Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Adam Carolla is coming to town and, frankly, he doesn't care if he offends you

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Adam Carolla knows full well that some folks are uncomfortable with his politically incorrect brand of humour.

And quite frankly, he doesn't care.

"Comedy is about sharing a truth, and it's usually an uncomfortable truth," Carolla says during a recent telephone interview from his Los Angeles home. "You have to first recognize that it's true before you can get offended, which is sort of interesting, don't you think? And if you object, you're just shooting the messenger, in kind of a weird way. Any ethnic joke, any religious joke, any joke you tell about your friends, they all need that kernel of truth before the joke works.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not really interested in who's offended -- and by the way, the people who are offended are rarely the people of that culture or religion or race; for the most part, it's white people who are offended on their behalf; they have this group of 'police' who go around being offended for people who evidently can't be offended for themselves.

"I don't really care about them. I'm only into the part of the joke that's about 'Does it make sense? Is it truthful, or isn't it?' I'm not interested in hurting anyone's feelings, but I'm not interested in sparing anyone's feelings, either."

Carolla, a Los Angeles-based comedian/actor/radio personality/author/podcast star best known for his co-starring role alongside Jimmy Kimmel on The Man Show and his appearances on such reality-TV shows as The Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing With the Stars, is bringing his act to Winnipeg this week (Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m.) for a single show at the Burton Cummings Theatre (tickets $48 and $58.50 at Ticketmaster).

Carolla is quick to point out that his isn't a traditional standup show -- which makes sense, since he doesn't have a background in straight-ahead standup comedy.

"An evening with Adam Carolla (is) stories, jokes and even a few inspirational moments," he explains. "It's 90 minutes plus... and it's a slightly different take on standup, more of a one-man show, really, because it has a visual component to it.

"If I'm talking about my dog, you'll see a picture of my dog behind on a screen; if I'm talking about my twins, you'll see a picture of my twins. I don't know why, but I want people to see what I was seeing, because I feel like for my whole life, I've been saying, 'You know that thing? Have you ever seen this?' and everyone goes, 'Huh? I don't know what you're talking about.' So I want people to see."

Take, for instance, Carolla's current obsession with plumbing fixtures....

"I travel around the country and I stay in hotels, and every single shower valve is different, from one hotel to the next. And you can't operate them, because they're not like the one at your house, and they're not like the one at the last hotel you were in; you always have to learn this new shower valve.

"It was bothering me, so I decided that I was going to start taking pictures of them so I could prove to people that no two are alike. So I'll show you a bunch of those pictures from different cities, and that'll launch me into my rant."

This non-traditional, multimedia approach hasn't prevented Carolla from making a noteworthy mark in the comedy world. In addition to such TV projects as The Man Show, Crank Yankers and regular appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, his long-running online effort, The Adam Carolla Show, has been named the world's most downloaded podcast by no less an authority than the Guinness Book of World Records (the podcast had nearly 60 million unique downloads between March 2009 and March 2011).

"Basically, I got canned from a radio job, and had 10 months when I didn't have to work," he recalls. "And a friend said to me, 'You should do a podcast,' and it just took off from there. I've done it every single day for over 31/2 years now.

"You know, I'm not surprised by the good things that happen in this business, and I'm not surprised by the bad things that happen in this business. I work at it, I spend money on it and I put a whole lot of time into it -- I have a studio, I have equipment and I have employees, and I treat it like a business -- and even though I didn't make any money at it for the first year, I still treated it as if it was an entity. I take it seriously, so I'm not surprised (at the success).

"I feel like my voice is different and unique, and I think I've worked my way to whatever position I'm in now."

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2012 C1

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Updated on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM CST: replaces photo, changes headline, adds fact box

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