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Radio: The Adam Carolla Show
What can't Adam complain about? Tune in to find out!

The most downloaded podcast in the world, formerly a radio show on KLSX in LA from 2006 to 2009. The star of the show is day laborer-turned-comedian Adam "Lakers" Carolla. The news girl is Alison Rosen (previously Teresa Strasser, who now hosts a syndicated game show called The List) and "Bald" Bryan Bishop does sound effects.

The show's typically starts off with Adam discussing whatever has caught in his craw that day, often times current events but also complaining about his home city of Los Angeles (traffic, stupid laws, etc) and various minor aggravations of his that he can turn into hour-long rants (see Berserk Button below). Then usually a guest(s) will come or call in and Adam will interview them. Regulars include Matt Achity (Rotten Tomatoes owner), David Wild, a music journalist, and several fan-favorite comedians like David Allen Grier, Jo Koy, and Deaf Frat Guy. The show ends with Alison's news segment, which may get through several news stories or just one, depending how much Adam riffs on each item.

Other recurring bits include:

  • What Can't Adam Complain About (hint: nothing)
  • Definitely Not a Jew (odd criminal activity)
  • Hooray For Baldywood (Bald Bryan's movie reviews)
  • Topical Tivo Trivia (guessing a movie title the fastest based on the Tivo summary)
  • Blah Blah Blog (see Soap Box Sadie)
  • J.V. or All Balls (when Deaf Frat Guy is on, essentially deciding whether certain things, people, event etc. are cool or not)
  • Gay/Nerd/Ect Walking (asking "manly" questions to certain groups like gays and nerds and guessing whether or not they'll get them right)
  • The Rotten Tomatoes game, guessing what the score given to a themed series of movies
  • Rich Man/Poor Man, pointing out often eccentric, odd or just interesting things both rich and poor people share
  • Taking calls/questions from the audience

The show goes on the road and the live shows are similar, but include more fan interaction.

ACS is part of the Carolla Digital network, which has a massive arsenal of podcasts. Adam additionally co-hosts The Adam and Dr. Drew Show (a revival of sorts from their days together on Love Line) and Ace on the House with his old buddy Ray (or Ace on the Roof, if you prefer). Adam's wife Lynette also has a podcast on the network (all about Bruce Springsteen) and Alison does one called Alison Is Your New Best Friend (interviews with various celebrities and co-workers at CDN).


