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Adam Carolla Says We’re All Becoming Chicks – Sunday OC Register

In Clippings, National Print, Online on December 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm


Podcaster and TV and radio personality Adam Carolla says the world has gone soft. In his new book, “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” Carolla does what he does best, rage on about how society has decided handle a variety of issues with kid gloves, from the simple (iPhones, ketchup packets and L.A. restaurants) to controversial (politicians, taxes, race and gay marriage).

The 46-year-old comedian will be signing his book at the Barnes & Noble at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach on Thursday. He’ll also be performing his new stand-up act at the Irvine Improv Dec. 16-19.

Carolla has done several book signings and says they’ve gone well and included “all shapes, sizes and colors of white people.” Though he says it’s nice for people to show up, he’s still wary of his popularity.

“I think it’s flattering, but it doesn’t feel great,” he says during a recent phone interview. “I wish I could feel better about the process, but I kind of remove myself from it. It’s weird because there are times when I go out on stage, like at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and there’s 900 people sitting there and I think, ‘What are you people doing here?’ Really? I’m just a performer. I’ve kind of always been this way about any sort of notoriety.”

He enjoys meeting his public, he says, but views it very much as being “just part of the job.” He’s not a snob about it – he’ll pose for every picture, shake every hand and even strike up conversations, but once he’s punched out for the day, he says he just wants to be at home.

“In my mind, all I can think is that I want to be home with my kid,” he says. “I want to be home, messing around with my cars – that’s my mode. Maybe I’m trying to fool myself or something, or maybe this is just my way of maintaining sanity. Everything is a job. You do it, then you go home to your family. That doesn’t feel any different now from when I was swinging a hammer.”

As someone who could barely finish a book report in high school and failed his drivers ed class because he didn’t complete a simple essay about seat belts, Carolla – who worked as a handyman before trying his hand at comedy – says he was nervous about finding the time to write more than 85,000 words for his first book.

“I couldn’t read the prize rules on the side of a cereal box without having to bring it to the bathroom with me,” he says. “I’m so functionally illiterate and so bad at spelling, typing and reading. I don’t even read my own crap because it would entail actually reading.”

He took the book casually, chapter by chapter and with the blessing of the publisher, Carolla just let loose. Though much of his common sense anecdotes and in-depth comments are comical, he says he took it seriously.

“I could have just taken the money and handed in whatever, but I’ve got way too much ego for that,” he says. “You go on and we’ve got out of 155 or so reviews, like 145 of them give the book five stars and I love that. My ego couldn’t handle mailing in this thing and then seeing a bunch of two- or three-star reviews and have people saying ‘It’s not Carolla’s best.’”

Carolla started “The Adam Carolla Podcast” in February 2009 after his radio gig was canceled. The podcast has been top rated on iTunes since and Carolla has even taken it from the warehouse studio in Glendale to remote locations in front of live audiences. Some of the show’s guests have included Richard Belzer, David Cross, Aisha Tyler, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Fitzsimmons, Jeffrey Ross and Dana Gould.
With the holidays already in full effect, Carolla will also be bringing his “Christmas Carolla” shows, and possibly some of his famous friends, to Orange County.

“It’s not going to be like a Bob Hope Christmas special, though,” he says of the gigs. ”Ultimately it will be an hour and a half of something that slightly resembles stand-up.”

Since we’re on the subject of holidays and Carolla is the king of rants, we asked what’s bugging him the most about this time of year.

“Fake Christmas trees,” he replies quickly. “I don’t like them because they’re not real and people say that real ones are a hassle. That’s their argument. Everything is a hassle. Why don’t you just get a canned turkey and skip Christmas lights – it’s all a hassle. Hanging the stockings, making the eggnog, stringing the popcorn with a needle and thread, starting the fireplace, roasting the chestnuts, decorating the house – it’s a hassle and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You want to know how to really avoid the hassle? Kill yourself and you’ll never be bothered again. Life is a hassle – feeding the kids, fixing things, making deadlines – at least the holiday hassles smell nice.”

Adam Carolla book signing
When: 5 p.m. Dec. 16
Where: Barnes & Noble at Bella Terra, 7881 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach.
Call: 714-897-8781

Christmas Carolla Comedy Show
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 16; 8 & 10 p.m. Dec. 17; 7 & 9 p.m. Dec. 18 and 7 p.m. Dec. 19.
Where: Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine.
How much: $30
Call: 949-854-5455


Los Angeles Magazine’s 50 LA Stories – Adam Carolla

In Clippings, Magazines, National Print on December 8, 2010 at 3:10 am

– December 2010

New York Times Sunday Edition – Adam Carolla, World Class Complainer

In Clippings, Online on December 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

Adam Carolla, World-Class Complainer
This article appeared both in print and online, in the NY Times Sunday Business section on November 27, 2010

IN this episode, a Haggler first. The column welcomes a guest ranter — Adam Carolla, of radio (“Loveline”), TV (“The Man Show”) and podcast fame (“The Adam Carolla Show,” an iTunes chart topper). Most recently, he was the author of “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” which was briefly perched ahead of Mark Twain’s autobiography on the New York Times best-seller list.

