2014-07-24 / Front Page / Around Town

Artie Lange to Kick Off Comedy Series

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By Barry Bridges

The Newport Summer Comedy Series launches its jam-packed 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 2, on the waterfront at the Yachting Center, when comedian Artie Lange takes the stage in his series debut to share tales of his life experiences and sometimes tumultuous personal struggles.

Lange began his multi-faceted comic career doing stand-up in New York in the early 90s. Soon thereafter he won a role as a member of the original cast of MADtv for two seasons, which he remembers fondly.

“In an hour-and-a-half sketch comedy, if 30 percent of the show is a killer you’re doing great. We had to hit the bull’s eye every week,” he said.

He parlayed his big break into additional acting jobs in television and film, and enjoyed a popular run as a sidekick on “The Howard Stern Show” for many years before launching his own radio gig, “The Artie Lange Show.” He has also written two books that share personal stories from his life: The New York Times bestseller “Too Fat to Fish” and his recently released “Crash and Burn.” Lange has taped his third Comedy Central special, “The Stench of Failure,” scheduled to air this fall.

Over the years, Lange has been challenged by addiction and emotional issues. His personal ups and downs, along with his work in comedy, film, television, and radio, have been fodder for his stand-up act.

“My routine is story-oriented,” Lange told Newport This Week. “I try to use Richard Pryor as an influence – he could take stories of messing things up and make them hilarious. I also give my crazy opinions on everyday stuff and current events.”

Lange looks forward to visiting Rhode Island again. “One of the good things about stand-up comedy is that you get to see the country,” he said. “Traveling around extensively doing stand-up just adds to the experiences that I talk about on stage. I’ve previously performed in Providence and at URI and I’m glad to be returning to the area.”

Good seats are still available for Lange’s 7:30 p.m. performance on Aug. 2. Call the Newport Yachting Center box office at 800-745-3000 or visit newportcomedy.com. Tickets from the re-scheduled July 26 show will be honored with no exchanges necessary.

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