Adam Carolla

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Adam Carolla
Adam carolla.jpg
Carolla in Seattle, Washington in 2007
Born (1964-05-27) May 27, 1964 (age 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Jules Dash
Occupation Radio personality
Television personality
Comedian
Comedy writer
Actor
Carpenter
Known for The Adam Carolla Show (podcast)
The Adam Carolla Show (radio)
Television Loveline
The Man Show
Crank Yankers
Too Late with Adam Carolla
The Adam Carolla Project
The Car Show
Catch A Contractor
Board member of
Marijuana Policy Project (advisory board)[1]
Religion None (atheist)[2]
Spouse(s) Lynette Paradise (2002–present)
Children 2
Website
AdamCarolla.com

Adam Lakers Carolla (born May 27, 1964) is an American comedian, radio personality, television host and actor. He hosts The Adam Carolla Show, a talk show distributed as a podcast which set the record as the "most downloaded podcast" as judged by Guinness World Records.

Carolla co-hosted the syndicated radio call-in program Loveline from 1995 to 2005 as well as the show's television incarnation on MTV from 1996 to 2000. He was the co-host and co-creator of the television program The Man Show (1999–2004), and the co-creator and a regular performer on the television show Crank Yankers (2002–2007). He hosted The Adam Carolla Project, a home improvement television program which aired on TLC in 2005 and The Car Show on Speed TV[3] in 2011.

Carolla has also appeared on the network reality television programs Dancing with the Stars and The Celebrity Apprentice. His book, In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks, debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2010, and his second book, Not Taco Bell Material, also reached New York Times bestseller status and received widespread acclaim for its cutting social commentary and humor.[4]

An outspoken commentator on various social, political, and religious issues, Carolla has made numerous guest appearances on political talk shows, ranging from Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect to Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor, on which he headlines the weekly segment Rollin' with Carolla.

Early life[edit]

Adam Carolla was born in Los Angeles, California.[5][6] His father, Jim Carolla, a psychologist of Italian heritage, and his mother, Kris (née McCall),[5] separated when Adam was young.[7] Carolla was not given a middle name; on his driver's license application he filled the "middle name" blank with "Lakers" (after his love for the Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team) and the made-up name still appears on his license.[8][9] His maternal step-grandfather was screenwriter László Görög, who wrote The Mole People.[10]

Adam was raised in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles. He attended Colfax Elementary School, Walter Reed Junior High, and North Hollywood High School. Carolla did not receive his high school diploma until years later as it was held by the school until a library fine was paid.[11] Carolla can be seen paying off the book and receiving his diploma in an episode of his 2005 television show, The Adam Carolla Project.[12]

During his earlier years, Carolla played Pop Warner football for seven years; he later suggested that being involved in sports saved him from a chaotic home life.[13] During his senior year at North Hollywood High School, Carolla distinguished himself in football. In December 1981, he was named to the First Team Offensive Line, Central Valley League, one of 8 leagues at the time in the LA City Section of the California Interscholastic Federation.[14]

He began living on his own at the age of 18. He briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, a community college, where he was placed on academic probation before dropping out to work in a series of jobs, including carpet cleaner,[15] carpenter, boxing instructor,[16] and traffic school instructor.[17] Although broke, Carolla, his friends, and roommates owned a 1963 Cadillac limousine.[18]

In the early 1990s Carolla studied improvisational comedy with The Groundlings and was a member of the ACME Comedy Theatre troupe.[citation needed]

Radio[edit]

In 1994, Carolla volunteered his services as a boxing trainer to prepare Jimmy Kimmel for a bout being staged by KROQ-FM's morning radio program Kevin and Bean.[6] Kimmel was a regular on the show as "Jimmy the Sports Guy" and he was set to fight another KROQ personality in a boxing exhibition which was being billed as the "Bleeda in Reseda."[19] Carolla parlayed this opportunity into a long-running friendship and business partnership with Kimmel as well as a recurring role on Kevin and Bean as cranky woodshop teacher, Mr. Birchum.[20]

Loveline[edit]

After being signed to the William Morris Agency by Mark Itkin,[21] Carolla was offered the job of co-hosting the radio call-in show Loveline with physician Drew Pinsky, a.k.a. "Dr. Drew", and Riki Rachtman in October 1995 after Pinsky had heard Carolla on Kevin and Bean[6] (Rachtman left the show the following year).[22] Loveline is broadcast on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles and is syndicated nationwide on the Westwood One radio network.

