Spend a Little Time with Your Emotional Support Animal, Adam Carolla

Jake Randall


Jake Randall: Well, welcome everybody to another episode of The Profit Junkie Podcast where we talk about increasing sales, managing your business, keeping as much of your hard-earned money as possible and whatever the heck else we want to talk about. Today, I’m super excited to have a guest on who really needs no introduction. He’s a fabulously successful and talented comedian, writer, producer, podcast mogul, and a bunch of other things. Our guest today is Adam Carolla. Adam, welcome to the show.

Adam Carolla: Thanks for having me.

Jake Randall: It’s a pleasure. Now, most people know who you are. I remember growing up listening to you. I would sneak into the closet so I could tune into Loveline. That was kind of a guilty pleasure when I was a kid that I probably shouldn’t have been listening to, but I did anyway. But anyway, you started your career in comedy, or how did you get into where you’re doing right now?

Adam Carolla: I started in radio. I mean, I started getting paid in radio. I did sketch, improv, stand-up, and I taught Comedy Traffic School when I was 27 or something, so I had a lot of different sort of… I dabbled in it. I never really got paid until I got to radio. Once I got into radio, I got paid.

Jake Randall: Did you set out with the goal to get into radio and comedy and stuff like that, or did it kind of just happen?

Adam Carolla: Well, as you know, nothing really just happens. I’d have people tell that story all the time, I mean, unless you’re jogging in the park and someone jumps on you or something, but for the most part, careers don’t just happen, but they do happen in ways that you couldn’t plan out. That part of that analogy or that part of that adage is true. I worked at comedy really hard. I wanted to do comedy, but I had no idea what kind of comedy I would be doing or what radio station I would end up at, or meeting Jimmy Kimmel all those years ago. Obviously, nobody could plan for that.

Jake Randall: Yeah. But you knew you wanted to try comedy, at least do something in that vein, right?

Adam Carolla: Well, I wanted to get paid to do something other than work with my hands, which I’d always… I’d never a job where I didn’t get paid to physically work. There’s kind of two kinds of work. There’s sit around in air conditioning and think about stuff work, and then there’s “go trim those tree branches and drag them up down the driveway and cut them up and throw them in the dumpster,” or moving. My kinds of jobs where I worked at McDonald’s, and I worked the grill, so I was just on my feet grilling all day. Then I got a job carpet cleaning, and that was a really dirty, sweaty, back-breaking cleaning restaurants’ greasy floors with the steam cleaner. Then I went from there to basically labor, construction labor, literally digging ditches and busting out stucco.

My jobs were all really hands-on work related, and the way I knew how to make money was if you move those boxes or you work that jackhammer or you swing that sledge hammer, you’ll get $7 an hour, getting paid by the hour to dig ditches. I don’t mean it metaphorically. My first real job on a construction site was digging footings for a house up in the Hills. Everything had to be hand dug, caisson holes. I don’t want to bore you with the technical stuff, but I wasn’t digging ditches like, “You’re going to be a ditch digger if you don’t say in college.” I dug ditches. When you get paid $7 an hour to dig on a hot day outside, it starts to dawn on you that even if they gave you a hundred dollars an hour, this would still be horrible, horrible stuff. I started thinking about transitioning into something else that I could do that didn’t have a hourly price tag on it.

Jake Randall: Did you do radio other than… Before you did Loveline, did you do other radio before that?

Adam Carolla: I did a little bit of a morning radio in Los Angeles, a little bit of a show called Kevin and Bean, which just went off the air after 30 years just a couple of months ago, a couple of weeks ago, really. I did a little bit of that. I contributed to the morning show, but I had not had experience as a radio show host.

Jake Randall: So you kind of went from dirty jobs to dirty jokes a little bit.

Adam Carolla: That’s a good one, except for the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), so…

Jake Randall: Yeah.

Adam Carolla: It wasn’t too dirty, but it was a little risqué. By then, in my career as a carpenter, I quickly… well, not quickly, but I realized digging ditches and hauling trash and scraping roofs and just that those kinds of jobs, they were the hardest, they were the dirtiest, they were the most dangerous, and they paid the least, so I started getting into… I tried to learn finish work as fast as I could learn it. By the time I got to radio, I probably had about more than 10 years in as a carpenter, and I was doing finish work at that point, which is a little cleaner, a little more interesting, a little more creative.

