glen a locke of her hair, calling her juvenile and questioning her judgment.  Glen is played by Martin Weiner’s son, who does a creepy good job with the role.  Last night, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) and Bobby (Jared Gilmore) ran into Glen while Christmas tree shopping, and Glen seems to take a liking to Sally, whom he tells, “I saw your new dad.  My mom said that would happen.”

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

Then Glen calls Sally (top pic), tells Carla that his name is Stanley, and then tells Sally that her parents will not get back together because, of Betty he says, “she’s doing it with somebody else.”  Little Sally didn’t even get what that meant, but she did tell Glen she’s miserable, and Glen told her she would be miserable until she moved.  Later, Glen and a friend, who Glen calls a “shithead”, trash Betty’s house, because Glen feels he is helping Sally by getting Betty to think about moving.  Glen continues the onslaught by making crank calls to the old Draper resident in the middle of the night.

Another old character, the affable Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray), walked in to the new agency clean and sober, with a major account in toe, and was hired back on the spot by Roger.  Freddy had a great line when he said of Roger’s (John Slattery) office, “it looks like an Italian hospital” and a very interesting one when he told Roger he didn’t want Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) anywhere near his account, and that he was surprised when he heard they brought Campbell along.  Remember that Campbell made fun of Freddy when he was on the way out due to his alcoholism, and when he pissed himself.  Freddy seems very sharp, and out for revenge on Campbell, who he also made a dig at in a meeting in Don’s (Jon Hamm) office with Peggy (Elisabeth Moss, looking large) and Roger.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/mad-men-jon-hamm-tells-parade-he-doesnt-want-wife-and-kids/

Speaking of alcoholism, let’s do our Don Draper update.  Early in the episode, Don drops his keys at his door, and is observed by his neighbor, as he wobbles to get down to pick the keys up.  Phoebe (Nora Zehetner), lets Don in and puts him to bed while resisting his advances.  Don tells her she’s good at this and she zings him with “my father was a drunk.”  The presence of a female around don usually means one thing: Don’s gonna tag her.  But with “Christmas Comes but Once a Year”, s4, e2, we see Don drinking too much–a fact pointed out even by Sterling Cooper all-star drunk Freddy Rumsen, when he asks Don f it isn’t too early in the morning to be drinking.  Also, the new artist calls Don pathetic, and it wasn’t the first time that he has made a remark about Don, to Peggy or some of the younger SCDP employees.  Last night, when he calls Don pathetic, nobody disputed him–an interesting tell on the state of Don Draper right now.  That’s why I’m not sure if Phoebe is there as Don’s neighbor this year as a romantic possibility, or as someone who is going to be coming to his rescue.

Then you have the Christmas party, where Don spoke with another potential hookup, Cara Buono, who played Phaye Miller, a consultant that the firm has brought in.  You might remember Cara Buono as Kelly Moltisanti, Chris’s wife, from The Sopranos, and also as Artie Lange’s love interest in Beer League.  But the party was made by the spoiled SCDP top client, Lee Garner Jr., who strong armed Roger for an invitation to the party, causing the party to be changed from a small, quiet affair to a fete worthy of the man who “keeps the lights on.”

Lee asked Roger to play Santa Claus, then insisted, waving off Campbell who tries to take the bullet for him, and staring Roger down and saying of the costume, “Seriously.  Put it on.”  Sterling trudged off and then trudged back as Santa, making for one of the funnier Mad men moments we’ve had.  Lee Garner Jr.’s Christmas present was a Polaroid camera, and, ballbuster he is, made everyone get on Roger’s knee for a picture.

When Alison (Alexa Alemanni), Don’s secretary, brings Don his keys after the party, Don makes a crude, drunken pass at her, and she resists at first before kicking her shoes off and laying back.  Joey, played by Matt Baird–the new character with a lot of venom for Don–seems to be dating Alison, a nice potential plot complication for the future.  And while Alison tells Don, or attempts to tell him she has a boyfriend after they have sex, she was clearly preoccupied with Don all episode, from her reading Don the letter to Santa from his kids, and she seeemed on the verge of tears after Don acted coolly towards her the morning after at the office.

And Sterling had us laughing until the end, when he greets Don that morning with, “Did you enjoy the fuhrer’s birthday?” in a German accent–a comment all the more valid when comparing the proclivities of Adolf Hitler and Lee Garner Jr.  But if Don is firmly walking in the land of the dangerous alcoholic this season, where he has tiptoed for years, and he has a tense office romance going with Alison, which could turn very badly, then Don might not be the hero this season that we have come to associate with his dapper character during the life of the show to date, and we probably won’t be laughing too much at all.

Here’s to Don getting it together.  Getting dissed and called a type by Cara Buono can’t be a proud moment, and it was only one of many inglories that Don suffered last night.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)