Mike Bocchetti, My Dream Gig With the Artie Lange Show, and How I Lost It


mike-bocchetti-announcer-artie-lange-show

It took me 20 years to get on The Show. Being a comic or an actor is much different from other jobs. In some jobs, you might start out in a mail room at a company, and one day be the CEO of that company. Comedy has been nothing like that. You could have gone to Juilliard and still end up never doing more than bad dinner theater.

Like most comics I was a nomad for 20 years doing spots at New York clubs. That means traveling for hours, performing for drunks, then going to AA meetings in small dingy back rooms. Not exactly A-list actor stuff.

Then I met the great , and Artie Lange– like the cavalry General Custer could have used at Little Big Horn. They took me from obscurity to become someone who was on national TV every night. I felt like I had the world by the nuts. Hot chicks would be tearing my clothes off. would be my new barbecue buddy. These are the things that ran through my head for two years, but I alway kept in the back of my head– ‘when is this gravy train going to end?’

Well it did. After being the announcer on The Artie Lange show on Direct TV for 2 years it was cancelled on Monday, April 28 2014, a day I will never forget.

It started when I met Nick and Artie after one of their friends, (Sal the Stockbroker from the Show) had seen me on . It was Sal who introduced me to stuttering in 2004. And then later I met Artie and Nick while I was touring with John and Sal.

When Nick and Artie asked me to be their announcer it was unbelievable. This was the first national steady gig I ever had.

We hit it off, because in a way, I was like them. I came from a very humble blue collar back ground. At first, I was a little star stuck by both of them, but i never asked them for gigs, or favors. I just liked them as people, and it seemed like they truly appreciated that, because most people were always looking for some kind of favor from them. The first gig we all did together  was with John Melendez, Artie, me,  Nick, the late great (and George) and Sal the Stock Broker.   It was Dec 5, 2003 during a major snow storm.  It took us 5 hours to get to Philly the storm was so bad.  After that, they eventually started to love me as a person.  Nick even put me in a pilot for Comedy Central in 2004.

When Nick and Artie asked me to be their announcer on their new show, it was unbelievable. For 20 years I had auditioned, done off-off-broadway sketch shows,  tons of  hell gigs, and created my own projects, but this was the first national steady gig I ever had.  From the first day, September 7, 2012, I was nervous. I thought it was so so mind blowing, but  I was always worrying about how long this would last.

As amazing as it all was, for months I spent every minute thinking, “this could be it, it’s over.”

My life changed pretty fast.  I started getting tons of  emails, Facebook messages, Tweets.  I would get phone calls from people in recovery telling me how much I helped them, and how Artie changed their lives.  One guy named Mick who was a 911 responder that had brain cancer said I brought him joy every night.  Of course my life changed financially too. And with women– I had  woman hitting on me via Twitter,  Facebook even text messages.  I would get  naked pictures from  fans sent to me all the time.  And gifts too.  One fan even brought me a watch.  I’m not kidding when I say it felt like I hit the lotto.  But as amazing as it all was, for months I spent every minute thinking, “this could be it, it’s over.”  It was like I was in witness protection or something. I finally stated to chill out after the first year.  Then I started thinking we were invincible.

For 2 years, during the show’s run, I was just super blessed and super lucky to be where I was. There were a lot of good moments. Like when – who I have been a fan of since 1988 — came on the show and said he watched the show every night and was a huge fan of mine. I felt like I won an Emmy. Another great memory was when AJ from the Sopranos (Robert Iler) told me he was a huge fan.   This was crazy because I loved The Sopranos.

But of course, it eventually came to an end on April 28, 2014.

Dan, our producer had texted me early that afternoon to come in by 9. He said Artie wanted to have a meeting with us.

