I once spent 14 hours in a truck with two dogs, a cat, my father, and Adam Carolla.
I was helping my dad move from Florida to Maryland, and we both came fully stocked with iPods loaded with classic rock to help us through the drive. Instead, we somehow ended up listening to Dr. Drew's and Adam Carolla's show Loveline. The whole ride.
I guess my dad and I discovered our mutual affinity for hearing about other people’s messed up lives and then listening to someone make fun of them. You know, the essential basis for the success of reality TV.
This was not our first rodeo with Carolla, however. We spent many an afternoon together watching boobs bouncing on trampolines on Comedy Central's The Man Show. I know this is not a typical father-daughter relationship, and no I’m not a lesbian, and no there wasn’t any twisted Electra complex at work. We just like that type of humor. I always appreciated Carolla for giving my father and I something silly to share.
Snap back to the present where a few days ago Carolla was interviewed in The New York Post to promote his new book: Not Taco Bell Material. It was there that he made some comments about women in entertainment that resulted in a lot of sand in a lot of vaginas.
“But they make you hire a certain number of chicks, and they’re always the least funny on the writing staff,” said Carolla in said interview. “The reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks. If my daughter has a mediocre sense of humor, I’m just gonna tell her, 'Be a staff writer for a sitcom. Because they’ll have to hire you, they can’t really fire you, and you don’t have to produce that much. It’ll be awesome.' If Joy Behar or Sherri Shepherd was a dude, they’d be off TV. They’re not funny enough for dudes. What if Roseanne Barr was a dude? Think we’d know who she was? Honestly.”
I'm a stand up comic and a woman, and I probably should be mad about what he did; but personally, my vagina is not sandy. If anything, Carolla's is a pretty crappy way to frame his daughter’s potential. It’s also an absurd depiction of the ease at which anyone becomes a comedy writer. But it’s not a comment that holds any actual weight in the comedy world.
My favorite, though, is his statement about Roseanne. Apparently, he means what if she were an overweight, white trash, beer swilling, foul-mouthed male? Then she would be... still in comedy. She would just blend in easier.
To be fair, he did say, “When it comes to comedy, of course there’s Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin — super-funny chicks.” To me, this is akin to saying, “All Mexicans are lazy, except for my friends - they’re totally legit.” That’s the problem with sweeping stereotypes:, they’re so ignorant that they become ludicrous.
I’m going to get all grad school-y for a hot second on y'all, if that's okay. The reason why comedy is such a sensitive subject, in my opinion, is because everyone wants to laugh. It is one of the basic human states of being that we all share, and that we (mostly) all enjoy.
To say that a specific group doesn’t have the ability to generate that state of being for the enjoyment of the populous, is just an attempt to diminish the self-worth of that group. What Carolla is basically saying is that women don’t contribute to a significant thing that everybody in the world likes to do. And that's just silly.
Did I mention that the majority of the Post article focused on Carolla’s significant mommy issues? To sum it up, he dislikes his mother and has made a career out of objectifying and demeaning women.
Let's call a spade a spade. And then get that spade some therapy. If somebody had just bought his mother a television and made her watch his string of television appearances, we might have stopped this from happening a long time ago.
Yeah, sure, he’s a misogynist. But he's made a career acting like an exaggerated caricature of a real human. The title of the Post article was "The Man’s Man," largely because Carolla's entire career has been based on his insensitive and absurd generalities which intelligent consumers can easily identify as ridiculous. In this way, comedy audiences have encouraged his behavior for years.
If my dad and I had to make that trip from Florida to Maryland all over again, I’d probably still choose to listen to Carolla’s misogynistic ranting during those long 14 hours, because at the end of the day, I still think Carolla is an entertaining, quick-witted personality.
But I’m lucky that when we turned off the radio, my dad — unlike Carolla — could turn to me and tell me without condescension, that he thinks I’m funny.
By Carolla’s standards, that means I should be landing a cushy writing gig on a sitcom any day now. Fingers crossed...