“I don’t know what band the dude is in,” Mr. Carolla said when congratulated for outranking one of the great American writers. “I’m not a big fan of the pop music.”

Mr. Carolla is a funny and eloquent griper, and for years in various platforms, he has done a segment called “What can’t Adam complain about?” You just name something and after a short pause, he dismantles it.

So the Haggler teed him up, one topic after another. Here is a lightly edited transcript:

HOTELS I hate the fact that whenever you turn on the TV in a hotel, it’s always the hotel channel and it’s like 250 decibels. It hits you with a wall of sound.

When you travel, the TV set is like your buddy from home. So they should have a universal remote control at every hotel and all the channels should be in the same place. The way it is now, you have to scroll around to find anything. Eventually, you find ESPN or whatever you’re watching, and you leave it to go eat dinner, go to a club, and then you come back that night and it’s right back to the loud hotel channel. Couldn’t it just come back on to the station it was on? Would that be insane? My TV at home does it.

MIDPRICED CHAIN RESTAURANTS The food always looks a lot better on TV. You get sucked into it. You’re like, “Man, that shrimp scampi looks delectable” when you’re on your sofa, because they do some pretty good shots of that stuff. The guys who shoot those commercials should get into the porn business.

You watch an Olive Garden ad and the food is the best-looking Italian cuisine I’ve ever laid eyes on. Whoever cooks for that commercial, that’s who I hope my chef is when I show up at the Olive Garden.

RENTAL CARS There is always one dude in front of you who takes 45 minutes at the car-rental counter. I don’t know if this guy just pulled out trading stamps or his merchant marine I.D. or what. But I am always behind him.

MOVIE THEATERS I complain that people complain about the price of a ticket. Something like “Avatar,” eight years in the making, hundreds of millions to produce, and everybody is peeved. “Oh. man. $13 for a ticket?” I think that’s a pretty good deal.

But they should do a structure like the car wash does, where they charge more for vans. For an inexpensive indie film, the ticket should be $4.

AIRPORTS I don’t like the idea that almost every airport seems to have its own standards for security. When you’re leaving Burbank, you don’t have to have your toiletries in a clear Ziploc bag. But when you’re coming out of Phoenix, they want to know why you don’t have your toiletries in a Ziploc bag.

And the next time you’re coming out of Phoenix, three weeks later, no one wants to know about the Ziploc bag. I don’t know if they’re trying to confuse the terrorists, but they sure are confusing me.

THE CEREAL AISLE IN THE SUPERMARKET The problem with cereal is the problem with so many things. If it tastes good, it’s bad for you. If it tastes awful, it’s good for you. Everything that you want, everything with a prize in it, will kill you. All that you need to know about the universe is laid out in the cereal aisle.

And, by the way, cereal manufacturers: When you’re talking about the nutritional value of your product, you can’t count the milk. That’s not yours. “When used responsibly as part of a balanced breakfast … ” No. Your stuff has to stand alone.

But my kids love it, and as a parent you get lazy. Fruit Loops is basically a delivery system for milk. It’s a syringe for milk. You think, at least he gets half a glass a milk in him and we don’t have to fire up the stove.

TAXIS They mostly look relatively decent from the outside. Someone puts a coat of wax on them, and the fenders aren’t dented in. But you get inside, and the ride feels as if the car has circled the globe 11 times. The bushings, the ball joints, the suspension, every part that is underneath that car that has worked for the last 280,000 miles — you just feel it in your spine.

There have to be new cabs out there — they have to introduce them into the system every once in a while, right? How come I never get that cab?

The cabs I get are like Dyan Cannon. From a distance, looks hot, everything is fine, in place, it’s just teeth and hair and attractive. Then you get up close and it’s different.

THE APPLE STORE It’s very sterile-looking and really bright. If you’ve got a zit, don’t go into that place. There are two places you don’t need to be going with a zit: the Apple store and the duty-free shop at the airport. Two of the best-lit places on the planet.

I love Apple stuff, but I can’t stand the fact that the prices are the same at all the stores. I love the idea in life that “Hey, man, don’t get that blazer at the gift shop at Caesars Palace. Go downtown to the clothing district and you can get that thing for a quarter of the price.” That’s a bargain.