Jake Randall: Now, I mean, you’re so busy. You have so many projects going on. What does a typical day in Adam Carolla’s life look like?

Adam Carolla: It usually has some building, some project, some re-mod, or some physical, tangible part of it. There’ll be a little building project part of it. There’ll be a automotive component, some race car that’s getting prepped for a vintage race and some rims that need to be manufactured or something, and it’s something I need to look at, make some decisions on or some part I need to find or pay for, some… There’ll to be a little bit automotive stuff, a race car stuff in there.

There’ll be some podcasting, usually multiple podcasts. There’ll be like some dinner, some family time. There’ll be some TV-watching time. There’ll be take the dog for a walk for an hour at some point. I always have a note pad, and I’m always jotting down things. I have two note pads. I have building car mechanical list of things to do, and then I’ll have a creative thing, jokes, ideas, things that I want to do, ideas for a documentary or something like that. It’s really mixed with some quick meetings about this doc and so-and-so wants to collaborate and should we do it and how’s the deal going with Showtime and a couple of little bing, bang, booms in there. That’s it. That’s basically… At some point, I get on my rowing machine for half hour and work up a little sweat. If I’m not traveling, if I’m not playing a club or theater, if I’m not performing, that’s basically my day.

Jake Randall: That’s cool. It’s interesting to hear because I think you’re at a point where you’ve successfully outsourced all of this to the crappy stuff. You started with dirty jobs, but you focus on just the creative stuff now it seems like.

Adam Carolla: Well, I focus on the creative stuff, and then I focus on the mechanical stuff, but I don’t have to cut the drywall anymore. I explain what we need to do and how it needs to work, and then I leave. Then people screw it up, and then I come back, and I wish I had done it myself or stayed with them, but then there’s the automotive side of that as well.

Jake Randall: You’ve got a new book coming out. I love the title by the way. Book’s coming out. It’s called I’m Your Emotional Support Animal: Navigating Our All Woke, No Joke Culture. Tell me just a little bit about where the impetus for this book came from and a little bit about the book.

Adam Carolla: Well, I wrote a book a decade ago called In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, and it was a bestseller. I was sort of vibing on something. There’s a reason I named it that. I felt like that’s the direction where we’re going as a society. Most of the proclamations or prognostications I made in that book, many of them came true much faster than 50 years. I wrote a few other books in the interim, and this’ll be my fifth book, but I took a little time off. I was just writing one book after the next book after the next book.

I took five years off, and I thought, “Well, what kind of book do I want to write?” because when you write what happens is, is you write a book, the book becomes a New York Times bestseller, and then the publisher just comes to you and goes, “What’s your next book?” and you’re not even really necessarily thinking about what your next book is, but you are thinking about getting paid, so you go, “I’ll come up with a new book.” Sometimes it happens with bands. They come up at that first record. It’s a big platinum hit, and then the record company comes home nine months later and goes, “What’s your next record?” and now they have to crap out a record.

Now, for me, my next book was called Not Taco Bell Material, and it was an autobiography, and it was really good. People liked it. It wasn’t like, “I’ll just cobble something together and get paid.” I always wanted to make sure it was a good book, but then they came to me again, like, “What’s your next book?” so I kept writing these books, and I thought, “They’re good books, but I’m still just writing books because they’re coming to me telling me to write a book.”

This time, I took five years off. Nobody came to me to write a book. I just thought, “Hey, what do I want to talk about? What’s going on in society?” and now I’m organically motivated to write this book. I came up with an outline, and the book business had changed a bit, but this time, I sought out a publisher to write the book with versus people just coming to me, ask me to write books, and like, “Yeah. All right, give me a check. I’ll write a book.” This was a little more organic, and it’s really just about what’s going on as I see it right now, like In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.

Jake Randall: I read the jacket, but what were some of the… can you give us a little sneak peek at something like just one of the ideas that’s in there that’s… I mean, there’s a lot of interesting stuff in the jacket, or on Amazon right now.

