Adam Carolla on Obama's taxes, obese-shaming and Celebrity Rehab death Mindy McCready

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Adam Carolla has not had a predictable career arc. After playing the role of the cynical sidekick in both The Man Show and Loveline with Dr. Drew Pinsky, he developed his own ready-made cocktail, Mangria, as well as one of the most popular podcasts on the internet, eventually landing a regular spot on The O'Reilly Factor, replacing Dennis Miller as America's premier conservative comedian. Recently teaming up with his old Loveline buddy for their Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Reunion Tour -- which visits Denver this Saturday -- Carolla took time away from his numerous projects to catch up with us, discussing smoking vs. obesity, atheism and whether or not Dr. Drew is responsible for Mindy McCready's death.

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Westword: Not that I'm complaining, but I can't help but mention that this is the earliest [9:30 a.m.] interview I've ever done with a comic.

Adam Carolla: Oh, really? I've been up for two hours doing them.

Well, I'm afraid my first question is probably nothing new for you this morning. I'm really curious about being a conservative and a comedian, and how that singles you out in an industry dominated by liberals.

They're mainly just scared and hypocrites. They don't send their kids to public schools, they live up in the hills in gated communities -- they're all incorporated, and they have tax people who work full time to look for what the president would call "loopholes." And they make as much money as they can possibly make and hang on to as much of it as they can, in terms of not giving it to the government.

You feel that liberal comedians don't pay their fair share of taxes?

Well, they pay as little as they can possibly pay. They're all incorporated. And they all have tax people.

So you think it's in their best financial interest to band together as comedians under the banner of liberalism?

I don't know what their full agenda is. I know their principles aren't often in line with the things that come out of their mouth. I was doing a show in Winnipeg, and someone said to me, "Samuel L Jackson is in the suite next to you." He was shooting a movie there, but he lives in Beverly Hills, and I'm guessing he's not playing the part of a Mountie-on-the-edge. So why is Samuel L. Jackson in Winnipeg? He was playing the role of a cop from Chicago.

You're saying he was up there for tax purposes?

Yeah. He's a huge fan of Obama, and wants people like himself to pay his fair share. So what's he doing in Canada?

And by the way, this whole thing about me being right-wing? I'm not right-wing at all. I was made right-wing by the media. I've always said: smoke as much pot as you want, have sex with whoever you want, I don't want to be in your bedroom, I don't want to be in your medicine closet, do whatever the hell you want as you're not hurting me or taking money from me.

All I said was, if you're making minimum wage, don't have a kid. If you do have a kid, and you're a dad, stick around and raise your kid: It'll make a better society. As far as [school] lunch goes, pack your kid a lunch, that's not my job. No one is so poor that they can't boil up some bouillon cubes and some rice with an apple. I don't need to pay for your kid's lunch.

I'm perfectly fine giving the government one third of the money I make, but when it approaches half the money I make, I'm not that happy. That's all I've said! That's common-sense crap.

Well, I think there's more to point to that could identify you as a conservative personality, such as your new spot as a commentator on The O'Reilly Factor. A few weeks ago on the show you made the case for shaming obese people for the betterment of society -- do you feel that we overlook harmful lifestyle choices that relate to food, while collectively mocking something like smoking?

The other day I posed a question on my podcast: Would you rather your kid be obese or a smoker? I mean, for life. And everyone was like: Well, shit, I don't want my kid to be obese, but he can't be a smoker -- that's awful! Obese, you're just a victim of society, but as a smoker you're a bad person! I said, "I'd rather my kid be a smoker. First off, I think a smoker is going to live ten years longer. And two, he's going to get a lot more pussy during those years. It's about the quality of life. An obese person has to walk around with it constantly. So who's getting a prom date? The guy with the cigarettes rolled up in his shirt like James Dean, or the obese guy?"

So yeah, obesity to me is a bigger problem than smoking. But that's a problem that doesn't have "big tobacco" behind it. There's nobody to pick on. You can't pick on the people who are getting the food, so you blame McDonald's. But the last time I checked, McDonald's was around when I was a kid, and nobody was obese. From a strictly scientific standpoint, you have to remove McDonald's from the equation.