I don’t like the notion that with Apple, you could get it in Dubai or South Central Los Angeles, if they ever open a store there, and the laptop will be exactly the same price. I don’t like that. I want to go online and find it $50 cheaper.– NY Times Sunday Business Edition


Village Voice – Carolla At Carolines

In Clippings, Online on November 18, 2010 at 7:19 am

Design Bureau – Adam Carolla

In Clippings, Magazines, National Print, Online on November 1, 2010 at 5:01 am

November 2010
By Kristin Lamprecht and Stewart Kuhlo
Photos by Aaron Farley

“I sound like a dick, but I always tell people ‘I’m not handy—I’m a carpenter,’” explains Adam Carolla. “I grew up in this sort of downtrodden environment, where no one went to college and it was every man for himself, and you went out and got a job, and before you knew it, I was a carpenter, even though I didn’t have the mind of a carpenter. I was working with guys I didn’t want to work with, just dumbos…you know, born-again Christian gang-bangers and illegal immigrants and dumb white guys from Simi Valley, and it’s just like, no one had a sense of humor, no one was into design.”

Carolla, dressed in a maroon sweater and navy pants on a warm 70-degree Chicago morning, looks tired having already made an early morning appearance on WGN, just hours after his cross-country flight to the Windy City landed at 1 a.m. This afternoon, he’ll be on hand at Wrigley Field to toss out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cubs game, and later he’ll bring his number one daily downloaded podcast The Adam Carolla Show to the stage, the first of two shows he’ll be performing for devoted fans of the “ACE man” at the Park West theater. But before all of that can happen, he deadpans, “I’m going to need a nap.”

Most designers, they don’t build, and most builders don’t design, and most architects don’t really build, and I don’t know—I feel like you gotta kind of do it. I feel like I have this great advantage because I actually build. I know how to build.

As he stretches out on the orange leather sofa inside a downtown hotel lounge, Carolla is quiet and slightly withdrawn; affable, but not yet fully engaged. His demeanor quickly changes, though, when asked about his self-described “blue collar” upbringing in Los Angeles, with parents who, as he puts it, “didn’t give a shit” about their home.

“I grew up in a vacuum, with no tools and in bad apartments,” he says. After high school, he found himself working in manual labor. “I wasn’t into carpentry [at first], I was diggin’ ditches. I was a laborer—stuff people can’t really grasp. It’s sort of racist, really. It’s because I’m white, and people think I came from something. ‘Oh, you were an apprentice?’ and it was like, ‘No, I dug ditches.’ ”

Eventually, Carolla “dug ditches” long enough to buy himself a box of tools and a truck, and became a full-time carpenter, a job he held for the next 13 years.

“I did a lot of shit work [during that time]: hanging drywall and cracking houses. I learned all that stuff, and I got to explore a bit—evolve a bit as a designer,” he says, “As you do [carpentry], your mind starts working and you start seeing stuff. Most designers, they don’t build, and most builders don’t design, and most architects don’t really build, and I don’t know—I feel like you gotta kind of do it. I feel like I have this great advantage because I actually build. I know how to build,” he says.

Comedian, carpenter, designer—call him what you want, just don’t call him handy.

“I know the codes. I know the difference between R19 insulation and R32, and I know layout, and I know that your studs are 16 on center, and I know what ‘on center’ is. But Ty Pennington doesn’t know this. It seems like he knows this, but he doesn’t, because I’ve interviewed him. And I don’t want to be lumped in with the ‘handy’ guys because it’s what I did as a living.”

After more than a decade in the construction world, Carolla somewhat serendipitously found his way into comedy. While working nights as a boxing instructor for a Los Angeles gym (the sport being another lifelong passion of his), Carolla was approached by local radio station K-ROQ, to train on-air personality Jimmy Kimmel. Known on-air as “Jimmy The Sports Guy,” Carolla was tasked with training Kimmel for an upcoming celebrity fight. The student and trainer quickly formed a friendship, which led to Carolla making appearances on Kimmel’s radio show.

The successful pairing eventually led to them co-hosting four seasons of The Man Show, followed by four seasons of Crank Yankers, and a decade-long run for Carolla on the radio (and later MTV show) Loveline. As a result, Carolla found himself with an income that allowed him to work on his own design projects and no longer needing to build homes for strangers.

“I sort of went nuts from a building standpoint because I felt like I was deprived [as a child]. Guys do it with women. Half the assholes in Hollywood, you know, none of them got laid in high school, and they all just went fuckin’ nuts when they got it. So it’s like that, but with woodworking.”

Purchasing his first Hollywood Hills home in 1996, which, according to Carolla was the third house built in the originally titled “Hollywoodland” area, was a significant milestone in his life. “I just overcompensated for what I thought was an architectural void in my childhood,” he says. But restoring the manse to a livable condition was no easy task. Calling on his self-proclaimed days of “swinging a hammer,” he put his years of construction know-how and design skill to the test to restore the dilapidated home to its original glory. He recalls bringing Kimmel out to the property for the first time. “Jimmy showed up and said, ‘Why don’t you just get a new house?’ ” After some tense moments during construction, and near-accidents while securing the chimney to meet California earthquake code standards, Carolla was able to restore the home to its original 1923 specs.

