Theater & art

Carolla, Dr. Drew bring back the banter

Adam Carolla (left) and Dr. Drew Pinsky at the Paramount Theater in Denver earlier this year as part of their reunion tour.
Michael Martin
Adam Carolla (left) and Dr. Drew Pinsky at the Paramount Theater in Denver earlier this year as part of their reunion tour.

Adam Carolla’s career changed for the better when he left behind morning radio to join Dr. Drew Pinsky on “Loveline” in 1995. That relationship lasted for 10 years, as Carolla and Dr. Drew dispensed advice on the radio — and eventually on MTV — to the confused and unlucky. After Carolla left the show in 2005, he built his own cottage industry, including books, his Mangria wine label, and a new movie, “Road Hard,” that he recently crowd-funded. At the center of Carolla’s enterprise is Carolla Digital, a podcast network that includes shows hosted by Larry Miller and Penn Jillette, in addition to four that Carolla does himself. One of those is “The Adam & Dr. Drew Show,” which reunites Carolla with his old “Loveline” partner. Carolla and Dr. Drew bring their tour to the Wilbur Theatre Saturday, sandwiched by weekend appearances in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Q. What can people expect in terms of the format of the reunion show?

A. It’ll be some philosophy and some jokes and some discussion and some debate. At some point, we’ll turn it over to the audience and do some Q&A.


Q. How is the show different now from when you two started?

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A. I’m a father now and have some gray on my temples and probably am a little more mature than I was back in the day. But philosophically, not wildly different. We’re not playing colleges anymore, so it’s a little less raucous. But it’s more sort of thoughtful than it was, probably, back in the day, and the questions have matured as the audience has matured.

Q. What do each of you bring to the partnership?

A. I bring guts, glory, humor. Patriotism. Humanity. Philanthropic propulsion. And Drew’s basically a glorified mike stand, to be honest with you. I yell at him after the shows all the time. I can’t believe we’re splitting this money 50/50 when I do 82 percent of the talking out there. What a deal. You know, he’s obviously the physician, and I’m a carpenter. So we come from completely different backgrounds. But he’s a great listener, and he’s very interested in the human condition. I mean, physiologically, emotionally, spiritually. And I am too, except for I just find the comedy in that.

Q. What made you take it on the road?


A. This business, I think a lot of people, they BS a lot. They say, “What made you decide to write this book?” “Well, I felt there was a void out there.” No. Somebody paid me. So it’s not like there’s a void and Drew and I need to fill that void, and this audience needs to hear what we have to say. It’s more like, “Hey, you know Drew?” “Yeah.” “You like Drew?” “Yeah.” “You like standing onstage with Drew and making jokes and having fun?” “Yeah.” “How ’bout we line up three shows in the Boston area?” “Yeah, all right.” That’s basically how it goes. And that’s how it goes for everybody. Except I don’t think they admit that.

That being said, no book, no live show, no standup — I never phone them in. I’m there sweating through my shirt. I never want somebody to read my book or leave one of my live shows and go, “Well, that was a waste of time.” And that’s kind of what I’ve built my audience on.

Q. How many podcasts are you currently participating in, and how do you keep them all going?

A. I do five a week of “The Adam Carolla Show.” So five of mine, then I do two or three with Dr. Drew. And then I do one “Carcast,” and one “Ace On the House” — one car show and one home improvement show. So I guess the answer would be nine or 10 a week. And then other people’s podcasts.

Q. Do you ever get hoarse doing these?


A. I should get tired and I should run out of things to say, but I don’t. I’ve never looked at talking as work. Writing is work.

Q. The books, the podcast, the live shows, and now the wine business — is there one thing you consider the flagpole of the operation?

A. The podcasts are kind of the main thing. And I’m doing a crowd-fund thing for my next independent film. If you’re a Bryan Cranston fan or a “Breaking Bad” fan you can check out a couple of funny videos I did with him on that.

Q. I was going to ask if he was going to be in the movie or not.

A. Everybody’s asking me that, and the answer is I really don’t know. Might be able to get him to do a cameo.

Q. What is the theme of the film?

A. It’s called “Road Hard,” and it’s just about comedians that had a lot of success, were out on the road, moved to Hollywood, got a lot of deals, sitcom deals, film vehicles and all that. And now they’re older, divorced, a little fatter, balder, all the deals have dried up, and they’re forced to go back on the road and play those clubs they left so many years ago.

Q. You also launched your “Week in Rage” blog a few months ago. Is there enough that you’re angry about to fill that every week?

A. There’s usually enough complaining to go around in a seven-day week for me.

This interview was edited and condensed. Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at nick@nickzaino .com.