Well, maybe not entirely. It's not the whole problem, but even in your scientific equation you'd have to look at how McDonald's has changed since you were a kid.

It's not the same? How is it different?

Well, the portion sizes of food are different, the size of the sodas, the ingredients have changed, the way meat is raised, where it's raised, the chemistry is much different.

Hold on, the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder has changed? It's the same Big Mac that it always was. Calorically. Go on your computer and check what the Big Mac was then and now, so I can sit back and laugh.

I promise I will as soon as we're done here.

But then I won't be able to laugh at you.

Location Info

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The Paramount Theatre

1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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24 comments
mattsm
mattsm

The interviewer is horrendous. 

HuggaBean
HuggaBean

I think for the most part this article portrays Carolla as he comes across on his podcast and in his books.  I am not sure why the reporter felt compelled to keep on trying to label Carolla as a conservative - especially when the comedian answered in his own words, several times, that he is not a conservative.  It felt unnecessarily hostile after awhile and lowered my opinion on the journalist's ability to produce a story that was fair instead of salacious. 

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

What a hypocrite.

Like this guy doesn't have an accountant.

Fu** his righteous attitude.

And, I'm sure S. Jackson took a specific role in Canada to avoid taxes. Judge not.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg topcommenter

Adam is FIRST,  a comic !

NEVER forget this .....

Ninja69
Ninja69

N69er here. Wait, so what do I get if I pay 34.50 (which probably turns out to be $60.00 after the service fee ass raping is complete) to go see this blowhard? More of this drivel? Please Adam Carolla, take my money. Preach to me from your ivory tower.

Sada71
Sada71

Carolla says he's not a conservative, sure.  Libertarian? ok.  Racist?  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afT2z_Js_yQ.  Yes.

Sexist?  Yes. Heard him discuss how women don't deserve the same wage as men because they don't work as hard.  Oh, and they don't build bridges or cars, so men are better.

Also, Dr. Drew and Adam declared that children are more obese today because women are working and not at home taking care of their families.

Carolla an asshole?  YEP.

Josiah.Hesse
Josiah.Hesse

@HuggaBean Politically, Carolla is mostly a conservative (pro-gun, anti-tax, hyper-critical of Obama, uncomfortable with gays raising his kids), culturally, he's extremely conservative. He's taken the place of Dennis Miller on O'Reilly, he tours with Dennis Prager, he'll jump on any opportunity to criticize a liberal icons. Bill O'Reilly considers himself an independent, too. You're not always in control of your public image.

Chimfish
Chimfish

@ryanjohnsmith1013 How does having an accountant make him a hypocrite? He never opposed the use of accountants. His point was that it's hypocritical for rich liberals to advocate for higher tax rates for the wealthy in general while trying minimize their own tax burden.

Reality
Reality

@Sada71 You can be on your high horse all you want, nothing that Carolla says is untrue.  That's why he is so beloved: He sifts to all the hypocritical self-indulgent nonsense and spouts pure facts.  I love the guy!

tsdcs
tsdcs

@Josiah.Hesse You seem to be semi-informed, allow me to fill out your understanding.  Carolla is not pro-gun, as @HuggaBean mentioned, he's specifically said on numerous occasions that he doesn't like them.  It's just that he's not strictly anti-gun.

Anti-tax is a rather unfair accusation, seeing as how his point is that he doesn't want to give up half of the money he earns.

To call him culturally "extremely conservative" is fairly absurd, given the overall gestalt of his views.  He's said that with *all* other factors removed, he'd prefer his kids be raised by a straight couple than a gay couple.  The fact that you consider this a conservative statement says more about you than it does him.

Considering how much he gripes about everything, to call him hyper-critical of Obama is a dubious accusation.  Compare to how often he rants about LA mayor Antonio Villaragosa.  He just takes issue with something the president says every few months.

