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Every night, she set her alarm clock to turn him so he wouldn't get bedsores." In 1987, the family contacted celebrities asking them to donate items for auction. Lange took up extra work with roles in commercials which were a "big step up", At twenty-seven, Lange was chosen as one of the eight cast members selected to star in the sketch comedy series Mad TV, from the eight thousand that were screened.
Howard Stern, the only one to respond, sent them an autographed jacket and said on the air, "Does this guy think that if he puts the jacket on he's going to walk again? On July 12, 1987, at age nineteen, Lange performed his first stand-up comedy routine at The Improv in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. He flew to Los Angeles in May 1995 to shoot the television pilot which was picked up by the Fox network.
The teller took it seriously, triggering a silent alarm.
His charge was reduced to disorderly conduct which required Lange to pay 0 in court fees and complete 25 hours of community service in March 1986.
In 1987, he made his debut as a stand up comic and took up the profession full-time in the early 1990s, performing in clubs and improv shows in and around New York City.
In 1995, Lange moved to Los Angeles to star in the first season of Mad TV.
In 1997, Lange left rehab and resumed stand up gigs in New York City.
His depression improved soon after when he was invited to audition for two network television sitcoms, which boosted his confidence "astronomically".
After the producers at Mad TV convinced Lange to complete formal rehabilitation, he spent two months at Honesty House in Stirling, New Jersey.In 2001, Lange returned to New Jersey and became a member of The Howard Stern Show until December 2009.He pursued various projects during this time; he released two comedy albums, co-wrote, produced, and starred in his feature film, Artie Lange's Beer League (2006), and released his first book, Too Fat to Fish (2008), which entered The New York Times Best Seller list at number one.In one early assignment, he received an A grade for a presentation he made, telling stories about his friends and family to the class."It was the first time I got a bunch of laughs in front of a crowd of total strangers and it felt amazing to get that reaction from people." Lange recalled the situation: "We took out a second mortgage. When my mother got back from being a secretary all day, she had to take care of him. But I'm proud that I did it." The success of these shows led to a contract with the William Morris Agency where Lange met Peter Principato, his manager for the next ten years.
In the summer of 1996, Lange secured his first major acting role for an independent film titled Puppet, starring Rebecca Gayheart and Fred Weller.