It's still not clear whether he'll ever come back to the Stern show or not, but the guy is definitely missed.
As was widely reported, Lange said it would be "the greatest thing ever" to come back to the show, but he also added, "I was on the greatest show of all time for about nine years, and I put them in a very awkward situation, to say the least... I love them all, and they were great to me. I appreciate that."
Some Stern fans felt the show went downhill when Jackie the Joke Man Martling left, but Artie was a perfect replacement.
I really loved Lange on MAD TV, which I think was the closest successor to Saturday Night Live in its glory days, and he fit right in with Stern, being a perfect foil and catalyst on Howard's team.
I knew Lange had major problems with many addictions (and like any great comedian, he turned it into hilarious material), but I really truly didn't understand the depth of them until his suicide attempt, which apparently wasn't his first.
Howard has been very careful not to comment about the Artie situation, respecting his, and his family's privacy. He's also been very cautious about Artie's condition, telling Rolling Stone, "I don't even feel strong enough within myself or that I'd be doing the right thing by him, because I don't want to do the wrong thing for Artie. I just want Artie to stay alive."
Whether he ever comes back to the show or not, it's far more important for Lange to have a healthy life to live. Here's to hoping he's there, or at least well on his way.