While the format of the program was primarily a call-in show where listeners would ask questions about sex and relationships, Carolla would often spend much of the show ranting about various topics, from fart jokes to extended parodies of radio morning shows, complete with weather and traffic reports. Carolla served as the louder, funnier side of the show in contrast to the reserved, thoughtful Pinsky. Carolla's character was described by one reviewer as "a toned-down version of Howard Stern minus the huge ego".[22] On September 25, 2001 Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel both had filled in for Howard Stern's head writer Jackie Martling after Martling had left the show in March 2001. Carolla had mentioned in various interviews and on his podcast that he was offered the job to replace Jackie Martling but turned it down primarily due to Stern's show located in New York as well as his commitment to Loveline.

The Adam Carolla Show[edit]

In October 2005 Carolla was announced as the host of a new morning radio show on the Infinity Broadcasting network. His new show would replace the popular syndicated Howard Stern Show (which was moving to satellite radio) in twelve of the 27 markets in which Stern had been broadcast including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.[23] The Adam Carolla Show debuted in January 2006.

On February 18, 2009, The Adam Carolla Show was canceled as part of a format switch at KLSX to AMP FM, a new top 40 station. The final show was Friday, February 20, 2009.[24]

The Adam Carolla Podcast[edit]

Carolla started a daily podcast on February 23, 2009, at his personal website, which would evolve into the ACE Broadcasting Network. The first Adam Carolla podcast was downloaded more than 250,000 times in the initial 24 hours, and by the third podcast, it was the number one podcast on iTunes in both the U.S. and Canada.[25] During the debut week, the Adam Carolla podcast recorded 1.6 million downloads. In the second week it recorded 2.4 million downloads. By the fourth episode of the second week, featuring former Adam Carolla Show sidekick Dave Dameshek, the show was downloaded more than 500,000 times.[26] Adam stated that bandwidth cost more than $9,000 a month as of May 2009.[27]

At the end of 2009, The Adam Carolla Podcast was selected by iTunes for its end-of-the-year awards as the Best Audio Podcast of 2009.[28] On May 18, 2011, Adam announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that The Adam Carolla Show has taken the Guinness World Record for the most downloaded podcast ever from Ricky Gervais[29][29] after receiving 59,574,843 unique downloads from March 2009 to March 16, 2011.[30]

In a case that has been referred to as patent trolling, patent holding company Personal Audio is currently suing, among others, Adam Carolla,[31] claiming a patent on "an audio program and message distribution system in which a host system organizes and transmits program segments to client subscriber locations".[32]

Television[edit]

1999 through 2004[edit]

Carolla began his first original television series with The Man Show, along with partner and close friend Jimmy Kimmel, on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2003. He left The Man Show at the same time as Kimmel, after having been reportedly offered $50,000 per episode to stay on. Carolla has continued his work with Kimmel as a writer and guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He also appeared on an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast around this time.

Carolla and partner Daniel Kellison are the heads of Jackhole Productions. The two created the television show Crank Yankers for Comedy Central, which revived the Mr. Birchum character. (The show premiered in 2002 on Comedy Central and returned to MTV2 on February 9, 2007, running again until March 30, 2007. The show screened in Australia on SBS Television and The Comedy Channel between 2003 and 2008.)

2005 through 2008[edit]

From August 2005 to November 2005, Carolla hosted the talk show Too Late with Adam Carolla on Comedy Central.

Also in 2005, Carolla was featured in a home remodeling program called The Adam Carolla Project wherein he and a crew of old friends renovated his childhood home. The 13 episodes aired on the cable channel TLC (The Learning Channel) from October through December 2005. The house was then sold for 1.2 Million dollars.[33][34]

In 2006, Carolla appeared on the special summer series Gameshow Marathon as a celebrity panelist on the Match Game episode.

On the February 18, 2008 broadcast of his radio show, Carolla announced that he would be one of the contestants on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. Later in the broadcast, it was revealed to Adam that his partner would be Julianne Hough.[35] He was voted off on the April 8, 2008 episode after his performance of the Paso Doble, after incorporating a demonstration of unicycle riding in his dance routine.

