Former "Howard Stern" radio star Artie Lange returned to the airwaves last night -- on a sports talk show -- telling fans that returning to his old job on Stern would be "the greatest thing ever."
Lange disappeared from the Stern show in January 2010 ... after a private medical emergency.
But last night, Lange appeared on a Fox Sports Radio show hosted by his friend and fellow comic Nick DiPaolo and explained he had been spending time at a rehab facility in Florida to get himself sober.
A caller told Lange he couldn't wait for Lange to return to the Stern show ... and Artie replied, "That would be the greatest thing ever."
Lange continued, "Listen, I was on the greatest show of all time for about 9 years ... and I put them in a very awkward situation to say the least, so, what am i gonna do?
"But I love them all and they were great to me. I appreciate it."