September 12, 2012
How Artie Lange accidentally became a Muslim in the psych ward
In 2010, Mr. Lange found himself inside the Summit Oaks Hospital in New Jersey, where a large, intimidating fellow patient recognized the portly comedian, who was wearing a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” T-shirt.
“He looked at my shirt, and because he was a lunatic, he thought I was Jimmy Kimmel,” Mr. Lange recalled. “He starts screaming ‘you’re Jimmy Kimmel! You’re Jimmy Kimmel!’
“I said, ‘Yeah, I’m Jimmy Kimmel.’”
One day, Mr. Lange was invited by his new friend to join him in a reading of the Koran, which he promised would save the comedian’s life. He asked Mr. Lange to place his right hand on the holy book and to close his eyes. “We pray on the Koran for 30 seconds, and then he goes, ‘Thank you, Jimmy. I’ll see you in heaven,’” he remembered. “At least I got that going for me.”