Dan, our producer had texted me early that afternoon to come in by 9. He said Artie wanted to have a meeting with us. In the 2 years I worked there, we had very few meetings with Artie, so I was worried. I called James Flippen, my friend who was a board op on the show, and we kept goofing about what the meeting was for. Maybe it was a vacation, maybe we were getting more money. But the truth was, I had a bad vibe and premonition about the meeting when Dan texted me, and I was totally right. I get vibes and premonitions of things, good and bad, and this one was real bad. At the meeting, Artie told us that he had gotten a call on Friday, finding out that we were cancelled. I was in shock, but I’ve totally stayed true to the game, and super loyal to the audience and fans. When we went on that night, I made sure to give them the best show I had ever given, since it was going to be the last night.

The next day I immediately started emailing, and calling agents and sending head shots, because I knew that the gravy train was done, and I moved on to the next thing with no regrets. After going to a place from Monday to Friday, every week for 2 years, it was weird. It didn’t sink in at first, then I started having intense dreams about the show that were really sad. I’m a lot better now and I am super positive that more great things are on the way.

I started a podcast called the Mike Bocchetti Show with John Restaino who was a fan from upstate.  The first show we did, ranked in the top 30 in comedy on iTunes. I’ve been appearing on the radio show,   I also shot an episode of Teachers Lounge, the web series from national headliner , with .  l am going into production on a webseries that I created with comedian and I’ve been cast on a new web series for Comedy Central that is created by comedian .  Other than that, I’m working on trying to get back on tv.

Thanks to Artie Lange for a great 2 years of a better life and to Nick DiPaolo and Direct TV and most of all the fans I’ve met throughout this great time in my life.

 


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Comedian Mike Bocchetti started performing comedy in 1992. In 2012 he became the announcer for the Nick and Artie Show on DirectTV, and stayed on as the announcer for The Artie Lange Show until April 2014. He’s also made appearances on the Howard Stern Show, the Jim Breuer Show and The Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM. He appeared on 2 seasons of NBC’sLast Comic Standing and acted with Robert DeNiro in the feature film “The Family”. Follow Mike on twitter @MikeBocchetti and visit his website mikebocchetti.com.

13 Comments

  1. Bill Johnson

    June 23, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Mike Boccetti= one cool individual!!!

  2. stoogemcclassy

    June 23, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Nothing about his role as Large Marge in pee wees big adventure?

  3. YotaruVegeta

    June 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Love Mike Bocchetti! I didn’t expect such an article from him. I usually expect him to talk about all the awful things he’d like to do to women.

  4. Gripper

    June 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Huh, he performs comedy?  Who knew?

  5. AnthonyLoman

    June 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Well he definitely can get a job as an orc if they make any more lord of the rings movies.

  6. CJ Allen

    June 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Why did direct tv cancel the show? It was on Audience channel at fkn 1 am here on the west coast. It would replay all night. It was never going to be a big hit in the ratings. Overhead couldn’t be a big issue.
    The show had a loyal audience.

  7. DrSandman

    June 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    My guess is they were worried about Artie. He missed the week of shows locked up in a hospital. There were fill-ins like Jim Norton, Bob Kelly, etc… but I imagine the bosses freaked when Artie asked twitter to help him get out of the hospital. He claimed it was diabetes, but his history makes it hard to believe. I wish they’d stuck with Artie because I have yet to hear what the replacement show will be.

  8. DrSandman

    June 23, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Very nice essay. Mike’a not as dumb as one might think.

  9. Tim

    June 24, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Are you kidding me? The show was awful, had terrible ratings and Artie was showing up high. Dan Patrick has the studio now. Lange and company are now TV cancer.

  10. CJ Allen

    June 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    The show ran for 3 years. Direct TV totally supported this show. How can ratings come into play after 3 years for a show that airs at 1am on The Audience Network?
    The ratings were probably always shitty.
    The show was canceled 2 weeks after Artie was in the hospital . Maybe Direct TV wanted to distance themselves if Artie really was starting to spiral
    Artie has a pretty large and loyal fan base. Hopefully somethings in the works

  11. mjt832

    June 25, 2014 at 1:55 am

    @Tim  Dan always used that studio … and I would bet you were always an ASSHOLE.

  12. Matt

    November 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Keep up the good work Mike. You are one of the funniest guys alive.

  13. fredbydawn

    July 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Mike’s such a genuine guy. You can’t help but love him.