In 2006, Carolla completed work on The Hammer, an independent film that he co-wrote and co-produced. He plays the lead role in the film, opposite Heather Juergensen. The film premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and was released on March 21, 2008.
Carolla has claimed in his routines that the name "Carolla" is Italian for "small Japanese car" (though the car, of course, is spelled "Corolla").
Adam grew up in North Hollywood, California, located in the San Fernando Valley. His family is often a topic on his radio show; he claims that his parents were uninterested in his upbringing, and still have no interest in his life. He describes his family as good people, fair and honest--but often claims that they were opposed to anything that involved getting off the couch and doing something. He also alleges that his family was incredibly cheap; Carolla would get small amounts of money, usually coins, for his birthday instead of gifts, and he did not go to any funerals growing up. After his parents divorced, Carolla split time between his mother and his father.
Carolla attended Colfax Elementary School, Walter Reed Junior High, and North Hollywood High School. Carolla never received good grades, graduating with a 1.75 grade point average. He claims to have majored in ceramics. Carolla did not receive his high school diploma until years later, because (as he claims) he owed the library $19.95 for a copy of We The People (ISBN 0-385-41903-1). Although he eventually did pay for a history book at his high school, it was many years later; he incorporated it into his home improvement comedy "The Adam Carolla Project". Because of this, he also did not participate in his high school graduation ceremony; but he claimed once on Loveline that no one had ever asked him to produce his diploma.
He was voted class clown and was the captain of his football team. Carolla played Pop Warner football for many years; he later suggested that being involved in sports saved him from a chaotic home life. On The Adam Carolla Show, Carolla once related an incident in which someone attempted to recruit him to play football at Marshall University and the University of California, Davis, but he was not interested in college.
He began living on his own at the age of 18. He briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, a junior college, where he was placed on academic probation before dropping out to work in a series of jobs, including a carpet cleaner, carpenter, boxing instructor, traffic school instructor, and metal worker. After Carolla had established himself as a comedic pundit on Loveline, he frequently joked that his role on radio was "philosopher-warrior", and his title was M.B.V. (Mayor of BoobVille). Promotional posters and billboards introducing his self-titled radio show in early 2006 carried the caption "Adam Carolla: American Genius".
During Carolla's early twenties, while working in various jobs, he grew fond of listening to talk radio. In his late twenties he heard an ad on the radio seeking a boxing instructor to train Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel was, at the time, a radio personality on the KROQ morning show Kevin and Bean as "Jimmy the Sports Guy." Carolla met Kimmel at the radio station, and the two became best friends. Carolla asked Jimmy how he could get into radio; Jimmy replied that Carolla should create a character. Carolla eventually joined the show's cast as "Mr. Birchum," the ornery and misanthropic Vietnam-veteran shop teacher.
During his time on Loveline, Carolla gradually drew an increasing fan base to the program. Carolla, on Loveline after earlier attempts at traditional stand-up comedy, eschewed traditional stand-up methods, such as scripted comedic "bits". Carolla has claimed that he has no "act", referring to himself as a "comedy factory, as opposed to a comedy warehouse", distinguishing himself from comics who prepare material. Carolla preferred to use his time on the airwaves—and the subject matter of Loveline as an inspirational springboard—to launch into rants in a similar fashion to Dennis Miller. Carolla's presentation of his views frequently fits the description of black comedy. While Carolla distinguishes himself as being self-educated, he frequently refers to his formal education in abysmal, self-deprecating terms. He attributes his layman's perspective to his unconventional upbringing, often claiming it has left him as an—albeit successful—adult with "NO self-esteem, as opposed to LOW self-esteem". Carolla claims to have genuinely forgotten several of his own past jokes, insights and innovations that have caught on with fans, attributing his forgetfulness to his "no self-esteem". Carolla has commented on radio that on several occasions, fans have recited back to him his own ideas from past broadcasts, and he genuinely does not recognize them as being his own.
Loveline expanded into its largest number of radio markets while Carolla was co-host. During his final shows, the fanbase that he had cultivated was, in his own words, larger than he expected. Carolla often claimed that he had no idea of the effect he had on his audience, saying frequently that, among the small staff in the Loveline broadcast studio, "no one cares"; he repeatedly drew attention to the apathy of his co-workers—with extended, comedic complaints about the staff, including Pinsky (they both stated they had become very close during their work together). Once it was announced that he was leaving Loveline after its 10 most successful years, Carolla became the subject of large online petitions to keep him on Loveline. He wrote in response, on fan website The Loveline Companion, that he was deeply moved by the large number of fans and the depth of their dedication. He repeated these sentiments on-air during his last few Loveline broadcasts, consciously breaking from his black-humor comedic tone to thank his fans in earnest, explaining that the opportunity for his own morning radio show similar to Howard Stern's was an opportunity he could not pass up. He expressed that in retrospect, he didn't view Loveline as a job, and that he would have continued on Loveline if his schedule would allow it; however, he made it clear that it would not.
