Adam Carolla isn’t sorry. He’s not sorry that some people don’t think he’s funny. He’s not sorry that women think he said they’re not funny. He’s not sorry that he’s pissed off various special interest groups, and he’s certainly not sorry that he’s an honest guy. The fact is, Carolla doesn’t have to say he is sorry, because that is the liberty he enjoys as his own boss.
With one of the most popular podcasts in the world carrying him, Carolla is taking his act on the road for some live shows in select cities nationwide with the equally controversial Dennis Prager, a conservative radio host who’s also brutally honest and hardly apologetic. The former Man Show co-host also continues to tour for his live podcasts, and on November 16, he’ll appear with Dennis Miller in Anaheim, California. Carolla’s latest book is Not Taco Bell Material, released on June 12, and it’s a collection of his life stories that he describes as inspirational.
I was able to snag Carolla for a few minutes via phone, between radio interviews, and we discussed how he believes the New York Post “misquoted” his comments regarding female comics, how he’s dealt with the resulting criticism, why he thinks men are turning into women, and his love of classic cars, among other things.
UP: You recently received a great deal of criticism over your comment regarding women comedy writers in a New York Post interview. What did you think about the criticism and outrage over that comment?
AC: Oh listen, I don’t care. First off, I don’t work for Viacom, CBS, Les Moonves, NBC, ABC, or FOX. I don’t work for anybody. I have a podcast. I sell books and I sell theater tickets. Obviously, I was misquoted. I didn’t say, “Women aren’t funny.” I said that men are funnier than women, because I was asked if men are funnier than women. I just told the truth, and then people took it and ran with it, and it’s fine.
Basically, I think about vintage racing all day. I think about cars and building stuff. I don’t think about comedy, I don’t watch the shows, and I don’t read the blogs. People saying, “Screw Adam, he’s not funny” — that doesn’t make a difference to me. I spend all day on eBay looking at race trailers, trying to figure out how to haul my racecars. You have no idea how much time I spend focused on vintage racecars and car tire sizes, rim sizes, offsets, compounds, and stuff like that. I don’t even get involved with comedy.
UP: How do you deal with the criticism that you receive for situations like this, or just anything in general?
AC: In the past, you’d be doing something and somebody like Guy Aoki* — who claims that he represented some Asian group that he probably made up — would pressure your radio station until you’d apologize, because he could go after your sponsors. But I don’t have that anymore. I work for myself, I own a warehouse. The warehouse has a studio in it, and I do a podcast out of it. Everyone who works there, I employ.
(*Carolla is referring to his and Sarah Silverman’s feud with activist Guy Aoki over Silverman’s use of pejorative slang about Asians that she defended as humor.)
Everyone can kiss my ass, I don’t care. I’m not involved with Hollywood, I don’t want to be involved with Hollywood. In terms of the future or whatever, it’s like, “Hey man, you don’t want to piss off Les Moonves, because what about your next CBS project?” There is no next CBS project, because I wouldn’t work for them. I don’t want to work in terrestrial radio, I don’t want to do a sitcom. I want to work for myself, and I do work for myself. I make plenty of money working for myself. I built it so they can’t take it away.
UPROXX: Tell me about Not Taco Bell Material. What are your faithful readers getting themselves into?
Adam Carolla: I think it’s just a very good book. It’s my whole life, and it’s funny, I think the audiobook is good, the written book is good. It’s me from zero to about a year ago. It’s just all there and it’s all laid out. You don’t have to know me or you don’t have to like me. It’s a little more inspirational than you might think, and it’s just a good, funny read. Whether you’re a fan of mine or not a fan of mine, you’ll definitely get something out of it. It’s got some cool pictures and it’s like 330-something pages. Thanks in advance to everyone who gets it.
UP: And you’re touring with Dennis Prager. He’s also a somewhat controversial personality, what should your fans who are unfamiliar with him know?
AC: He’s a real wise dude. I’m really blessed as a big fan of his, and I’m happy to be on stage with the guy. We just make a great team. He’s filled with wisdom and I’m filled with comedy. It’s a really interesting dynamic that kind of reminds me of me and Dr. Drew back in the day. You will not be disappointed if you come out and see me and Dennis Prager.
UP: I enjoyed reading your first book In 50 Years, We’ll All Be Chicks (peaked at No. 8 on the New York Times Best Seller List). When, do you believe, did it stop being okay for men to behave like “men”?
AC: There was the feminist movement of the late 60s and early 70s that was confusing. It said, ladies, you don’t have to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. You can go out there and work, and there’s no reason that you couldn’t drive a semi-truck if you want to drive a semi-truck. You want to be an airplane pilot or an astronaut, you can be an airplane pilot or an astronaut. You know, it was a time when people would say, “I don’t care who my president is, as long as he’s smart and wise,” and someone would say, “He or she!”
This thing happened where women started going out and saying, “Look, I’m going to take a karate class, and I’m going to be a lawyer and a doctor, and I’m going to drive a truck.” Then they had a second part of the movement, when they said, “All right, dudes, now you start acting like chicks.” It was almost like how a steam train moves, how one side moves forward and the other goes back. Except there was no reason for the dudes to go back. The chicks should have just gone forward. You can go out and become a doctor, but we’re not going to start waxing our backs and getting our cuticles pushed. We don’t have to fill that void that you guys left.
Eventually it evolved into it being okay for guys to take a day off and pick the kids up from soccer practice, cook the meals, and do all the crap that they formerly didn’t do. Next thing you know, they lost their abilities to fix cars, fight, patch roofs, and things like that. Now we’re in this kind of freefall, where it’s hard to tell the sexes apart, and that’s not a good thing.
UP: Why do you think that we’ve reached a new level of PC in which, of all people, comics are carrying torches with sort of a “How dare you” outrage?
AC: I’ll put it to you this way – what percentage of comedians would want to tell you that they’re voting Republican? None of them. Find me a comedian, maybe Dennis Miller. Is there any hip comedian that wants to vote Republican? The answer is no. They’re all worried about the 99%. They’d all like to have taxes raised, but they’re all incorporated and they all have tax people. They use the Prius as a company car and write it off through their corporations. Why are they doing that? If they really want to pay more in taxes, there’s a way to do that – pay more in taxes. But don’t write anything off, don’t be incorporated, and don’t have a tax person. Just claim zero dependents and pay the maximum amount. Do they really want to raise taxes or do they want to just say it?
What comedian is willing to admit that they’re in the 1 percentile? That they’re not in the 99% and they don’t work that long, they don’t work that hard, and they make tons of money? Anybody? You ever hear David Letterman or Jay Leno talk about how much money they make? No, it’s bad for business. They want to be part of the 99%. They don’t talk about flying privately, they don’t talk about being corporate, and they don’t talk about fighting as hard as they can fight to pay as little as possible in taxes every year.
And when it comes to immigration, they don’t live in Los Angeles. Why are they sending their kids to a private school? Go send them to Hollywood High. Ninety percent Hispanic. Why not? They’re hypocrites.
UP: What’s your favorite car?
AC: I think a Lamborghini Muira SV is my favorite looking car, but I like a lot of racecars. When this (female comics controversy) was all kicking up, I was at Fontana at the [Auto Club] Speedway doing a vintage car race, just thinking about the car and how it was going to work. I’m not really involved with that world. I don’t hang out with other comedians, and I don’t go to clubs.