I am a huge fan of the Stern show. Not only did I once work for the man his Howard-TV makes up 95% of the television I watch. The rest of the 5% is split between CNBC and HGTV. I don't subscribe to satellite radio just yet and so I've kept up with his show through the On-Demand channel for the past few years.
Amazing how had this had happened a few years ago over K-Rock's "terrestrial" airwaves, this incident would be the talk of the town RIGHT after it happened. But I am just hearing about it now from a geeked out insider radio message board I oft peruse... and it seems even the radio geeks had to wait to read it all on Page Six this morning! Some 24 hours after it actually happened live on-air!
It is really interesting how the buzz factor of the show has fallen as low as it has being on Sirius without the huge audience Howard previously had. I'm following the show in time delay through Howard-TV. So I'm watching shows that are a week old by the time they're edited and posted on the channel.
Artie quitting the show was only a matter of time and its not completely surprising it went down this way. It's seems to be the same path Belushi and Farley took but while they were in seclusion towards the end, Howard puts Artie's downfall in the daily spotlight.
Apparently it began as argument between Artie and his incompetent personal assistant Teddy and eroded into a brawl on-air.
The argument started off air in the morning in the hallway. Stern show staffers overheard Lange screaming at Teddy because Teddy asked him for his passport for the fourth time as he planned their flight to Amsterdam, which was set to take off Thursday night. Lange told Teddy he should have photocopied the passport the first time.
Stern was told they had been arguing and brought it up on air. When Teddy came in to defend himself, Lange snapped.
"He's a loser," yelled Lange. "He's the most unorganised assistant. I want to fire him, but he has no money. I hope he dies of AIDS."
Lange, who pays Teddy $24,000 a year for part-time work, then accused Teddy of embarrassing him in front of friends last week in LA when he called Bloomingdale's department store by its nickname, Bloomie's, and announced the store didn't have something in Lange's size.
"I think I hired a fag," said Lange. "I wanted to throw him out the window."
Lange then threw a cup of water at Teddy and lunged at him, throwing a punch that didn't land.
Benjy jumped on Lange and held him back, while Ronnie The Limo Driver burst in to remove Teddy from the studio.
Lange blamed Stern for the fight, saying that Stern "pushed" him to the breaking point and that he couldn't guarantee he wouldn't snap again in the future.
Upon hearing that, Stern said he cannot have Lange around with the potential of such actions looming.
Artie then offered his resignation; Stern accepted, but told Lange to leave and cool off. Just before Artie left he told Stern: "I'm not a good person ... I gotta leave ... I love you"
One show insider says that the staff loves Lange and is "extremely upset" but that it's out of Stern's hands and that Sirius management will soon decide Lange's fate. The show is conveniently on break next week.
Artie was last spotted at the Brooklyn Diner on West 57th, drowning his sorrows in a plate of food. No word if he went to Amsterdam or not.