The podcast king's new special, 'Not Taco Bell Material,' serves up some decidedly un-PC gags.
Adam Carolla has a message for those offended by his jokes.
Go pound sand.
Carolla, the podcasting giant and car enthusiast, refuses to apologize for his material. He owns his own “Pirate Ship,” a media enterprise that doesn’t answer to anyone save his fans. That affords him a measure of protection other comics lack.
Still, it’s hard to imagine him apologizing even if he had corporate overlords. That ethos is front and center in “Adam Carolla: Not Taco Bell Material.”
— Adam Carolla Show (@AdamCarollaShow) March 9, 2019
The new stand up special, available on iTunes and Chassy Media, is the live version of his New York Times’ bestselling book of the same name.
The special finds Carolla roasting both Los Angeles and the comic’s nuclear family. He also uncorks a fair number of gags that would drive Outrage Nation to distraction.
The following nine bits from “Not Taco Bell Material” are wildly un-PC but fair game for comedy in CarollaVille.
Mocking an Illegal Immigrant Warning Sign
“Not Taco Bell Material” leans heavily on a series of photographs amplifying Carolla’s wit. For one extended riff, the screen shows a yellow street sign with the silhouette of a small family crossing the road at high speed. The image features two parents and a child mid-flight.
Carolla begged to differ.
“You’re just bringing the one?” he asks the crowd, including a Latino couple in his comic sites. He then showed a more “accurate” sign with multiple children being dragged across the border.
Don’t Body Shame Me
Carolla repeatedly talked to that Latino couple, including a heavy-set man with a broad grin. The comic connected the man to the fleeing silhouettes and doubted that’s how the man entered the U.S.
“Now, judging by your carriage, it doesn’t seem like you guys do a lot of fleeing … I feel like your fleeing days are behind you,” he said.
Being Playful with the English/Spanish Divide
This quip proved a quickie, but it’s still something that could spark a series of furious tweets. Carolla does a riff on the absurdity of municipal signs like “Stop Senior Abuse.” Does anyone think a lunkhead is gonna wind up, ready to strike an elderly person, and then remember that sign and stand down?
Only he called back to the routine while discussing Mexican issues, dropping the term “senor” abuse (with a tilde atop the “N”) instead.
You Can’t Say That!
Carolla poked plenty of fun at Mexicans, particularly the illegal variety. Once again he cited the yellow sign with the fleeing family and warned it wouldn’t save anyone from being struck by a car. He had another reason to mock it. Do we really need a sign to tell us not to run over strangers?
“How could I possibly know [not to run them over]. There’s no sign!” he cried in faux character.
“My thing is this, I don’t need a sign to tell me not to run Mexicans over. That’s built in. I don’t even like Mexicans. I have a high deductible,” Carolla joked.
Bring Back Corporal Punishment
One of the special’s funniest visuals? The sight of a manhole cover installed incorrectly so that its double yellow lines don’t match the rest of the road. It’s a perfect metaphor for incompetent workers, and Carolla teed off in ripe fashion.
In fact, he vowed to “cane” to municipal employees responsible for the error when he’s in charge. Silly, no? That kind of violence against government workers might draw a strong rebuke … assuming Carolla cared a whit about such a response
She Looks Like a Man, Baby
Carolla spends considerable time on an airport statue of famed aviator Amelia Earhart. The routine includes several references to the pilot’s tomboy image, leading to a few lesbian cracks.
The real Earhart married George Putnam, a bond that featured a unique marital vow. Still, any comedian poking fun at a woman who eschews traditional beauty choices is a no-go in 2019 America.
Islamophobic, They Cried
Tune into your average comedy radio station and you’ll hear endless jokes poking fun at Christians. It’s a staple of the modern stand-up circuit. Comics giants like Marc Maron tee off on Christians with regularity. Gags aimed at Muslims? Good luck finding more than a few comics trotting out those wisecracks.
It’s why Carolla’s riff on Guantanamo Bay inmates could leave a mark. He suggested a prison employee should tweak the signage pointing toward Mecca, a service to incarcerated Muslim, should steer worshippers to Las Vegas instead.
He capped the gag off by referring to Muslim prayer rugs at “festive beach towels.”
It’s a perfectly reasonable riff on a mainstream religion. The quip also could draw fire from some progressive observers, the same folks who let far worse Christianity gags slide on by.
Don’t Tell AOC About This Routine
While most Democrats cheer on illegal immigration, the Libertarian-leaning Carolla has his doubts. And that fueled a bit aimed at those who sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border without filling out the necessary paperwork. And, as a result, may not pay all the proper taxes.
The moment came up when Carolla shared his anemic income reports from his pre-fame days. And, once again, he cheekily targeted the Mexican couple in the crowd as his comic foil.
“When you pay taxes, they give you a piece of paper …” he said, his voice trailing off.
White Privilege M.I.A.
Carolla’s early days were filled cleaning carpets, swinging a hammer and making very little money. He takes great joy in sharing those early struggles, in part to show fans anyone can bounce back from such modest means.
He also weaponizes it against cultural scolds who say white Americans have it so much easier than their peers. So he flashed some of his tepid earnings to hammer home the point.
“When does my White Privilege kick in?” Carolla asks sarcastically, citing HuffPo lectures on the subject. “Come live in my world, Bitch,” he barks while pointing at his income data on the oversized large screen.
The Upside of John Wayne Bobbitt
Anyone who grew up in the ’90s remembers John Wayne Bobbitt. The man allegedly abused his then-wife, Lorena Bobbitt, over an extended period of time. She extracted her revenge when she cut his penis off while he slept way back in 1993.
Carolla recalled Bobbitt’s tragic story, noting that a subsequent girlfriend claimed he physically abused her, too.
“Now, I’m not a fan, but that’s a guy who’s focused. He’s got a little something called grit,” he cracked. It’s the kind of coal-black humor once found in many a stand-up routine. Today? Good luck finding it from most modern comics, fearing reprisals from feminists.