If you're a fan of Artie Lange, then you probably know the beloved comedian, radio personality, and podcast host isn't exactly Joe Rogan when it comes to clean living.
Lange has struggled with addiction and other health issues for most of his adult life, and he's been refreshingly candid about the toll that a decades-long cycle of rehab and relapses has taken on his body.
Now, following a string of canceled gigs and some troubling tweets, fans are worried that Lange's years of recklessness may soon cost him his life.
The 50-year-old canceled a scheduled appearance on his webseries The Artie & Anthony Show this week, and his explanation has sparked serious concern:
"The AA show is the best job! I really have the flu. I got a flu shot! I got the flu. Antibiotics are working &I plan on being in tomm. Anthony & I are good on air," Lange tweeted
"Please stick w us. I will make this work! U fans must feel I’m like a loser cousin u tolerate. Thx for that."
Several followers pointed out that antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, not viruses like the flu.
Still, Lange simply may have been mistaken about what sort of treatment he was receiving.
The comic initially seemed optimistic about his condition, but later tweets led fans to the conclusion that his illness is more serious than he let on at first:
"Doctor seemed worried. Took blood. I promise if I die it will be on the AA show. Howard used to beg me to agree to this! I refused. This is special. I’m willing to put it in a contract. If u think I’m joking u did not see the look on my Drs face," Lange tweeted yesterday.
He elaborated in a way that did little to assuage his fans' greatest fears:
"Also with regards to my appearance. Fans. Followers. (whatever the f-ck ppl call themselves today) I’ve crossed some sort of disgusting line. I will most likely never look good again. The best I can do is try not to make anyone vomit! My body has been ravished by awful living. Thx."
Lange later re-tweeted a follower who suggested that he may have meant that his appearance had been "ravaged."
In an interview with Radar Online, Artie's mother, Judy Lange, confirmed that his situation is dire:
“Artie has to take care of a few things. He’s got diabetes, so that doesn’t help. He’s okay, as much as he can be. But he is fighting addiction — trying to get through that, and hopefully he will," Judy told the outlet.
"He told me he went to the doctors, but I haven’ t received a report yet from him as to what’s going on. So I don’t know," she added.
Lange first checked into rehab back in 1997, when he was a cast member on the sketch comedy series Mad TV.
In the decades that followed, he sobered up several times, but slipped back into addiction just as often.
In 2010, Lange attempted suicide by drinking bleach and stabbing himself in the abdomen several times.
It was not the first time he had attempted to take his own life.
Lange survived the incident after being found unconscious by his mother, and he returned to his job on The Howard Stern Show after being released from the hospital.
Lange has enjoyed a career renaissance recently thanks to his roles on The AA Show and the Judd Apatow HBO series Crashing.
We wish Artie and his loved ones all the best.