What you're really talking about here, and the problem with the article (or at least what seemed to be Adam's beef during it) is your perceived guilt by association.  Adam supports gay marriage, is pro-choice, etc.  But because he does segments he MUST be conservative.  Because he has discussions with Dennis Prager and the two like each other, he MUST be conservative.  

And, so, when he states that he's got no problem giving up a third of his money but doesn't want to give up half, he's "anti-tax".  And when he criticizes liberal icons or the hypocrisy of the left, you lump him in with others who do so.

Perhaps the problem is that anyone who does so is marginalized to the Right- a problem that you are contributing to.


HuggaBean
HuggaBean

@Josiah.Hesse Where do you source your data?  He also guests and is friends with Dr. Drew, Dave Dameshek, David Wild and Jimmy Kimmel (all spoken liberals).  The co-anchors on his daily podcast are also liberally minded.  He has stated multiple times that he is not pro or anti gun and has stated several times that you don't need a 30 round clip or AK47 to hunt with.  As far as his guests spots on O'Reilly and touring with Prager...he also tours with Dr. Drew and guests on several "liberally" minded podcasts.  Finally, in regards to public image and not being able to control it - you're correct - especially when media runs bias with your statement and declares you a conservative regardless.

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

@Chimfish He takes a jab at Jackson for having " tax people ". Why is he any different than him ? Like he's not using loopholes ?

Also, as intelligent as he is, or comes off as, he should know there is a direct correlation betweeen obesity and low income households.

Very easy for him to sit around badmouthing people that haven't been as lucky as he has been. The guy barely graduated from High School and dropped out of Community College.

But, he's funny ! So go ahead and talk sh** about Hawaiins, Phillipinos and women.

His ego won't quit.

tsdcs
tsdcs

@Josiah.Hesse I would suggest that should be a legitimate question and not a rhetorical one.  I don't watch cable news, so I can't speak as to the general tenor of the structure of their shows, but I am excessively familiar with Carolla.  If he is any measure (not a political or social conservative based on his actual views or statements), then I would suggest that there would be many people who've a more diverse set of views than you give them credit for.

As for his fanbase, I would suggest that you are unfamiliar with it (again, guilt by association).  Carolla has spoken as he does for many years, but it's only very recently, after his rant about the Occupy movement went viral a few years back, that he's been embraced by conservative figures and blogs, etc.  Having him heard rant for years about the religious right standing in the way of post-coital contraception, abortion etc, I am absolutely certain that he has many fans who lean quite far to the left, or more likely somewhere in between.  Given the size of his audience and how the podcast audience will naturally tend to skew younger, it's actually a fairly easy bet.

And to say that he caters his views to a conservative audience is a sort of affirmation of the consequent.  But, more to the point, in general Carolla's rants are social and cultural, and rarely actually political.  There's no mention of the debt ceiling, he has ambivalent feelings about guns (likely for gun control, but not a big priority), and the idea that there are too many screwed up and unready people having kids has practically his mantra for well over a decade.  He is not a pundit who's job it is to talk about how bad Democrats are, nor to espouse conservative values, and least of the three to support Republicans. 

Josiah.Hesse
Josiah.Hesse

@tsdcs @Josiah.Hesse @HuggaBean You make a good point. But when I call Carolla a conservative, part of that is coming from his fanbase, which is the same tea-party, pro-Fox News contingent that vote Republican, hate Obama and are against gay-marriage. And, personally, I believe that he is aware of this and, to some degree, crafts his opinions to pander to this demographic. I do not begrudge him that, as I am some-what right-leaning myself. Pegging me as a liberal is a much more gross misrepresentation that referring to him as a conservative. Honestly, how many sincerely non-partisan voices have regular slots on Fox News? 

