Howard Stern Show comedian Artie Lange was hospitalized after a suicide attempt Saturday.
Lange, who has long battled substance abuse, took a leave of absence from the show in December. News on Lange was quiet until the show was set to return on Monday. Reports surfaced that Lange was hospitalized Jan. 2 in New Jersey for an undisclosed condition.
The New York Post's Page Six reported Thursday morning Lange's suicide attempt, which Stern confirmed on the air in the first segment of his show.
"This ... has gotten me so upset, so distressed, so bewildered," Stern said. "I don't even know what to think. I'm angry about it. I'm sad about it. I'm just all over the place about it. ... I'm just freaked out. It was pretty upsetting when I heard the news ... This is just too much. Too much to bear. I'm upset. I've been down about it."
Stern repeatedly said he did not know how to handle the matter. He stopped himself after starting to read the report on the air and expressed his anger that details of Lange's hospitalization were reported to the press.
"I'm so upset about this story that I was actually hoping it wouldn't come out," Stern said. "I thought we were out of the woods with that ... I was remarkably surprised that Artie's situation has been kept quiet."
Stern and his longtime sidekick, Robin Quivers, reflected on their trouble handling the news.
"Honestly, I don't know what to say about this story. It's such a mind boggling thing that's gone down ... I work with Artie. I love Artie. ... He's got a good heart, Artie ... Everyone has their demons, including myself, and he's wrestling with some serious stuff."
"His demons are getting the better of him," Quivers added. "There's no way we can talk about this rationally or have some perspective on it because it's too close."
This is not Lange's first suicide attempt. In his best-selling book, "Too Fat to Fish," Lange chronicled a suicide attempt while living in California during the 1990s. His bouts with heroin and other substances have been discussed openly on the air for years. Stern commented that Lange's "demons run deeper than I ever knew."
Stern said while he hasn't spoken to Lange since the incident, Quivers and channel program director Tim Sabean have.
"He's doing well, physically," Quivers said.
There's been no word of Lange's standing with the show, but Stern said Wednesday he had not given thought to searching for a new member of his morning ensemble, which is in the last year of its contract with Sirius Satellite Radio.
A request for comment was declined.