Dancing with the Stars performances
Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Mellow Yellow" 5 5 5 N/A
2 Mambo/ "House of Bamboo" 6 7 6 Safe
3 Tango/ "I Can't Tell a Waltz from a Tango" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "Plaza of Execution" 6 7 6 Eliminated


On June 16, 2008 Carolla was selected to host a pilot[36] of an American version of the popular BBC show Top Gear for NBC. In December 2008, NBC decided not to pick up the show.[37]

2009 to present[edit]

On February 21, 2009, a day after his Los Angeles-based morning radio show was canceled — as part of a format change at KLSX-FM — CBS ordered a comedy pilot starring the actor/comedian. "Ace in the Hole" was to star Carolla as a husband and father who works as a driving instructor. Carolla created and wrote the pilot with Kevin Hench ("Jimmy Kimmel Live!").[38] Carolla stated that Pamela Adlon was to play his wife and Windell Middlebrooks of the Miller High Life commercial fame will play his best friend. During his March 30, 2009 podcast, Carolla briefly described the show as being "All in the Family, essentially", with Carolla playing a similar role to that of Archie Bunker. On the July 23, 2009 episode of the Adam Carolla Podcast, Carolla announced that CBS was not picking up the pilot for the 2009 season, "in any way, shape or form."

On October 22, 2009, it was reported in Variety that Carolla had struck a deal with NBC to produce a half-hour pilot for a sitcom. The report was later confirmed on January 4, 2010, and was the first comedy pilot ordered by NBC for the season.[39] The untitled project, written by Carolla and Kevin Hench, was a single-camera endeavor that starred Carolla as a contractor and father who attempts to rebuild his life after his wife leaves him.[40][41] Carolla was set to executive produce the NBC project along with frequent collaborators Kimmel and Hench, as well as his agent James "Babydoll" Dixon, Jon Pollack from "30 Rock", Gail Berman, Daniel Kellison, and Lloyd Braun. Universal Media Studios, BermanBraun, and Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel's own Jackhole Industries.[40][41]

On the February 13, 2010 episode of Carolla's CarCast podcast, he broke the news that The History Channel had picked up Top Gear US, which NBC had decided against in 2008.[42] On the March 26, 2010 episode of CarCast, Carolla said that he would not be co-hosting Top Gear US because of scheduling conflicts with his NBC sitcom project. In June 2010, Carolla said that his NBC pilot had not been picked up, and was now "dead."[43]

Premiering on February 19, 2012, Carolla was also one of the contestants in the 12th season of NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice. He was fired in Week 4, because Mr. Trump perceived that Carolla did not utilize Andretti's car background during a Buick presentation, even though it was clear that Andretti did not like public speaking.

The Car Show[edit]

Carolla's "The Car Show" debuted on Speed TV July 13, 2011. Appearing Wednesdays at 10 pm Eastern, it featured Carolla as the host, along with Dan Neil, John Salley, and Matt Farah. It had a format similar to Top Gear, mixing car reviews, tests and humor. The show was initially met with largely positive reviews from car enthusiasts and comedy fans. Talk show host and comedian Jay Leno called The Car Show, "...a lot of fun."[44] The Car Show was then cancelled after one season, after undergoing format changes and dropping John Salley due to low ratings, as Adam mentioned on his podcast January 13, 2012.

Catch a Contractor[edit]

Catch a Contractor is a non-scripted, original series on Spike, hosted by Adam Carolla along with "no-nonsense contractor" Skip Bedell and his wife, investigator Alison Bedell. Together they expose crooked contractors and seek retribution for wronged homeowners.[45]

The show premiered on March 9, 2014 to 1.2 million viewers, the largest audience for a series debut on Spike since “Coal” in March 2011.[46]

Voice acting[edit]

Carolla has also done voice acting on cartoons, including Commander Nebula on the Disney animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Death on Family Guy (replacing Norm Macdonald) and Spanky Ham on Drawn Together. He was also the voice of a police officer, Wynchell, who was also an éclair, in the Disney film Wreck-It Ralph. In 2008 and 2009, he was the spokesperson for T.G.I. Friday's.

