Los Angeles Journal Part 2: The Carolla Show Recap

There are multiple ways to view most events, where from one perspective something plays out one way, but from a different perspective (either visually, mentally, or emotionally) it can seem to be a completely different result.  My appearance on The Adam Carolla Show last Wednesday (aired on Thursday) could be one of those situations.  As I discussed with Nick Dopuch (my friend and chauffeur for my three days in LA) here is the neutral way to describe what led me on to that show: Step 1: I wrote a web series, which required both a fund raising campaign and out of pocket costs to get made, with the intention of showcasing my impressions and my voice within comedy.  Step two was to find a way to get the series publicity because 100% of the comedy media sources were unwilling to promote the series because the only thing more important to these sites and their creators than web clicks (which my videos are reliable for) is access to celebrities, several of whom are targets in the series.  Step three was a well timed tweet to Adam Carolla who actually watched and enjoyed the video and had his producer play it on the air. Step 4 was a dialogue with the show producer about making a new video specifically for the show. Step 5 was to write, cast and make the new video on my own dime within a week.  Step 6 was to be offered a guest spot on the show to release the video and fly myself out to Los Angeles. Step 7 was to do the best I could on the show.  And then step 8 was hopefully pick up lots of new traffic and fans and (long shot) begin a relationship with the show.  Right now, the plan was executed perfectly and led to exactly zero dollars (at least in the short term).   As Nick and I said in his car after my appearance, what I had just pulled off was BEST CASE SCENARIO for a comedian with no management and no industry connections.  To paraphrase Scarface, all I have in this world is my comedy and my balls and I don’t break them for no one.  (for the record, the other way to look at this scenario is like my Mother or millions of other rational human beings and ask “So wait, you are not getting paid?”)

But let’s break down the appearance, which meant more to me and has done more for me than my appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson six years ago (landmarks in my comedy career are like Senate elections):

I was starting to feel sick the day of the show (it is now full blown bronchitis), which was probably a combo of a 1 am Greyhound trip from Syracuse to NYC on Sunday morning, followed by a six hour early morning flight to LA two days later and the stress of what I knew was an important opportunity for me.  About three hours before the show I almost puked (from nerves, not sickness).  The fact is when you are not in the chosen class of comedians where industry is fawning for whatever myriad of criteria they use, chances to expand your fan base in a big way are few.  So even though I did not know what I could gain from a successful appearance I also knew that opportunities like this are not frequent so I had to make the most of it.

When I arrived at the studio about 15 minutes before they told me to be there I was greeted by a small woman who had never heard of Adam Carolla.  The address number I wanted was 629, but I had a mental slip and went to 621. Now that my ride had left the neighborhood I panicked and thought what if I had the whole address wrong?  I have 15 minutes to get where I needed to be and had no idea how far I was.  Then an older gentleman popped his head out of another room and said “Carolla? Two buildings down.”  Crisis averted.

When I walked in to the Adam Carolla Studio building I was blown away. First I was meeting all these behind the scenes characters from the show and putting faces to names and jokes.  I have been listening to the show for 4 years, 5 days a week so at least to me it was very cool.  And then there was the studio itself.  It was like a shrine/fan room/man cave of the show.  Not so much a tribute to Adam, but rather a collection of things (probably made by fans who like the show) and tons of stuff Carolla likes.  And, although not politically in tune with Carolla, his humor and his “fu*k the industry – I will run my comedy business how I see fit” are things I appreciate and respect (and foolishly emulate since I do not have hundreds of thousands of fans).

I proceeded to get buzzed off of Carolla’s signature drink, Mangria, before the show to calm my nerves and then it was showtime.  I threw in a few quips, got to do impressions of President Obama, Louis CK, Biggie, Dane Cook and JB Smoove.  I got Adam to laugh a few times, which was a real accomplishment, and got compliments from the show’s staff (maybe they do that for everyone but I think they meant it).  They also played my new video Adam Carolla vs The Patent Troll in its entirety on the air.  In other words I really felt like I stuck the landing.  Afterwards, while waiting by myself in front of a Del Taco by myself waiting for Nick to pick me up I almost started turning into Tom Hanks at the end of Captain Phillips, but I kept my composure.

"Huh? What? Yes I did a good job on the podcast!"

More than anything I have done in comedy this was the most satisfying thing I have accomplished in 11 years.  Because it was all me.  It offered me a day or two of validation for the way I have approached comedy and it is all attributable to me. This may sound conceited or selfish, but for all the effort and sacrifice I have made to build my own life raft (Carolla calls his a pirate ship, but given the relative size of my operation, as well as my Haitian father, I feel life raft is a more apt analogy), I earned a chance to say for a night, like Cerano in Major League, “fu*k you comedy business… I do it myself.”

But like anything in comedy, there always seems a price to pay.  And not only did my bronchitis get worse, but randomly checking my bank balance the next day I saw that my bank account was short what it should have been because a check from a previous gig had just bounced.  If anyone has read the book 11/22/1963 by Stephen King, it is about someone changing the course of history, but the bigger the event, the more impediments pop up to prevent change to that event.  It felt sort of like that “Congrats on working your way into an opportunity not usually provided to people in your position. Hope you don’t mind us taxing you for the chance.”

But not even that could make the trip any less than a big success.  I picked up 100 YouTube subscribers, 50 Twitter followers and a ton of new podcast subscribers.  And sadly, in comedy this counts as currency.  It also validated my work to a large pool of people that I think will also appreciate my work.  Now all I need to do is figure out how to appear on The Adam Carolla Show 225 times a year and I will be a star by this time next year. Check the episode HERE (or on iTunes)

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *