WHY I’M QUITTING ADAM CAROLLA
Today, Adam Carolla got in hot water for comments made to the New York Post regarding female comedians, and how he believes ‘dudes are funnier than chicks’. Countless people, male and female, have responded mainly via Twitter with their disapproval. Andy Richter has been retweeting female comedians’ retorts. His comments have been blown up, and most people seem to have omitted his following line stating his admiration for Tina Fey and other female comedians. And his comments about female writers being the least funny members of a sitcom writing staff probably stem from bitterness over his recent string of failed pilots for the major networks. Frankly, I am surprised it is these comments that have landed Carolla back in the national comedy conversation, however briefly. He has said much, much worse on his daily podcast. Not just about the feminine sense of humor but on all kinds of topics, but I’ll cover that later. For the record, I disagree with his comments. Funny is funny, regardless of gender, race, creed, class, or whatever.
I have been a fan of Carolla’s for a very long time, around 18 years I’d estimate. I first knew him as Mr. Birchum on the KROQ Kevin & Bean morning show circa 1994. Then, I followed him on to Loveline, both radio and TV, his two short lived TV series in 2005, his switch to morning radio in 2006, and finally his podcast starting in 2009. I’ve stuck with him through a lot, and he has given me endless hours of laughter, joy, and comfort. When I moved to Providence in 2007, podcasts of his radio show kept me company through those first few lonely months. I didn’t know a soul, but I had a friend running in my ear for nearly 3 hours a day. On the dark side, if there is such thing as a comedy addiction, this was it.
However, as you probably noticed in my Don Draper alluding post title, I am quitting Adam Carolla. I deleted the remaining podcasts I had on my iPod, and removed his app from my iPhone. His comments today were not even really the final straw, however repugnant. Let me explain, ironically in a rant of my own. For about the past year or so several things about his show had started to really bug me. Instead of being a funny curmudgeon, or, as my brother eloquently put it once, ‘he does not suffer the indignities of life quietly’, he has morphed into a bitter, angry soul spewing ugly, vitriolic rants day after day. It’s not necessarily that I disagree with the majority of these rants; it is that they are not funny, and are filled with genuine bile and hatred. He has a complete lack of patience or understanding with the world, and a total lack of empathy. He sees the world in very black and white terms, across all matters of life. If you don’t like a film or musician he likes than you are wrong, simple as that, no room for debate or growth. Some of his more abject statements of late: employers should be able to fire female employees who become pregnant, and a completely unacceptable defense of boxers who engage in domestic violence. (If there was a final straw that was probably it, just repellent.) Elsewhere he has a total lack of interest in his guests, often cutting them off so he can retell a story for the 100th time and abruptly ending interviews after five minutes so he can get back to ranting about the world. He has not made a new cultural reference since the late ‘90s, always with the same old, tired examples and talking points. (My Don Draper reference would have been completely lost on him, for example) Why was I listening to this day after day? The comfort and solace that can be found in familiarity, I suppose, but ultimately it crosses a point of no return.
Not to get too navel-gazey, but what does this say about me? Have I matured? Have I outgrown Carolla? Have I grown more sensitive? I’d like to think so, but ultimately I just don’t want to subject my ears to the same old bile and ugliness every day. As I’ve suggested, Carolla has been something like an addiction to me down the years, and like most people who quit smoking or anything else, I am sure I will relapse at some point in the future, and succumb to a craving for some Aceman. But for now, I am saying this is the end of the road.