Courtesy of LOL Ccmedy Club
Label him if you’d like, but comedian Adam Carolla doesn’t necessarily fit in a box – at least comfortably. Whether you view him as a hardcore Republican, a right-leaning Libertarian, a member of Stephen Miller’s fascist freak show or a spokesman for the President’s revamped coronavirus/demon sperm
task force, Carolla doesn’t care. Much like the President, he’s going to say what he wants and face the wrath of what he calls the “all woke, no joke” culture later.
Along with promoting his new book I’m Your Emotional Support Animal
, the actor, author, podcaster and former co-host of The Man Show
is making a tour stop at the LOL Comedy Club
this Friday and Saturday. The Current
caught up with him on the phone earlier this week to talk about the coronavirus, border wall and media bias.
Most standup comedians I’ve talked to since the pandemic started say that they are still performing live because they can’t afford not to. Assuming you can, why are you still touring? Why take that chance?
I don’t look at it as a chance. Maybe I’m wrong. I just feel like I’m not in a group that is impacted. I’m healthy. I no longer say I’m young, I just say I’m not old. I believe that if I get it, I’ll recover. I’m not a fear-based person. That’s just the way I work. What I do is I travel and do standup. And I’ve been doing it. I’ve been around – Houston, Nashville, Dallas, Chicago, Wisconsin. I’ve been traveling and staying at hotels and flying on airlines. I think we owe it to the airlines and clubs and bartenders and waitresses to get out there and put some money in their pockets.
Your fellow comedians Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub reportedly caught the virus when they performed at the LOL in late June. That doesn’t faze you at all?
No, but it doesn’t mean I’m smart. It just means it doesn’t faze me. See, there’s a difference here. I’m not saying to people that what I’m doing is the right thing. If I get it, I’ll talk to Dr. Drew and he’ll put me on hydroxychloroquine.
(Editor’s Note: On June 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible. “We made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery,” the FDA said in a statement. “This outcome was consistent with other new data, including those showing the suggested dosing for these medicines are unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.”)
Joe Rogan just announced that he’s planning on getting out of California and moving to Texas in the near future because there is “more freedom” here. That subject was brought up when you were on Tucker Carlson’s show last week. Could you see yourself moving to Texas, and do you realize that the state is not as conservative as you think? We’re solid blue here in San Antonio.
For me, it’s not so much a blue and a red thing. It’s a freedom thing. It’s also a taxes thing. I don’t really mind taxes per se, but in California, you pay a lot in taxes and you don’t get anything in return. That’s the problem. If the school system was awesome and there wasn’t any graffiti or homelessness, then, by all means, pay a lot of taxes. Texas [today] is probably where California was 20-25 years ago, which was fine. I was fine living in a blue state. But at some point, [California] jumped the shark. So, Texas’ blue may be different than California’s blue. Maybe Texas’ blue [today] is California’s blue circa 1995. If Texas is blue, then lock it down at 1995 because I can tell you what California blue looks like in 2020 and it’s not good.
Do you think of yourself as someone who has a political perspective on issues?
People think of me as political because I say a lot of things that sound political. I mean, I like school choice and capitalism. I say you should raise your own kids and make their own lunch and it all gets turned into something political. The reality is, I’m just saying things that are true to me. I’m not trying to be political. When I say, “Don’t have kids if you can’t afford to have kids,” I don’t mean it to be political. I used to say that all the time when I did Loveline
and nobody said it was political. I’m not really political. I just say things that are converted into that.
I’ve heard you speak about the border wall before, but I’m still not sure where you stand on it specifically. Since we’re so close to the border, can you give me some of your insight on it?
Whatever is effective. There doesn’t need to be a wall. There needs to be a way to know if people or drugs or guns or anything are coming across the border. I would say the same with [the U.S./Canadian border]. We’re a sovereign nation. If it’s a wall, then it’s a wall. Maybe it’s no wall and all technology. Maybe it’s ATVs or dune buggies. Whatever it is, it needs to be in place. Once it’s in place – and we know who and what’s coming in and out – then we can figure out policy and how we want the system to work – visas and green cards. Secure the border first.
But do you think a physical barrier will be effective?
Most experts I talk to say a wall is not really a solution. I don’t know why anyone would be “for wall” or “against wall.” Use a wall in some spots. If experts who work there say, “We need a wall for this 9-mile stretch,” then I’d give them the wall. If they said, “We need more surveillance or officers or equipment,” then, OK, we’ll give you that. We should just break [the border] into hundred-mile quadrants and have some block captain in charge of 600 miles and ask them, “What do you want for your [section]?” A lot of them would say they don’t need a wall.
If the President doesn’t get elected in November, what happens to the wall project and the part of the wall that has already gone up?
I think we have to do like Ronald Regan and say, “Mr. Gorbachev — tear down this wall.” Instead of “Gorbachev” we’ll say “Biden.”
Anytime I start a sentence with “according to the New York Times” or “according to CNN,” many conservatives will automatically tune out what I say. Same with “Fox News” and liberals. People have always been leery about the media based on whether it is considered more left-leaning or right-leaning, but would you agree that it hasn’t been this contentious since Trump took office?
Yes, I would say that is fairly accurate. I had this discussion with somebody yesterday. The Times
does what it does. CNN does what it does. MSNBC does what it does. Fox does what it does. I think everyone’s got an agenda now. I feel like the people who watch Fox know they’re watching Fox. You know who Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are. I feel when people are watching CNN — at least the friends that I have — they don’t think they’re watching CNN. They think they’re watching the news. They just think they’re watching a story on the dangers of hydroxychloroquine (See Editor’s Note above
). They don’t know that there’s a journalistic agenda that’s taking place.
But don’t you think the terms “biased news” and “fake news” don’t necessarily go hand in hand?
I don’t totally agree with that. Let’s say two people at a party say, “Adam Carolla got a DUI.” If you like me, then you’d go, “He got a DUI, but he was only a block from his house and he barely blew over .08 and he was going to call an Uber but his Uber app was not working.” The story would still be, “Adam Carolla got a DUI,” but you could make it more palatable. If you didn’t like me, then the news story would be, “Adam Carolla got a DUI. He’s reckless. He’s out of control.” The story’s not changing, but it’s the rub you’re putting on it.
But what if “Adam Carolla got a DUI” comes out the same day as “Adam Carolla releases his new book and it’s getting rave reviews”? Just because a news outlet only runs the story on Adam Carolla’s DUI and doesn’t mention his book reviews doesn’t make the DUI story insignificant.
Well, there’s definitely that, but what I’m saying is that even within the same true story there is one way to mitigate it and there’s another way to enhance it. I’m not accusing anyone of not telling the story. I’m just saying there is a way to tell the story that makes me a bad guy and there’s another way to tell it that makes me human.
Where do you get your news these days? Who do you trust to be giving you the whole story?
For more of the opinionated stuff, I listen to the more conservative guys on talk radio. I usually watch CNN on the weekends. I watch the news feeds like “Number of COVID cases in Los Angeles…” I watch Tucker [Carlson] but I also watch Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo. I travel a lot. Every single airport has CNN on. If you’re going to the United Airlines wing and you’re going to have a drink, you’re going to watch CNN. It’s pretty ubiquitous. You see it all over the place.
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