Leicester Square Theatre, London
Adam Carolla, though he would strenously deny it, is something of a Renaissance Man; a Los Angeles native who couldn’t quite hack it as a ceramics major in community college becomes a master carpenter, boxing instructor, zoo radio sidekick, creator and presenter of The Man Show with Jimmy Kimmel, West Coast replacement for Howard Stern and, eventually, one of the first US comics to efficiently monetize podcasting. Oh yeah, he also writes and directs feature films and races vintage cars in what little spare time is left. A little like Elvis, Carolla’s never played outside the States so an appearance in London brought the Fun Facilitation Officer and me over to Perfidious Albion to drink in the Ace Man live.
A show of two halves, Adam first brought on an irascible Rich Hall to run through some robust, but tender ruminations on family life and, after the intermission, introduced the delightful Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of The Zombies to chat about their fabulous career and listen to some new, really rather good material from the band. Many laughs and a few awkward moments were had: classic Carolla, in essence. A response to a question about J Clarkson’s assault on a producer typifies Adam’s abrasive yet oddly thoughtful style: ‘Guys punching other guys is how we beat the Nazis’.
Younger than I thought it might be – I’m an aul’ arse of 47 and felt everyday of it. Germans, Scandinavians and at least two Irish people were present. Comedy remains an overwhelmingly male night out, though. Queues for the ladies were Lilliputian but Gargantuan for the gents. Overwhelmingly positive reception for Carolla’s first UK appearance and, particularly, for the Zombies. Nice crowd, overall save the rotund and mouthy supernerd sat behind me who really felt he should be there on stage.
It made me think..
For a man who records at least twenty hours of material a week, Carolla can put a spin on everything – from the oddity of Duran Duran song titles to the everyday freedoms we Europeans take for granted but many Americans no longer enjoy – and still make it funny as balls.