October 25, 2019 Interview – Adam Carolla
Life is what you make of it, and if you want something bad enough, you simply are just going to have to work for it. Combining vision with dedication and strong work ethic, Adam Carolla built his career in entertainment from the ground up. Known for his diverse résumé that range from co-hosting the popular radio show Loveline, to co-hosting co-creating the television program The Man Show, to The Adam Carolla Show and beyond, he is a talent that is not simply defined.
A comedian, radio personality, actor, host, and writer, Carolla has sustained success because he has always said what was on his mind without filters…but what if someone took that away? A frightening question to raise for anyone who values their individuality and freedom of speech, Carolla attacks these issues head on as the voice behind the new Justin Folk Documentary No Safe Spaces. A compelling feature that everyone should see, Carolla recently took the time to chat about his start in entertainment, his role in No Safe Spaces, the importance of freedom of speech, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been very successful over many years in the media – from radio, TV, hosting, your podcast, plus more. Tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment/media?
Adam Carolla – I was a carpenter, wasn’t making much money, working really hard and driving a truck. I liked cars, race cars, tools, and things of that nature. I knew I wasn’t really going to make the kind of money that I wanted to own a home, raise a family, go on a vacation, own a sports car, and not drive a truck; I knew it was all going to be difficult for me in the blue collar world. Although I was a good carpenter, I just felt like there was more potential money if I got into Comedy. I did an assessment where I said, “You’re good at Comedy and good at carpentry, but one of them pays more, so why don’t you start working on it?” When I was in my early twenties I just started working on Comedy. When I was thirty I met Jimmy Kimmel and everything just took off.
Cryptic Rock – It’s great to see how your hard work paid off and you made this amazing career of it all. As stated, you have done radio, television, and a podcast. What is the difference for you doing television opposed to radio since they are two very different mediums?
Adam Carolla – I think TV is less absordable when you’re putting information out. Podcast and audible stuff is just more absorable. If you watched a TV show that told you all about what is going on in Syria versus heard a podcast of what’s going on in Syria, you would retain a lot more information via the podcast. There is something about the visual that distracts: you think it’s more complete, it may have more elements to it, but it’s less absordable. Obviously if you are doing something like The Man Show or Crank Yankers, you need the visual. If you’re just trying to express an idea, it’s more effective to just do it just with audio.
Cryptic Rock – Very good point. There is something unique about a radio or podcast listener as well, they are a different type of consumer.
Adam Carolla – Yes, they are also less passive; they are seeking you out.
Cryptic Rock – Absolutely and your podcast has the Guinness Book record for the most downloaded podcast! A large part of your personality is you speak your mind: you say what you want to and that is what makes you unique and refreshing. So let’s talk about your new documentary No Safe Spaces. How did it come about for you?
Adam Carolla – I’ve always been a fan of Dennis Prager. I’m a fan of wisdom, so I’ve always listened to Dennis. I’ve had a chance at some point to go on his program, he had a chance to go on my program, and we had a chance to go out to do some speaking engagements together. This was really just an opportunity to work with Dennis.
He is one of those guys if you get the opportunity to do something with him, or just be in his vicinity, you should always take it. He not only has so much wisdom, but he’s a very jovial, friendly, fun guy to be spend time with. It’s always enjoyable when you get to do anything with Dennis Prager, so do a film with Dennis Prager, that just means a lot of hanging out with Dennis Prager.
Cryptic Rock – Right, and you two compliment one another well in the film. That in mind, No Safe Spaces is very informative and inspiring in many ways. Did you learn anything new about the attack on freedom of speech based on your work on the film?
Adam Carolla – I didn’t learn that much, I kind of already knew what was going on. I think the producers, me, and Dennis kind of had an inkling of what was going on – that is why we made the film. Our plan was to make the film and inform other people, and have other people learn what was going on. Dennis, the producers, and myself didn’t really need so much catching up on what was going on with free speech on college campuses. The plan was to get that into the zeitgeist of the country.
Cryptic Rock – Exactly and the documentary certainly does that. This is a problem that is progressively getting more alarming through the years, not only on college campuses, but around the USA in general. What do you think has gotten us to this place where people are afraid to speak their minds?
Adam Carolla – I think the threat of losing your livelihood has really made it to the point where people are scared to speak. On the high-end, Lebron James doesn’t want to say anything about China, on the low-end some coder for Google doesn’t want to share his opinions on why there’s more men doing his job than women – even if statistics back him up. It’s losing the livelihood part of it.
This country was built around the opportunity to work. If you’re in this country, it usually means you want to work. Being chastised or criticized or what have you, is one thing. Having food removed from your table, that’s another thing. I think a lot of people draw the line – they can take the criticism, but they can’t take not being able to work. By the way, I don’t think their spouses can’t take it either. People are figuring it out. I work in Hollywood, if you’re an actor and you want to start talking about stuff, you better choose your words carefully because your livelihood will be effected.
Cryptic Rock – Absolutely. You mentioned working in Hollywood. There seems to be a bit of a contradiction going on in Hollywood in many ways. Freedom of speech and expression is what makes Hollywood what it is, but in the same breath, Hollywood as an entity wants to shut down what people say if they do not agree with it.
Adam Carolla – Hollywood doesn’t want to shut down what people say, they just want you to ask them if it’s okay. (Laughs) They then want to vet it and then they want to decide. If you ask them, they would say they are all for free speech as long as they deem whatever it is you’re saying as acceptable; which obviously makes them narcissistic hypocrites.
They just want to vet everything you have to say, and then they will decide if you can say it or not. Again, it’s insanely narcissistic. I don’t think for a hot second think anyone else has to vet their speech with them, whether I agree with it or not obviously.
Cryptic Rock – Right. Isn’t the opposite of free speech if you have to ask someone if you can say something before you say it? (Laughs)
Adam Carolla – Yeah. What Hollywood does is go, “No, no, weren’t not imposing veganism on everybody, you just can’t eat meat,” which is basically the same thing. They say, “We’re all for free speech, just tell us what your speech is, and we’ll tell you if you can say it on a college campus or not.” Or they will blackball you and you won’t be able to work.
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