Will Adam Carolla’s Idiotic, Homophobic, Transphobic Rant Kill ‘The Car Show’?

Adam Carolla

Adam Carolla isn’t known for being smart. That’s not to say he’s stupid — only that he’s built his reputation on other things, like his spotless “bro” credentials, his penchant for adolescent humor (despite being 47 years old), and his unabashed love of women (or portions of their anatomy).

So it should come as no surprise that Carolla recently went on a tirade against gays and the transgendered and that he’s reluctant to apologize for his actions.

It happened during his most recent The Adam Carolla Show podcast, when the alleged comedian weighed in on the clearly lighthearted internet campaign to allow Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie to marry. Convinced that this is a new, high-priority action item on The Gay Agenda, Carolla asked: “When did everybody get fucking lumped in with the gays? Really? What percentage is transgendered?

But he didn’t stop there. He also told the LGBT community to “shut up” about getting equal rights, because we’re ruining his life. He lashed out at transgendered individuals in particular, clearly angered by their ability to confuse his libido. (Sounds like someone doth protest a little too much. Maybe he and Marcus Bachmann ought to go on a camping trip.)

Then, Carolla hit rock bottom: he attacked Chaz Bono, which was (a) seriously rude and (b) bound to invoke the wrath of Cher.

To his defenders, Carolla’s tirade against Chaz probably sounded like Mike Huckabee discussing the “ick factor” of gay sex – and, in fact, Carolla later encouraged us to stop using the term “LGBT” and instead use “YUCK“. But to the rest of us, Carolla’s whining sounded about as squeamish and childish as Nellie Oleson trapped in a bait shop. A little ironic for someone who wants to give an impression of some very big, brave cojones.

Look: we understand that Carolla is a comedian. We’re gays — we’re great at laughing at ourselves — but only when the jabs are funny. In this case, Carolla pulled a Tracy Morgan and crossed the line from comic to bigot.

So what in the Sam Hill does this have to do with cars? Well, as you may or may not know, Carolla is the host of a new show on the SPEED network called The Car Show. And like other TV shows, The Car Show depends on advertisers. And in our experience, advertisers aren’t in the business of aligning themselves with self-righteous jerks. Just ask Dr. Laura. Or Don Imus. Or Glenn Beck.

GLAAD has begun a campaign to get Carolla to apologize, but clearly, Carolla’s not paying much attention. He sent out a half-hearted tweet that said, “I’m sorry my comments were hurtful. That being said, I’m a comedian, not a politician.” Which is kind of like Madame Defarge apologizing for the fact that the guillotine was a little rusty. In other words: not an apology at all.

Carolla’s resistant now, but as Morgan learned just a few months ago, the LGBT community is pretty tenacious. Not that he asked, but if we were his PR team, we’d encourage him to make the morning show rounds on bended knee before Cher gets her hands on his home address.

P.S. If you want to listen to the tirade yourself, click here. Just don’t do it on a full stomach.

[Towleroad, eOnline]

About Richard Read

Richard Read covers a range of topics including LGBT issues, advertising, technology, pop culture, and, of course, cars, for Gaywheels, The Car Connection, Green Car Reports, Motor Authority, and other publications. Previously, he's written for Gawker, Fodors, and many other outlets, both on the web and in print. In his spare time, Richard is a marketing consultant, with a focus on small businesses and nonprofits. Born in Laurel, Mississippi, he holds degrees from Millsaps College, Tulane University, and the University of New Orleans. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with his husband and four mostly well-behaved hounds.
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  • John Waters

    Why wouldn’t I listen to Adam on a full stomach? I can ASSure you he’s infinitely easier to take than the though of 2 men boofing each other.

    Adam’s take on gays is represents about 90% of the straight population wether they admit it or not.

    I neither love not hate “gayness;” I just have no use or respect for it.

