Adam Carolla: Broadcast Personality, Comedian, Actor

ADAM CAROLLA had just written his book In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks when we did this interview.  We were invited to see him perform his comedy at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and unfortunately somebody forgot to put us on the list.
The door guy told us to take a hike.

We hope we get to see him soon, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy his unique perspective in this interview.

What was the most surprising thing in Adam Carolla’s interview?

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s our pleasure to welcome our special guest, Adam Carolla.  He’s going to be appearing at the Tabernacle here in Atlanta on September 30th.  First of all, thanks so much for joining us.
Thanks for having me, Paul. 

You left radio for the podcast format.  What do you like about podcasting and where do you think it’s going?
The thing that’s really nice about podcasting is everyone always says, “Wow, you get to say whatever you want.”  You don’t get to say whatever you want because if you do say whatever you want, and people are still listening and they’re still plenty of groups out there that will protest and try to getyour sponsors to leave you and that kind of stuff.  You can use whatever language want but you can’t say whatever you want.  So there’s a little misnomer there.  I never found radio confining.  The thing I do like about the podcast is the flexibility in the schedule.  For instance, I do my podcast every night at 8pm, and that’s just the way we do it but tonight, my dad is celebrating his eightieth birthday and so we’re going to do it earlier so I can go to my dad’s eightieth birthday tonight, which is something, you know, in radio, you don’t get to do.  The show’s when it is and it’s that time every day and, you know, if your dad’s eightieth birthday happens to fall on the night when you’ve got to do a show, “Too bad Pops,” you know. 

Where do you think this is all going?  Do you think it’s the new frontier?
Oh yeah…I didn’t answer the second part of your question.  I don’t know.  I think it’s going about the same place music did eight years ago, which is…I don’t think there’s ever going to be such a thing as a multi-platinum record that sells anymore or disc.  It’ll be downloaded and people will find it on their computer and some people will find it on Amazon but they’ll find it.  It’s the same way…it’s the same thing that’s sort of happening with books.  It’s the same thing that’s happening with TV.  You know, back in the day, TV shows would get forty million people watching.  Now, if you can get five million people watching, you’re doing pretty damn good and books would sell a million copies and now if you can sell a hundred thousand copies, you’re doing pretty good.  The pie is getting sliced up into thinner and thinner pieces.  So there’s so many people out there and there’s so much product that there’s so much to go around that it’s being consumed in smaller little bit-sized pieces.  So those days of selling millions of copies of this or having a fifteen share of television, for the most part, are gone.  You’re going to take your little core audience of a couple hundred thousand people and just go off and make money with them. 

Well, a second ago you mentioned your father.  The name of your podcast network is the ACE Podcasting Network…Ace Broadcasting Network…a lot of really great shows and one of them is ‘Life Lessons with Jim Carolla.’  I really enjoy listening to that one.  This might be a tough question, but what is the greatest life lesson your father has taught you?
You know it’s funny that that’s the name of the show, or ironic.  My dad never…he wasn’t the type to like ever sit me down and go, “Listen, there’s two kinds of ladies out there son.”  You know, it was never like a good Johnny Cash song.  We never talked that much.  He never told me anything.  He rarely had any advice for me like not in a bad way…just like, “Eh, go out and live your life,” like.  But he always kind of said, and it wasn’t a great feeling, but he always sort of said, “Try to figure out what your part in this scenario is and see if you can fix it.”  In other words, every time I’d get into an argument with somebody or every time something goes wrong or you get fired from a job or you get cut from a team or you get divorced or your girlfriend dumps you or your boyfriend dumps you…whatever the situation is, instead of doing all the externalizing, which everyone just does like, “Screw that guy!  He’s an idiot!”   You know, go, “Why’d you get fired from your boss?”  “Why’d you get fired from your job?”  “My boss is an a-hole!”  Like, alright…that doesn’t really help you fix whatever reason you got fired for, unless in fact, your boss is, in fact, an a-hole and just fired you just because he’s an a-hole. But usually your boss fires you for something you did, even if he is an a-hole.  And I love those people who do the thing where they go, “Hey man, I did the work of three people.  He was just jealous so he fired me.”  Like, don’t externalize it.  Look in, meaning if you go to a restaurant and you go to the restaurant on a Friday night at seven o’clock and the restaurant is closed, you could be outraged and go, “This is nonsense!  What kind of restaurants close on a Friday night at seven o’clock.”  But you know what my dad would say?  “You should’ve called first.”  And I’d go, “What are you talking about?  It’s Friday night at seven o’clock.” He’d go, “Still, if you’d called, you would’ve found out they were closed.”  All I’m saying is, take a look inside and figure out what you could’ve done and don’t beat yourself up about it but if you want to avoid a trip to a restaurant that’s closed, call first. 

