Howard Stern's sidekick talks about his new memoir, ''Too Fat to Fish,'' his big book of massive mistakes and screwups (Vol. I)

By Gregory Kirschling
Updated December 20, 2019 at 06:00 AM EST

As Howard Stern’s popular radio sidekick, comedian Artie Lange’s been regaling us with crazy stories about his life since 2001. Now the former MADtv star has stuffed some of the best ones into a memoir, Too Fat to Fish. ”People can relate to screwing up,” he says, ”because most people screw up.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What made you write a book?
ARTIE LANGE: You know, when I was living all these messed-up stories, I didn’t realize I was doing research for a job on Howard Stern. But he loves all these honest stories about screwing up — like the one about me doing coke in the pig costume when I was on MADtv, the fans love that one. I have a million of those. And people would tell me I should write a book. Last year, I got an offer, the money was good, so I said, ”F— it, I’ll write a book.”

You must have enough stories left over for a sequel.
I do. Actually, this book has already sold so well on Amazon — I think it’s up to, like, 12,000 in presales — that my publisher already offered me a second book deal. The money was right, so I’ll be writing it this year. It’ll be the same format, but a lot of the stories will be more show-business-oriented — more crazy encounters with famous people. And more drunken tales — I have enough of them.

You have a title yet?
I gotta think that one out. Possibly Gentleman Junkie.

Your drug and alcohol problems are legendary. Why don’t you take better care of yourself?
Listen, it could be some deep answer, but maybe it’s just laziness. [Laughs] Like today. I worked, and I’m tired. I could jog, or I could have a pizza. And I just think I’m neurotic. I wish I was this dark genius artist — like Richard Pryor or something. There’s that story about how Eric Clapton saw Jimi Hendrix play, and he supposedly went home and cried because he could never be that good. I would never do anything that fruity, but I can relate to that. I wish I was as great as other guys, and that sucks. So I get the blues, and I self-medicate.

NEXT PAGE: ”I hate promising people s—, because I tend to disappoint them, but for now I’m staying on the wagon.”