Artie is Absent for the First Show of 2009

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

The first show of the new year started with Howard announcing that Artie was absent yet again: "Here's 'The Artie Saga' as best I know...I was contacted by some guy who wanted me to come do some intervention."

Howard passed on the opportunity and was later informed that Artie had checked in to an "intensive rehab" (after a small intervention which, according to Gary, consisted of just Artie's sister Stacey and Colin Quinn). After hearing the news, Howard sent word that Artie should take as long as he needed to get better.

Howard continued, saying he got a message from Artie over the weekend in which he claimed to have been sober for 12 days and was undergoing daily therapy. Artie also said he'd lost 20lbs thanks to a new diet (and wheat grass enemas) and "felt the best I ever had in my life."

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

But when Howard told Gary about the message, Gary reported, "It's all bullshit! He's on a boat in Miami with Ross [Zapin]." Gary explained that Artie was really at a fat camp: "I wouldn't call it a rehab, it's more of a detox." Howard laughed at the prospect of Artie taking a break from his fake rehab to spend a weekend partying with Ross in Miami.

Gary came in to say that Artie had repeatedly moved up his return date - from the 17th to the 13th to the 7th - and after the final date change, Gary received a mass email from Caroline's promoting Artie's newly booked stand at Caroline's (starting this Thursday). Fred shook his head: "It's all bullshit. Artie does things half-assed."

Later, Ross came in to say he was never with Artie on a boat, but they did nearly meet up in Miami: "I swear to you...we tried to hook up, but the timeframe didn't work out 'cause he only had afternoons off." Robin laughed that an intensive rehab facility wouldn't allow their clients to leave every afternoon: "It's a spa."