On January 3, 2006, Carolla began his new morning radio show, The Adam Carolla Show, on stations in Los Angeles (where the show is based), San Francisco, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Burbank, Fresno and Sacramento.
The show staff was modified slightly during its first year. At the start of 2007, it saw its largest staff change; the three primary on-air personalities would be Carolla himself, Teresa Strasser, and the newly added Danny Bonaduce.
As of June, 2007, the show has seen an overall increase in ratings in its primary market of Los Angeles.
On January 2, 2008 the show went through another lineup change, most notably, Danny Bonaduce is no longer to be part of the on-air trio, being moved to the afternoon slot on KLSX with his own show.
In early 2008, Adam Carolla replaced Chuck Powell as the host of the morning shows on The Edge 103.9 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Carolla has also done voiceovers for cartoons, including Commander Nebula on the Disney animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Death on Family Guy (replacing Norm MacDonald who only did one episode) and Spanky Ham on Drawn Together.
Also in 2005, Carolla was featured in a home remodeling program called The Adam Carolla Project wherein he and a crew of old friends renovated his childhood home. The 12 episodes aired on the cable channel TLC (The Learning Channel) from October through December 2005.
In August 2007, Carolla guest hosted Jim Rome Is Burning.
Recently, he has appeared as a guest on several episodes of Comics Unleashed.
On the February 18, 2008 broadcast of his radio show, Adam announced that he would be one of the contestants on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. Later in the broadcast, it was revealed to Adam that his partner would be Julianne Hough. He was voted off on the April 8, 2008 episode after his performance of the Paso Doble.
On 16 June 2008, NBC announced Carolla would be a host for Top Gear, the American adaptation of the BBC's motoring television show with the same name.
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' score||Result|
|1||Foxtrot/ "Mellow Yellow"||5||5||5||N/A|
|2||Mambo/ "House of Bamboo"||6||7||6||Safe|
|3||Tango/ "I Can't Tell A Waltz From A Tango"||7||7||7||Safe|
|4||Paso Doble/ "Plaza Of Execution"||6||7||6||Eliminated|
In 2003 Carolla had a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer.
Adam has written a new movie titled Deaf Frat Guy: Showdown at Havasu. It has been sold and will begin filming shortly.
Listen, you bitch, don't call in an hour and a half late and tell me you're tight on time. Of course you're tight on time, you're an hour and a half goddamn late calling in to a radio show. Just take your crappy book and go pitch it to your stupid cable outlet.
On September 28, 2002, Carolla married Lynette Paradise. Lynette gave birth (via cesarean section) to their first children, twins Natalia and Santino "Sonny" Carolla on June 7, 2006. On The Adam Carolla Show, Adam repeatedly mentioned the birth was originally scheduled for June 6, but that he and Lynette decided to push it back one day as to avoid the symbolic 666 (06-06-06).
An avid car enthusiast, Carolla has owned a BMW M3 E30-generation model, an E46-generation M3, Datsun 510, an Audi S4, Jaguar sports coupe, MINI Cooper S, Nissan 350Z, Aston Martin, Lamborghini 350GT, Ferrari and 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (The original Newman Sharp car driven by Paul Newman and Fitzy to an SCCA national championship in 1984).
|Year||Reported Income||Comments by Carolla|
|1982||$1,093||Living in garage, Carpet cleaner|
|1984||$9,367||@ Laurel Canyon, Construction laborer|
|1985||$0||Spent the year building a kitchen for his grandmother|
|1986||$17,672||@ North Hollywood|
|1987||$2,553||working for himself (work was spotty)|
|1989||$22,543||Worked with City of Los Angeles doing earthquake rehab, driving 1978 Datsun pickup|
|1994||$6,442||@ La Crecenta (his 30th year of life and the year he met Jimmy)|
|1995||$36,221||Began work in radio, began co-hosting Loveline mid-year, driving a Toyota Supra|
|1996||$316,424||First full year as co-host on Loveline, also co-hosted the MTV TV show of the same title (1996-2000)|
|1999||$1,237,903||first year of The Man Show|
|2000||$1,013,726||(amount specified on Loveline 05-05-2002 5 min. into show)|
|2001||over $1,000,000||(exact amount not specified)|
|2003||over $2,000,000||(exact amount not specified)|
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