In the series premiere of the HBO comedy Crashing, aspiring standup comedian Pete (Pete Holmes) discovers his wife Jess (Lauren Lapkus) is having an affair. Their split rocks his world emotionally but it also pushes Pete to work on his craft and find his place in the New York standup scene. Pete is taken in by standup comedian Artie Lange.
Summarizing the life of Lange is a tall order. The Jersey Boy moved to Los Angeles in 1995 to star in the first season of MADtv. Soon after, he was arrested for cocaine possession. Fellow comedian Norm Macdonald took him in after rehab and got him a role on The Norm Show. Lange went back to the East Coast and became a member of The Howard Stern Show where he worked for eight years. In 2008, Lange had a relapse (heroin) but got back up again to write his bestseller Too Fat To Fish. In 2010, Lange attempted suicide (drinking bleach, slitting his wrists, stabbing himself in the stomach). Lange is currently writing his third book, reportedly titled The Gambler: A Degenerate’s Guide to Living on the Edge. Crashing airs Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO.