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The Adam Carolla Show with Jay Mohr

Carolla and company started off this Monday episode with a July Fourth rant; there’s always a meta issue Adam couches in one of his “society” diatribes. This one was about kids and driver’s licenses; more specifically the assumption that 16 year olds just aren’t that interested in procuring them these days. Sure, it was just a talking point to play with while the show revved up, but it got me thinking:

Particularly about traditional rights of passage for Americans. A license used to mean freedom, real and imagined. It meant you could get into a car and drive wherever you wanted, free from the constraints of your nosy parents. Effectively, the internet and social media, have provided youngsters with what the license once promised: freedom. Its implications are pretty huge.

Adam Carolla and Jay Mohr

Gone are the days of literally escaping your parents’ rules. You don’t have to physically leave to leave anymore.  You can just grab an iPad and rebel away. One could even argue that podcasts offer similar avenues of escape only recently afforded to us. So maybe that stone was best left unturned. But  thank you for that tidbit of anthropological reflection, Mr. Carolla. It stuck with me.

After 15 minutes of driver’s license discussion and a story involving Carolla’s nephew Caspar, Jay Mohr showed up, and the blitz began. Mohr is the consummate comedian; he rarely drops the ball. Like David Allen Grier, Mohr is one of Carolla’s more consistently funny guests. His ability to channel Colin Quinn is uncanny. And his Eddie Vedder is priceless.

He does have a tendency to bulldog his way through a segment though. See if you can pick up on Bryan’s frustration as Mohr crushes every sentence of his “Baldywood” segment. It’s funny, but one gets a glimpse of the Mohr once reviled by the entertainment community.

Boston Marathon: Podcasters and Comedians React

Monday afternoon, two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon exploded, killing three people, one of which was an 8-year-old child. More than 100 people were injured.

Podcasters React to the Boston Marathon Bombings

Marc Maron, a comedian who began his career in Boston told the Twittershpere how he felt about yesterday’s tragedy, succinctly: Evil fucks did this. Sad. #Boston

Patton Oswalt offered a slightly more pragmatic take on the event:

patton oswalt reacts

Former co-host of the Adam Carolla Show Teressa Strasser channeled a well-known doctor’s thoughts: To paraphrase @drdrew on @DrDrewHLN tonight, leaning into close relationships is the best way to handle trauma and grief.

Joe Rogen retweeted another MD’s sentiment and linked to the Instagram below: Hug your kids a little more lovingly today. Pray for Boston & remember that it could’ve been any of us.


Joe Rogen retweeted this photo

Dave Anthony, founder of the Los Angeles Podcast Festival, and host of Walking the Room, weighed in as well: Horrible day. Remember to hug your kids and then spend the rest of the day and night on twitter seeing what people you don’t know think

It probably says a lot about me that I look to others to know how to react to national tragedies.  But growing up in a country unfamiliar with this brand of violence, I’m prone to a unique viewpoint. I compile an assortment of logical opinions before I lock in on my own.

Note, I said “logical opinions.” The self-serving shit makes my gums hard. Not at other countries, or the people living in those countries, mostly just at the people who react inappropriately. I had to block about five “friends” who used the bombing as an opportunity to show off their keen insight into global politics. Let the dust settle before the sanctimony begins, people.

Over-monetizing the Podcast

Making podcasting a viable, income-generating medium was THE big challenge at my favorite pastime’s onset. Public radio was doing it for listenership. They monetized these audio syndicated feeds by adding a bumper from one of their grant providers: “This podcast was made possible by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (tagline, blah, blah,blah) …” But as the comedy podcast found its footing, the conversation often revolved around making these valuable pieces of attention real estate profitable to the podcaster.

Caroola and Bunin

We started hearing the occasional plug in the intros, then we started hearing what could only be described as commercials plopped in the middle of a segment. They’ve not become disruptive or even annoying for the most part. Some podcasters can get a little ambitious with some of his spots. But why shouldn’t they? I have no qualms with anyone getting paid for providing the world (me) with entertainment. “Help keep the pirate ship afloat,” as Adam Carolla says. He built a lot of his empire on ad money and I am grateful for his daily musings on LA traffic and parenthood. Maybe that’s why I was a little pissed off with the Michael Dubin of Dollar Shave Club episode.

The show started out with “live” calls from Carolla’s listeners, couched under the “Mr. Brightside” guise. The first two sounded so artificial I had to stop listening. One was a “Southern” man with diabetes who’d lost two toes and was all torn up about the Final Four, which surprise surprise, segued nicely into a plug for one of Carolla’s sponsors.  The second caller was what sealed the deal; it was just too fake to continue.

Granted, I didn’t stick around for the Michael Dubin interview, but it was pretty clear where things were going. I’ve heard the spots for Dollar Shave Club, the company Dubin represents, and I didn’t really see how a long-form interview with the dude could be anything more than a commercial.

Now I understand this episode could’ve been the result of a last-minute cancellation, and Dubin happened to be hanging around the studio, getting some face time in. I’m sure that kind of thing happens all the time. My biggest fear is that Carolla has made some deals with some of his sponsors, and gotten them to pony up for long integrated spots, couched as interviews. We’ll see.