Artie Lange has never been known for holding back -- but in a new interview with sports broadcaster Kirk Minihan, the former Howard Stern Show sidekick was perhaps the most honest I've ever heard him regarding his eight years on the show and eventual estrangement from the King of All Media.

When I spoke to Lange last April, the comedian -- who during his height on the series made around $3 million a year on the standup circuit -- sounded g enuinely remorseful about the chain of self-destructive behavior that led to his January 2010 suicide attempt and eventual dismissal from the series, claiming Howard was just "looking out" for him when he made the decision not to invite him back. But in the interview with Minihan, the comedian comes off significantly more resentful, not only taking issue with the more celebrity-friendly direction the show has taken since his departure but voicing his frustration with Stern's seeming unwillingness to reestablish contact. 

None of which is to say that Lange isn't doing better. Following a two-and-a-half month stay at a Florida rehab facility to kick a heroin addiction in 2011, he eventually returned to standup, hosted a SiriusXM radio series, released a bestselling memoir (his second), started a podcast and was cast as himself for a multi-episode gig on the Judd Apatow-produced HBO comedy series Crashing starring Pete Holmes. And yet there is still clearly some lingering hurt over what he seems to feel is Stern's near-complete disavowal of him in the years since his departure.

For those interested, below are a few Stern-related highlights from the wide-ranging conversation, which you can listen to in full here.

1. About a month into his Stern Show gig, he believed Howard was going to fire him.

"One day Gary, and then Howard, pulled me aside after the show and said, 'listen, the jokes aren't working out that you're writing for Howard,'" he recounted. "And I said, 'f---, I'm getting fired, or not -- I wasn't even hired yet...[but] instead they said, 'we're just gonna keep your mic on all the time...if you say something funny, just say it as you. It's funnier when you say it, cause you're good with your own voice.' ...In a sense, I became a third host of the show because I sucked at writing the jokes."

2. He takes umbrage when people claim Howard didn't help him at the height of his problems.

"He didn't know the extent of it. There's no way he could've. And you know, I get mad when people say Howard didn't help me. He did. I mean, people didn't know what happened off the air. I mean, Howard got me a therapist through his therapist, he got me into rehab. Howard at one point said, this came out on the air, he said, 'look, go take as much time as you need to get better. When you come back, you have a job.' What else could you ask a boss to say?"

3. He believes that the show, rather than Howard himself, enabled his issues.

"Nobody individually was an enabler, but the show life itself was. Because I knew that the setup that I had helped create, the new sort of version of the show that was in part my creation, was [that] everything could be a time, I told Gary I need 18 days, or 28 days to go to rehab in Florida. After eight days, I left and I went to...Miami and I got a suite and I called the show with a stripper in the room with the room service guy bringing up Jack Daniels at 8 in the morning. And we made a half an hour bit about it."

4. He believes his dismissal was in part due to Howard's discomfort with the listeners' constant focus on his issues.

"Every caller eventually would want to talk about me, just because I was the only one living that kind of interesting life off the air. I was a comedian with a drug addiction doing standup on the road and partying like that. Obviously people would call and go, 'what happened with Artie this weekend?' And I think Howard rightfully so though that was getting a little much. It just sort of organically happened, there was no way to stop it. It was a monster rolling. And eventually it hit a mountain, because it had to."

5. He believes Howard had already decided to take the show in a different direction prior to his departure.

"I think Howard, in his mind, already had the changes he wanted to make that the show has become now in his head, and quite frankly, neither one of us would've thought I would've fit into that. [...] Like [last year's] interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, who in Gwyneth Paltrow's life is gonna let me within a foot of her?"

6. He can understand some fans' frustration with the show's more Hollywood-friendly direction in recent years.

"Howard is 62 years old, and I think he just evolved into something different. And I think he subconsciously, or very consciously, wants to leave behind an amazing library of celebrity interviews, which he's great at doing. The only issue I think that I agree with that the fans might have is, that it sorta seemed like he was just duping everybody for a long time. It always seemed like he was goofing on show business because he hated it and was really rebellious. And it sorta seems now like he just wanted to be a part of it. ...I'm the kind of Stern show guy, both being a fan and being on the show, [who] would rather goof on Jennifer Aniston's new husband rather than be friends with him. ...At the same time, I think the fans should be appreciative of what he gave them for so many years, and respect the fact that he changed. And he's got a right to do that."

7. He doesn't believe he'll ever be asked back to the show as a guest.

"It'll never happen....look, if he asked me to do it, I would go because he deserves -- I would do anything Howard asked me to do, because I was brought up by a guy who would tell me, 'look, that motherf---er gave you a job when you needed it and you know, I don't give a s--- what has happened, if he asks you a favor, you do it -- not that it would be a favor...Howard is responsible for almost everything I have in my life post-Mad TV. And I would go. But I know he wouldn't do it. He'll never ask me -- it's very weird."

8. The last time he spoke to Howard was during co-host Robin Quivers' hospital stay in 2012.

"The last time I actually spoke to Howard was in the hospital room with Robin. Robin had just gotten her operation, I'm gonna say 2012. I went to go see Robin, because I always had a special relationship with her. I love Robin, she was always very generous to me...It was spontaneous, I didn't know Howard was gonna be there. But I walked in and it was Howard and her, and I hadn't seen Howard since the day I left the show, before I stabbed myself [during his 2010 suicide attempt]. And was as if I saw him two minutes ago. He said, you know, 'we gotta make Robin laugh.' That's what he said to me. So we put everything aside for that, and just really spoke as if we were on the air, for an hour. We just laughed like crazy. And it was like nothing ever happened. And then Howard said, 'I gotta leave.' And I gave him a hug and I said 'you know, I'm sorry for everything, man.' And he goes, 'how are you doing? I said 'I'm all right, I'm working again.' And he goes, 'well that's good, I'll see ya'...and I haven't talked to him since."

9. He believes his fate on the show was sealed when he told Howard he looked like a pelican.

"When I said the pelican thing, it was over. No one ever said that. And I was out of line, quite frankly. But when he said, 'do you think I look like a pelican?' And I said 'yes,' there was no going back, it was a matter of time."

10. He claims Howard won't return his phone calls.

"I called him four times, probably three or four times and left voicemails, and he never called me back. ...I just don't think he wants to deal with me in his life anymore. I think he's got a very complicated life, and I think he's happy I'm okay. But I don't think he's prepared to deal with it anymore. And I understand that, but where I'm pissed off is, you know, we were really tight, on the air and off the air, very very close. We were friends, and went through a lot of battles together. And for a decade I sat two feet from that guy, and we had what some people think are the funniest moments in radio history...and he was the best comedic partner I ever had...and I just think, all that, maybe I earned ten minutes off the air to just let me say in person 'I'm sorry' and hear me out and hug and say goodbye. But that never happened, that closure never happened."

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.