Artie Lange has made a career out of being nasty so it is no surprise that when Showtime wanted to create a special based around the most popular show at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, they chose Artie Lange to host it. This Friday, January 8th Showtime will premiere the Nasty Show Hosted by Artie Lange with performances by Jimmy Carr, Gilbert Gottfried, Gina Yashere, Mike Wilmot, Luenell and Mike Ward. Every year the Nasty Show sells out two weeks of shows featuring some of the best headliners in the world doing their bluest material. This year you will be able to watch it from home, on your phone, sitting on a bus with your iPad, or even at your parents house. I talked with Artie Lange about Montreal, his podcast, Patrice O’Neal, Judd Apatow’s new HBO pilot, this year’s upcoming MadTV reunion, and what it means to be nasty in 2015.
The Interrobang: How did you like being in Montreal this year for Just for Laughs?
Artie Lange: I was up there for two full weeks. I agreed to do every Nasty Show. I headlined every Nasty Show, and in between I did a bunch of stuff– interviews, my podcast in front of an audience that Howie Mandell and J.B. Smoove came to, it was so much fun. So I stayed up there for the entire two weeks. I haven’t been there in 17 years. Last time I was there, I was on cocaine at an expos game so its been awhile.
The Interrobang: What do you think is it about the Nasty Show that keeps it the most popular show in Montreal every year?
I’m not from that school. I’m very much on the dangerous Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor school and I think the Nasty Show represents that.
A lot of popular comics now- are very safe. They don’t say anything controversial. They’re afraid of being labeled something or losing an advertisement whatever, and I’m not from that school. I’m very much on the dangerous Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor school and I think the Nasty Show represents that. They go there, and they go you know what? Tonight guys we’re all adults and we’re going to talk like it. And I think that’s why they like it so much.
The Interrobang: Are we losing something more than just a good time when we are afraid to talk like adults?
People equate dirty comedy with being dumber for some reason. That’s not the case at all.
Who are the other comics performing today who aren’t afraid to say what they want?
Artie Lange: Gilbert Gottfried of course, he’s also on the show. The English guy on the show, Jimmy Carr, I had never spent time with him- what a funny guy! He’s in that English Accent, he talks like a gutter rat! It’s hilarious, the juxtaposition of that. You know, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan is coming back with a vengeance. Dave Attell of course, one of the best comedians ever. Guys like that, I’m proud to be peers of theirs.
The Interrobang: You also did a live podcast episode in Montreal. How’s your podcast going?
So, I am the biggest slob ever. I had to go to summer school to graduate high school and this year I made 1.2 mill. What a country!!!
I say whatever the hell I want and people admire that. They feel like they’re part of a club. I say look, its a paid subscription which not a lot of people can get away with but I have crazy Stern fans who will pay for it and I promised them, there’s no ads, you pay 7 bucks a month. It’s a quarter a day, and you will get complete uncensored unbridled comedy. And right now there’s about 9,000 people signed up. Which is a failure on the regular podcasts with advertising but do the math. 63 grand a month, baby! (laughing) That’s not bad!! 150 grand is my overhead for a year. So do the math! I’m pulling in 600k a year from my kitchen.
The Interrobang: Does doing it in your kitchen help create a relaxed unstructured environment for your guests?
Artie Lange: Relaxing, you have no idea. It’s like my buddies who are comedians come over, I bought the best equipment on the planet, cost 12 grand. I hired an engineer and a tech geek and I pay them and I got a guy to do the pay pal on the website and update the website. So right now here’s my life. I made 600 grand and growing from the podcast and I make about 600k a year doing stand up. So, I am the biggest slob ever. I had to go to summer school to graduate highschool and this year I made 1.2 mill. What a country!!!
The Interrobang: And what else do you have coming up. You have the Patrice O’Neal benefit, right?
Patrice was another guy- comedy could use a guy like that man, he was so honest and brilliant that guy. I play his last special sometimes in the car when I’m in traffic just to make myself smile.
The Interrobang: And you’re part of the MadTV Reunion too?
Artie Lange: I was invited to it which was nice. They shot it November 21 on a red carpet in LA. I was going but then I lucked out and booked an HBO pilot that Judd Apatow produced and directed and I’m the second lead in this pilot and I basically play myself and I couldn’t go because I shot that for five straight days in New York. This kid Pete Holmes is the star of it. It’s called Crashing and I play myself basically and Apatow let us improv the whole thing. It was so much fun but I couldn’t go to the MADTV reunion cause of that. But they wanted to play my sketch White Mama that I did there, which was a recurring thing they like, and I said that’s great I’d like to still be a part of it, can I tape something? So, I taped something from New York. Actually in between breaks on the podcast I went into the bathroom and taped it on my iPhone. I’m trying to figure out how to send tape to the stand up gigs and never leave my house (laughs).
Eventually I’m going to get in a bathrobe like Hugh Hefner. People don’t need to see me, it’s not like they’re coming to see me cause I’m a sex symbol, they’re coming to hear the jokes.
The Interrobang: Maybe you can invite the audience into your apartment?
Artie Lange: Well now we’re getting crazy.
Watch Artie Lange host the Nasty Show on Showtime, premiering this Friday January 8th at 10pm ET.