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Adam Carolla, Interior Decorator – Wall Street Journal

In Blog Exposure, National Print, Online on December 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Adam Carolla, Interior Decorator
The comedian picked paint colors, restored frescoes—and stuck a sports car in his office


Photographer: Ethan Pines for The Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles

Comedian Adam Carolla co-hosted “The Man Show,” a Comedy Central program known for featuring buxom women jumping on trampolines. At home, Mr. Carolla’s cartoonishly masculine persona is readily on display.

The eight-car garage, housing part of his collection of historic race-cars, Lamborghinis and Datsuns, has its own sitting room and beer refrigerator. Parked in his office, where four flat-screen TVs are arranged stadium-style, is Mr. Carolla’s prized orange 1970 Lamborghini Miura. It sits atop a hydraulic lift so it can be moved down to the garage below.

Inside Adam Carolla’s Man Cave

The large man cave in Mr. Carolla’s basement.

Then there’s what Mr. Carolla, 46, refers to as his “ace in the hole”—his large man cave in the basement. There’s a jukebox, mounted deer head and a pool table. Playing cards depicting nude women and coasters are adhered to the ceiling, and there’s a red upholstered bar facing a series of portholes that look directly into the water of his swimming pool.

Jimmy Kimmel, the former “Man Show” co-host who now leads his eponymous late-night talk show, says he likes to tease Mr. Carolla that he would install heated floors in his garage to protect his cars—but not in the bedrooms of his 4-year-old twins.

“The truth is,” jokes Mr. Kimmel, “you can’t drive your kids.”

What may surprise people, says Mr. Kimmel, are Mr. Carolla’s self-described effeminate hobbies: interior design and 1920s architecture. “I’ve got a great eye for color,” said Mr. Carolla. “I’m like a chick.” (His recently released book of cultural observations and rants is titled “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.”)

James Bond-meets-Vegas details aside, the rest of Mr. Carolla’s 5,500-square-foot Spanish hacienda-style stucco was renovated in the style of its era. (The house has two bedrooms and five baths; several bedrooms were converted to TV rooms and offices.) There are stained-glass windows, dark wood beams on rounded, vaulted ceilings and details like hardwood floors that have been hand-painted in shades of brown and pale green and outlined in gold to give them an Art Deco feel.

The entryway is a dramatic two-story, tiled room with wrought-iron railings lining the balcony hallway above. The soft blue periwinkle-and-cream-colored décor of the home’s bedroom, like everything else about the house, was Mr. Carolla’s idea.

Shortly after getting married in 2003, Mr. Carolla and his wife bought the Hollywood Hills home for $1.6 million. Mr. Carolla said the place was a wreck with “god-awful veneer cabinets” and orange paint covering hand-carved details, but “I thought, ‘There’s some bones there.’ ”

Wife Lynette had her doubts. “It was a big dump,” she said.

Photographs by Ethan Pines for The Wall Street Journal

Detail from the entry ceiling.

Mr. Carolla, who worked as a contractor before he was a full-time comedian, spent two years painstakingly restoring the home, overseeing and pitching in with the construction, and doing the engineering and interior design himself. At some points, say his wife and friends, the project became an obsession, driving Mr. Carolla, and his wife, crazy. He spent a week dismantling and moving a 90-year-old antique fireplace from his previous house by hand, photographing and numbering the ceramic tiles after removing them with a diamond blade. It took another week to reinstall it in his current house.

To bring back details hidden beneath layers of paint, he used a heat gun on interior wood beams and plaster ceilings, revealing colored frescoes. He scoured eBay and vintage stores for period fixtures.

In the kitchen, an antique sink has been re-enameled. Mr. Carolla had the refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher coated in red automotive paint, then waxed, partly because he thought the heavy-duty finish would stand up to his family’s wear and tear, but also because the bright color made them “feel more of the era,” he said.

Known for his rants on topics like why classic cars should be considered artwork, Mr. Carolla gets heated when talking about the state of many historic homes in the Los Angeles area.

“It’s always the same thing, the homes get built in the ’20s, then they gut the kitchen at the worst possible time, which is 1977.”

Mr. Carolla’s one complaint about his own house is that his kids have somewhat taken over what he sees as his masterpiece. The fridge is covered with their artwork, a toy car sits in the garage, and he says they’ve done a number on some of the original dark wood floors.

Mr. Carolla said he doesn’t know how much he spent on the remodel, but that the cost was relatively low since he did so much himself. A nearby four-bedroom, five-bathroom house that was built in 1930 and recently remodeled is on the market for $4.6 million.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Mr. Carolla was the son of divorced parents who he says took little interest in keeping up their homes. In his recently released book, he says his bedroom as a kid was a converted service porch near a hot-water heater in his mother’s unkempt “dilapidated shack,” a source of embarrassment for him as a child.

“When I finally got enough money to buy my own tools,” said Mr. Carolla, “I overcompensated.”

Write to Candace Jackson at


Access Hollywood – Adam Carolla Sounds Off on Music, Cartoons He Doesn’t Like

In TV on December 11, 2010 at 12:06 am

If anything is certain in life, it’s that, when given a platform, Adam Carolla will sound off on things he doesn’t like. On ‘Access Hollywood Live’ (weekdays, syndicated), Carolla says a range of people shouldn’t read his new book ‘In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks’ because he’s already deemed them guilty of foisting “crap” and “junk” on the masses.

“Hall and Oates shouldn’t be reading it, because they wrote a little song called ‘Maneater,’ which is the worst piece of crap ever created,” Carolla said. “Hanna-Barbera shouldn’t be reading it for creating all the horrible cartoons over the years. Sid & Marty Krofft, for being hacks and creating all the junk they’ve created over the years.”

– TV Squad

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


G4’s Attack OF The Show – In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks

In TV on November 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Adam Carolla sits down with Kevin Pereira to talk about his new book, In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks, how it made the New York Times’ bestsellers list and the problem with America. From radio, to TV, to books, the Ace Man’s truly done it all!

If you’re a fan of Adam Carolla, check out our behind-the-scenes interview with the cast of the Adam Carolla Show podcast!

Read more

Carolla Shares Rejected Book Titles On Kimmel

In TV on July 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Adam Carolla chose his appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (weeknights, 12:05AM ET on ABC) to unveil the cover of his new book of rants. But before the big reveal, Carolla showed a few of the covers rejected by his editors.

“Eat, Pray, Masturbate” was styled to mirror Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ memoir. “Buy this book and I’ll give you a Pontiac” featured Oprah Winfrey. And of one cover with Mel Gibson, Carolla explained, “It’s a couple months old. I thought it was a great idea at the time.”

Fireworks, a model and a drum roll were intended to introduce the chosen book cover and title. But the display went up in flames. A fireman (and Jimmy Kimmel’s art department) had to come to the rescue. -TV Squad

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