Very sound advice.  I was reading your new book, and to all the listeners out there, it’s entitled ‘In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.’  There’s a tremendous emphasis on embracing what it is to be a woman.  You see that every day.  But you don’t really hear anything about embracing manhood.
It’s so funny when you hear women up on the podium, whether it’s Nancy Pelosi or Cher…whoever…and they’re going like, “We are strong.  We are independent.  We make the world go round.  We need to set aside a month to celebrate us.”  I mean, just imagine a dude doing that.  By the way, when you make the proclamations and announce why you’re so strong and have days set aside for you and your strength and your independence and all that, it usually means things aren’t going that well so you should probably knock it off (laughs).  Rich white guys rarely have that meeting…”Hey!  We need a day for us!”  Trump, take the podium…talk about how, uh, how smart we are how strong we are and how proud we are and what great fathers we are.  Let’s do that.  Let’s take a day to celebrate us.  Nah…we’re kind of busy making money and ruling everything.  So I would say, no matter what group you’re in, don’t have those press conferences or those marches or whatever it is where you make the proclamation of how much the world needs you.  It’s usually not a good sign. 

You record your podcast show out there in the seat of the entertainment world, California.  Who have you met in Los Angeles that has the most integrity?
Oooh…wow…let’s see…I would say, if you’re going to use the word ‘integrity, it might be my buddy, Jimmy Kimmel.  I mean, Jimmy is one of these guys, in a town where everyone gets paid for doing nothing, like you know when you watch these shows and there’s nine producers?  Eight of them do nothing.  They literally just get paid.  They don’t show up on the set.  They’re called “non-writing producers.”  They do not much…we live in a town where people frequently get paid for nothing. An old manager would get paid for doing nothing and they have no problem with it.  They’re entitled to it.  Jimmy is one of the only dudes I know in this town who says, “I don’t want to get paid if I’m not doing something.  So if I’m not actively creating on this show, then save your paycheck.”  Other than Jimmy, there’s a hand…you know the thing about this town is there’s a bunch of really good, solid dudes and then a bunch of colossal douche bags and everyone’s focus is on the colossal, do nothing producers or chicks running the studios….there’s tons of just hacks and phonies and imposters and just idiots that I’ve worked with….most…every producer that I’ve worked with has been a colossal douche bag.  But they get the reputation and they sort of ruin it for the rest of the town.  And the reality is, there’s whole bunch of really cool people and it’s sort of like rich guys…rich guys have this reputation for being evil rich guys.  Well, most of the rich guys I know are like…they’re really nice and they’re super hard-working and their and they’re generous.

Well on that note, you mentioned producers.  Are there any other people you’ve met in the industry, or maybe a specific person, who you just do not like?
Yeah…(laughs)…almost everyone.  The industry attracts narcissists with personality disorders.  So, I mean, you have to be…there’s usually something wrong with you and like I said, look, if you’re a writer or you’re a comedian or you’re a storyteller or actor or greater, you probably have a personality disorder but at least you do something.  I mean, at least you go, “Hey!  I’m funny.  I’m going to write some jokes.”  It’s the producers who don’t contribute anything…I mean, like when we did ‘The Man’ show all those years, this producer didn’t do anything.  Here’s all you people need to know about producers:  for the first four seasons of ‘The Man Show,’ we produced the show.  Stone Stanley, who claimed to produce the show, they weren’t allowed on the set.  They were off somewhere else.  They were literally not allowed there.  Jimmy didn’t like them and they just weren’t there.  So, for the first four seasons, that was ‘The Man Show’ that was done the way we would’ve done it.  The fifth season, when we left, then the producers got to produce and that’s what you got.  You got the fifth season on ‘The Man Show’ with Doug Stanhope  and Joe Rogan  and that’s what the show would’ve looked like if the folks who, in quotes, “producing it” were producing it the first four seasons.  Oh, they got paid.  They got paid the first four seasons and they got paid the last one too but that’s what producers do. 

One of the other people on your network is Larry Miller.  What do you think about Larry Miller?
I should have brought him up when you were asking me about, uh, integrity.  I love Larry Miller.  He is the nicest guy in the world.  He’s just like old school, just solid dude, you know…a good husband, a good dad, and funny, sincere, always in a good mood…one of these guys that calls you “pal,” like every time you see him, “How are you, pal?  How you doing?  Good to see ya.  Good…” always seems happy to see you there.  He’s always happy to be where he is.  Like, just the nicest guy you’re ever going to want to meet.

Who have you had on the ‘Adam Carolla Show’ that you were proudest to welcome?
I was excited to get to sit down with Albert Brooks for a good eighty minutes the other week and interview him because I’ve always been a fan of Albert Brooks and I’ve never seen any just long-form, sit-down interview with him.  I was excited to have Francis Ford Coppola.  I was excited to have Ken Burns, the documentarian on.  I found that guy really compelling.  One of the guys I was most excited about was the actor, Christoph Waltz because I’d just seen ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and I was literally, I felt like a sneak preview of ‘In Glorious Bastards’ like a week before it came out and I saw Christoph Waltz and I was blown away and I was like, “This guy’s going to win the Oscar for sure.  He’s gotta win the Oscar.”  I mean, doing it…he’s acting in three different languages.  He came in and sat down with me, you know, like a few days after I saw the preview for the movie and I was like, “Buddy, you’re getting an Oscar this year,” and no one knew the guy’s name at the time and, I don’t know, four months later he was up there, claiming his Oscar. 

