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