Adam Carolla‘s new independent romantic comedy “Road Hard” is most certainly not about a comedian who rediscovers his love of the road, a misapprehension of the film that’s had the podcast king seething since he first read it online.
When TheWrap spoke with Jimmy Kimmel’s former Comedy Central partner on Thursday, he was still displeased with the tonally gross misinterpretation of his life’s latest work, which rolls out in select theaters and digitally on Friday.
“Whoever wrote ‘He rediscovers love of the road’ is a fucking imbecile,” Carolla told TheWrap of one popular-yet-defective description. “But look, I read stuff about myself that has my named spelled two different ways on top of each other. People are fucking stupid — this whole town is filled with idiots.”
“It’s the part of this business I hate,” he continued. “You try to control everything … you edit everything, you work so hard on the poster, you work so hard on every aspect of it, and then some fucking retard does this and it drives me nuts.”
The “Adam Carolla Show” host finished his rant — something the comedian is famous for — by adding: “It’s what’s super-frustrating about this business; it’s filled with hacks that don’t care.”
But don’t blame the TV and radio personality for his early morning anger — we brought it up. Here’s the actual Carolla-approved iMDB logline for his semi-autobiographical Friday release: “Following an expensive divorce and the cancellation of his TV show, a stand-up comic is forced to go back on the road to provide for his daughter.”
At the time of this writing, “Road Hard” was the top preordered movie on iTunes.
Carolla may be the busiest person in the town he despises. Despite taking eight years off from making and starring in independent films (2007’s “The Hammer), the former “Man Show” host has a documentary on Paul Newman coming soon, another on Ford and Ferrari that he’s starting, a myriad of podcasts, several best-selling books, the Spike TV show “Catch a Contractor” — along with plenty more projects and road gigs. He even sells his own booze concoction, the alcohol-and-wine mix Mangria.
Plus, the crowd-funding he did for “Road Hard” requires a payoff, which Carolla is losing some time fulfilling. When we spoke to the comic on Thursday, he had turned down that night’s podcast guest Alec Baldwin‘s request to grab a drink in favor of going to dinner with some of “Road Hard’s” financial backers. These high-level kickstarter payoffs make crowdfunding as a concept fall somewhere between a great idea and regrettable, Carolla told TheWrap.
“I’d like just me, Alec and a scotch somewhere at about 11:30 tonight, just talking “GlenGarry Glen Ross” and unwinding a little,” he said. “But instead, I’ll be with a bunch of guys who paid for the movie.”
“But, you know — they paid,” Carolla added. “I’ll never forget about that.”
On his work ethic, which had him losing his voice during our interview, the former carpenter lamented, “People treat show business like it’s not a business.”
Though he admitted that, initially, he wasn’t as focused on building a career so much as he was at simply working hard, something that rings true to his “Road Hard” character, Bruce. Co-star Jay Mohr‘s Kimmel-esque character teaches Bruce the difference midway through the romantic comedy. It’s a TV industry lesson that can certainly be applied to other businesses and/or aspects of life. Applying these metaphors is kind of Carolla’s thing.
“It’s not always about … who burns the most calories, but sort of [burning] smart calories,” Carolla explained. “Pick a sport and get paid. You can be as athletic as you want, but if you don’t just pick a sport at some point, you’re not going to get paid.”
So pick a sport he did. Years ago, after getting fired from a high-profile terrestrial radio job, Carolla invested a lot of time (and money) in podcasting, building what he calls his “pirate ship.” Since then, “The Adam Carolla Show” has spawned its own digital network, several spin-off podcasts and a ton of imitators. Earlier this year, Carolla’s uber-popular main podcast made news when he seemingly unceremoniously fired news girl Alison Rosen, who was a regular — and fan favorite — on the show for four years.
“Alison just needed to be out and doing her own thing and doing what she’s doing and doing it on her own,” Carolla told TheWrap.
He’s moved on, replacing Rosen with KLSX’s Gina Grad, who has moved from temporary to permanent.
“It’s gone well. I like her a lot,” Carolla added of his new colleague. “I don’t need that much out of that role, I really don’t. I just need them to be consistent and be there and be in a good mood. Funny is nice for that role, but it’s not something that I’ve ever really needed.”
“I think Gina’s great. I think she fits in perfectly,” he added.
Still, many people online disapproved of the move. And, outside his sizable and loyal fan base, many people simply don’t like the polarizing Carolla altogether. The oft-accused misogynist (and even homophobe) shrugs that off, though.
“That’s how it goes,” he said. “People have a thought, a preconceived notion — a notion that’s justified based on whatever input you’ve given them before this. But they’re very closed-minded.”
Carolla puts it this way: Picture a person you hate and then, separately, picture a beautiful painting you just absolutely love. Now imagine that someone told you the person you hate was the artist behind the stunning portrait.
“Then you go, ‘Oh. I hate that painting,'” he said. “That’s how this piece-of-shit town works.”
“Road Hard” is available on iTunes and in select theaters on Friday.