How Artie Lange Relates to Literary Magazines…

Anyone see comedian Artie Lange takeover and destroy broadcaster Joe Buck’s new HBO show a few days ago? Joe Buck seemed to have forgotten that HBO is LIVE and CABLE. Artie went exponential Artie, and Buck suddenly looked like someone over their skis, and naked.



Some video here (HBO, Buck’s lawyers removed the earlier material from the web, but here is a bit still online, and very Artie Lange, as in purposely offensive)


Artie, kicking it…

Afterward, Job Buck acts all disingenuous, all self-righteous, claiming Artie wrecked his opening show, blah, blah, as if he didn’t know Artie Lange’s humor, that Artie is a PERSONA, dumb-ass, a heroin addict homophobic fat guy drunk, another in the long line of “slob as out-sized outsider” comedians [fill in obese comedian who uses their image as material here].

[Fill in the ones who bought so much into their image they couldn’t separate id and ego/superego, and died young here]

And HBO sports executive Ross Greenburg is clearly full of shit. He says:

“Frankly, we were stunned.”


“I think most people realized we were blindsided.”


Artie has made millions (and lost millions) being Artie. And if you book him on your HBO show, he will arrive as Artie. Just like Marilyn Manson will arrive in his persona (vampire/Goth/whatever) and David Letterman will arrive in his (Ah shucks, I’m just a Midwestern middle American, d-uh) and on and on.

Both will arrive via limo, BTW…

And so–assuming Buck isn’t playing me right now, and wasn’t in on the whole thing–how does Joe Buck’s awkwardness during Artie’s rants, then sad and phony “shock” afterward at Artie’s behavior relate to lit mags?

Good question.

One of the last class sessions of every semester I hold a “How to Get published” class. This is an opportunity for the students to gain some insights I’ve gleamed from years of this funny, funny world of publishing. I have many tips, and naturally, the best thing to do is revise/revise/revise and have a quality piece of writing, but there are also other things.


Persona Dennis Rodman kicking it in my office…

My number one tip: KNOW YOUR MAGAZINE.

If you are going to “book” a magazine for your show (submission), then know something about the magazine. If you don’t you are going to get rejected, rightly so, like when Artie Lange looks right at Joe Buck and says, “Your show sucks. You should have stuck to broadcasting.”

Read the magazine. Several issues. Visit the magazine’s website. Look at the authors in the magazine. Read the contributor notes. Read every piece in the magazine. If you don’t like the magazine’s content, why in the hell are you sending your work there? Look at the language, structure, themes, tone. Look at the cover. The spine. Does the paper smell good? Sniff the magazine. (Online–just press your nose to the screen)

Is this excellent magazine like this excellent magazine??

Uh, no.

When I worked at Black Warrior Review, we would get thousands of poems. All types and shapes and skiing with brothers. So maybe one day a packet of Christian poetry arrives, rhyming evangelical work….

Is there anything wrong with that work? No. Plenty of magazines out there would adore and publish the poems.


Obviously, the poet had not even read our magazine. That’s an insult to itself.

A few years back, writers would have to subscribe to every lit mag, or find them in the library. Not all writers had the cash to do this, or if they had the cash, they spent it on weed or veggie corn dogs or palm readers or golden dragon charms or loutish crowd activities, etc. . No worries now. Almost any magazine (and obviously online ones) have a web presence, with excerpts, with opportunities and images and words to get to know the magazine.

BTW, you should subscribe now to what you can afford. If you don’t support lit mags, as a writer, who will?

Artie Lange?


Uh, no.

On the same subject, Kyle Minor told a funny story a while back. He was visiting BSU, and we had him meet with some students and one of them asked, “How do I get published?”

Kyle told the students about the years he spent sending stories in and all his rejections, the usual writer/rejection path of badness/goodness. But then he told a hilarious story about editors not only rejecting him with the usual canned form letters, but then adding in handwriting “Never send here again” or “This story is so bad, you should quit writing.”

I have no idea if Kyle was using hyperbole, but it was a funny story.

The point of the story was that one year Kyle broke through; he started publishing. Consistently. Why? Well, obviously, after years of honing his craft, he was a better writer.

But he said this: “I started putting conflict in the first sentence, on the first page. That was the difference.”

If you read Any Kyle Minor, you will know this is true. His stories start hot, then turn up the heat. And you should also know most editors read your FIRST PAGE, then nothing more (I don’t blame them. They have, uh, lives, and more submissions than you would know.)….unless you give them a reason to read more, as in conflict.

Throw a fit.

Arrive late.

Dress in black…

Blow something up.


Persona Phil Hellmuth kicking it in my office…


2 responses to “How Artie Lange Relates to Literary Magazines…

  1. Joe Buck knew exactly what he was getting when he added Artie to the show.

    I’m sure he’s ecstatic about all the static….

  2. Best advice 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Rose ever gave me: start with ‘a hook’ (she had a fishing themed bulletin board all about it). I sort of thought it was a given, but I guess not everyone was in 3rd grade with me.

    Black Warrior Review is good.

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