    • Spence

      Like a lot of sexually confused dudes, John feels a certain panic at the thought of gay sex, something that guys who aren’t at all confused about their heterosexuality don’t really ever feel. Truly straight people aren’t riled up by gays, they just don’t care. At the most, they find the idea curious, but they certainly don’t react with with fear. But truly straight people is probably a pool that doesn’t include John. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a little bisexual, man. I promise, no gay dudes will jump you anytime soon. Unless you ask really nicely.

  • Richard Read

    No disrespect, John, but if, as you say, “Adam’s take on gays is represents about 90% of the straight population”, you know some seriously messed up straight people. I know a lot of folks — straight and gay — and I have a very hard time believing that they’d believe anything like that. Even my staunchly conservative family in Mississippi is more mature in their beliefs than that.

    Also, I’m curious to know if the thought of two women “boofing each other” is any easier for you to swallow. Because it’s always funny to me that panicky straight men seem grossed out by the thought of homosexual men, but they can appreciate homosexual women COMPLETELY non-ironically.

    I neither love nor hate homophobes, I just have no use for them.

  • Rick j

    Well said Richard. But Adam’s demographic is “emotional age 10″, and that is how they respond. John may just be polling that demographic. Props to you for raising your family right.

    On the two women boffing issue- I am going with the double prizes theory: two women equals double the fun. And for the thought of two women vs two men, who wouldn’t want to watch a race between two corvettes? Who WOULD want to watch two Pontiac Azteks navigate a parking lot (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) Which pairing is the corvettes is left to the individual.

  • Michael Curtis

    I don’t know if Adam Carolla knows this, but most of his ‘Man Show’ audience consists of gay men…or men who don’t know they are gay yet. I have always supported him and his brand of humor, but I can’t stand by and let this sort of biggotry exist. If you are so concerned with what adults do together in their spare time, doesn’t that send up a few red flags? I don’t think about heterosexuals and what they’re doing….are you sure you aren’t unnaturally obsessed, Adam? The ridiculous part of all this is that a gay man wouldn’t fuck you even if you paid him. You are not exactly on our ‘wish list.’ You were mildly funny, but now you are just a fucking douchebag.

  • InsensitivePerson

    The pay for an officer in the Biggot Police must be amazing because just about every time someone says something they shouldn’t on the internet it’s as though flood gates have openned and righteous smiting is ever so abundant. Good job fellas you, sure showed that guy.

  • Tony

    If I was him I wouldn’t apologize. Not even the half hearted twitter thing. He rants about EVERY thing and every race, person, religion in the world.

    Also, you do know who his publicists’ are, right? You do know he participated in the NOH8 campaign, right? You do know he compliments the shit out of the gays on a regular basis for cleaning up the streets and neighborhoods they live in? He would just rather everyone shut up and get their shit together and not have to hear about some whiny group of LGBTs/GLAAD compaining about Bert and Ernie. GLAAD=More harm than good.

    Nope, apparently not, because you got one little clip of his show and got your feelings hurt.

  • RCR

    Listen to the unedited clip and read/listen Adam’s book. If you listen to his material, he actually supports the gay community. He spends a significant portion of his book talking about how the gay community is a positive one.

    However he also JOKES in his material, saying he hopes gays will marry so they’ll “shut the F*%& up”. Of course, if you actually read his book, you’d know that he thinks that our country has a long way to go in equal rights, specifically naming don’t ask, don’t tell and marriage rights.

    The edited clip doesn’t give you context. The context was an online petition asking for Bert and Ernie to marry. One of the themes of his book is caring about things that don’t affect your life. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t “give a S*#&” about transgender people, but that they don’t affect his life. He goes on later to say that not knowing who and who isn’t transgender when you see them is the whole “point”–you don’t need to rush out and explain these things to your kids like you would have to if Sesame Street married Bert and Ernie.

    In conclusion, Adam jokes about people getting rights so they shut up, but in his real writings he is supportive of the gay community. The 6 minute routine was edited down to 1 minute, and in context–especially if you’re familiar with Adam–he’s not bullying the LGBT community.

