Was Artie Lange The Reason HBO Canceled ‘Joe Buck Live?’

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Controversy, thanks to comedian Artie Lange, surrounded the extremely short-lived, firey live talk show Joe Buck Live. The show, which debuted in 2009 lasted three epic episodes with Lange featured in two. Lange’s bombastic appearance quickly made headlines as he dominated the entire show even though there was a panel of guests.

Recently, Joe Buck reflected upon what almost seemed to be a drive-by shooting. The show was quickly canceled, with some speculating Lange was the reason for the show’s demise. But does Buck blame Lange? And what did Lange say about why he thinks the show was canceled?

This is how bad it was

According to The New York Times, Lange was supposed to be part of a panel of guests that included comedians Paul Rudd and Jason Sedakis. Also booked was football player Brett Farve, who was going to discuss coming out of retirement (again). And an update on his shoulder surgery.

But Lange was in his element and virtually “hijacked” the show from Farve. In fact, The New York Times reviewer wrote that Sedakis and Rudd didn’t need to appear since Lange took over the entire show. “His scatological, homophobic, insult act was delivered with a sort of blithe and gleeful explosiveness that threw Buck a bit.”

Buck nervously added during the show, “I was thinking, ‘How much longer do we have in the segment?’ I thought that spending time on a treadmill felt long, but that was eight or nine minutes turned into an eternity. But it’s cable. You can get away with it.”

Lange thought he was helping Buck’s show

When Lange left the stage he asked Buck, “ ‘Was I good? Was that great?’ That’s his M.O,” Buck told The New York Times. “That’s what he believed he was brought here to do. He’s a guest, and it’s live TV. Short of hitting a trap door, what are you going to do?”

Buck revisited what happened on In-Depth with Graham Bensinger in October and discussed what occurred. Lange tweeted the segment. Plus added, “Joe Buck tells it how it happened in this clip. He was never mad or intimidated in regards to what I did on his show. The fact is I took it too far but Joe reacted like a pro. He does a brilliant impression of me btw. And it’s def what I told him.”

This is why Lange believes the show was canceled

Buck talks to Bensinger about what ended up being “pretty heated” between Buck and HBO. Which apparently resulted in a screaming session. Buck says when he asked Lange to come on his show, “He acted exactly as what I asked him to be.” Before the show, Buck told Lange to “light him up” and wanted it to be fun.

But HBO’s response was so horrified, executives acted though they “wanted to have him [Lange] deported,” Buck said. Buck adds that Lange even apologized for getting carried away following the show too. To which Buck followed up with wanting to have Lange back for another show. But HBO said not only did they want Lange banned from Buck’s show they didn’t want him to refer to Lange at all. Buck said, “You’ve got the wrong guy. Because I’m going to walk out there an avoid that.” He ended his talk with HBO that either Lange comes back or he’s not doing the show.

Buck already had Lange booked for the cold open for the next show and much to HBO’s trepidation, they allowed him to go forward. The cold open stuck and HBO agreed it worked well, Buck said. So why did the show ultimately get canceled? Lange suspects it was because Buck is a stand-up guy. “What I did was not the reason the show got cancelled. But Joe sticking up for me might have been. He’s a legend like his dad in the booth. His legacy is solid how he handled this makes him a good man in my book. Love the guy.”

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