Once again, the affable Artie Lange was missing from the show this morning. Howard played yet another voicemail from ailing funny man in which he apologizes over and over for feeling like crap and not being able to make it into the station. Howard said he noticed that Artie had barely missed a day's work until he brought up needing to take time off to make his movie and then all of a sudden he's out 4 days in 2 weeks. Howard took a call from a guy who said he used to get sick like this when he tried to kick a prescription drug habit, but Howard didn't believe Artie had fallen off the wagon. Fred thought Howard was right because this all started with the movie discussion. Gary, however, felt there was another reason although he did remind everyone that Artie had said that when he really went off the deep end, he would really disappear -- and that is NOT the case now. Everybody was very concerned with the situation though, and wanted to make sure Artie knew what a great comedian and asset to the show he was. Howard said he had even held off goofing on him too much because he was concerned that Artie seemed a little fragile lately.
Gary pointed out that, whereas Artie seemed really happy when he started working on the show, there have been recent signs that this was not the case anymore. He said that things like promoting his DVD and all the live shows he does on the weekends seem to be taking their toll on Artie. Howard also noted that Artie's ailments seem to have coincided with the Yankee's slump this year. A lot of callers offered their opinions and the most common theme was that Artie seems to be suffering a little of the Chappelle Syndrome -- too much success too suddenly, combined with a lot more work than usual. Howard tended to agree with this prognosis. Gary wondered what would happen if they found out that Artie was just sick. Howard thought they'd all feel pretty stupid if that was the case.