  • Richard Read

    @Insensitive Guy: You make it sound as if the internet is somehow to blame for the anger being levied at Carolla — as if we wouldn’t be mad if the internet weren’t around. But of course, the internet is just a means of communication. Once upon a time, we would’ve written letters to the editor, now we run blog posts. Bottom line: Carolla brought this on himself. Blaming us for getting mad at what he said is like blaming bacon for frying in a hot pan.

    And as for those who’ve come to Carolla’s defense: we admit, Carolla has been pretty good about siding with Prop 8 opponents, and yes, the clip cited is part of a longer podcast. But you can’t listen to that and say that it’s somehow “taken out of context”. That clip has PLENTY of context. He flat-out tells LGBT Americans to quit whining about our lack of equal rights and goes on to say that transgendered persons are freaks of nature worthy of derision. That’s not cool, and it definitely crossed a line.

    If Carolla’s as much of a manly man as he claims to be, he should grow a pair and own up to the fact that he screwed up.

  • Frosty

    Wow, could you slant this article any worse? Could you take little bits and use it to make it sound worse? This is a terrible abuse of journalism. I’m a proud gay man, a proud gay car guy and guess what? HE’S JOKING! While tasteless he’s not bullying, he’s not being a bigot. No wonder why people think gays are sissies…grow some thicker skin. As two posters already pointed out he supports the gay community, he supports us getting equal rights…but thanks to your whining, baseless attacks and little snippets of the whole clip he might not be so quick to support us(just assume). I’d expect this crap from FoxNews with half stories.

    Absolutely pathetic. Since when did making a joke get everyone up in arms? Again, tasteless…very tasteless but stop crying…no really…stop crying.

    • Richard Read

      @Frosty: This isn’t investigative journalism, this is simply reporting the facts. Did you listen to the podcast? Did we post anything that wasn’t in there? If Carolla really is joking — and I don’t think he is — he’s got a seriously screwed up sense of humor. I recommend you put the butch act aside and listen to the clip with open ears.

      The fact that Carolla has appeared in the NOH8 campaign makes his homophobia all the more disconcerting and forces many of us question the sincerity of his actions. Did he do it just to get publicity, or is he really on our side?

      • RCR

        My problem is that we have a guy who has spoken freely about his support for gay rights. Despite cherry-picked quotes, he has always said gay parents are perfectly fine raising children. Further, the man has never been accused of ACTING with any prejudice. He’s a comedian, and the last comedic taboo is race/minority jokes. He doesn’t pull any punches and he’ll tell offensive jokes.

        What GLAAD should have done was come out and say, “Adam Carolla has been a friend of the gay community. He’s talked at length about his support for us. He’s never acted with any prejudice against us. As a comedian, there’s times where it’s easy to cross the line. We feel as if his comments here have crossed a line.” That would have been a reasonable response.

        Instead, they’re basically saying this: 99% of what he said, and 100% of how he has acted towards minorities doesn’t matter. We’re going to define the man on this 1% of what he said while doing a comedy show and 0% of how he has acted towards gays. Not only is this unfair, it’s counter-productive to what GLAAD is trying to accomplish. Where should the NAACP’s focus be: on the White comedian with a history of supporting civil rights who tells a joke onstage using the n-word, or the guy lynching Blacks?

        Adam is self-employed, supporting a wife and two kids. He recently got a second job hosting “The Car Show” on the Speed Channel, but rumors are he might get fired over this controversy. I bring this up because “ruining my life” is recurring hyperbole in his comedy, even on this show. Just last week on The Car Show he did a rant where he said that “back-up beepers” on trucks were “ruining his life”. LOTS of things over the years have “ruined his life”. THIS is what I mean by context. He says something’s ruining his life on almost every podcast. Maybe, just maybe, it was a joke about how ridiculous it is to ask Sesame Street to marry Bert and Ernie.

