Imagine, if you will, that Abbott and a highly trained Costello were heavily invested in the fortunes of 19-year-olds who may or may not have caught gonorrhea in an ill-advised Spring Break three-way.
There you have Loveline, which, along with Emeril drunkenly screaming “Bam!” and hangover-tinged SportsCenter reruns was what passed for appointment television across college dorms in the late ’90s.
The MTV staple, which aired from 1996-2000, was an outgrowth of Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky’s Westwood One radio show of the same name that ran for 10 years, where the pair dished out advice about sex and drugs to the earnestly confused and the suspiciously outrageous alike.
By 2005, Carolla left to take over the West Coast principality in Howard Stern’s vacated kingdom before founding a podcasting empire that would eventually reunite him with Pinsky. The duo started doing a twice-a-week podcast in December with live dates sprinkled in. They’ll be at the House of Blues March 29.
Not that they were ever far apart. Pinsky is a regular on Carolla’s iTunes-busting podcast The Adam Carolla Show. Carolla says taking up the old mantle was like putting on a pair of slippers.
Though, those slippers might have been chewed up by the family dog over the years. Both men have faced public backlash—something that baffles Carolla. Especially when the criticism comes from laypeople, like when pop singer Richard Marx compared Pinsky to Dr. Jack Kevorkian following country singer Mindy McCready’s suicide last month.
“As somebody who makes a lot of comments, who pisses a lot of people off, it’s hard for me to come down on people who make stupid comments. But I don’t know what his angle is,” Carolla says. “My former life, I was a carpenter. When people would talk to me about carpentry and I would tell them the nailing schedule on shear wall or the difference between Struct 1 plywood and oriented strand board, no one went, ‘Hey man, that’s just your opinion.’ But I’ve seen people argue with Dr. Drew his entire career. They’re idiots who don’t know the subject, but they’re still willing to argue with Drew, who’s got 30 years of medical training.”
Carolla, of course, has come under fire even more often. He’s often drawn the ire of minority groups, and got hit with it again on March 1 when his interview with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom touched on subjects of race and poverty. The Internet outrage machine fired up its engines days later, with the Huffington Post labeling it a “shocking racist rant.” It isn’t particularly surprising. Carolla seems to generate online umbrage every six months or so. It’s galling, though, for someone who values expertise to take potshots from the part-timers and comedy tourists.
“It’s like people who don’t get jokes. And then when you explain it to them, they go, ‘Oh, that wasn’t funny.’ You only get funny jokes, professor? Maybe you’re an idiot and you should’ve got the joke the first time around. ‘Hey, I like comedy as much as anyone else, but this isn’t funny.’ Oh, OK, Your Highness. You and your magic scepter will decide what’s funny, what’s not funny, what’s acceptable, what’s not acceptable,” he says. “When did words become so powerful?”
Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew’s Loveline Tour, House of Blues, 8 p.m. March 29, $19-$100, HOB.com/Vegas.