Joe Buck May Be Thanking Artie Lang Later

June 18, 2009 – 9:10 am by Jimmy Shapiro

I’ve waited a few days before weighing in on Joe Buck Live Show that was hijacked by Artie Lange.  I’ve watched it multiple times and each time my thoughts change a little bit.  Here’s a description of the show and video courtesy of The Big Lead.


In terms of the Brett Favre interview, it was ok, he asked most of the right questions, but he should have pressed him more on the unprofessional way he’s handled the past two years.  He had the first interview with Favre and he threw a few too many softballs.  The rest of the show before Artie Lange was just boring.  You can’t have Michael Irvin (one of the top 5 radio guests out there) and Chad Ocho Cinco together and create a boring segment.  Somehow, Buck managed to do this.  Buck’s a tremendous play-by-play announcer, but his interviewing skills and questions are just average.  When I listen to an interview, I want to hear a question asked that I never would of thought of myself that really makes the person being interviewed think.  That’s one of the reasons why I love Dan LeBetard’s radio show so much.  His questions are fantastic.

On to the main buzz about the Joe Buck Live Show on HBO…Artie Lange.  I grew up listening to Howard Stern.  His show just started syndication when I was in high school.  My friends and I were obsessed with him.  We watched his TV show on WOR.  We bought all his pay-per-views including Butt Bongo Fiesta.  Howard Stern changed the way radio is done.  Arguably the most influential radio guy in history.  I loved Artie’s predecessor, Jackie Martling.  He had the best laugh in history and was tremendous for that show.  While I was upset and shocked that he left, they did a nice job in replacing him with Artie Lange.

Lange is like listening/watching a car crash.  His life is an absolute mess and he’s a brilliant comic.  His interview with Playboy in 2008 was the best one I’ve ever read in Playboy.  Funny, interesting, insightful.  All this said, I thought he went overboard on Joe Buck Live.  I had no problem with him cussing and being a bit outlandish.  My problem came when he started to talk over the other guests and Joe Buck and basically sabotaged the show.  I actually wanted to hear him talk about sports in a comedic way.  That would have been a good segment.

The segment was watchable for the pure shock factor, but Artie didn’t need to go there.  In regards to Buck, I thought he handled the situation terribly.  He kept saying it’s live, what I can do…well, he could have taken control back of his show.  Costas would have never let that happen or he would have went toe-to-toe with Lang.  Buck basically got in the fetal position and watched the train wreck with the rest of us.

Joe Buck joined the aforementioned Dan LeBetard on 790 the Ticketto discuss his first show, his conversations with Artie Lange, and if in some way he’s happy about all the buzz his show is getting.

Was he uncomfortable?

“Yeah I was uncomfortable because it’s not something that I typically deal with because I’m on network TV or I’m on a radio show such as this or Cardinal radio or Cardinal TV and that’s not something I deal with. Yeah, it’s was uncomfortable because I was picturing my kids in the audience and probably thinking more of it than I did. I didn’t take it personally, I know what it was about. It was something he and I had talked about prior to him walking out there. I think it went a little over the line but as far as people coming up to me, “God, he really laid into you,” I didn’t take that personally at all.”

What he was expecting?

“The reason I wanted him on there was because I think he’s funny and I know he’s a legitimate sports fan by listening to that show. What I expected to get and I don’t know if I mentioned this but [before the show] I said, “Hey, when you go out there, let me have it. Rip into me, have fun.”…What I thought I was going to get was kind of a ripping me as if I were interviewing him on regular late night television and it just got a little dirty which is the part that bothered be the most. The other part was that Paul [Rudd] and Jason [Sudeikis] didn’t get a chance to talk and I think were hesitant to even stick their toe in the water because they knew it was going to get bitten off too.”

The real challenge of the Artie segment:

“The real problem, Dan, is I can’t do anything. I’m tied down, my arms are tied. I can’t jump down with him and I can’t get up and walk off. I can’t start firing back and get down there with him because then I hurt myself with it. I just had to kind of take my lumps for 9 minutes and move on with my life which I’ve done…He wanted me to spar with him and I wasn’t willing to take it there. I think my reaction probably told everybody, maybe except him, ok let’s move on. We get it and let’s move on and let me talk to Paul who has been a lifelong friend and Jason who I just met but was nice enough to be a guest. Let me spread it around but he just wasn’t letting that happen so there wasn’t much to do.”

Would he do it again if it means the show is talked about and memorable?

“If you put it in those words, yeah. In that context then I would, but that’s not why I do a show. I was excited about Brett, I felt like I handled it well, I was excited everything, I was excited about being relaxed and doing the thing, that’s really what I wanted everyone to talk about over the next couple of days. As it turns out, that was the taste that everyone was left with so this is what we’re going through. It’s been fine and like you say, it can’t hurt so I guess on some level, yeah I would.”

What happened once the show ended?

“When the show was over and when we all got up after the online thing, he came up to me and stuck his hand up and said, “That’s what you wanted right? That was good right?” For that I don’t fault the guy, I really honest to god do not. I really believe when I told him to mix it up he thought, “It’s not Letterman, it’s not Conan, I can say things I can’t say there,” which you can but I don’t think he sensed that it didn’t fit in the context of what we were doing in the show. It made it uncomfortable not just for me but for the other two guys out there. So the answer is no. I think he was doing what he thought we wanted…I said, “Yeah, hey great job.” I wasn’t going to debate it with him. I was ready to get back to the hotel and watch it. In watching it, it played a lot better than I thought it would while I was sitting there.”

Listen to Joe Buck on 790 the Ticket in Miami with Dan LeBetard

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