        Even not “giving a shit” about transgenders is explainable, especially if you listen to the clip. What he MEANT was that the percentage of people is so small, and how would we KNOW someone is transgender unless they tell us? He doesn’t “give a shit” because he doesn’t care. As he says in his book, he’s open-minded but close-behinded. That’s a joke, btw. Sophomoric, perhaps, but it doesn’t make him a homophobe.

        • Richard Read

          Really nicely said. I think this rant actually DID start out as a joke about the Bert/Ernie flap, which would’ve been fine — I mean there’s lots of comic fodder there (Muppets, sex, etc.). But then Carolla went off-script, and in doing so, he veered into seriously unpleasant waters.

          As a gay guy, I can listen to most of his riffs on gays and laugh (most, I said), but his comments about transgendered persons…well, I mean, there’s no two ways about that. They were hurtful and cruel — and not in an “oh, I’m an edgy comedian” kind of way. He was just being straight-up mean. There was nothing to soften the blow.

          I understand that he’s an entertainer, and that he was improvising, and that folks in that situation can screw up. (Just ask Michael Richards.) But he should own up to the fact that in this case, he went too far.

          • RCR

            I don’t necessarily disagree. I just wish GLAAD would go about things differently sometimes. I understand the difference between the majority group in power and minority groups. But not all White, straight people speak for me, so I would like to see some more vocal gays speak out about having a more balanced approach in this is all.

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  • http://www.queers4gears.com Michael Myers

    Great write up on the whole thing Richard… I knew it would only be a matter of time before the “Free Speachers” showed up. Not sure when people will realize that Adam (or anyone) can still say anything they want….. but there are consiquences.

    The thought police have not come and arrested Adam taking him away to a Government Led Re-Education Camp……….

    but I hope he looses his show.

  • Jerrod

    God forbid a comedian says something that offends some people….

  • Satire

    Adam Carolla needs to look inside his closet to find out what lives there that causes him to hate so much.

  • Zelig

    Nobody cares what you think. Get a job, you talentless fuck.

    • Richard Read

      Wow. I can’t argue with your first sentence — it’s entirely plausible.

      As for that second sentence, I have a job, thank you very much: you’re looking at it.

      And talentless? I worked a Madame Defarge reference into a piece on Adam Carolla. Not to toot my own horn, but TOP THAT kiddo.

  • Mike Spadoni

    The problem with “The Car Show” isn’t Adam Carolla, ignorant as he is. It’s the show itself–a bunch of “car guys” who love everything fast, oogle every sexy woman who comes their way, and disses those who buy a Prius or anything with less than eight cylinders under the hood. The UK “Top Gear” manages to be charming yet politically incorrect. “The Car Show” is just plain lame.

  • Scott

    Does GLAAD consider calling straight people, or at least non-gay people, gay, to be defaming them? Do they fight for the right to not be called gay, or just to be free to be gay? Can’t two men, like Burt and Ernie, live together and not be gay? Adam Carolla talks about this sort of thing, pushing a gay agenda into issues, like Sesame Street, that don’t need them pushed. If they wanted to add gay characters to Sesame Street that would be one thing, but retconning sexuality onto Burt and Ernie is totally different, and disrespectful to the people who have lived with the characters for their whole lives, and never thought the jokes about them being gay were that funny when told by homophobes, let alone having them foisted on them by a gay organization.

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  • Yarms Bakersontonmantino

    I’ve been an Adam Carolla fan for a long time. He’s very quick witted and much smarter than you give him credit for. He supports equal rights for gays to marry. Why not include some quotes where he defends your right to marry?! He has a live and let live approach to things like this. The bottom line is: you can choose to listen to him or not. He is exercising his freedom of speech. He did not say he hates gays nor did he suggest violence toward gays. If anything, GLADD should focus on people who truly hate gays and want to do them harm.

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