Artie Lange Rocks the Borgata

Any fan of The Howard Stern Show would be hard pressed to find a better lineup than Artie Lange's show at the Borgata's Event Center in Atlantic City on February 16.

Pete Dominick, the warm-up comic for The Colbert Report, kicked off the show with some Jersey commentary about road rage before introducing Rahway native Jimmy Palumbo. Palumbo referenced his role in Artie Lange’s Beer League, a 2006 box office bomb about a New Jersey softball team that does more drinking than winning, before leaving the stage amidst calls for "Artie!" Palumbo was followed by Paul DellAngelo, a New Jerseyan who’s toured with Lange, Rev Bob Levy, Jim Florentine, Nick DiPaolo, and Lisa Lampanelli, to name a few.

Nick DiPaolo, a stand-up veteran and favorite of any Stern fan, took a pot shot at Lange when he complained about being tired of opening. DiPaolo spent his time onstage talking politics with impressions of John McCain and Hillary Clinton, who he refuses to vote for because she sounds too much like his nagging mother.

DiPaolo’s set was interrupted by Howard Stern, who worked the crowd into a cheering frenzy when he entered with his entourage and turned around to salute his fans.

Loping onto the stage to the Who’s "Baba O’Riley" and carrying his trademark, a whiskey-infused cocktail, Lange immediately acknowledged Stern, who had taken up residence in the front row. Within the first 15 minutes an audience member handed Lange a plastic beer cup filled to the brim with whiskey, which he downed after succombing to the crowd chanting "Chug it!" Later in the night, another audience member tossed him a Whopper — a nod to his burgeoning waistline — to which he commented, "I’m the only person who gained weight using drugs."

The Union native fielded catcalls from Union High School alumni and any New Jerseyan who felt the need to yell out their last name and local business affiliation.

His set included anecdotes from his tenure at MADtv, where he was dismissed in the late 1990s before being hired to replace Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling on The Howard Stern Show. Since joining Stern in 2001 on 92.3’s K-Rock and following him to SIRIUS Satellite Radio in 2006, Lange’s fanbase exploded as he became a favorite of Stern loyalists for his dead-on impressions and stories involving his personal vices, including drugs, gambling, and alcohol.

The night ended with a MADtv skit, "That’s My White Momma," where Lange performed while high on cocaine, and a visit from Jeff the Drunk, a Stern Wack Packer. As the blatantly inebriated Jeff stammered to tell an anecdote about his ride down the Garden State Parkway, Lange lit up a cigarette and gazed on in disbelief at Jeff’s inability to complete a coherent thought.

Even if you’re not a Stern devotee (such as myself), Lange’s stand-up will still make you roll in your seat, just don’t bring the kids. Artie Lange can be seen at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on March 7.




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