Adam Carolla: I’m trying to think of what… I mean, it’s just all the victimization culture. A lot of the stuff that I’m really drilling down on is converting people into victims and how it ruins that person in a major, major way and how the news, media, politicians and sort of culture at large are really working hard to kind of turn everyone into a victim. They’re doing a math, and the math is 100% wrong. It’s like when this whole thing settles down, this whole coronavirus business, and we get a little distance from it, we may discover that locking down was the exact wrong idea. We may discover, statistically, scientifically, that going out, being in the sunshine or being exposed to the virus or whatever it is, which is the opposite of staying home and sheltering and staying in place or whatever, we’re going to end up as we usually do.

Like the food pyramid. The food pyramid is totally wrong. It’s 100% wrong. People tweet me like, “Hey, why don’t you listen to the experts?” I go, “The experts that gave us the food pyramid are the experts that said 50,000 people die of secondhand smoke every year? Which experts?” The experts have been saying, when I was young, we were heading for an ice age. Now we’re heading for global warming. I’m not saying nothing’s happening. I’m just saying, “Who are these experts?”.

They get it wrong. They get it wrong all the time. This notion of “we’re going to turn somebody into a victim, we’re going to give them victim status, and then we’re going to get them things that will help lift them out of victimhood” you will see is the exact wrong approach to helping people. The way you help people is you tell them they’re not victims, we live in the United States, go out, make some hay while the sun is shining. That’s how you fix it, but we’ll see all this stuff. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you about it before everyone else does.

Jake Randall: Nostradamus of our day, right?

Adam Carolla: I’ve made a lot of predictions over my career, and most of them have come true, and most of the time people think I’m kidding or they think I’m insane, but I’ve always… I said a million years ago, dogs, dogs can sniff out everything. They can sniff out pot. They can sniff out cocaine. They can sniff out gunpowder. They can find it anywhere in any airports, so why aren’t they sniffing for cancer? Why aren’t they sniffing for venereal diseases? Everything has a smell. Why aren’t… Everyone just laughed at me like I was an idiot. Now they have dogs that do that.

I told everyone, “Crows are super smart. We could have attack crows. We could have crows doing things for us, like crows know how to use tools, crows can be trained. If I’m walking down the street, why shouldn’t I have my own crows flying over me, and if someone tries to mug me, the crow attacks that guy?” and everyone says I’m an idiot, like, “You’re insane.” This is 25 years ago. Now everyone sends me links. They’ve trained crows to pick up cigarette butts and recycled bottles and stuff. Of course. It’ll all happen. I just think of it before other people think of it. In the interim, I’m called an idiot for saying it, and then later on, they just forget that I said it once it happens, but all this stuff ends up happening. The self-esteem movement is a disaster that everyone will figure that out pretty soon. None of this stuff works. My job is to point it out before other people do.

Jake Randall: I think it’s awesome. I can’t wait. I pre-ordered my Audible version and my hardback, but I think it sounds like a fascinating read. I love those kinds of books that make you just think.

Adam Carolla: Well, thank you. The Audible version is always good because it’s different than the hardcover because I always do some riffing at some point in it. The audiobook will be always different than the written book.

Jake Randall: Are you the one narrating on that?

Adam Carolla: Oh, yes. 100%. It wouldn’t… it couldn’t work any other way.

Jake Randall: Yeah, it wouldn’t, not with your personality. That’s awesome. It’s available right now on Amazon. Is that the best place to get it? That’s where I got mine.

Adam Carolla: Yeah. I think you can just go to Amazon, or you could probably go to adamcarolla.com and maybe click through our Amazon link, which helps us, and-

Jake Randall: Do that.

Adam Carolla: Yeah. Do that. If you don’t believe me, you can go back and look at my other books and read the reviews. My books always average 4.5 stars on Amazon. They’re always really well-reviewed by the people who read them, so read a few reviews of In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks, and then go get I’m Your Emotional Support Animal.

Jake Randall: I love your writing style. You tackle some serious topics, but you have fun with it. I think you’re very descriptive and you carry your point very well, so-

Adam Carolla: Yeah. My feeling is if you’re going to say something, you have to back it up. You can’t just make proclamations and not give examples. I’m very precise about that. My feeling is if I’m going to say something, I’m going to give you examples, and I’m also going to say stuff that sounds insane, like venereal disease-sniffing dogs, and we’re going to have to unpack that, but when I’m done unpacking it, you should also believe it and think it’s a great idea.