Film[edit]

In 2003 he appeared in Windy City Heat as himself.[47] In 2006, Carolla finished work on The Hammer, a semi-autobiographical independent film he co-wrote and co-produced, in which he stars opposite Heather Juergensen. The film is based loosely on his own life and is filmed at a gym he helped build with his co-star, Ozzie, played by Oswaldo Castillo, his friend in real life whom he met while building the gym when they both worked in construction.[48] The film made its world premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and shortly thereafter received a positive review in Variety.[48] The film was released on March 21, 2008.[49][50][51] The film is rated 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.[52]

Adam made a short appearance in Jeff Balis' Still Waiting... (a sequel to Waiting...) playing a pick-up artist guru.

Adam helped write an unproduced screenplay for a movie entitled Deaf Frat Guy: Showdown at Havasu.[53]

He is the voice of Virgil in the independent short film Save Virgil.

As of July 2013, Carolla is crowdfunding for Road Hard; a film he will be directing and starring in, about the lives of aging road comics. Adam has since confirmed through a press conference that the film will co-star David Alan Grier, Illeana Douglas, Diane Farr, and Larry Miller.[54]

Books[edit]

Carolla and Drew Pinsky co-wrote (with Marshall Fine) the self-help book The Dr. Drew and Adam Book: A Survival Guide to Life and Love which was published in 1998.[55] The book is a compilation of some of the advice the pair had compiled while producing Loveline.[56]

In November 2010, Carolla's In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks... And Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy was published by Crown Archetype and debuted at number eight on the New York Times' Best Seller list for hardcover non-fiction on November 21, 2010.[57] The book was compiled from rants Carolla had delivered on his radio show and podcast along with some new material and was dictated to and ghost-written by Mike Lynch.[58]

Carolla published a short, illustrated e-book entitled Rich Man, Poor Man in January 2012. The book details some similarities in the experiences of the very rich and the very poor which are not shared by the middle class.[59] The book was illustrated by Michael Narren.[60]

Carolla's book Not Taco Bell Material was published by Crown Archetype on June 12, 2012.[61] It climbed the New York Times bestseller list and received widespread praise for its satirical humor and honest, self-deprecating style.

Carolla's latest book, President Me: The America That's in My Head, presents the comedian's fantasy of the United States with him at the helm.[62] When asked in separate interviews, both before and after the book's release, about whether the "if-I-were-king" critique of America was a serious piece, he said it's both: "Well, there's a lot of jokes in it, but you know, it's like... Well, if you have a fat friend you may make a lot of fat jokes about your fat friend, but he's still fat".[63][64]

Controversies[edit]

Carolla has occasionally stirred up controversy due to sweeping generalizations about various groups, usually presented in a comedic light. For example in a late-2003 Loveline episode, Carolla said that Hawaiians are "dumb", "in-bred", "retarded" people who are among the "dumbest people we have". These comments were met with anger in Hawaii, and resulted in Loveline's cancellation on Hawaiian affiliate KPOI.[65]

On the April 4, 2010 episode of The Adam Carolla Show, Carolla referred to Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao as a "fucking idiot" and made objectionable assertions regarding Pacquiao's home country of the Philippines, saying: "They got this and sex tours, that's all they have over there. Get your shit together, Philippines". A spokesman for Filipino president Gloria Arroyo called Carolla an "ignorant fool". Carolla subsequently apologized via Twitter.[66][67][68]

In August 2011, Carolla attracted the ire of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation after a podcast in which, referring to transgender people, he asked: "When did we start giving a shit about these people?". The segment was in response to a proposed initiative to have the puppet characters Bert and Ernie, from the children's television show Sesame Street, enter into a "gay marriage". He went on to suggest that the LGBT moniker ought to be replaced with "YUCK", and that LGBT activists ought to "shut up", and that they are "ruining [his] life".[69] GLAAD also referred to previous offensive remarks by Carolla, including an assertion that, "all things being equal", heterosexual parents are better than homosexual parents. Carolla responded: "I'm sorry my comments were hurtful. I'm a comedian, not a politician."[70][71] GLAAD called the apology "empty."[72][73][74]

In June 2012, Carolla became the target of charges of sexism due to his remarks during an interview published in the New York Post:[75]

The lesson you learned from a sexual harassment seminar was “Don’t hire chicks.” Do you hate working with women?

