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Too Fat to Fish Paperback – June 2, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 392 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This debut memoir from the comedian best known as Howard Stern's radio show sidekick is scrappy, funny, tumultuous and profane, just like its author. Lange, a self-proclaimed fat guy with a heroin problem, is difficult to love, but easy to like, his shaggy-dog life story full of derogatory self-awareness and cheerful vulgarity (often in the form of casual profanity and sexism). Many episodes from this life story will be familiar to Stern listeners, including the infamous "Pig Story," wherein Lange snorts cocaine while in full pig costume on the set of television's MADtv. Less familiar to fans will be a sobering account of Lange's suicide attempt and fond childhood memories of his beloved father. Lange's outrageous and horrific behavior involves prostitution, jail time and several trips to rehab; perhaps the saddest recurring theme is the frequency with which Lange thanks someone who's helped him, only to reveal that that person is no longer a part of his life. Glossing over Lange's penchant for alienating people is just one oversight that keeps this warts-and-all memoir from feeling fully honest. Still, for those with a taste for his aggressive, self-loathing brand of humor will find this volume full of compulsively readable stories. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Compulsively readable . . . this debut memoir from the comedian best known as Howard Stern’s radio show sidekick is scrappy, funny, tumultuous and profane.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau; Reprint edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385526571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385526579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the most sought after live comedians and talk show guests, Artie Lange was a member of The Howard Stern Show for almost a decade and has followed this with his current gig on The Artie Lange Show.
A native of New Jersey, Lange began his career in the comedy clubs of New York City. Lange's breakout work with the popular sketch comedy group Live On Tape led to his being cast as one of the original series regulars on Fox's MADtv, on which he made his television debut.
The success of Lange on MADtv led to him being cast opposite Norm MacDonald in Lange's first starring role in the MGM feature film Dirty Work. This led to a string of feature films, including supporting roles in the Dreamworks feature film Old School, starring Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell, as well as New Line Cinema's Elf, also starring Ferrell. He also reunited with MacDonald as a series regular on Norm (ABC).
When Norm finished its run, Lange came back to New York City and began sitting in regularly as a guest comedian on the nationally syndicated program, The Howard Stern Show. In October of 2001 he became a regular member of the show.
Lange starred in, co-wrote, and produced his own feature film, Beer League, to rave reviews. Lange is also a regular guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Best Damn Sports Show, Period. He was also a guest roaster on Comedy Central's roasts of Hugh Hefner and William Shatner. Elsewhere on television, Lange appeared in episodes of Entourage, Rescue Me, Louie, and Californication.
In 2008, Artie's first book, Too Fat to Fish, debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The book is a collection of narrative episodes from throughout Lange's life, from his childhood to his USO trip to Afghanistan in July 2008, with a foreword written by Howard Stern. In 2009, Artie starred in his own special, Jack and Coke, with Joe Matarese.
Lange continues to sell out venues across the United States performing his stand-up comedy. His second book, Crash and Burn, written with Too Fat to Fish co-author Anthony Bozza, will be published by Touchstone in October 2013.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up TOO FAT TO FISH, the autobiography of comedian and HOWARD STERN SHOW cast member Artie Lange, expecting to flip-read it. But, starting with a funny introduction from Stern that Lange matches or exceeds laugh-per-page for the rest of the book, TOO FAT TO FISH did not leave my hands until I read every word.

Despite Stern's introduction, Artie Lange does not say much about his work on the radio show in TOO FAT TO FISH until the last couple of chapters. But Lange and coauthor Anthony Bozza hold your attention throughout the pre-Stern years with tales of the comedian's charmed life. I say "charmed life" because, despite Lange's tendencies toward alcohol/drug abuse, gambling, overeating, and angry outbursts, a world of family and friends - even show-business friends - watch his back. There are a number of touching moments, especially regarding his parents. Prepare to choke up as Artie Lange realizes the only difference between homeless drug addicts and him is the support of those who loved this 296-lb. prodigal son. Nonetheless, even reflections such as that lead to some of the funniest comments in TOO FAT TO FISH thanks to Lange's ability to laugh at himself, wisecracking his way through the details of his darkest moments.