“It was like an old car, and I just put it back to what it was.” He still owns the property today. “Working on other people’s houses all the time, it got you thinking about what you did like, and what you didn’t like. You get your own style.”

Carolla’s encyclopedic knowledge of building and design is enough to make even the most experienced craftsman take notice. However, his years of work experiences have not just shaped him as a carpenter, but also as a problem-solving designer in his own right. A point, which, he illustrated quite vividly while describing the restoration of the original kitchen floor in the home he currently inhabits.

“So it’s like this: in old houses, like in the 20s, they put down clear Douglas fir—clear meaning it didn’t have any knots in it—and it was tongue-and-groove, and it was a real inch versus three-quarters of an inch, and… it was beautiful, to me,” he says, contrasting the natural beauty of the original 20s-style kitchen floor with the cheap vinyl covering that had been tacked on top when he purchased it. “The problem is, once you tear everything out—the vinyl, the cabinets—and you move shit around, you have a bunch of holes from plumbing and electrical and sewage, whatever. You would have had this beautiful, old growth clear Doug fir, which you couldn’t mill or buy today, but [now] it’s got a bunch of big holes in the middle of it. So how do you repair the big, gaping holes in your tongue-and-groove Doug fir floor? Most people [would] go, ‘Well, I guess you gotta cut out the part with the big holes in it and replace it,’ but you can’t do that because it’s tongue and groove, and it’s in, man. But I said, ‘I bet there’s a way I can figure this out.’ ”

And he did, by devising his own solution involving routers, square mortises, jigs and various other carpenter’s tools of the trade before finally figuring out the floor puzzle—filling in the unsightly holes with a similar sanded wood and painting over both, making the two indistinguishable from each other.

He describes the entire process in painstaking detail—expounding on the differences in routers, preferred sanding techniques before remarking to “raise your hands if you don’t know what this means.”

“It’s a good example of my experience knowing I could save the floor. Most carpenters would go, ‘Fuck it—you gotta go over it with plywood,’ and a designer would go, ‘Fuck it—you gotta go over it with plywood,’ and I was able to figure it out with mortising. And yeah. I’m a genius. For that floor thing alone.”

His desire to save the original floor of the Hollywood Hills home is indicative of Carolla’s design sensibilities and aesthetic.

“I don’t understand how people rebuild a classic car and then put shitty chrome rims from today on it. “‘Well, these are cool’,” he says mockinginly. “‘Yeah, these are cool on a Denali, but not on a Duesenberg.’ People get so caught up with what’s cool, but like, it’s not gonna be cool in 10 years when I can tell you when you did the rims on your car. You can walk into anyone’s bathroom and be like, ‘Oh. 1980? 1981? When did you redo this bathroom?’ with the pink and black tiles like Miami Vice in the middle of a cool 1940s or 1920s house. Put everything back the way it was if you’re doing an old house.”

Passion for design and carpentry work aside—Carolla has a warning for anyone looking to build in LA: don’t do it. With strict earthquake and environmental codes, and seemingly needless regulations making it nearly impossible to do construction work, he goes off on one of his infamous rants about what it’s like to try to build anything in L.A.

“L.A. is a total bullshit rip-off of a town. I mean, anybody who tries to build, it’s a total disaster. Don’t even try. That’s why everyone clears out of L.A.—like every business. You can’t do anything there. It’s horrible. Just to Texas. Go anywhere; just don’t try [L.A.]. The building department, why not? They just see suckers with checkbooks and they let the gouging party begin. They’re just fucking gouging the fuck out of anyone who tries to do anything.”

The same goes for L.A.’s beachfront neighbor, Malibu.

“Don’t even think about Malibu. Essentially, they attack people who build. And it’s a crazy bureaucracy. I can’t tell you all the people that were like, ‘Eh, I was gonna build something’ but don’t do it. And they don’t realize how much it’s hurting their own economy by turning on their own revenue base. You know, Suzanne Somers lived in like Malibu for, like, a million years, and I interviewed her after her house burned down. And I was like, ‘You gonna rebuild?’ And she was like, ‘No way, I’m too old.’ You can’t do it. It’s a literal five-year process just to get the paperwork in order. If you live in Malibu and you’re dealing with the coastal commission? You ain’t doin’ shit for five years, and $100,000, and the approval of a bunch of fuckin’ Sean Penn’s friends. There’s a whole fuckin’ committee of the same hypocrites. They’ll ‘look out’ for you, and they’ll ‘look out’ for the coastline and the indigenous wildlife, and they’ll get to your shit in their sweet time, and—don’t call them, they’ll call you. And that’s it. You’re not building anything.”

