It took me 20 years to get on The Artie Lange 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 Nick DiPaolo, 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. Adam Sandler 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 Governale (Sal the Stockbroker from the Howard Stern Show) had seen me on Last Comic Standing. It was Sal who introduced me to stuttering John Melendez 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.
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.”
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 Andrew Dice Clay– 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.
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 Opie and Anthony radio show, I also shot an episode of Teachers Lounge, the web series from national headliner Ted Alexandro, with Dave Attell. l am going into production on a webseries that I created with comedian Dave Hill and I’ve been cast on a new web series for Comedy Central that is created by comedian Pete Davidson. 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.