It was like Easter in May: Artie Lange has died, and then, less than an hour later, Artie Lange had risen.
Tuesday morning at 9:13 KLAS-TV sent out a Breaking News email to subscribers. "Eyewitness News has learned that comedian Artie Lange was found dead in his hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel. Lange was in Las Vegas for the taping of Howard Stern's show. The hotel has confirmed his death, but offered no other details."
Calls seeking comment from Channel 8 and the Hard Rock were not returned.
Over at the Hard Rock there was little action and no visible news vans. Employees of the hotel-casino were mystified by questions about the rumored death. "I haven't heard anything about it. There haven't been any ambulances here," said one man. "Did you check your calendar to see if it was April 1?"
At The Joint, security stood by the door near a Howard Stern sign, answering questions about when the line will start forming for the broadcast. No one seemed maudlin or shocked. When asked about the death, security said they knew nothing. They'd just received their first question about it. Meanwhile, one publicist was answering her phone "Artie Lange is not dead." Because, well, Artie Lange is still alive.
At 10:02 Channel 8 sent out a retraction. "An earlier report that a member of the Howard Stern show had died in Las Vegas appears to not be true. A person claiming to be from the Hard Rock Hotel called media outlets reporting the death. Once again the report is unfounded."
This comes from the same station who broke the news about "Hunting for Bambi" last summer. That story also turned out to be a hoax. Maybe Channel 8 Eyewitness News should strive for more eyewitnessing.