After the near 20-minute rant reaches a boil, Carolla seems to have worn himself out and reverts to back to the quieter demeanor he exhibited at the start of the conversation. But before retiring to his hotel room for that much needed nap, he offers his final thoughts on design and where he finds inspiration.

“To me, design is not a linear thing that has a beginning and end. It has a sort of evolvement to it. It’s sort of a flowing thing, where ideas that [have] just layed dormant for years all of a sudden they hit you and, it’s like ‘oh yeah…’.”

Still, the fact remains that projects like installing a custom hydraulic lift in his garage and turning an old warehouse into the headquarters for his wildly successful podcast show are easy to accomplish with a celebrity bank account. They’re not the sort of design projects the average person can undertake. To this point, Carolla offers a simple response.

“You know, design is free; the execution is where the money comes in. The part where you think of it, where you lay it out—that whole part doesn’t cost a penny. You could do that from a prison cell. It’s, you know, the actual Viking stove in the prison cell that becomes costly.”

Adam Carolla’s book, ‘In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks: And Other Complaints From An Angry Middle-Aged White Guy’ from Random House is available in bookstores everywhere. His podcast is available for free download on iTunes or at

In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks – Playboy Exclusive

In Clippings on October 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Playboy got the exclusive first excerpt from Adam’s new book “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks”.

See the whole article on stands Nov. 1st.

Fast Company – Follow Up

In Clippings on October 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Fast Company | October 2010

VegNews Cover John Salley

In Clippings on September 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

John Salley came to us because he wanted to be transformed from a retired four time NBA champion athlete into a Wellness Guru. As a Vegan himself, John had been preaching health for years but had yet to break through to the community. We were able to land him on the cover of the #1 vegetarian magazine in the country, VegNews, the Vegetarian Times, Dr. Oz, and planned a vegan cruise hosted by John. In a matter of four months, John had come out of L&A, a Guru.

Inventors Digest

In Clippings on September 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm

September 2010
Look Who’s Talking – Adam Carolla
Lessons from a Foul-Mouthed Funnyman

When the recession put him on the unemployment roll, he regrouped and relaunched his career. He’s back on top. This time on his own terms.

By Mike Drummond

It’s late June and I catch Adam Carolla in a chatty mood. Then again, when isn’t the former co-host of Loveline and The Man Show not up for some conversation, or at least a good bitch session?

You’d think he’d have little to gripe about these days. Since getting canned last year from one of the biggest radio stations in one of the country’s largest markets, Carolla has reinvented himself as an Internet sensation. The Adam Carolla Show is the top comedy download on iTunes and consistently among the top 10 in all genres. He uses the podcasts to promote his live stand-up shows, which have been selling out. And he’s succeeded where traditional media companies have failed – he makes money while still offering free content on the Web.

Yet Carolla complains. He informs me he’s fed up with the toaster and wants inventors to get on it.

“I feel like when I pop in a piece of toast and stand there and wait for it to pop out, it takes exactly as long as it took Lucille Ball to get her toast in 1957,” he says. “It’s an eternity.

“What’s taking so f&*ck%#@ long with that toast?” he says, ratcheting up the rant. “It’s the … exact same technology we’ve used since 1929. When you stare down the barrel of your toaster, you are staring at the past.

“Also, I don’t need the setting on the toaster that will burn the toast on each side. That is like having a Jacuzzi with a skull and cross bones setting. It would poach anybody that got in it. Someone inevitably will turn that knob too far to the right and I’ll get the burnt toast. And I don’t mind crispy, or even a little black, but this setting will destroy the toast.

“Don’t give me the option to destroy the toast,” he pleads, “and I’d like you to speed up the process a little more.”

For the uninitiated, Carolla’s rage against this machine may seem wholly disproportionate given all the problems the world faces. In an era when the Japanese are still slaughtering whales, European soccer fans are pelting black players with bananas and racist monkey shouts and our own deep sea oil wells can gush for months on end, who in their right mind gets worked up over toasters?

Carolla does. The opinionated, foul-mouthed funnyman has turned the improvisational tirade into a lucrative art form.

Good for him. What’s that have to do with us? His do-it-yourself philosophy and career experiences offer lessons for seasoned and aspiring inventors alike. Carolla has built an original comedic product line with sales channels that have included radio, TV, Web, live appearances and a forthcoming book; he’s packaged his line with innovative marketing; he’s taken risks and embraced new technology; and he’s surrounded himself with a trusted, solid business team.

“When people think of inventions, they think of long flumes with softballs rolling down and hitting a Ferris wheel and a ball gets picked up and dropped onto a teeter totter, striking a flint, igniting a Bunsen burner. But the best inventions are really just the simplest ones.”

– Adam Carolla

At the core of his empire is his ability to identify problems. However, unlike an inventor who would try to solve these problems, Carolla riffs on them. Little is off-limits from what has become one of his trademark routines, “What Can’t Adam Complain About.”

