When the semi-autobiographical Pete Holmes’ series Crashing began this season, it paired its star with Artie Lange, who plays something of a fuck-up/mentor to Holmes in the opening episodes, before Pete — who is going through a divorce on the series — moves on to other couches (including T.J. Miller). It’s at that point that I realized that “Crashing,” has a double meaning: It’s both a description of Pete Holmes’ post-marriage life, and it describes one of the series’ hooks: Holmes proceeds to crash on a series of comedian’s couches.
It’s a good show, and it improves by the week, although one’s perspective on the show might depend on how one feels about Pete Holmes, who I find to be funny, thoughtful, and often incredibly annoying. Lauren Lapkus, George Basil, and the rotating cast of comics mostly offset the annoyingness of Pete Holmes, who at least is self-aware about how obnoxious he can be.
Anyway, I assumed that Holmes would eventually circle back around to Artie Lange’s couch, and that may yet happen, but according to Lange, he was fired from the show after being arrested for possession of cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia (Lange has a long history of drug abuse, which is a plot point in his arc on Crashing).
“Since this HBO show Crashing premiered, which I just got fired from — I might go to jail. I’ve had a lot of success and a lot of happy times, but when I do the failure stuff … that’s all TMZ wants to talk about, and they get it out there and I lose my job,” Lange told the Len Berman & Todd Schnitt in the Morning radio show.
Only, HBO didn’t get the memo that they’d fired Lange. They released a statement denying any such thing: “HBO has not fired Artie Lange. Crashing has completed production for season one and has been recently renewed for a second season. Scripts for season two have not yet been written.” Judd Apatow, who produces the show, confirmed that Lange has not been fired:
Artie was not fired from the show. https://t.co/fXCQAWreFb— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 23, 2017
This seems to back up Apatow’s statement after Lange’s arrest: “We would never give up on Artie or anyone struggling with addiction,” which is the diplomatic thing to say, but also, Lange’s role can be written in the second season to suit the risk associated with bringing him back. He seems like a horrible fuck up, but one whom we’d like to see pull through anyway.