The Aceman reveals why he doesn't drive his cars, why The Car Show failed and what he would like to do in the future.
Car guys and fans of laughing are no stranger to Adam Carolla. The star of hit shows MTV Loveline, The Man Show, and The Car Show, he has been gracing our screens for over 20 years. Most recently, the Aceman has focused on podcasts where his shows The Adam Carolla Podcast and the CarCast are among the mediums most popular. Adam recently took a few minutes out to chat with CarBuzz about his cars, his shows and his future.
CB: What are you driving right now? What’s your daily driver? AC: Right now I’m driving a Jag XJR. CB: You got rid of the S4? We remember you didn’t like the tiptronic on that thing. AC: The car was fine. The lease came up, I took it back, and Jag stepped up and paid for me to drive this car around for a year. So I said, why not? CB: Exactly, especially if it’s Jag. We’re familiar with your car collection. But while other top comedians like Seinfeld, Leno, and Tim Allen drive their expensive cars regularly, we know you don’t like to drive your Lambos, why is that?
AC: First off, much like today, I’m in a hitting and go mode, I’m always hustling from one spot to the next, and always running five minutes behind. I don’t know if it’s me or my schedule. I have many different jobs, a lot of them are just spread out all over town and I couldn’t imagine attempting to do that in one of those cars. Number two, I don’t really like the attention or the focus when you drive down the street in a Miura and everyone looks at you thinking “Who’s in that car?” Additionally, half the cars have something wrong with them that just prevents me from jumping in and taking off.
CB: Sure, they are 40 years old at this point. AC: There is always a little fuel leak or something going on and I know you’re supposed to drive them and keep on top of them. I have this fantasy that once I get all my cars situated in the same place, under the same roof, I’m going to get some guy to start going through all of them, get them all on that program that they need to be on. But right now they are basically just sitting around. They are protected, and they’re in a good climate, but they’re just kind of waiting.
CB: Not to mention the fact that a slight dent or a bit of damage here or there and you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars-worth of repairs. AC: Oh yeah, especially with people in Los Angeles. Look, if I lived in Monterey I’d probably be more able to take these things down a 17 mile drive on a Sunday. Los Angeles has illegals driving around with no insurance, running into everybody and tons of potholes. That’s basically LA. CB: You’re a big Datsun fan, as are we, and so was Paul Newman. You have five of his old racers? AC: Yeah, six, I think.
CB: How is the Newman documentary coming along? We’re anxious to see that. AC: Yeah, me too, it’s going really well. We’re probably about an hour in, it’s a very long process, but it’s really rewarding. It’s coming together and it’s really going to be a definitive piece of work on Paul Newman; what he meant to racing, and what racing meant to him. It’s going to be a really nice piece when the dust settles on it. Probably a few months away from it being done, but it’s going really nicely.
CB: It’s really cool that you are doing it. He was really such a car guy aside from being an actor and no-one has really touched on that subject. AC: Not nearly to the extent that he was into it. CB: Wasn’t he 77 when he won the Daytona? AC: I’m pretty sure he drove a Daytona at Daytona. At least from pictures I’ve seen, a Daytona Ferrari. He ran LaMans in ‘79 or ‘80 in a 935 Porsche that Dick Barber owned. He probably did Daytona that year and he was probably 60 or something like that. But you know, he only started when he was 48. CB: After he did “Winning” right? AC: Yeah, that’s right.
CB: Have you considered doing another car TV show again after The Car Show? AC: I haven’t, but you never know. Actually, I would like to do another car show and just sort of cut out the middle man. I don’t really need to work with producers with bad ideas anymore. We’ll do our own thing, we’ll film our own thing, and we’ll edit our own thing. I would like to do a vintage racing series. I don’t feel like there is anything on vintage racing, it’s all sort of crappy hotrod stuff. It’s all about buying cars and flipping cars, NASCAR, and stuff like that. What I wanted to do was take a car, like an old Newman car that was completely trashed, do eight episodes of putting it together, going through the history, completely redoing the car and on the last episode we would race it.
CB: So you think The Car Show failed because of the producers and it was over produced? AC: The problem was we had a good, strong, pure idea, which was car guys talking about cars. Then the networks and the producers get together and they wanted to bell and whistle it up. It didn’t really require that, but they do what they do. They are going to bring a lot of this and a lot of that to the table and ultimately it gets away from being a car show and starts becoming a game show or whatever it is.
CB: Right, it got over produced. AC: I had an idea. Which was, let’s see if I can go out, get over the legal limit on alcohol and out drive a soccer mom, a teenage driver, and an old driver. CB: (Laughing) AC: Through the cones and all that. We’ll get the cops to come out; they’ll administer the whole thing. It was a good funny bit but the producers kept saying 'Well, the old man will be playing with the radio and the teenager will be texting.' I kept saying 'NO! They’re trying as hard as they can and I’m driving and I’m drunk.' They just wouldn’t let stuff be what it was. I’ve done enough of The Man Show to understand how stuff works, what was funny, how stuff was best served.
CB: That show was perfect because it was what it was and it didn’t hide anything. AC: No, it was what it was because it didn’t have producers. Jimmy (Kimmel) and I produced it. We did it ourselves and that was that. The problem with The Car Show was too many people putting their fingers in the pie and something like that bit I just described was very funny on its own, yet they just had to keep sort of going 'And then what if the soccer mom was distracted?' and I’d say 'No she is trying, and I am drunk and that’s the bit!' I wanted to pull everyone aside and say 'Listen, I know what I’m doing!'
CB: Have you ever considered doing a show on YouTube that you'd create yourself, and broadcast it as a YouTube only series? AC: Maybe. I unfortunately have enough stuff going on where I’m so busy, I just don’t have time to do all that stuff, but there will be another car thing coming at some point and it will be, hopefully, outside of networks, producers and stuff like that.
CB: Many readers comment on our site about cars being completely controlled by computers and dual clutch gear boxes. Is this the end of mechanical analog driving? Do you think we are at that point where cars are just appliances and not mechanical devices as much? AC: Could be. Some of that’s good, some of that’s bad. You know, not everyone is an enthusiast.
CB: You’ve always been an entertaining guest on shows like the Howard Stern show. Who would you consider to be your most entertaining guest on the CarCast and why? AC: On the CarCast I would say Gale Banks, I love Gale Banks. CB: Who was the most challenging to interview? AC: Race car drivers sometimes can be a little quiet and low key, so usually they are the hardest to interview. CB: Thanks for taking the time Adam, we really appreciate it. AC: My pleasure.
Big thanks from everyone at CarBuzz to Adam Carolla for giving us his time and thoughts. We would also like to thank Adam’s assistant Matt Fondiler for setting up the interview, as well as CarCast's co-host Matt "The Motorator" D'Andria for post production assistance. Adam’s free CarCast airs every Saturday, and can be downloaded on www.CarCastShow.com, the CarCast YouTube channel, iTunes or wherever else podcasts are aggregated.