Push lawn mowers – should have disappeared the day the power mower was invented.
Pre-school functions – highly over-rated, meaningless developmental exercises 3-year-olds forget anyway.
Alaska Airlines’ Eskimo logo – “a drunken ground dweller” is a poor representation for swift flight.
Arizona’s immigration law – give it a chance and don’t insult Holocaust survivors and their families by likening it to Nazi Germany.
Pot and prostitution – should be legalized.
Santa Monica parking enforcement officers – leeches who treat taxpayers as ATMs.
His stream-of-criticism often draws from his blue collar narrative – a less-than stellar academic career at North Hollywood High School, academic probation at a junior college, indifferent parents, days swinging a hammer as a carpenter, days slinging a shampooer as a carpet cleaner, teaching boxing and traffic school, and on through his rise as a radio and television personality.

When it comes to the human condition, Carolla is a pragmatist. He’s fond of using a Winnebago analogy when tracking the hierarchy of homo sapiens. Some of us are in back pushing, the good people who are trying to advance the RV of society. Others, sadly, are freeloading inside, helping themselves to Cheetos and Dr. Pepper. Then there are your bad apples, your Bernie Madoffs and Islamic terrorists, who are in front impeding progress. Carolla has zero tolerance for the latter and wants them put on a disposal or “predator drone” list.

Carolla embodies the aspirational Everyman, the beer-drinker with the champagne taste who – dysfunction be damned – crossed class barriers to become rich and famous.

“It should be everyone’s dream to start a business and work with the people you want to work with.”
– Adam Carolla

At times he has crossed the line. During one unscripted rant this year, he insulted Filipinos by saying the country had “nothing going for it except sex tourism” and boxing hero Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, after the fighter refused to take a drug test. Carolla later issued an apology on Twitter.

For the record, he’s not a racist. He’s an equal-opportunity offender. And he’s parlayed keen observational skills, self-deprecation, ambition and an expansive vocabulary – “gravitas,” “doppelganger” and “narcissism” are part of is nomenclature, as is the F-bomb – into a franchise.

With his off-topic, off-color musings, he proved an able and salty foil to Dr. Drew Pinsky’s cerebral, sage relationship and sex advice on the syndicated radio show Loveline, which also enjoyed an MTV run from 1996 to 2000.

Likewise, he played capable, beer-swilling co-host with Jimmy Kimmel on the television program The Man Show, which aired five years, 1999-2004.

Carolla met Jimmy Kimmel at Los Angeles radio station KROQ in the 1990s. Carolla asked how he could get into radio. Kimmel, who regularly appeared on KROQ’s morning Kevin and Bean show, told him to create a character. Carolla joined the cast as “Mr. Birchum,” an angry Vietnam veteran and shop teacher. Carolla and Kimmel remain best friends.

When Howard Stern left for satellite radio in 2005, Carolla slipped into his time slot at Los Angeles-based CBS radio affiliate KLSX.

Carolla seemingly cemented his arrival following his 2007 feature film The Hammer, a loose autobiography and sports comedy about an amateur boxer. Although the movie failed to light up box offices, The New York Daily News carried a typical review: “Corolla’s grumbly, monotone, stoop-shouldered pessimism in The Hammer,” the daily wrote, “… is actually funny.”

And then, at the top of his game with talk of television pilots in the works, Carolla came crashing to earth. Like millions of Americans during the Great Recession, he found himself downsized early last year, axed from a multi-year gig when KLSX changed formats from talk to Top 40 in a cost-cutting move.

Faced with a mortgage on his hillside LA home, toddler twins and a growing car collection, Carolla had to reinvent how he plied his comedic craft, redefine his relationship with his audience (customers) and retool his revenue model.

Car buff and amateur racer Adam Carolla is partial to Datsuns, BMWs and Lamborghinis

Carolla had a recognized brand and a product people wanted – there was demand for his rantings based on his previous radio and TV ratings. Think of those ratings as market research, data every inventor or product developer should have.

Embracing risk and innovation, but lacking a traditional media outlet, Carolla turned to the Internet – the primary threat platform to traditional media. He rolled out The Adam Carolla Podcast on his personal Web site two days after getting canned from KLSX.

By its third episode, the show was the top download from iTunes in the United States and Canada.

He also launched a CarCast podcast, devoted to automobiles, natch. His wife and close friends also launched their own podcasts through his Internet “Ace Broadcasting” network.

This year he renamed his flagship podcast The Adam Carolla Show and “got the band back together,” hiring friends and staff from the radio program. Like any good businessperson, Carolla surrounded himself with a solid support team. As of this summer, the show was by far the top comedy download on iTunes.

