Adam Carolla turned a terrestrial radio pink slip into a podcast revolution, but he wasn’t as quick a study in the film world.
Carolla’s 2007 comedy The Hammer wowed critics and showed a softer side to a persona cultivated on his Comedy Central series The Man Show. He assumed making a well-reviewed comedy would open cinematic doors. Not quite.
“I was naive,” Carolla tells Big Hollywood. So he went back to his radio gig and, when he got fired from that, transitioned to the podcast realm where he calls all the shots.
“I just let it go … and thought, well, no one’s gonna let me make another movie,” he says of his film flirtations.
One record-breaking podcast later, not to mention a popular new brew called Mangria, and Carolla is back in the film business on his terms. He still could use a little help.
Carolla set up a page at fundanything.com, a crowdfunding site established by Donald Trump, to raise $1 million toward the creation of his second film, Road Hard. He’s already halfway there with more than $537,000 in donations. Those cutting checks for the project will receive a variety of goodies, from movie posters and pre-release Blu-ray versions of the film to their name in the closing credits.
The film, to go into production later this year for a 2014 release, finds Carolla playing a former sitcom star forced to return to the stand-up circuit after his professional and personal lives collapse. The project will feature a coterie of Carolla pals, including David Alan Grier and Larry Miller.
He promises a realistic comedy, one that doesn’t rely on elaborate slapstick for laughs.
“I don’t know how to do it any other way,” says Carolla, who will star and co-write the film.
Carolla wasn’t a podcaster until he was, and he never sold his own alcoholic concoction until he brought Mangria to the market. He’s taking the same approach to his film career.
His wife recently quizzed him about another film project on his docket, a documentary about Paul Newman’s racing career. She asked how does one go about making a documentary, and Carolla didn’t have an answer.
“I said, ‘I don’t know. I guess by making a documentary,'” he recalls. “I’m gonna find out.”
The key, he believes, is using the muscles strengthened in other parts of one’s life toward new pursuits. That, combined with a can-do spirit, is his blueprint.
“How do you build a bridge? It’s even tougher if you don’t ever get off the sofa,” he says. “If you’re moving all the time and exploring all the time, then how hard is it to write a book or make an independent film?”