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Artie Lange: Howard Stern would thrive as 'Late Night' host
Howard Stern's former sidekick, Artie Lange, said the so-called "King of All Media" would be a worthy successor to Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" — assuming Stern would even want the gig.
"I think Howard would do great in a late-night situation on television," Lange told me last week. "I always thought that. The guy knows how to entertain people, man. He knows how to get ratings."
Lange makes some good points about the "America's Got Talent" judge, who launched his career as a radio DJ in Briarcliff Manor. Love him or hate him, Stern is a must-watch whenever he guests on the late-night shows of North Salem resident David Letterman, Saugerties-raised Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien. And, lest we forget, there was Stern's legendary 1998 appearance on Magic Johnson's short-lived talk show, "The Magic Hour," where he and his crew offered, shall we say, an unorthodox performance of the song "Wipeout."
Artie Lange riffs on local comedians
| Comedians from the Hudson Valley
| Tarrytown Music Hall
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On his SiriusXM show, Stern has played it cool, referencing the rumor that NBC executives want him to take over hosting "Late Night" if Fallon leaves, but opting not to comment further on the matter.
Stern has helped shape TV programming over the past 20 years, according to Lange.
"Reality TV and brutal honesty that people get a lot of ratings from is all stuff that he sort of pioneered," he said. "If he's going to do something in that TV world, he's the master at it. He'd do great, in this day and age."
If it's true that Fallon is taking over for Leno on "The Tonight Show," and that NBC executives would consider handing over to Stern the reins of "Late Night," Stern wouldn't necessarily take the gig.
"It's just a matter of wanting to do it," Lange said. "That's the only thing that would be getting in the way of [his hosting "Late Night"] — if he wants to do it at this point of his life. But if he did, and was full-throttle in, yeah, I think he'd be very successful."
Can't get enough Artie? Here's my latest Newsday Westchester feature on Lange. I also asked him to share his opinions of a dozen Hudson Valley comedians. And if you want to catch him live, he's headlining Tarrytown Music Hall tomorrow night.