4535 Adamcarolla is an asteroid named after Adam Carolla

He’s incorporated segments from his old radio show, including news and movie trivia games. Unshackled from corporate bean counters and government censors, Carolla and team have shown themselves eager to explore the limits of free and raunchy speech. His shapely sidekick and muse Teresa Strasser, for instance, tends to deliver more headlines about bestiality now that she doesn’t have a program director telling her otherwise.

The advantage of the podcast over terrestrial and satellite radio is “doing it on your own terms and being your own boss, working with people you want to work with and not being heavily formatted,” Carolla says. “It’s feeling like you’re creating something new versus piling on something that’s 100 years old.”

The only downside, he adds, “is not being paid.”

Profitable Podcast
Carolla tends to sweat the details.

“You see that show Modern Marvels?” he asks. “The thing that pisses me off is at the very beginning it shows a crescent wrench going on a hex-head bolt and it makes the back ratcheting sound.

“Where’s the ratcheting sound coming from? You guys can’t get that f&*ck%#@ right? You’re Modern goddamn Marvels!

“All credibility,” he adds, “is gone.”

Beneath the joke lays passion and a working-class ethos that informs his new role as new media entertainer and entrepreneur – a role that has allowed (forced?) him to forge a stronger bond with his audience and his sponsors.

He’s extended his product line to include live stand-up shows, paid content that he also edits and uploads for free download on iTunes. Nothing brings you closer to customers than meeting them in person – for inventors, that’s often trade shows, in Carolla’s case it’s nightclubs.

He’s fond of admonishing listeners to find something they like to do, do it well, even for free early on if you have to, and success will follow.

“I would do the podcast independent of the money for the same reason I don’t get paid to go to the garage to tinker on my car,” he says. “If somebody said, ‘Nobody’s listening, but here’s a million dollars a year,’ or, ‘You have a million downloads a week, but you get no money,’ I’d pick the million downloads a week.”

All jokes about not getting paid aside, he acknowledges that the podcast is making money.

For that he can thank sponsors, including Mangrate.

Computer entrepreneur and founder of Virginia-based Earthwalk Communications Evan McConnell invented the Mangrate, a “grilling enhancement system.” It’s really just two hunks of serrated cast iron that go atop your existing grill. But the Mangrate has a design patent, so we’ll allow McConnell the “invention” designation.

Entrepreneur Evan McConnell received design patent No. D610,405 for his Mangrate product on Feb. 23, 2010.

“I see (Carolla) as our George Foreman,” McConnell says.

Carolla pitches Mangrates – he calls them a “grill on steroids” – and has shot Web video clips of him using the product, evoking bygone television slots when folks such as the aforementioned Lucille Ball would urge viewers to smoke Phillip Morris cigarettes.

“What Adam has done, it’s almost old school,” McConnell says. “And he’s really good at pitching ‘man’ things.”

Edison Research, on behalf of the Association for Downloadable Media, this year found that price and quality being equal, 80 percent of consumers “prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on or sponsor” the podcasts they regularly enjoy.

Unlike conventional radio advertising, which takes a shotgun approach to spraying the airwaves, podcasts cater to a targeted audience and can assure advertisers that listeners actively sought them out, notes Oscar Zeballos.

Zeballos is the vice president of marketing at Earthwalk who helped arrange the Carolla sponsorship deal. He also is involved with The Mike O’Meara Show, a former D.C.-area FM broadcast that got booted off the air in a format change and went to podcasting this year.

“In terrestrial radio, listeners are just numbers,” Zeballos says. “The podcast is a community.”

Get Out and Push
Carolla appears focused on his community and comfortable in his niche.

“My sort of Sam Adams of comedy is not ever going to be a big mass appeal,” he says. “I’m never going to be Budweiser. That’s Howie Mandel’s job.

“I feel if 90 percent of the country was in love with me,” he adds, “I’d be doing something wrong. But there’s a way to get your audience make your money and do your thing. You don’t need to sell out Madison Square Garden.”

Put another way, he has developed a marketable product to a specific type of customer. And like any successful product developer, he embraces continual improvement if not a commitment to quality.

“I always feel like if you’re just making people laugh, but not making them think, it’s kind of empty calories,” he says. “Making them laugh is hard to do, and it’s good to do. But ultimately it’s really like sex with a prostitute. It feels good at the time, but you’re not real proud of yourself the following day. It doesn’t stop you from doing it again, I’m just saying when you’re in the mirror you don’t like what’s staring back at you.”

So in his own crass way, Adam Carolla is trying to make the world a better place.

“I have a personal invention that doesn’t involve any hardware and it’s free,” he says, somewhat out of the blue. “When people call you on your cell phone, do this when you pick up, say, ‘Hold on, let me get rid of somebody.’

“Just come back five beats later and say ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ And they’ll always think you like them better than the person they thought you were talking to,” he says. “It makes everyone feel better.”

On his show, he frequently references inventors or inventions. With his background as a carpenter and his affection for wrenching and driving cars, he seems to have an affinity for tinkerers and problem solvers. I ask him about this.

