When you think about Adam Carolla it's unlikely that "good friends with a religious conservative" is the first thing that comes to mind. More likely thinking about Carolla invokes visions of girls in bikinis jumping on trampolines. But the once co-host of the stereotypical, male chauvinistic (but in a good way), The Man Show has grown up since his Comedy Central days. No, Carolla has not taken a turn down the conservative path; he has just opened his doors to some alternative ideas. These ideas come straight from the mouth of religious and political conservative commentator Dennis Prager. Unlike Carolla, Prager is not known for his frat-sensibility, but for his outspoken Jewish Orthodox viewpoints on politics, worldviews and family values. If saying that opposites attract holds any water than this unlikely duo is floating in Noah's Ark. They are kinda like BFFs.
Carolla and Prager have one very specific thing in common, they both host popular talk radio programs. In fact, Carolla has the most downloaded podcast currently going on. Because of their respective radio shows, they became aware of each other and their steadfast viewpoints on life led them to become guests on each others' programs. That was when the magic happened.
The two so thoroughly enjoyed debating, conversing and joking around with one another, they thought they should take it a step further.
"I went on his show and he came on mine, and we both had a good time," says Carolla during a recent phone interview, "and my greedy concert promoter said, 'why don't you do a show together.'" The idea seemed slightly off the wall but just crazy enough to work. "It was sort of genius in its odd pairing," Carolla continues. The next thing the two men knew, they were on stage doing a live show.
"I think we would have been the first to admit it if this wasn't going to work," Carolla explains. Those first few shows were almost like "a first date." "...if we didn't have any chemistry, we wouldn't have made any more plans."
However, those first few shows wound up selling out, proving that this bizarre combination was in fact a good idea. The two had such a good time together on stage, the next logical step was to take the show on the road.
And on the road they have been! The tour, aptly titled "Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Live," has touched down in cities across the country and today, July 12, the dissimilar duo will bring their antics to the stage of the House of Blues.
So what in the hell do these two polar opposites talk about on stage? What don't they talk about is a better question. As both men have very strong viewpoints on the world around them, the topics tend to run the gamut from religion, to family, to politics, to world views and just about everything in between. Despite the fact that they have done several of these live conversations, Carolla says that the conversation is always fresh.
"I have some ideas of things I want to talk about and I'm sure he does too... but we don't really try to steer it one way or the other, it just kind of goes." Carolla finds that if he has some prepared thoughts or points that he wants to discuss, the conversation flows so fluidly; he barely gets to address what he planned to talk about. Both men are radio commentators, so conversation comes natural to them.
Rehashing the same conversation wouldn't fly for several reasons. Each live show is taped and released the following day on iTunes and if they had the same chats over and over again, it would be fairly obvious. Unlike a scripted show, Carolla says they don't "do bits" or have any sort of "set list."
Additionally, the second portion of the show is an audience question and answer giving the two men no way to prepare for what's to come. Given Carolla's recent stint in the news, it is likely that the two are asked to discuss topics that maybe wouldn't be covered in their more prepared portion of the show.
Given the nature of the two men, what they are known for and the positions they take on weighty topics, you might find some heated debates, but you won't find either of them pulling out fisticuffs. Carolla has a deep respect for Prager and vice versa. "I genuinely like the guy," he says, "and I think he likes me, which is kind of the fun of it."
Philosophically they are quite different but what they have in common are their values. Carolla is not sure what will happen after this current tour concludes but he hopes the two will be able to continue to work together in some respect. "It's pretty effortless for both of us... and it feels good to be on stage together." Unlike doing a play or a stand up routine, this type of show can be done multiple times in the same city and doesn't require any rehearsal beforehand making it easy to throw a show together whenever the two have time.
With all of Texas and Houston's wonderfully quirky charms (and politically outspoken personalities) there's no doubt that the Houston conversation will be an interesting one. If you want a feel for how it all goes down, you can download previous shows on iTunes or through caution to the wind and check out the live performance this week.
Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Live in Houston, Thursday, July 12 at 8 p.m. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline. Tickets starting at $34.50. www.houseofblues.com