Artie Lange, a comic who has struggled for years with drug and alcohol abuse, is barely recognizable in a new picture that comes after months in a long-term rehab facility.
“Great to be home! 7 months 14 days sober but one day at a time. Lots of new stories to tell,” Lange wrote Tuesday on Twitter, where he posted the surprising photo. “Will announce some new tour dates on Friday. Thanks for the support. Love you all.”
His slimmer, healthier look is a huge departure from his appearance in a mugshot taken Jan. 30, in which his nose appeared to have been bleeding. Lange has a long history with heroin, cocaine, alcohol and more.
“The current state of Lange’s flattened nose — perhaps the most obvious marker of wear and tear in recent years — is owed to the complete demolishment of his septum after 30 years of drug abuse (it didn’t help that he also accidentally snorted glass a few years ago when trying to suck up smashed OxyContin tablets),” according to a 2018 NJ.com profile written by a reporter who Lange later said “does a fair job with me always.”
The comic, who is known for being on Howard Stern’s radio show in the aughts, most recently appeared as a version himself in 11 episodes of the HBO series “Crashing.”
“From scene to scene, there was nose continuity issues,” “Crashing” star Pete Holmes told NJ.com in January. “My heart breaks for Artie.”
Rehab is nothing new for the comic and self-admitted “junky,” who has sought treatment or been ordered into it multiple times since 1995.
Lange had been serving four years of probation for a 2017 conviction on heroin possession but in late 2018 and early 2019 tested positive for drugs, including cocaine. When he appeared in court in December, after testing positive the first time, Lange looked haggard.
He reported to jail in late January, then entered a court-ordered outpatient rehab, but in March, he was finally ordered into what Radar Online called an “intense” six-month drug-court program. Posts on his Twitter feed showed Lange picking up trash and pumping gas as part of the program.
Through it all, a core of loyal fans has supported and worried about the comic, who has attempted suicide twice. The second time, in 2010, he drank bleach and stabbed himself with a kitchen knife, but was found in time by his mother.