Comedian Adam Carolla is a busy man. When he’s not making movies and reality TV shows or writing books or hosting the most downloaded podcast in the world, he enjoys interacting with loyal fans. He’ll be in San Antonio October 10 for a live podcast. Before the show, Carolla will visit Spec’s (11751 Bandera Road) at 6 p.m. to sign bottles of Mangria, his new wine cocktail. He caught up with me via phone from his studio in Glendale, California last week.
Hey, Adam, so how was Clooney’s wedding?
Well, I don’t know if you know this, but I had sex with Courtney Cox while I was there. I’m not one to brag, but a fact’s a fact. They confiscated everyone’s cell phone, so I wasn’t able to capture it. You just have to believe me—hand of God. But, yeah, it was nice to get shuttled in by the water taxis. Clooney went grey. He looked in good spirits. We started with a pasta salad. After that, I got pretty drunk, so I don’t remember a lot of it. But I do remember having sex with Courtney Cox.
Sounds like you had a lot of fun. So, the second season of “Catch a Contractor” on Spike TV is here. Why do you think a show like this has resonated with so many viewers?
I think people have a fantasy to find that person that screwed them over and drag them back to the scene of the crime and shove it in their face. Everyone has a story about having to deal with a bad contractor. When I heard the idea for the show, I knew it was going to take a lot of work to screw up that premise—find families that have been screwed over and go find the contractor and drag them back and yell at them in front of the family.
During that final confrontation with the contractor, how nice is it to know you have someone like co-host/contractor/MMA fighter Skip Bedell standing next to you so you don’t necessarily need to bring a sledgehammer with you in case things get physical?
Yeah, it’s good to have a big, tough guy with tattoos standing next to me. It can be really tough emotionally in the show to get into it with people. Homeowners are crying and screaming at the guy. It really gets bad when I start feeling bad for the contractor once they’ve been yelled at enough. But when we get to the confrontation, I try to sprinkle a little humor in. You can’t go wrong with that recipe.
Let’s talk about Mangria. What’s so manly about drinking something labeled a wine cocktail? Wouldn’t have brewing your own beer earned you more man points?
Well, first off, “man points” sound pretty gay to me. Two, this is 21 percent alcohol. When you brew your own beer, you’re sitting at seven to nine percent. Next time football Sunday comes along and everybody shows up with a stale bag of chips and a six-pack of light beer under their arm and you show up with a bottle of Mangria, you’ll be a hero, my friend.
You have a TV show, a podcast empire, a wine cocktail, a new book that hit shelves in May and an upcoming movie. What entrepreneurial avenue is next? Most celebrities have their own fragrance, so could you see a cologne in your future? Adam Carolla’s Bro-logne, perhaps?
I would like to come out with a fragrance, but I would make it smell exactly like WD-40. I don’t think you could smell any better than that. I love the smell of WD-40. I don’t know any guy that doesn’t like that smell. I’d have an aftershave that smelled like WD-40, too.
Was building this Adam Carolla brand always part of your master plan?
It never really was, but it probably should’ve been. I never really thought about it that much before. I’m not going full-throttle Trump on anyone’s ass, but it definitely couldn’t hurt. I mean, my name is on the Mangria bottles, but I don’t call it Adam Carolla’s Mangria. It has my name on it because if [comedian] Doug Benson or Louis C.K.’s name was on it, it would be confusing.
You share your vision on how we can make this country a better place to live in your newest book President Me. What one legislative idea you would urge a 2016 presidential hopeful to turn to in your book and include in their platform?
I want someone to make all life-support equipment coin operated. I don’t feel the taxpayers or the hospitals should be paying for that. When you go in to visit grandpa, you should have to feed the machine quarters. It would pay for itself. People think it’s a cruel idea, but could you imaging living in a world where there wasn’t enough people in it who loved you to feed quarters into the slot? If you have an efficient family structure, they’re going to keep feeding quarters into that respirator. If not, you shouldn’t want to come back to that place anyway. Oh, another [idea] would be to change that children’s swimming pool game Marco Polo to Adam Carolla. I mean, Marco Polo? I don’t even know what he did; probably something with spices.
I know you’re a conservative, but don’t you think a Hillary Clinton White House is inevitable?
Well, what she has going for her—and I don’t think people should discount this element —is that we’re in a place where we like to feel good about ourselves and being a part of change. Everyone wants to be on the good side of history. A lot of people went with Obama in the past election because they thought, “I want to be part of the generation that votes in the first black president. I’m going to be on the happy side of history.” Nobody wants to be like, “Oh, my grandfather complained like hell when they tried to get away from that whole separate water fountain drinking system.” Nobody wants to be on that side of history. So, we’re just coming off electing the first African American president. Everyone thinks that was awesome. Now, we’re getting into the same thing with Hillary and saying, “Hey, the first woman! We’re on a roll here!” I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. She is a sociopath. I think Bill Clinton is a sociopath, too, and a sexual predator. I hope voters vote for her based on her credentials rather than say, “The first woman president!”
Your new movie “Road Hard” is in post-production now and comes seven years after your debut as a screenwriter with “The Hammer.” What took so long, and do you ever see yourself getting to Woody Allen’s level and pumping out a new script every year?
“The Hammer” was really satisfying because people responded to it and liked the movie. It got two thumbs up and got Sports Illustrated’s Best Sports Comedy of the Year. It all felt fantastic, but it took so long and cost so much money and it lost a bunch of money for me personally. I just couldn’t see going through that ordeal again. Plus, rattling the can and begging people for money to help you make a movie, I just couldn’t see myself going through that again. Then, this whole crowdsourcing, fund-anything idea came up and I was like, “Oh, we can do this ourselves.” That’s when the idea became attractive. Simultaneously, I had a really good idea for a movie. I’m not someone who wants to crank a movie out every year. I’m someone who wants to wait around for some inspiration—a good story or a good idea.
There are some critics of that fundraising model where celebrities like yourself and Spike Lee and Zach Braff are asking fans for money to make a movie. Do you think they have a good argument when they say you should pay for it yourself if you really want to make it?
Yeah, I think it’s a valid criticism. They only hole in the criticism is that no one is under any obligation to do this. They want to participate because they want to participate. I mean, I don’t want to give some artist a grant so he can do Piss Christ 2. If he wants to raise his own money or sell his own condo to do it, so be it. My feeling is that anything that is mandatory crosses the line. If you’re walking down the street and someone rattles the can and you want to put a quarter in it, that’s your business.
I’m sure the perks you’re offering help with their willingness to give, right?
Yeah, it’s sort of condescending to go, “Well, you can pay for it yourself,” when these people want to be a part of it. They want [the perks] they get with donating—from me coming to their hometown for a screening to getting a Blu-ray copy of the movie to getting a T-shirt. Honestly, I wouldn’t have made this movie if I had to make it the old way. Some guy gave me $10 grand or some large chunk of money, so I went to his house and did standup in his living room at his party. I didn’t reach out to him. He reached out to me. To me, this is basically a transaction. On the low end, you get a movie poster. On the high end, I do standup in your living room. It’s like prostitution. If somebody says, “I’ll give you oral sex for $100” and everyone is a consenting adult, then go do what you want to do. But if you’re forcing people or taking the money and not delivering on the services, I’ve got a problem with that.