Adam Carolla Brilliantly Breaks Down Self-Esteem, Free Speech, and Cancel Culture

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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In this Thursday, May 28, 2015 photo, Adam Carolla speaks during and interview in New York. Carolla, the father of 9-year-old twins, speaks volumes in the title of his latest book, “Daddy, Stop Talking!” (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


Adam Carolla wants to know why he should listen to dummies.

In an interview with The Daily Caller’s Stephanie Hamill, the entertainer continued his long-established position on liberty: He’s for it.

Stephanie asked — has the world gone mad?

Partly, he thinks Yes:

“Well the ones that are in media, the ones that are in politics, the ones who have a bullhorn appear to have gone insane. … If you turn on CNN, those people have gone insane, and they seemed to be speaking for others who probably haven’t gone insane.”

So what of free speech and cancel culture? Adam doesn’t subscribe to “political correctness” (which, oddly, is neither political nor correct):

“I’m a comedian. I’m not here to figure out which way the wind is blowing and then get my talking points from people [who] were in junior high when I was working as a standup comedian and on cable and syndicated radio…”

He’s a big dog:

“If you think about it, I mean, if you just kind of do the math, I’m 56 years old; I’ve been in show business, basically, since I was 30. So I’m 25, 26 years in.”

So why would he listen to young pups?

Carolla went on to explain a societal shift — these days it’s all about the youth:

“What’s happened is…when you work in TV and in radio — but especially in TV — they start talking about that super sought-after demographic. And the demographic that’s sought-after is not 60-year-old white dudes. It’s 18-24. You know, they want the young demographic. … So if you say, ‘We’ve got 5 million viewers overall,’ they’ll go, ‘Yeah, but what’d you do in the demo’? So ‘in the demo’ became the mantra for all TV shows and all entertainment.”


It doesn’t always add up:

“I don’t know why, ’cause when I was 22, I couldn’t afford to buy a new Mercedes. When I was 42, I could… So if you’re gonna advertise Mercedes on a show, I don’t know why you want a 22-year-old version of me.”


“[L]iterally, the most sought-after group in the world [became] 14-year-old girls — what music do they want…what was the fashion like. Well, now the news has gone along with the demo. And now they’re playing to young, dumb people who…have just got out of college. Their brains are mush. They’re malleable. And somehow, we’re gonna cater to them. We’re gonna build this world around young, dumb people.”

And wow — the comedian absolutely nailed our crisis of empowerment:

“We started…in earnest with this self-esteem movement, that it’d be really good if everyone had high self-esteem. And the way you get high self-esteem is through accomplishing things that are tough. But you can’t just hand people high self-esteem and tell them they’re the best and they don’t need to listen to anybody, and nothing they can do is wrong. And when you do that, you create a monster, essentially. You create horrible citizens.”

Direct hit:

“[W]e used to talk a lot about character. And we don’t talk about character anymore. We talk about self-esteem. Self-esteem earned is fine. Self-esteem given is a huge problem. And character is always a good thing. So we removed character, we put this synthesized self-esteem in its place, and we have a bunch of dumb, miserable people.”


Give him room, folks…

“[W]hen people try to graft self-esteem onto you, you will be miserable eventually. And the reason you’ll have to be miserable is ’cause everyone’ll keep telling you, ‘Oh, you’re the best, you’re the coolest, you’re the greatest,’ and everything like that. But you start looking around, and five years [have] gone by, and clearly there’s nothing going on — like you’re not the best, you’re not rich, you don’t have a great job, you don’t have a cool car. So now you feel like the best person in the world driving a beat-up car and working at a Burger King, and…that then turns to anger. … If you’d earned that self-esteem — if you felt as good about yourself as you should feel about yourself based on your accomplishments — then you would have a completely different world view.”

These days, there are loads of the delicate and offended on college campuses; and whether they realize it or not, they’re not for the First Amendment:

“It’s a very slippery slope to say, ‘I am for free speech, but I’m against hate speech.’ And then, ‘I will decide what is hate speech.’ So that’s pretty disingenuous, or it’s at least convenient. … It’s funny — nobody just flat-out admits what really is happening, which is, ‘I’m not for free speech.’ You go, ‘Are you for free speech?’ And they go, ‘Of course, of course, I’m for free speech. I just think it’s dangerous–‘ You know, when they pause, and go, ‘But,’ and they explain they can’t have people coming to campus with dangerous ideas that might influence people, it’s over. You’re not for free speech.”


Bottom line:

“Here’s how ‘I’m for free speech’ works: ‘Are you for free speech?’ ‘Yes I am. Period. End of discussion. Next question.'”

Adam’s going with free speech. Therefore, he’s gonna to keep saying what he believes.


“There’s a bunch of idiots who weren’t even born when I was in show business who wanna try to explain to me what’s funny, what I can say, what’s problematic, what I should say, what I need to apologize for. Why would I listen to those idiots? They’re dumb 24-year-olds.”

If you’ve not considered Carolla before, you might like to try his new book,  I’m Your Emotional Support Animal: Navigating Our All Woke, No Joke Culture.

Or check out his recent documentary —  featuring himself, Dennis Prager, and the great Jordan Peterson: No Safe Spaces.

Consistently on his podcast, the former Man Show star is right — and not because he’s intentionally Right. From all I’ve heard of him, it seems clear he isn’t a guy trying to be conservative; he’s just a guy trying to be correct.

Much more often than not, I’d say Mission Accomplished.



See 3 more pieces from me:

Adam Carolla Offers Tucker Carlson a Terrific Metaphor for Big Government

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