When word broke over the weekend about Artie Lange checking into a New Jersey hospital, I'm sure people didn't know whether to expect the result to be all hype, or whether to expect the worst. Well, it turned out to be the worst, as the New York Post's gossip column Page Six reported this morning.

The Lange fan blog, Save Baby Gorilla, did not want to link to the report, but is accepting flowers and other gifts to help Lange and his family through this time. And in another odd twist of timing (remember that Comedy Central announced on Monday its broadcast debut of Lange's DVD stand-up special, Jack and Coke, for later this month), The Onion's A.V. Club has a "new" interview with the comedian which must have taken place a month or two ago. In it, Lange talks about his performance on HBO's Joe Buck show, and how some audience members may perceive him unfairly. The interview closes with Lange talking about joking now that he's not under the influence of drugs and alcohol, with him saying: 

"It’s strange, but in a good way. A lot of performers think they’re better when they’re fucked-up. They’re not. It’s good to be telling jokes in a clear and concise way. The tough part is the downtime. It’s not being onstage, it’s what to do on the road. I like to get right out of there. As soon as I get offstage—if there’s a meet-and-greet, it’s gotta happen before, cause I gotta leave. It’s better."

For those of you who want to jump to obvious conclusions, giving Lange so much downtime last month wasn't a good idea. This morning, Howard Stern felt he needed to address Lange's situation somehow, and over the course of 20 minutes, he did so without directly saying what had happened, but also saying quite a bit, and also taking a few calls from listeners.