Artie Lange thrills audience again
Last Updated: 12:19 AM, September 28, 2010

Posted: 10:29 PM, September 27, 2010

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.

Artie LangeClearly moved, Lange told the thrilled audience, "Oh, you guys are going to bring a tear to my eye."

While attendees say he didn't "do a Richard Pryor" and talk specifically about stabbing himself in the abdomen nine times with a kitchen knife, he did indirectly reference his nightmares.

Comic Dan Naturman related, "He mentioned the fact that he had been in a psych ward for the past eight months and that he was playing Scrabble with one of the other patients. But the guy was so scary that whatever [dubious] word he spelled, Artie would say: [long pause] 'OK . . . let's count it up.' "

And Gass said, "He had a good line about how a year ago he was going through withdrawal from heroin, and his agent came up with the great idea -- 'Hey . . . you should start Twittering!' "

The Comedy Cellar crowd had no idea Lange was popping in, but Gass said that from the moment he got onstage, "You could feel, 'Wow, it's Artie.' From that first line, it immediately rolled into a great set.

"You could see he looked like how he did when he first came on the Stern show in 2001. He's lost a lot of weight. Everyone is really cheering for him, as am I."


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