This show provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Adam's is Ace or Ace-Man, Egineer Matt "The Porcelain Punisher" Fondiler, Assistant Gary Half-Tard (and the now-fired Gary Full-Tard), Producer Chris "Maxipada" Laxamana, Assistant "The Stoned Pelican" Mike August, Agent James "Babydoll" Dixon, Newsgirl Alison "Baby Girl" Rosen, and of course Soundboard/Producer "Bald" Bryan Bishop. Frequent guest David Allen Grier is often referred to as DAG.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Alison grew up unaware she was jewish, despite having the last name Rosen. She was asked all the time and had always said no. It wasn't until she was an adult that her parents told her. Thanks to this, she knows next to zero about Jewish culture and has to explain all this every time someone questions her about something Jewish.
  • Bad Ass: Adam boxed and played football in his youth.
  • Berserk Button: Adam has several:
    • Flavoring various things with "passion fruit" that don't need it. A variation is finding a regularly flavored iced tea drink at ALL, as most nowadays are flavored with something (passion fruit being his biggest offender).
    • People who bring their dogs everywhere with them. Especially if they bring them on a plane under the guise of "emotional companion."
    • Cops who seem to exist only to give out "chicken shit tickets" instead of going out and fighting real crime.
    • LA being a shithole.
    • Billboards, PSA's, etc. telling people to do things that everyone already does or is such common sense that Adam views them as pointless. These include Click-It-Or-Ticket (pointing out that every car in the last few decades have audible seatbelt warnings that can't be turned off unless you put it on), boating safety stuff (IE, how many people boat that we need this), being a "hero" by finishing high school or not being an absentee father.
    • His family's complete indifference to his success, particularly his mother and father.
    • Restaurants that are otherwise normal, nice sit down places, but inexplicably have loud dance music playing.
    • School breakfast programs. He thinks the cost of providing your own kids breakfast is so low even the poorest families can manage it.
    • Spelling his last name incorrectly. Mostly because IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO GOOGLE THE CORRECT SPELLING. He's seen it misspelled in different ways in the SAME article. Ironically, the Canadian label for his Mangria bottle ALSO manages to misspell his name once, despite having it correct in two other instances.
    • People who take their shoes off in public places like airplanes and restaurants.
    • Recently, patent trolls. He is currently being sued by one, which he claims has no real merit, and has started a crowd funded legal defense fund to fight them.
  • Big Eater: "The Stoned Pelican" Mike August is notorious for never turning down free food, ever, even if he just ate and it's the same thing he just ate (famously once eating a free steak at a live show and then eating another one when Adam took the gang out later).
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: The iconic opening of his shows (as quoted at the top) originates from the porno song "Gotta Get It On" from the early 80s adult movie Taboo II. Originated from his days on Loveline.
  • Breakup Breakout: A lot view his former comedic partner Jimmy Kimmel as this, as he's gone on to much bigger things than Adam. However, Adam is quite proud of his best friend's success, often remarking he got there with talent and hard work, and he's quite content doing his own thing.
  • Breakout Character: David Alan Grier when he's a guest. Particularly his impression of R and B singer Teddy Pendegrast, which usually involves a skit of him coming into the studio to lay down backing vocal tracks (with Adam acting as producer) and him going off into obscene sexual tangents.
    • Recently, comedian Jo Koy's "Bung Lu Soo" character (aka "The Rooster"), who has evolved from his "generic Asian guy accent" bit. He's constantly trying to join old 70s bands and goes on weird tangents. When he's not trying to join musical acts, he's the host at PF Chang's, not allowing Adam to sit down despite his reservation.
      • Jo seems to have another hit on his hands with "Brown Sugar" a literal box of brown sugar trying to live in the pantry, only to be denied by the other spices due to his "ethnicity."
  • Catch Phrase: And Running Gags in the form of various sound drops from Bryan. Some of the more common ones include:
    • Brian Whitman impersonating Tom Leykis laughing, usually dropped when someone says something that could be a double entendre.
    • "Oh My God It's Exciting" Adam's wife Lynette. Usually played when the topic of her comes up and her (lack of) interest in Adam's interests.
    • "Boom," Matt Fondiler's nonchalantness.
    • An annoyed whine, Adam's impersonation of his wife when Adam turns on the ceiling fan at night.
    • Adam saying "Who?" in an exasperated, high pitched whine, usually in response to mentioning someone that's not well known.
    • Dr. Drew saying "you're an alcoholic" usually in response to Adam talking about his drinking.
    • Alison saying "Nooooo" very high pitched.
    • Sunny (Adam's son) saying "It's just a waste of my time" and "What are you talking about."
    • And Natalia (Adam's daughter) saying "Daddy stop talking" when Adam won't shut up.
    • Carl Weathers saying "Not. Interested."
    • Adam's mother saying "How should I know?" usually in the context of Adam talking about how little interest his parents have in his life.
    • His dad saying what sounds like "Hell yeah" (probably just a mumbled up "hello-yeah?") when the topic of his dad comes up, particularly Adam's perception of his dad being somewhat lazy and lethargic.
    • Also his dad malaproping the name of his home improvement podcast (with his old buddy Ray) Ace on the House as Ace on the Roof.
    • Anytime someone is talking around obvious stereotypes of a certain ethnicity (usually blacks or hispanics) without specifically mentioning them, Adam will invariably say something like "come on, we all know who you mean. The jews."
    • Joe Walsh asking "Weren't We Doing The News" when Adam goes way off subject during Alison's news segment.
    • "Let's drink some beers and rape!" from Adam talking about frat boy type douchebags, now used whenever Adam gets in an excited mood.
    • Adam saying "I do horrible live reads" when he's in the middle of, well...
    • A drop of Will Ferrell from Anchorman saying "Great story" when someone is giving a long-winded, boring, or nonsensical ancedote.
    • A drop of the "The More You Know" lock out sound effect from the 80s NBC PSA's, when someone gives (often terrible) life advice.
    • Alison sounding mentally disabled while saying "My fiance Daniel."
    • Often when Adam is trying to get Dr. Drew to listen, he'll say: "OK, Drew. Dig.". To which Drew will reply (if he wants to listen): "Dig."
    • Announcer Dawson adding an H to the beginning of the word "enter" during commercial plugs, based on his once messing it up that way.
    • Lampshading how well (or not well) Adam, Drew, etc transition from whatever they're talking about into a commercial plug.
    • Bryan almost always picks something Alison (sometimes Adam or others) says during her news segment to play as a drop out of context at the end of the news, generally sexual or just funny/messed up.
