Adam was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to an Italian
American father and a Hungarian American mother. During his
morning show on August 1, 2006, Adam spoke of his Hungarian
grandfather. He attended North Hollywood High School, where he
was voted class clown and was the captain of his football team
but never received good grades, graduating with a 1.75 grade
point average (though due to an unreturned library book, he
never actually received a diploma). Adam began living on his own
at the age of 18 and briefly attended Los Angeles Valley
College, a junior college, before dropping out to work in a
series of jobs, including a carpet cleaner, carpenter, traffic
school instructor and boxing instructor.
In his spare time Adam Carolla worked on his comedy skills, training with The Groundlings and attempting stand-up, but he didn't believe either of these were a good fit for him (though he did perform sketch comedy with ACME Comedy Theater for a few years). In his late twenties he heard an ad on the radio seeking a boxing instructor to train Jimmy Kimmel, who at the time was a radio personality on the KROQ morning show Kevin and Bean as Jimmy the Sports Guy. Adam met Kimmel at the radio station and the two became best friends. Carolla eventually joined the show's repertoire as Mr. Birchum, the Vietnam veteran shop teacher.
Adam was offered the job of co-hosting Loveline with physician Dr. Drew Pinsky in 1995, replacing Riki Rachtman. Loveline is a syndicated radio program produced by Westwood One, and was also for several years a television show for MTV. On Loveline, Carolla often gave extended commentary about matters having little to do with the official subject matter of the show. Common topics included his dislike of religion, junior college, traffic/parking enforcement, and political extremists and his preference for pie over cake. Adam added a humorous slant to the callers' problems.
Adam then went on to do The Man Show with Kimmel on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2003. Adam Carolla left The Man Show at the same time as his good friend Kimmel, even after having been reportedly offered $50,000 per episode to stay on. Carolla has continued his work with Kimmel as a writer and regular guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. With partner Daniel Kellison, they are the heads of Jackhole Productions and created another television show named Crank Yankers for Comedy Central, which revived the Mr. Birchum character.
Adam has also done voiceovers for cartoons, including Commander Nebula on the Disney animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Death on Family Guy (replacing Norm MacDonald) and Spanky Ham on Drawn Together.
From August 2005 to November 2005, Adam hosted the talk show Too Late with Adam Carolla on Comedy Central.
Adam Carolla is currently filming The Hammer, a movie starring himself and Heather Juergensen in Los Angeles.
In 2006, Adam Carolla appeared on the special summer series Gameshow Marathon as a celebrity panelist on the Match Game episode.
On August 4, 2005, Adam announced that he would leave Loveline to pursue a position in morning radio, replacing Howard Stern (much to Stern's approval) in a number of morning markets. Carolla's last night on Loveline was November 3, 2005, to allow him to have time to prepare for his morning debut at the beginning of 2006. Adam Carolla stated that he would love to continue to do Loveline noting how every night that he did it flew by, but it would not be a possibility. On October 25, Infinity Broadcasting announced that it would be replacing Stern with Carolla on several radio stations in the western United States. On January 3, 2006, Adam began his new morning radio show, The Adam Carolla Show, on stations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas, Fresno and Sacramento.
Adam's morning show became the subject of controversy within a few weeks of airing when on January 24, 2006, Carolla played a segment which spoofed the upcoming Asian Excellence Awards, which honor Asian American media accomplishments. The spoof consisted of what sounded like a typical excerpt from an awards show, except that the dialogue of the actors consisted only of the words ching chong, repeated over and over. (The actual award show was conducted in English.) Branding the segment as demeaning and racist, several Asian American organizations (including the NAAAP) threatened to ask advertisers to withdraw their support from the show if the station did not issue an apology. On February 22, 2006, Carolla without fanfare read a brief apology for the segment, in which he said that his show had regrettably "crossed the line". On April 26, 2006, Adam invited the head of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, Guy Aoki, to further explain that when he aired the bit, he had no idea that "ching chong" was a racial slur. He further attributed the bit to Dave Dameshek, the show's sports correspondent, for conceiving it. Mention of the bit was removed from the official show blog.
On July 6, 2006 conservative pundit Ann Coulter called the show an hour and half late. While explaining she had been given the wrong number and was "really tight on time", Adam hung up on Ann, telling her "alright, well, get lost". Coulter had previously not called a week earlier when she was scheduled to, and was clearly in a poor mood when she did finally call through.
Adam Carolla married his longtime girlfriend Lynette Paradise on September 28, 2002. Lynette gave birth to both her and Adam's first children, twins Natalia and Santino "Sonny" Carolla on June 7, 2006.
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