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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Last Night: Artie Lange Leaves ‘Em Laughing at the Masonic Center

Posted By on Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 3:34 PM

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Artie Lange

Nob Hill Masonic Center

September 19, 2008

Review by John Geluardi

Comedian Artie Lange took San Francisco by storm Friday night with a cohort of the misguided, mutant and malformed from the Howard Stern Show.

Lange was the headliner at the sold-out Nob Hill Masonic Center, which is a far cry from opening for other acts at crummy city comedy clubs as he did in the mid-1990s.

Lange was on location in San Francisco for three months in 1998 while filming “The Bachelor.” During that time he grew fond of the city, which he says has an East Coast feel. The rotund comedian got a huge roar from the crowd when he said he preferred San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles, which he called a city of “bullshiters.”

There were also appearances by Rev. Bob Levy, Yucko the Clown, Beatlejuice, Eric the Midget and… who else… oh yeah, Sal Governale (ho hum).

Despite being in the spiritual homeland of political correctness, the raunchy Lange did not hold anything back and the audience, clearly avid Stern fans, loved it. Nothing was sacred, gays, girlfriends, race, “retards,” midgets, or his recent heroin relapse. “I was recently in Afghanistan and I couldn’t help thinking this where heroin comes from,” he says. “I always wanted to try some fresh heroin, you know something that hasn’t been smuggled in a Puerto Rican girl’s ass for three years.”

Lange, who is one of the most underrated storytellers in American entertainment, keep the audience enthralled with tales about his excessive gambling, drinking and whoring.

He also took aim at Tom Cruise’s sexuality suggesting the reason the leading man jumps up on couches liked a jumping bean on steroids is because he’s been having too much gay sex. “He’s full of jiz,” Lange says. “I call it “jiz energy," all you have to do is look at Richard Simmons.”

At one point Lange offered “a little something for the ladies,” and broke into song. With a surprising vocal range, Lange sang the Anne Murray ballad “I Just Fall In Love Again.”

After the song, Lange brought Stern Show regular BeatleJuice on stage for a bit of bantering that consisted of Artie repeatedly asking if the mentally challenged dwarf had shit his pants before coming on stage to which Beatlejuice repeatedly responded “you did!”

At one point an audience member called Lange a fag, to which the beverage-drinking comedian apparently made a stock response. “Sir, this body has an expiration date of about two years and I would gladly spend it in prison for grounding this glass in your face,” Lange menaced.

He must have forgotten he was drinking from a plastic cup.

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John Geluardi

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