No. But they make you hire a certain number of chicks, and they’re always the least funny on the writing staff. The reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks. If my daughter has a mediocre sense of humor, I’m just gonna tell her, “Be a staff writer for a sitcom. Because they’ll have to hire you, they can’t really fire you, and you don’t have to produce that much. It’ll be awesome.
The “are women funny” debate has grown very contentious. You’re not worried about reactions to this?
I don’t care. When you’re picking a basketball team, you’ll take the brother over the guy with the yarmulke. Why? Because you’re playing the odds. When it comes to comedy, of course there’s Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin — super-funny chicks. But if you’re playing the odds? No. If Joy Behar or Sherri Shepherd was a dude, they’d be off TV. They’re not funny enough for dudes. What if Roseanne Barr was a dude? Think we’d know who she was? Honestly.

Despite his clarifications, Carolla’s comments were reported as Women Aren't Funny,[76][77][78] resulted viral criticism from a variety of individuals concerning the perceived innate sexism underlying these statements.[79] Carolla himself criticized the viral reports as overly simplistic and misleading.[80]

Personal life[edit]

On September 28, 2002, Carolla married Lynette Paradise. Lynette gave birth to their first children, twins Natalia and Santino "Sonny" Richard Carolla on June 7, 2006.[81] On The Adam Carolla Show, Adam repeatedly mentioned the birth was originally scheduled for June 6, but that he and Lynette decided to push it back one day as to avoid the symbolic 666 (06–06–06).

Carolla is a part owner of Amalfi, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles.[82]

Carolla won the 2013 Pro/Celebrity Race as a professional and the 2012 Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as an amateur.[83] The race was run on April 14, 2012 and was broadcast on Speed TV.[84] In 2013, Carolla again competed in the Toyota Grand Prix race, this time he raced as a pro-driver. Carolla finished first in the Pro category in the 2013 race [85] Carolla has previously participated in the race in 2010 and 2003.[86][87] He finished ninth among 19 racers (fifth among the ten celebrities) in 2010[86] despite being regarded as a pre-race favorite.[87] He is also a serious automobile collector with over 20 cars. His collection includes several Lamborghinis from the 1960s and early 1970s including two Miuras (of 764 examples ever produced), one of which he has loaned to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, two 400GT 2+2s (of 247 units produced) and a 1965 350GT (one of 135 built). At least one Ferrari and Aston Martin and several vintage race cars round out the collection.[88]

Carolla conceived the fortified wine cocktail 'Mangria' (a pun on sangria), which later became commercialized with the Napa Valley-based Patio Wine Company as a partner.

Religious and political views[edit]

Regarding his religious beliefs, Carolla has stated, "I am not agnostic. I am atheist. I don’t think there is no God; I know there’s no God. I know there’s no God the same way I know many other laws in our universe. I know there’s no God and I know most of the world knows that as well. They just won’t admit it because there’s another thing they know: they know they’re going to die, and it freaks them out. So most people don’t have the courage to admit there’s no God and they know it. They feel it. They try to suppress it. And if you bring it up they get angry because it freaks them out."[2][89]

Regarding his political views, Carolla has stated, "I guess I would be Republican, in the sense that I want a secure border, I'm not into the welfare state, I'm not into all those freebie lunch programs. It just kind of demeans people." He goes on to state, however, that he is also in favor of typically liberal causes such as the legalization of marijuana and some progressive causes such as "...  [being] against semi-automatic and automatic weapons. I'm not an NRA guy by any stretch of the imagination. I'd like alternative energy to be explored and electric cars to be used, but I want them to be powered by nuclear power plants."[90] (He is a member of the advisory board of the Marijuana Policy Project).[1] Elsewhere, he has stated, "My feeling is this whole country is founded on the principle of 'If you are not hurting anyone, and you're not fucking with someone else's shit, and you are paying your taxes, you should be able to just do what you want to do.' It's the freedom and the independence."[91] In 2010, Carolla posed for the NOH8 campaign.[92][93]

Honors[edit]

Carolla and Pinsky received a Sexual Health In Entertainment (SHINE) Award from the The Media Project in 2000 for "incorporating accurate and honest portrayals of sexuality" in the talk show category for Loveline.[94]

Asteroid 4535 Adamcarolla is named in his honor.[95]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Riki Rachtman
Co-Host of Loveline
1995–2005
Succeeded by
Stryker