Anyone that has a talk show, there’s always a guest that deludes you…that drives you crazy.  So, who is that guest been for you?
Who I wanted to get on and haven’t gotten on?
Yeah
There’s always that, “Oh, sure it’d be great to get Justin Timberlake on the show,” but I’ve never tried to get Justin Timberlake on the show so I wouldn’t say he’s been “eluding” me.  And, you know, it’s like I’d love to get Tom Hanks on the show but I never tried to get Tom Hanks on the show so I don’t feel like that.  I don’t really…I…I never really think of it that way.  There’s people that I’m fans of and people I go, “Man, that guy’s good,” and it would be great to sit down with Dwayne Johnson but on the other hand, I never went after Dwayne Johnson.  I don’t know if a chick can ignore you until you send over a drink and I never sent over a drink for anybody so I sort of go in every night and go, “Whose on tonight,” and someone goes, “It’s this guy,” and sometimes I go, “Whose that,” and they go, “It’s an author,” and I go, “I never heard of that guy,” and half the time, “that guy” turns out to be way more interesting than the guy you’ve heard of and then other nights, it’s guys you’ve heard of.  But, I never really plan it out.

You’re appearing at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and that’s going to be on September 30th, as a comedian on the road and have you had any strange encounters with fans that you can tell us about?
(Laughs)  You know what?  For the most part, they just show up and they’re nice and sometimes they’ll make me a t shirt or get me some toys for my kids or something…or I’ll be complaining about Southwest taking nuts off the airplane ‘cause somebody had a peanut allergy and called in, and they’ll give me a bunch of Southwest peanuts or something but for the most part, every once in a while you get that sort of drunken fan and they do this one, which is funny…like you’re leaving the show and you’re walking out in the parking lot and you’re getting into the car and the guy’s like, “Hey!  Hey Adam!  Hey Man Show!  We just saw the show.  Can we get a picture?”

And you’re like, “Yeah, yeah sure…we’ll get a picture,” and you get a picture.

 And then his buddy will go, “Oh no…get the camera and let me get in here too,” and then they switch cameras.

And the third buddy goes, “Hey, let me get a picture too.” 

And you go, “Alright.” 

Then they go, “Let’s get a picture of all three of us.”

“Alright…let’s get a picture of all three of us.”

“Hey man, can you sign my ‘Hammer’ jacket?”  (Independent movie I did)

“Sign my book…sign my book…”  “Alright, I’ll sign my book…” and I’ll sign the thing.

“Let’s one more picture.”

“Alright.”  So you get the one more picture and then you go, “Alright pal, thanks.  I’m going to head back to the hotel.”

“Oh…so that’s it?  That’s all?”  (laughs)  “You just going to leave us hanging?  Is that how you roll?”

You’re like, “Wait, wait, wait….what’d I do?”

“So you’re just heading out?  Just checking out now?  That’s how you roll?”

I’m like, “What do you want?  Some sex behind the dumpster?  What are you looking for here?”

(Laughs)
You know…
(Laughs)
It’s weird…you sign the guy’s book, you take nine pictures with him and you go, “Alright.  Thanks for coming to the show pals.  I’m going to get in the Towncar,” and they say

“Whoa…so that’s it, huh?”

Yeah, you
Yeah

Well, my last question:  the great thing about podcasting and internet radio, there’s no geographic limitations anymore.
Right

So for anyone who hears this interview in Atlanta and beyond, what do you want to say in closing?  Open-ended…

Oh geez…now, in what language?  If you enjoy good conversation and you enjoy some compelling talk and some free talk and some open talk, then, uh, you can check out the podcast, pick it up.  People are a little intimidated like, “Wow, I don’t know how to work a computer.”  You just go to iTunes and hit podcasts and you’ll see a picture of me and if you’ll click on it, it’s free and nothing to it.  Believe me I don’t know what the hell I’m doing around a computer and even I can figure it out.  So, check it out.  And you might want to grab my book, too.  I’m pretty proud of that.  In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.  I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.  So, uh, and other than that…enjoy your life.  And dance with your kids, that’s what I wanted to say.  Once a week at least, have a little dance party with your kids.  Because when daddy’s depressed it always bums the kids out.  So have a little dance party with your kids.

Our special guest has been Adam Carolla.  Thanks so much for doing this interview.  I really appreciate it.
My pleasure.

TRANSCRIBED BY LORI DOMINGO.

 

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