Jake Randall: Yeah. That’s awesome. What’s the hardest part about writing a book for you? Once you have the idea, is it come to you, or is it editing? What’s the worst part?

Adam Carolla: Well, it got easy. It was difficult at the beginning because I’m not physically a good speller/writer/typer, and I realized quickly I couldn’t do it alone. I can’t physically sit down and type 80,000 words and also punctuation and everything else I’m bad at, so I immediately hooked up with a friend of mine, Mike Lynch, who I write these books with, and we worked out a system. We’re on our fifth book together, so he understands me, he understands my voice, he understands it all.

He’s in Massachusetts, by the way. We don’t sit in the same room. He listens to all my podcasts and all my pontifications, and he starts hearing what I have to say, and then he starts kind of putting it into chapters or categories or subgroups, so he’d go, “This would fit well here.” Then he starts putting it in shape, so it goes from sort of me on stage or in a studio pontificating about X, Y, or Z to him distilling it down, shaping it a little bit. Then the process is, is I get in my car to… I’m going to play the Irvine Improv, and it’s a two hour commute in traffic from LA, and I tell him, “I’m getting my car at 6:00. The show’s at 8:00. I’ll call you as soon as I get in my car.” I call him, put him on the speaker, he just starts reading the chapters to me.

I say, “Stop. Let’s come up with a better example than that,” or, “Wait, that was a little unclear.” I physically hear it out loud. I’m much better, and most people are much better if they can just hear their book read to them versus when you’re writing it, there’s some kind of spackle that you’ll fix things with in your mind or whatever, but he’s reading it, and I’ll go, “Stop,” or sometimes he’ll read it and go, “We need a joke here. I don’t have a joke here,” or, “What’s a good example,” or, “What’s a better example?”

He’ll just read it, and we’ll just tweak it, read it and tweak it, read it and tweak it. Then I’ll say, “Okay, I’m coming off state. I’m driving home at 10:00 tonight from Irvine. I’ll call you when I get in the car. It’s probably an hour back,” and he’ll go, “Fine. Call me when you get in the car.” I’ll just call him, and he’ll pick it right up from the last place we dropped off. You go out, you play clubs like I do. You drive from my house to The Comedy Store on a Saturday night, drive home 45 minutes each way, you do that, couple months go by, you written a book. That’s pretty much how it works with me.

Jake Randall: I like that. That’s efficient use of time.

Adam Carolla: Oh, definitely. Definitely.

Jake Randall: That’s great. Well, everybody, I definitely recommend go grab the book. If it’s anything like the last ones, it’s going to be great. I don’t know what you call it, but the deck copy that talks about the book, the jacket copy or whatever makes it sound really, really good. I’m really excited to read it, so.

Adam Carolla: Yeah, it’ll be good. I think the audiobook is probably about six and a half hours or so, so there’s a lot of material there.

Jake Randall: That’s great. Well, Adam, I know you’re a busy guy, but thank you so much for joining us today and sharing a little bit about your book and about how you run your business and your life. I think it’s really fascinating for a lot of our listeners to think about how they run their lives. They can get some ideas to make it a little bit better, a little bit more efficient.

Adam Carolla: Well, I’ll tell you this much. At some point, you have to pay people. You can’t do everything yourself. You think you want to get all the money for writing a book? Break off a piece, give it to a guy who’s out of town, and then when you’re driving your car, you can write your book. That makes you so much more efficient.

Jake Randall: That’s great advice. Great advice. The book comes out the 16th of June (2020). Is that the right date?

Adam Carolla: Yeah. But if you pre-order it, it helps get you into different stores. It just helps because they base a lot of it on presale. If you’re thinking about getting it, just do me a favor and pre-order it. You’ll get it on that day. It’ll help more than buying it the first week it comes out.

Jake Randall: Yeah. So ahead, go to adamcarolla.com, and there’s a place to click over there, and you’ll get it there, right?

Adam Carolla: Yeah.

Jake Randall: Awesome. Adam, thanks for making some time for us today on the podcast. We really appreciate it, and go drive some race cars or something.

Adam Carolla: I’m going to. Thanks for having me.

Jake Randall: All right, take care.

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