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Image: Artie Lange
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Howard Stern says that Artie Lange would like to go back on the air on "The Howard Stern Show" to explain his suicide attempt.
updated 3/17/2011 12:18:39 AM ET 2011-03-17T04:18:39

Beloved Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange is the only one who can explain what he was really feeling the night he attempted suicide by stabbing himself in the abdomen nine times.

And that's exactly what he wants to do for the first time.

Stern, in a new cover interview with Rolling Stone reveals that the comic, who has been off air since the incident, has reached out about a possible return to air.

Will the King of all Media welcome him back with open arms?

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Stern, who was extremely supportive of Lange both on and off air, is hesitant to allow Lange on. Stern says it's because he wants to protect Lange and do the right thing.

"He said to me recently that he would be willing to come on the air and explain what happened and stuff," Stern told the magazine. "I don't even feel strong enough within myself or that I'd be doing the right thing by him, because I don't want to do the wrong thing for Artie. I just want Artie to stay alive."

The shock jock also admits he was so enamored with Lange, he may have been the last one to realize just how serious things had gotten with the comic's drug problem.

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"Finding Artie was a great joy. But Artie's demons got a hold of him, and I'm probably the last one to really have realized what he was going through," Stern said. "To me, Artie was coming in and doing his job and he did it so well that I really didn't think he had a problem. Toward the end, I got it. You'd have to be blind not to see it. But I'm not a drug guy, really. Early in my life, I took drugs, but I'm very naive about it. Maybe I just wanted to have blinders on, I don't know."

Lange, a former MADtv regular and stand up comic, was hospitalized on in January 2010. His mother (whom he often discussed on air and made famous for her meatballs) found him unconscious in his Hoboken, N.J., residence. In the month before the incident, Lange had taken a hiatus from Stern's show and canceled several stand-up gigs. Lange had long suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, which he openly discussed on air.

He last surfaced in public this past September, when he appeared at the Comedy Cellar in New York's Greenwich Village and did two sets.

We hope Stern—who also opens up in the article about his divorce, his sex life and his next five years on radio—will eventually have Lange on as a guest. Stern fans will certainly want to hear firsthand how the jokester, who's kept mum about the incident (and didn't immediately respond to a request for comment), is holding up.

WATCH: This actor treats Stern like his own personal shrink

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