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OC Register – Podcaster Adam Carolla Comes To OC

In Clippings, Online on January 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm

By: Kelli Fadroski
January 11th, 2010

Adam Carolla still struggles to understand what the word podcast even means. Yet his self-created online broadcast, simply titled “The Adam Carolla Podcast,” was number one on iTunes in 2009.

When Carolla’s popular KLSX radio show, “The Adam Carolla Show,” was canceled abruptly last February, the 45-year-old radio and TV personality decided to take his random thoughts and ramblings straight to the Internet.

He recorded his first podcast on Feb. 23 and it went live on iTunes the following day. It was downloaded over 250,000 times, nabbing the top spot and beating out other popular shows including those of Bill Maher and NPR.

Each week Carolla brings in various guests to discuss pretty much whatever they feel like for the 90-minute shows. Past guests have included Richard Belzer, Joel McHale, Brad Garrett, David Cross, Ed Begley Jr., George Takai, Andy Dick, Patton Oswalt, Aisha Tyler, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Fitzsimmons and more.

Although the podcast’s following has continued to grow, Carolla lost his partnership with CBS Radio and now has to come up with creative ways to keep the lights on and bandwidth open at the show’s L.A. headquarters. To help offset production costs Carolla and his crew are now doing remote podcasts. The live show made its debut at the Irvine Improv in December and now, just a month later, is returning to Orange County with 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows on Jan. 13 at the Brea Improv and again for two shows on Jan. 20 at the Irvine Improv.

“We got a lot of laughs and everyone seemed to have a good time in Irvine,” Carolla says in a phone interview. “The audience kind of inspired me to get it together a little bit and sit up a little straighter. They inspired me to bring my A-game.”

He says he was hesitant to make the two-hour in-traffic pilgrimage from L.A. to O.C. but both of the shows in December sold-out quickly. Nervous about how it would play out in front of a live audience, Carolla had his doubts about how well taping a live podcast would go over. He performed a 15-minute stand-up style monologue for both the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows and brought out various guests including “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, actor/musician Frank Stallone (little brother of Sylvester Stallone), adult film star turned blues-jazz singer Candye Kane and adult star Tera Patrick.

The live shows, which aired the following two days on the podcast, also went over well with Carolla’s National audience.

“The people in Wisconsin or Chicago or wherever seemed to really like it,” he says. “Now I’d like to make this something of a regular thing. I figured why not go back to Irvine and now Brea. I had a good time. I got free beer and it was kind of fun rubbing elbows with the people. We’re usually locked up in a warehouse doing our thing but now we get the chance to take it directly to the people.”

After being dumped from the airwaves Carolla says he received an outpouring of support from his loyal followers including a few that were distraught and messaging statements like, “I don’t know what to do with myself.”

“When you go off the air people feel really depressed or distant or feel rudderless or something,” he says. “I never had that. I mean I’d like another episode of ‘The Sopranos,’ don’t get me wrong, and maybe I felt that way when ‘Speed Racer’ stopped with I was younger, but I didn’t experience that kind of connection loss.”

That’s when he decided to start the podcast and give the public what it was asking for – for free.

Carolla has always been interested in talk radio. When he took up work as a carpenter, which he calls a “very lonely profession,” he would listen to various stations while on the job.

“I found that radio was kind of the salvation,” he says. “I always appreciated it and liked it but I also thought, ‘How much are these guys getting paid for this?’ Whenever you see any job that might seem attractive to you, you have that … you think you could do that (thought). It was very pragmatic for me. I could get paid $12 an hour to pound nails or I could make some real money doing something I think I could do better than the guys I’m listening to while I pound nails. And in just 10 short years, there we were.”

Carolla tried his hand at improvisational comedy at both the Groundlings and ACME Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles, although he says he wasn’t much of a stand-up comic. He gained notoriety in 1995 when he became the co-host of KROQ’s “Loveline” alongside Pinsky and later as co-host of “The Man Show” with long-time friend and former KROQ personality Jimmy Kimmel. He was also the co-creator and a performer on the Comedy Central prank- phone-calls-by-obnoxious-puppets show, “Crank Yankers.” Carolla left “Loveline” in 2005 to host “The Adam Carolla Show.”

When his radio program came to an end, Carolla says he went into the podcast with absolutely no expectations.

“It just grew organically,” he said. “If you go out and make a proclamation that you’re going to conquer the world, you’re going to fail miserably. If you have, like in my case, no expectations, then the comedy gods will smile upon you.”

“Our show has offered a nice alternative to the super fast paced, over-produced six-minute segments that entertainment has turned into now. It’s nice in this sort of hurried-up world to have a breather. It’s a kind of alternative that people seem to really be responding to. The talent (that we book) and the audience have really responded to the non-overproduced, hurry-up, very much more laid back and conversational feel of it.”

For fans coming out to the live podcast tapings, every show will be different. Since each gig is taped as a single podcast, Carolla will be coming up with a different routine – consisting generally of whatever has happened to him that day or what strikes him in that moment – and bringing out different guests for each segment. Comics Dana Gould, Doug Benson, Andy Dick and Greg Fitzsimmons are slated for the Brea nights and actress/comedian Aisha Tyler, Whitney Cummings and Rep. Richard Martin will be at the Irvine shows.

Maybe if you ask Carolla nicely he’ll even bust out a few of the dance moves that he learned during his 2008 stint on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

“If it will get people out there then yes, I’ll dance,” he says. “But I suspect that will actually drive more people away. I really can barely remember my partner’s name on the show. You know how when people get into a motorcycle accident and they say ‘I don’t remember the accident itself but I remember waking up in the hospital’? I have that with ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I’m sure I busted out some moves on the show and that’s what got me booted off.”

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