“I think inventors are almost a metaphor for our country,” he says. “Just the idea that people are out trying to sort of better their own situation and better the lives of everyone else.

“Our economy, our way of life, our rallying call is essentially that. In a weird way, every immigrant is an inventor in that he’s going to reinvent himself. He or she is going to come to this place, often times from very far away and with a different language, and risk their lives often times with nothing to start this experiment, this invention called life in this country.”

He wagers that more inventions and innovation spring from free societies as opposed to “shitty communist countries” (a hunch that’s verified through patent filing data, by the way).

“I think those type of regimes almost break people,” he says. “Even if you come up with something good, you’d never be able to profit off it anyway. It becomes a ‘What’s the use?’ kind of thing. And before you know it the supermarkets are open a half hour everyday and there’s nothing on the shelves.”

No. Despite its many flaws, Carolla says the United States has gotten most of the things that matter right. Sure, other countries have better healthcare. Many have better rail systems. We’ll have to work on those. But when it comes to the ability for an individual to make a mark in the human continuum, a place where an idea can become a product and a livelihood, where risk and failure are seen as virtues, then the United States is “pretty near the top of that list.”

“And by the way, it’s a level playing field in that if you invent something that everyone wants, you’ll probably be pretty successful,” he adds. “And if you invent something that nobody wants, well, you’re not going to be too successful.”

Inventors, then, enjoy an honored place in Carolla’s catalog. They’re outside, somewhere in the back, sweating on the desert highway of life, pushing hard on the Winnebago.


Seattle Weekly – Adam Carolla On Juggalos, Tila Tequila, Kenny Rogers, Michael McDonald & The Klitschko Brothers

In Clippings, Online on September 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm

By Mike Seely
Wed., Sep. 1 2010

​The Hammer is a 2007 film written by and starring Adam Carolla. It is the story of a Los Angeles construction worker who achieves success in the boxing ring through an extraordinarily serendipitous twist of fate. It’s basically the story of Adam Carolla, whose comedic talent was discovered only after he answered an ad placed by Jimmy Kimmel, who was looking for a boxing trainer to get in shape (Carolla is an adept pugilist). After stints on The Man Show and radio, Carolla now hosts “The Adam Carolla Podcast,” which he’s essentially bringing to the stage on his current tour.

Speaking by phone from Denver in advance of his September 10 appearance at the Moore, Carolla offered his opinion on a range of topics, including Juggalos, Mexican accordion music, and the beards of Kenny Rogers and Michael McDonald:

SW: Does Kenny Rogers’ plastic surgery make you sad?

AC: “The whole thing about being in country music and having a beard is not getting plastic surgery. You’ve got the beard & cowboy hat–that’s 80% of your head. What do you need to get your eyes done for? It’s a little sad, but it’s sadder we haven’t been able to figure out how to do plastic surgery where you can’t tell. You think Kenny Rogers wouldn’t get laid otherwise? He’s got a billion dollars.”

Why hasn’t conjunto music caught on among Caucasians?

“It’s a horrific art form that is degrading and annoying to all people with ears and a brain. It’s a sonic scourge, the most annoying music on the planet. I’ll listen to opera and Lord of the Dance. I’ll listen to salsa. It’s not a cultural thing; it’s just fucking horrible. I don’t think enough people complain about it.”

What was Tila Tequila doing performing for a gathering of Juggalos in the first place?

“I don’t know who would have been a better fit. Ann Coulter? I don’t know that Violent J needs a female presence at those shows. Who would work, Sally Struthers? They’re insane and they’re clowns and they’re a posse–that’s a horrible group to go after.”

Why did you do Dancing With the Stars?

“I thought it was nutty, scary, kind of weird–so I thought I’d try it. If you’re scared, it’s probably a sign you should try it, unless we’re talking about arson or something.”

Do you think Michael McDonald takes himself too seriously?

“I don’t know a lot about the man. I like the idea that he’s had the beard since junior high. He’s another good example of a guy with a lot of hair and beard who doesn’t need plastic surgery. His hair and beard style haven’t been touched in 30 years, it just completely changed color.”

Do you have a particular affinity for Tecate beer, which was featured prominently in The Hammer?

“I do like Mexican beer, I must say. I wouldn’t say Tecate’s my favorite. I’m not really much of a Corona fan. When you do an independent [film], here’s how product placement works: You say, ‘hey man, can you give us a couple of boxes to prominently display your product.’ And they say, ‘no, but we’ll give you a 12-pack.'”

Are the Klitschko brothers bad for boxing?

“It’s hard to say when guys dominate if they’re bad for the sport. Not fighting each other is kind of boring. By the way, brothers fight all the time; I don’t see why these guys can’t go at it. It’d be the biggest pay per view ever.”

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