Jewish Journal


January 7, 2010

Artie Lange Hospitalized


The New York Post reported today that Artie Lange is hospitalized after attempting suicide:

Troubled comic Artie Lange landed in the hospital after stabbing himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt, sources told The Post. Lange’s frantic mom called 911 Saturday morning after she entered his Hoboken apartment and found the bloodied funnyman, a law-enforcement source said. Lange sustained six “hesitation wounds” and three deep plunges. A source close to Lange’s management team confirmed that the Howard Stern sidekick stabbed himself, adding that his mother had come to visit him that day to drop off food. Surgeons managed to save Lange despite heavy bleeding. “We all have our demons,” Stern said on-air this week, referring to Lange’s past battles with addiction. “Artie has given this show tremendous moments of great comedy. He’s a tremendous contributor. He is a good man. Don’t forget how great he is.”

Artie is supremely talented—a guaranteed laugh on the way to work.  My heart and prayers g out to him and his family.

I Googled a bit and found that self-stabbing is a rare form of suicide, and particularly troubling.  One study reported that most stabbers are male (70 percent) and the vast majority to not succeed in killing themselves.  All of them are intoxicated at the time of the attempted self-stabbing.  The 1994 study found that self-stabbers fell into two groups:

The patients fell into two distinct clinical groups: the first consisted mostly of young men with antisocial personalities who were intoxicated at the time of the self-stabbing and who reported ambivalent suicidal intent; the second consisted of psychotic patients, most of whom were actively ill at the time of the self-stabbing, and who reported clear suicidal intent. Patients in the first group were noncompliant with treatment and difficult to engage; those in the second group needed psychiatric hospitalization and often responded to antipsychotic medication.

Artie,  from what I’ve heard over the years, sounds like he could belong to either group. 

Howard spoke about Artie today for the first time since break.  He refused to go into detail.  He was walking that line he often comes up against when he finds himself treating a personal or show matter completely differently than he would if it happened to another celebrity, or someone he actually didn’t like. Double standard?  Absolutely—and he makes no apology.  One of Howard’s quality is that he’s an experienced and mature broadcaster, well-aware of what the real limits of propriety are.  They have nothing to do with dick jokes or naughty words or fart sounds, as the FCC would have it.  They have to do with how you treat those around you—and Howard seems to know how to do that like a real mench.

Artie: good luck.  Find Jesus or a good shrink or Britt Hume or a great prescription or whatever—you will get better, you will keep being funny, you will love and laugh and eat canoli again.


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