The lines between reality and fiction often blur on Pete Holmes’ semi-autobiographical HBO series Crashing. Up until now, it’s been Holmes’ life at the heart of the story. But on Sunday, Artie Lange returns in a more dramatic performance than we’ve seen from the show’s version of him as Lange opens up about his real experiences with heroin.
In the show, Lange served as Holmes’ first comic mentor in the first episode, and he has continued to appear sporadically on Crashing ever since, But, like his partially fictionalized counterpart that’s depicted on the show, the real Artie Lange struggled with a decades-long battle with drug addiction, repeating a long cycle of rehab and relapse.
Last year, the real Artie Lange was arrested three times, twice on drug possession and once for not showing up to court.
Pete Holmes co-wrote this week’s episode, titled “Artie,” with series producer Judd Apatow. Apatow is one of the several “famous guys” Lange credits with saving his life.
Sunday’s episode is expected to take a more frank and honest look at addiction than what is often seen on television as it explores Artie’s inner demons. And, if the above clip is any indication, it promises to feature a powerful performance from Lange.