Josiah.Hesse
Josiah.Hesse

@HuggaBean First, Dr. Drew is not necessarily a liberal. In a recent Denver Post interview, Carolla described him as "basically a libertarian." Dameshek comments on Football, Kimmel runs an entertainment show, and Wilde writes about rock bands and Seinfeld. As opposed to O'Reilly and Prager, who are both conservative political icons. And on guns, I understand he's not Ted Nugent, but on his podcast following Sandy Hook, Carolla said of recent attempts at gun control legislation "It's not going to do anything . . . there are too many guns in circulation." I have no problem with the word conservative -- as I often lean in that direction myself -- but Carolla saying he's not conservative is similar to when Evangelicals say "we're not religious." The issue comes when you have two separate definitions of the word. 

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

@HuggaBean 

 I don't remember recall " making fun " of anyone. 

Take a valium and keep patting yourself on the back.

HuggaBean
HuggaBean

@ryanjohnsmith1013 I didn't realize that healthy and balanced meals could only be bought at Whole Foods.  I guess Kroger and Savers don't sell fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy?!  I'm a 99%er too and have managed to buy healthy food at my local grocery stores without breaking a basic budget.  Whole Foods sells organic and natural products - doesn't always equate to healthy and balanced.  And thanks for making fun of my mom who took advantage of WHATEVER RESOURCES she could grasp to properly take care of her family - because she was a parent.

HuggaBean
HuggaBean

Wow interpret much?! I never said I controlled what the school served - only what I allow her to have at school.  If I don't approve of the meal or snack being prepared then I make her lunch and snacks to tote with her to school. 

How can one not afford to feed your child healthy?  I grew up on limited funds and my Mom always served vegetables at dinner and balanced meals.  She would buy the dented or lost label cans at the stores and make an adventure out of meal making times.  In the summer she grew veggies in windowboxes or a garden plot.  She worked a full time job and had an hour commute each way and still managed a healthy and porportioned dining experience.

I don't buy the excuse that lack of money means not being able to eat healthy.  Now if you told me you had no money and therefore couldn't afford to buy food I would concede the point.

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

@HuggaBean I'm glad you have the option to feed your daughter healthy food.

And, you have pull over what your daughters school serves ?

You do have an ego !

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

@Chimfish That's an awfully big accusation to make. He took a job in Canada to avoid paying taxes ?!?

Bollocks.

HuggaBean
HuggaBean

I have a 3 year old daughter.  I as her PARENT make sure she eats a balanced meal and healthy snacks.  I have verified that her school also provides meals and snacks that I approve.  We go to dance music classes, gymnastics, take walks and play at the park.  And we have wicked dance parties.  Because keeping her healthy is my DUTY as her PARENT.

Carolla was a fast food worker, carpet cleaner, ditch digger, construction worker and boxing coach all before he earned success as a comedian.  Plus his first gig in radio was UNPAID and his first few years on Loveline were also unpaid with no gainshare.

My ego has grown expnentially as I've aged and acheived successes.  And in talking to you it has grown just that much more!  Thank you!

Chimfish
Chimfish

ryanjohnsmith1013"He takes a jab at Jackson for having ' tax people '. Why is he any different than him ? Like he's not using loopholes ?"

The difference is that Jackson advocates for higher tax rates. Adam doesn't.

Re-read the context of his statement. Adam's criticism isn't towards the use of tax people and loopholes in and of themselves. The criticism is of the use of tax people and loopholes while at the same time publicly pushing for other people making a similar size income to have to pay more. That's the hypocrisy.

ryanjohnsmith1013
ryanjohnsmith1013

@HuggaBean How does a toddler eat well and work out ?

He worked hard ? All that time sitting around talking sure makes manuel labor look sexy.

His ego has grown exponentially along with his paychecks and outside validation. The guy is funny. Congratulations.

HuggaBean
HuggaBean

His Mom is obese and he grew up in a dysfuncitonal home.  He makes a point to eat healthy and work out and has managed to rise from a poor academic performance and become successful at his chosen path.  He isn't lucky - he worked hard for everything he has.  He has an ego...so do I - so do you.  Difference is he gets a chance to speak it more than you - because he's successful in a celebrity field.  ANDdddd he talks shit about everybody so calm your body.

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