It takes a lot to unnerve Howard Stern. And this was it.
The Page Six story, citing unnamed law-enforcement sources and a person close to Lange's management team, attributed the funnyman's hospitalization last Saturday to a botched suicide attempt. The newspaper reported that Lange's mother discovered her son's bloodied body and immediately alerted paramedics, who managed to get him to a hospital before he could bleed out.
So far Lange's reps have yet to publicly comment on the Post's story. It was almost the same for Stern.
On his Sirius radio show today, the host initially said he didn't want to read the report. "I'm sorry. I just feel sick about this. I don't know what to do," he said, according to the Stern-tracking PhillyBurbs blog.
Hearing the suicide claims only made things worse for Stern.
As he did earlier in the week when he first discussed Lange's absence, Stern began paying tribute to his head writer, before catching himself.
"I don't want this to sound like a eulogy," said the host, who admitted he hadn't spoken with Lange since the latter stopped appearing on the show nearly a month ago.
"I'm just freaked out. I don't know what the hell to do," Stern said. "If Artie wants to talk to me, he'll call me. I only wish him well...This is just too much, too much to bear. My thoughts go to his mother and sister, who I'm sure are in great pain. That's mind-blowing."