In the early days of his career, Artie Lange rose to prominence through his role on Mad TV and as the sidekick of Howard Stern on his various radio programs between 2001 and 2009. However, lately, the comedian is mostly known for drug abuse, which has had various effects on Artie Lange’s life and is best encapsulated in his deformed nose.
To those who have been following the comedian since he came onto the scene in the early 90s, the gradual deformation of his nose has been an interesting journey, as much as his career itself. We tell the story of how it all happened in the article below. Check it out.
What Happened to Artie Lange’s Nose?
To understand what happened to Artie Lange’s nose, one must first know the journey that led to the New Jersey-born comedian’s flattened nose.
Artie began using drugs in the 80s, in the early days of his career as a comedian when he made the transition from stand-up comedy to voice over work and acting, appearing in commercials. During this time, he developed an addiction to cocaine and alcohol that lasted for more than three decades and saw him spend time in and out of rehabs.
Artie Lange expanded his roster of what was already a dangerous addiction to drugs with heroin, and in July 2017, this resulted in a collapse on stage during a standup performance that forced an emergency heart surgery.
After the surgery, Artie Lange admitted that his heroin abuse was the cause of the collapse because it bore a hole in his nose that landed in his chest. He followed up the admission with a vow to get sober and keep his nose clean.
Before the July incident, Artie Lange had been involved in a legal incident in May 2017 when he was arrested in Bloomfield, at Garden State Parkway for the possession of 81 decks of heroin. The comedian was subsequently sentenced to four years of probation in June 2017.
The Final Blow was Glass
Despite vowing to stay sober, Artie Lange was unable to live up to his promise, and by December 2017, fans already began to notice the changes to his nose. They began to look steadily larger.
Artie Lange admitted in 2018 that the now overtly obvious deformation of his nose is a result of him accidentally snorting glass along with a line of Oxycontin, which resulted in irreparable damage to the septum in his nose in 2017.
According to the story, as shared by Artie Lange himself; one of his female friends in Boston visited him while he was performing a gig in the city and they went on the road together.
During their time together at St. Louis, they stayed at the Four Seasons and while he was in the shower, the unnamed woman, unknowingly, left broken glass from the salt shaker she used in cutting up Oxycontin, which Artie Lange inadvertently snorted it in after he came out of the shower.
At the time when he made the confession in December 2018, Artie Lange was still very much an active drug user and in the same month, he tested positive to a range of drugs from Suboxone to amphetamine to cocaine, although he had prescriptions for every other drug except for the cocaine.
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He Was Forced Back Into Rehab Again
Despite the incident that resulted in the disfiguration of his nose, Artie Lange has continued to use drugs, and after failing a drug test in December 2018, he has been forced back to rehab for treatment.
He was placed in rehab in January 2019, during which he worked as a trash collector in fulfillment of court-ordered community service.
He was arrested in May 2019 again for failing on the conditions of his probation program. He spent 21 days in jail and was released to join another rehab program.
According to an announcement by the comedian himself, his most recent rehab treatment has proven effective and he has remained sober for more than seven months.
Since Artie Lange declared his sobriety, he has returned to his career as a stand-up comedian and has released his fourth memoir, Rippin’ & Runnin’: Life on Drug Court. The memoir was written while he was in rehab.