Artie Lange: Jack and Coke (Video 2009) Poster

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7/10
The hilarious and coherent special some probably never expected from Artie Lange
Steve Pulaski22 July 2014
For eighty-seven minutes, comedian Artie Lange zealously spits out rapid-fire offensive, lowbrow jokes, self-deprecating jabs, tells crazy stories about being under the influence of every drug you can think of, his encounter with random street hookers, his opinion on several famous people, and even concludes with some banter on race in his second comedy special Artie Lange: Jack and Coke. Lange's testament likely serves as a shock for some people, predominately to those who witnessed his often explicit and bawdy appearances on The Howard Stern Show and were placing bets that the comedian wouldn't make it through the end of 2008. However, after being off drugs for a few months and getting his weight down to a manageable level, Lange looks good, and aside from getting a bit winded after imitating his high school break dancing moves, he moves quite well, with admirable energy and zest.

Lange performs at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City, a small and intimate venue, known for its open mic nights, which provides for a welcoming and personal setting. Frequently, director Scott DePace turns the camera on the audience members as Lange involves them in his banter, and a bonus feature on the DVD even shows Lange pleasantly heckling the hecklers of the crowd. On another note, Lange occasionally feels like he's circling the bases a bit too much, with his hooker stories becoming redundant and his drug stories questionably blurring the line between fantasy and reality. However, the man himself is an engaging storyteller, and his self-deprecation makes for a fun routine if you really know the kind of hell he endured and the kind of person he really likes to show off. Jack and Coke concludes nicely with Lange inviting his sister and the two police officers who "saved his life" and got him off heroin to come on stage with him, concluding a verbally raunchy display of political incorrectness beautifully and warmly.

Directed by: Scott DePace.
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