It’s your KF on KND Editor April here, with a personal recommendation: the audiobooks of Adam Carolla.
Adam Carolla went from working construction to becoming a radio personality (KROQ’s Loveline with Dr. Drew & Adam Carolla), from being a radio personality to being a television personality (The Man Show, Loveline on MTV, Dancing With the Stars, To Catch A Contractor), and he’s also written and directed a couple of movies (The Hammer, Road Hard), and he’s got one of the most popular podcasts of all time (and it’s free!): The Adam Carolla Show. On top of all this, he writes side-splitting autobiographical books. Carolla is clearly a hardworking guy. He’s also hilarious, profane, cranky, insightful, politically incorrect, irascible and very intelligent, all of which comes through loud, strong and clear in his audiobooks.
I recommend the audiobook editions specifically, because Carolla narrates them himself and has a history of repeatedly going off-script in his audiobook editions so the listener gets a little something extra. This is also why some of his audiobooks are listed as “abridged”: once Carolla goes off on a tangent, he doesn’t always get back to every bit of the original text. But his tangents are so funny, you don’t really mind. I guess I also feel you’re just not getting the full experience unless you’re listening to Carolla telling his stories himself. I own all of these audiobooks and found myself laughing out loud repeatedly while listening to every one.
Fair warning: Carolla’s social and political views run the full spectrum from very conservative to very liberal, and there’s surely something in every one of these books to offend someone. But even though I may not agree with Carolla’s positions on this or that issue, I always enjoy his cantankerous way of explaining them.
“A couple years back, I was at the Phoenix airport bar. It was empty except for one heavy-set, gray bearded, grizzled guy who looked like he just rode his donkey into town after a long day of panning for silver in them thar hills. He ordered a Jack Daniels straight up, and that’s when I overheard the young guy with the earring behind the bar asking him if he had ID. At first the old sea captain just laughed. But the guy with the twinkle in his ear asked again. At this point it became apparent that he was serious. Dan Haggerty’s dad fired back, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, son.’ The bartender replied, ‘New policy. Everyone has to show their ID.’ Then I watched Burl Ives reluctantly reach into his dungarees and pull out his military identification card from World War II.”
It’s a sad and eerie harbinger of our times that the Oprah-watching, crystal-rubbing, Whole Foods-shopping moms and their whipped attorney husbands have taken the ability to reason away from the poor schlub who makes the Bloody Marys. What we used to settle with common sense or a fist, we now settle with hand sanitizer and lawyers. Adam Carolla has had enough of this insanity and he’s here to help us get our collective balls back.
In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks is Adam’s comedic gospel of modern America. He rips into the absurdity of the culture that demonized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, turned the nation’s bathrooms into a lawless free-for-all of urine and fecal matter, and put its citizens at the mercy of a bunch of minimum wagers with axes to grind. Peppered between complaints, Carolla shares candid anecdotes from his day to day life as well as his past Sunday football at Jimmy Kimmel’s house, his attempts to raise his kids in a society that he mostly disagrees with, his big showbiz break, and much, much more. Brilliantly showcasing Adam’s spot-on sense of humor, this book cements his status as a cultural commentator/comedian/complainer extraordinaire.
My Take: this is Carolla’s first book, and it definitely gives you the full Carolla experience. If you try this one and like it, keep going with the Carolla canon!
In his second book, Adam Carolla – chart-topping podcaster and author of New York Times best seller In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks – reveals all the stories behind how he came to be the angry middle-aged man he is today.
Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well.
Organized by the myriad “dumps” Carolla called home as a child – through the flophouse apartments he rented in his 20s, up to the homes he personally renovated after achieving success in Hollywood – the anecdotes here follow Adam’s journey and the hilarious pitfalls along the way.
Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over 15 years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor. He’s still connected to the working class guy he once was, and delivers a raw and edgy, fish-out-of-water take on the world in which he lives (but with which he mostly disagrees), telling all the stories, no matter who he offends – family, friends or the famous.
My Take: In this book you get a picture of Carolla’s experiences while growing up, and even though he faced many challenges and struggles as a child and young adult, his recollections never come off as self-pitying or maudlin. Rather, Carolla has built his no-nonsense, stop-whining-and-get-back-to-work persona on this foundation, and he still keeps you laughing all the way through. It’s also interesting and inspiring to hear how he rose from total poverty and obscurity to become the great success he is today.
My Take: if you’re a liberal-leaning sort, this one may be hard to listen to. Carolla is in full firebrand mode here, and you may find his more conservative political and social views hard to swallow. If you can take those passages with a grain of salt, as nothing more than Carolla’s usual, crotchety rants, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, skip this one and go right to the family-centered Daddy, Stop Talking!, below.
Imagine a world where New York Times best-selling author, comedian, actor, television, and podcast host Adam Carolla is the President of the United States. Can’t do it? You don’t have to! Adam has done it for you!
Podcast king Adam Carolla first shared his unique, but always funny world view in his New York Times best seller, In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks – but he’s not done.
In President Me, Carolla shares his vision for a different, better America free from big issues like big government down to small problems like hotel alarm clock placement. Running on an anti-narcissism platform, President Carolla calls for a return to the values of an earlier time when stew and casserole were on every dinner table and there were no emotional-support “service dogs” on airplanes.
President Me hits right at the heart of what makes our country really annoying, and offers a plan to make all of our lives, but mostly Adam’s, much better.
The comedian, actor, television host, podcast king, and New York Times best-selling author of President Me, Not Taco Bell Material, and In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks now lays down the law on the plight of the modern parent.
Parents, do you often think that if your kids had to grow up the way you did – without iPads, 70-inch flatscreen TVs, American Girl dolls, and Wi-Fi in the climate-controlled minivan – they might actually be better off? Do you feel underappreciated or ignored? Do you worry you’re raising a bunch of spoiled softies who will never know how to do anything themselves – because you do everything for them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need Daddy, Stop Talking.
Adam rips parenthood a new one, telling it straight about what adults must do if they don’t want to have to support their kids forever. Using his own crappy childhood as a cautionary tale, and touting the pitfalls of the kind of helicopter parenting so pervasive today, Daddy, Stop Talking is the only parenting book you should ever read. Here, too, is sage advice to Adam’s own kids – and to future parents – on what matters most: dating; drinking and drugs; buying your first house and car; puberty; and what kind of a-holes his kids (and yours) should avoid becoming. Even if his own son and daughter pretty much ignore everything he says, you shouldn’t. And you’re welcome. Again.