    • Additionally, he plays the "top drop" during his intro of every show, as requested by twitter. These can be classics (going back to the Loveline days) or something said the day before.
  • The Collector: Adam has a fleet of rare and unusual cars, and is a complete and unabashed gear head. Of particular note is his collection of race cars driven by Paul Newman.
  • Commander Contrarian: Adam in a nutshell. One of the staples of the show is a segment called "What Can't Adam Complain About" with fans sending in (or telling him in person in their live shows) topics that Adam couldn't POSSIBLY have an issue with, and he always finds something.
  • Dirt Forcefield: Claims he has one. Adam talks often how he only showers irregularly and doesn't use soap or shampoos, only hot water, and he doesn't have any noticable body odor despite this.
  • Dumbass DJ: One of his regular targets and impressions is the morning drive-time DJ who is too excited to be reading weather weather weather, news top of the hour, at the half hour, traffic traffic traffic weather etc. Also the stereotypical strip club DJ (Him imitating them with a string of strip club cliches, always ending with "Jade, stage five!" while Bald Bryan plays a Cherry Pie music bed).
    • Additionally, he likes to make fun of the "white boy DJ" at dance clubs who takes his job waaaaaay too seriously, and usually has one earphone off, which annoys Adam for whatever reason.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: The after effects of engineer Matt "The Porcelain Punisher" Fondiler.
  • Drink Order: Will always be a Mangria, his brand of high-alcohol Sangria.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Adam feels a lot of people are this way about his accomplishments. Particularly, his parent's complete indifference to his becoming a success. Another is people dismissing his racing accomplishments, assuming he's only racing against other celebrities.
  • Dung Fu: Apparently Adam's old friend from high school Ray was quite adept at this.
  • The Facts of Life: One of Adam's and Alison's all time favorite shows. Alison's news intro is an Affectionate Parody of the theme song.
    • Also, Adam likes to rub it in Alison's face that he once attended a taping of the show in his youth.
  • Feigning Intelligence: Alison's go to mode (although tongue-in-cheek) when Adam starts talking deep in the weeds stuff about cars, sports or carpentry.
  • Glory Days: Adam is essentially a real-life Al Bundy when it comes to talking about his days playing high school football.
  • Humble Beginnings: Adam came from a poor family in North Hollywood. He worked shit construction and carpentry jobs until he was in his 30s, when he got his break in radio after befriending Jimmy Kimmel when he was his boxing instructor.
  • It's All About Me: Self-admitted. Is fond of interrupting whatever's being talked about with stories about himself.
  • Kayfabe: Always in effect when Deaf Frat Guy is on. Really a comedian named Josh Gardner, he only appears in character. Though, sometimes they forget about his Obfuscating Disability (being deaf, of course) and he'll reply to callers or do similar things a deaf person couldn't do without specail aids. They Hand Wave this to a degree, with a little Leaning on the Fourth Wall thrown in.
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: Adam is notorious for referencing things from the 70s. This is usually accompanied by Alison or Bryan commenting "Timely reference."
  • Mistaken Nationality: Adam is often assumed Jewish due to his kinky hair. He's actually Italian and Hungarian. He points out inherent stereotypes relating to this, as when he was a carpenter, no one EVER asked if he was Jewish and correctly surmised he was of Italian descent. Now that he's a professional comedian however...
    • Although, his step-grandfather is Jewish.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Adam, at least according to him.
  • Never Learned to Read: Adam was functionally illiterate most of his life. Most people are surprised to find out, given how intelligent and seemingly educated he is. When he broke into radio, he forced himself to improve his reading ability because he was embarrased at his inability to read copy off the cuff. However, he gets annoyed when people assume he must be dyslexic (usually because he's white). No, he was just a poor, indifferent student and had really shitty teachers who let him coast through school.
  • Only One Name: Dawson, possibly. Maybe it's his first name. Adam is unsure which it is, or what his other name is, despite working with him for six years. note 
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Adam's twins, Sunny and Natalia, are complete opposites in personality, according to Adam. He describes Natalia (a wreckless, hyperactive daredevil type) as akin to raising three kids, while his son Sunny more akin to raising an old cat (just leave him in a room with a juice box and some LEGO bricks and he's good for a few weeks).
  • The Scrooge: Mike August. One would guess given he probably lives comfortably between working for Adam and Jimmy Kimmel Live, but he's notorious for being and extreme cheapskate, always seeking out free food (See Big Eater), once stole the entirety of the toilet paper supply out of a comedy club's guesthouse, and famously wore his brother-in-laws shoe's while housesitting for him so as not to put unneccesary wear and tear on his own shoes.
  • Smug Snake: Or possibly Insufferable Genius. When Adam delivers a rant he thinks is particularly clever and insightful, he likes to end it with an audible, self-satisfied sniff. Additionally, he's not above congratulating himself on a particularly clever joke or turn of phrase with an under the breath "Good one, Ace-man" to himself.
    • This was especially evident in the Gavin Newsom interview.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Adam is particularly annoyed at celebrities who he thinks are pompous blowhards who talk about stuff in which no one cares about their opinion on (the irony has been pointed out to him, yes). One of the regular segments is Blah Blah Blog, in which Adam, Bryan, Alison and usually a guest will have to guess which pompous celebrity some blog entry belongs to.
  • The Stoner: Announcer Dawson.
  • There Is No God: Adam is a staunch athiest, believing the universe is random in its cruelty. He often points to Bryan as an example, a young talented man with inoperable brain cancer.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Adam was once on good terms with fellow podcaster Kevin Smith. They had done each other's podcast several times and were close to signing a deal to do a TV show together. Due to bad communication, the show fell through and they blamed each other and had a bit of a public feud over it. Smith eventually went on his show and settled the hash for the most part, but they'll probably never work together again.
  • Younger than They Look: Adam turns 50 in May, but looks like he's 5-10 years younger.
    • Similarly, Alison Rosen still looks like she's in her mid twenties, when she's actually 38.
    • Meanwhile, Bald Bryan has always looked older than he is, since he started prematurely balding at 13.

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