Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
Jul 20, 2012
06:00 AMBe There
Spree Theater with Darwin McPherson: Who is Adam Carolla?
After his radio show was cancelled, Adam Carolla went from being the guy best known for co-hosting Loveline with the now-ubiquitous Dr. Drew Pinsky to one of the most powerful people on the Internet. His Adam Carolla Show podcast is the one of the most downloaded programs on iTunes, as are many other offerings of the ACE Broadcasting Network, Carolla’s burgeoning online empire.
So how did Carolla get so popular? Since Loveline’s MTV days (1996-2000), he’s been a familiar face on the basic cable scene. On Loveline, Carolla’s quick wit, mixed with rough hewn common sense, complemented Dr. Drew’s clinical reasoning. Carolla took his macho side to the next level with The Man Show, where he and partner Jimmy Kimmel produced comedy skits and bits from a guy’s guy perspective. Though often seen as sexist and adolescent, their antics were sometimes insightful, but more important—they were funny.
Carolla’s commanding personality also came to the forefront on reality TV. He was an unlikely choice to turn up on the sixth season of Dancing With the Stars in 2008, but his philosophy of tackling new challenges was inspirational in its own way. While Carolla ultimately wasn’t much of a dancer (he and partner Julianne Hough made it to week four), he revealed himself to be quite an accomplished unicyclist. Another hidden talent in the arsenal of the “Aceman.”
Even on The Celebrity Apprentice this year, Carolla’s irreverent sense of humor and irrepressible sense of integrity made him unique. He lasted only through the fourth week (again) because he assumed full responsibility for the “failure” of his team’s assigned task. (On his podcast, Carolla revealed how his project management was misrepresented by NBC in the final edit. It was also apparent to most viewers that he was fired unjustly for zigging to Donald Trump’s zag in the direction of the task.) Nevertheless, Carolla returned in the end to help Arsenio Hall achieve victory.
Despite Carolla’s dependably irascible nature, he’s definitely a leader and someone you’d like to know and hang out with. His devotion to basically simple values—loyalty, family, and hard work—is perhaps his most endearing characteristic. Many of the ACE Broadcasting Network offerings are populated with Carolla’s family and known associates. Coming from a background of meager means, Carolla built his success by shunning the laziness around him and actively seeking rewarding opportunities.
On the daily Adam Carolla Show podcast, all of these aspects of Carolla’s persona are on display. As the self-made captain of his “pirate ship,” as he calls his not-regulated-by-the-FCC-program, Carolla opines on the events of the day and shares his observations on life as seen through his singular perspective.
Sometimes, this gets him in dodgy territory as his sensibilities take him into politically incorrect territory. While his sense of humor can be racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic, the point of his barbs is usually to accept responsibility for one’s actions and not fall back on an expectation of failure or inferiority. Though his brutally honest worldview is sometimes a bit simplistic and unkind, Carolla is living proof that you’re only as downtrodden as you let yourself be.
Carolla shares every aspect of his life as a husband, father, businessman, and active entertainer in his podcast and in his live show, which has been playing to sold out audiences all around the country. Tales of his upbringing in North Hollywood highlight the show in a multi-media presentation featuring the legendary antics of young Adam and his troublemaking friends.
Carolla also displays his improvisational chops with the purposely pessimistic “What Can’t Adam Complain About,” a routine where he riffs on the bad side of anything the audience throws at him. His stream of consciousness rants range from topics like the proliferation of passion fruit iced tea to the deleterious effects of welfare on self esteem.
Love him or hate him, Adam Carolla definitely offers a different kind of comedic experience.