Howard Stern hired Artie Lange on his radio show in 2001 after joke whiz Jackie Martling left. But the void Lange filled best was that of Sam Kinison, a regular HOWARD STERN SHOW guest whose combination of comic talent, substance abuse problems and volatile personality made for hours of compelling radio until his untimely 1992 death.

While there are not as many HOWARD STERN SHOW-related anecdotes as you may expect, TOO FAT TO FISH has a number of celebrity stories. For example, Artie Lange's work with the likes of Tom Cruise and Chevy Chase result in two of his most memorable tales about the ups and downs of the entertainment industry.

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Format: Hardcover
I have always loved Artie, but after reading his book I love him even more. His stories about his dad are so sweet and heartbreaking. The stories about his drug use break your heart as you realize how he has not yet escaped that demon. His love for his mom and sister and the pride he takes in financially providing for his mother make you realize what a sweetheart he is. It also seemed that he was trying to repair damaged relationship and professed his love for former friends and managers with whom he has lost touch. Finally, the reader also gets a better glimpse into his heroin breakdown while filming his movie. Wish he could repair his relationship with Dana. She seemed to really love him.

Great Read!
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Format: Hardcover
Artie Lange gives us insight to "what made the man" in Too Fat To Fish. Even if you are not an Artie fan, you're heartless if you do not find his story compelling and his unwavering love for his family genuine.

I know that some readers that are Howard Stern Show fans may say that Artie has told many of these stories on the air, but there is much more revealed within these pages than what has come across in sound bytes on Sirius Radio. Artie Lange gives us his heart in Too Fat To Fish and Howard is not there to edit him. You get the whole story.... the laughs and the ugliness of Artie's personal trials and struggle with substance abuse.

Pick this one up, you wont be sorry.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I have always thought Artie Lange was funny as hell. That Baby Gorilla scene is burned into my PFC. While I had been a Stern fan for ages, I have grown tired of him over the last few years- I bought this book soley because of Lange (and the back cover- funny as crap).

What I did not expect was how serious and sincere this book can be at times. When he talks about his dad, losing him, etc.. it is very difficult to read. This is someones life- a decent guys life- and it could have been any of ours. As a father of young kids, I am actually going to take better care of my personal well being as a result of reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a longtime fan of Stern, I was one of his faithful legions that had a hard time accepting Lange in "Jackie's Chair". I have to admit that now almost a decade later, Artie has won me over.

I was excited to pick up "Too Fat to Fish", but for some reason it really took me awhile to crack it open and read it. Well I just finished and I have to say, there are some excellent stories in here. Specifically, the parts of the book dealing with Lange's father were extraordinary. You can really feel the emotions and care put into those chapters. If nothing else, "Too Fat to Fish" is a great testimony to a loving father/son relationship.

As Lange moves further into his career as a stand-up comedian, and onto the set of Madtv, things begin to unravel. Any fan of Howard's radio show, will have heard these stories (multiple times in most cases), but in the book format, Artie is able to go into greater detail than he has on the air. Some of the stories are genuinely repulsive, and some will have you chuckling. It's scary to see someone so intent on self destruction, that he recognizes his weaknesses, but he seems so helpless to stop himself from participating in the life threatening vices.

The book covers Langes life from Childhood, through his career as a cab driver, long shoreman, stand-up comedian, television star, movie stardom, to co-hosing the Stern show, up through his recent trip to Iraq. It's a very interesting story, but since being published, fans of the show know that Artie has again fallen off the wagon (December 08), that he is consistantly lying, and seems to be pushing away the folks who care so much about him. As I read the chapters, I began wondering, just how much is truth and how much has Artie embellished?
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