Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange banned from HBO, the network of The Sopranos and Cathouse
Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange somehow managed the impossible earlier this week, earning a lifetime ban from HBO Sports after unleashing a barrage of explicit jokes during the first episode of the premium cable channel's new show, Joe Buck Live.
Yes, even the channel of Cathouse, The Sopranos and Pimps up, Hos Down couldn't handle Lange unleashed.
But here's the problem: Lange's unscripted mayhem was easily the most entertaining part of Buck's bland debut, where the first big gag of the night featured a fake look into sportscaster Bob Costas' apartment, where he was seen reading a book next to a cat in a matching outfit. Hilarious.
Buck, whose dad was a legendary play-by-play announcer, isn't smart enough to replace Costas, though his new show Joe Buck Live is ostensibly the replacement. And he isn't brash enough to be entertaining in the way politically incorrect sports analysts such as Charles Barkley can be.
So you're left with a blandly polite host who offered a no-news interview with Brett Favre and brings on guest Paul Rudd because he went to school with him before either was famous. Unfortunately, Lange chose some seriously off-color jibes at Buck mostly centered on implying that he was gay or that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's name rhymed with "homo."
HBO has ensured all the video clips of this debacle were yanked from YouTube, but the Huffington Post has a transcript (and at the moment, at least, the clip) here.
As homophobic as Lange's humor was, I think his real crime in HBO's eyes was making it painfully obvious how much worse the rest of Joe Buck Live was on its opening night. And for that crime, he will never be invited back.
Given how lame the rest of the show was, I'm not sure that's much of a punishment.