After Artie Lange recently canceled several stand-up comedy shows over the course of several weeks. The “tour date” section of his website ArtieQuitter.com was completely empty.
Artie stopped doing his podcast Halfway House, with the most recent episode with former co-host Anthony Cumia being uploaded on February 7. The comedian said the podcast would go on hiatus and return with new episodes in March. Artie had been silent on social media since February 28.
Last week, the rumors started circulating on the internet that Artie Lange had relapsed. There were even conspiracy theories that Artie Lange had the coronavirus and was in self-quarantine.
On Friday, the great Howard Stern Show sidekick set the record straight about his absence and canceled shows.
“I’m not sick and i’m not using (i’d be in jail if I was),” Artie wrote on Twitter. “Just have crazy anxiety and i’m fighting it hard.”
“In the past I would have just done drugs and gone to work (or cancel last minute) but I won’t do that now,” the 52-year-old comedian explained. “Instead I cleared my schedule. I’ll be back soon though. Peace.”
Lange has been battling substance abuse and addiction for over 25 years, including going to rehab several times to try to stop using cocaine and heroin. Artie has allegedly been sober for over a year now.
Lange celebrated his anniversary of sobriety on January 30.
In 2017, Artie was pulled over on the Garden State Parkway by New Jersey state troopers. Police discovered 81 decks of heroin on Artie. In 2018, Lange was sentenced to four years of probation, which he violated several times. Lange was arrested in 2018 after he tested positive for cocaine for the second time in less than two months.
The Crashing star was arrested at a halfway house in January of 2019 for possession of a controlled substance. Lange completed his rehab in September of 2019.
Let’s hope that it is just anxiety, and Artie’s demons haven’t returned to wipe out all of the incredible progress he has made in recent months.