I’ve never been a big Adam Carolla fan.
I always found Carolla to be a bit smug, although in fairness it’s pretty much the role he was playing on such highbrow fare as Loveline and The Man Show. And frankly, people like Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil (never trust a doctor with only a first name, says Dr. Bristol) are as twisted and codependent as their idiot callers and guests. Carolla just played the bystander who was really pity-mocking the poor saps on the help shows and doing what any overgrown adolescent would love to do on The Man Show…if they had the freedom and the budget.
But Carolla’s book In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks is pretty funny, because he remembers the first rule of comedy – make yourself a target as well. That way no matter how petty or whiny or condescending you get, you’re really saying “I know, right?” rather than defending your lofty perch. There is no shortage of people, institutions and concepts to attack, and Carolla does so with vigor.
The book reads like a collection of related thoughts rather than a narrative flow, which is perfect for bathroom reading (coincidentally the subject of chapter 7), and his rambling observations and caustic asides are peppered with anecdotes involving some of his famous friends, most notably Jimmy Kimmel. Some fo it is a little whiny and pretentious, but a lot of it is pretty damned funny.
Read excerpts here.
But he has a point – look at that cover picture and focus on your first thought. That’s right – biker leather no longer makes you think of tough guys like Marlon Brando or Lee Marvin…you think Village People. When did that happen? The book is loaded with observations that wonder aloud when common sense took a backseat to popularity, and why celebretards – people famous only for being famous – should be worth anyone’s precious time.
I won’t go back and watch The Man Show (and I like Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope even more than I like Jimmy Kimmel), and I’d take a bullet to the head before watching something like Loveline. But if I ever see Adam Carolla, I’m going to buy him a beer, or ten.
And I guarantee it won’t be light beer…
Smug as a bug in a rug
Filed under Comedy, Reviews
“The human race has one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
Sadly, Mark Twain never won the Mark Twain Award for Comedy, but that doesn’t mean his words weren’t prescient. I need some laughs this weekend, and I’ll wager a bunch of you do, too. So let’s lock and load.
Here are Ten Comic Clips from some of my favorite performers.
(01) Stewart Lee on political correctness.
(02) Joe Rogan on Noah’s Ark
(03) Brendon Burns on feminism
(04) Darren Frost on today’s youth
(05) Eddie Izzard on Stonehenge
(06) Richard Herring on religion
(07) Jim Jefferies on drinking
(08) Ricky Gervais on the obesity problem
(09) Louis CK on gay marriage
(10) Robert Schimmel on Hollywood Squares
Filed under Comedy, Film/TV
Good to see comedian Joe Rogan becoming a bit more prolific. After a brilliant debut in 2000 (I’m Gonna Be Dead Someday) and an under-the-radar followup (Live From The Belly Of The Beast) the next Spring, almost seven years passed before new material was released. Talking Monkeys In Space makes three releases in the past four years, and I’m hoping he keeps punching – while not classics, there’s enough solid material to recommend them, and Rogan’s style is engagingly honest and approachable.
Joe’s material isn’t going to break any new barriers; the bulk of it here deals with getting off, getting high and the magnificence of daily life when those two urges are properly satisfied. As a new father, he’s also seeing the circle of life come full circle, which leads to some funny revelations but also some uninspired bits about breast milk. I found his bits on evolution and psychedelics to be the (ahem) high point of the show; some of my favorite comics (Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks) are psychic explorers and their material is so much better for it.
The length of the actual set is alarmingly short, but he does follow up by placing a couple of mikes in the audience for a Q&A session. Must admit that I cringed at the thought, dreading a series of ridiculous questions about Fear Factor and the UFC, two things I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about. But Joe rips into each audience member in clever and playful ways, both mocking their (mostly) inane questions and yet answering them with great appreciation. It’s obvious that the crowd has great affection and loyalty to him, and when an audience has your back no matter what, you can be free to do anything.
What’s endearing about Rogan is that he has no delusions about being a “star”. He readily admits that his exposure on television has given him the opportunity to have a career in comedy, whether a good experience like NewsRadio or a ridiculous paycheck like Fear Factor. There’s a great moment when someone asks him about getting started in the business and he discusses the long and painful road of failing miserably to learn from your mistakes. It’s no wonder that comics who rip others off get under his skin so much.
Listen to clips at Amazon
Joe Rogan podcast