The Most Downloaded Podcast Ever: The Adam Carolla Show

This week we feature another podcast article from our contributor Tim Rodgers. Tim is a voracious consumer of podcast content with a harder bent towards historytrue crime, and investigative pieces. Enjoy. Michael Patrick

The Adam Carolla Show 

My Introduction To Podcasts

I got my first Android phone in the summer of 2008 but did not make immediate use of all the newfound technology that was now within my hands reach. During my work days, I would leave my sterile office environment promptly at 1:00 pm like clockwork but still opted to grab my sporty AM/FM radio with the armband for joggers and tried to get in as many steps as the 45-minute break would allow.  

I would listen to any non-commercial content that my AM tuner could pick up like NPR, sports talk, political discussions, and yes, even some weird guy broadcasting from the public radio tower a few miles away.

The walking and the thirst for something entertaining to listen to both served as reprieves from the mundane nature of the 9-5 grind. That was until I lost my job due to the looming financial meltdown…

Fresh out of work, I had plenty of time on my hands and this brand new Android device that I probably had no business owning now, being without an income. Could I use this smartphone to listen to the radio? What about these podcast things I am starting to hear about?

Well, it is not an iPod, I thought, and frankly, iPods and iPhones are a little dainty for this dude, so I guess trying podcasts is out for me.  

A few months later, I had a new job and was back to my lunchtime routine with my old-school radio. I was listening to The Dennis Miller Show one day and coming up next on his show was comedian Adam Carolla.  

Nice, I thought. I remembered that dude from Love Line and The Man Show. Adam Carolla wore the flannel shirts with the goofy smile and is buddies with that more successful guy Jimmy Kimmel. This should be interesting.   

Dennis Miller introduced Adam Carolla as a person who was blazing a trail for this up and coming medium called podcasting. After a few witty remarks from Carolla about various salient issues and some other high praises from Miller about Carolla’s forays into new media, I decided to check out podcasts after all.

I did a little research and found out that I actually could listen to podcasts on my Android device. There were these “apps” available on my phone for just that. I was soon finding out that there was an app for almost anything.  

I started listening to The Adam Carolla Show every day, as well as political shows, news shows, and fantasy football podcasts to get ready for my big draft. I was getting into it all. Not only had my daily walks improved, but my entire life was changed forever, thanks to this new world of podcasts.      

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A Seasoned Broadcaster In A Groundbreaking Medium

I had lived on the East Coast my entire life. I did not know that Carolla was probably more well known as a morning radio show host and had an extensive professional broadcasting background. His podcast reflected all the previous time in his career spent honing his craft, with a production value that was second to none.  

This was not a dude in his basement reading something off of his computer. Carolla was producing his shows from a studio he built himself. Had an engineer Mike Dawson with an amazing voice, sound effects guy Bald Brian with the well-timed sound effect interjections, and a woman doing news who was the insightful voice of reason.

This free podcast I was listening to had no commercial breaks, better production value then most radio morning shows, and had the talented Adam Carolla hosting along with famous guests, not on a weekly basis, but daily! I was hooked.

Carolla embraced his listeners as members of his “pirate ship” and proudly proclaimed he was not beholden to any corporate master which allowed him to freely say “whatever the *%*@ he wanted to.” And he did just that.

The Adam Carolla Show has great guests and classic interviews with authors, television actors, A-list movie stars, regular fans, and everything else in between.

Each week you can also count on a classic YouTube-worthy rant from Carolla about some random topic like traffic in Los Angeles, why we can’t just have regular iced tea instead of passion fruit flavored tea, to existential topics like the ratios of meat lovers pizzas versus veggie lovers pizza.


Content To Entertain, Inform, & Inspire

Adam Carolla is not only the wisecracking, blue-collar, construction bro you remember from the Man Show, but Carolla is every bit as much a deep political thinker and top-notch interviewer too.

He is not afraid to bring guests on that challenge his views. He is able to conduct a long-form, 30-minute interview that remains civil and entertaining while also pressing his guests with tough questions as well.

His interview style is more of a conversation that flows organically rather than a structured Q&A session dictated by a list of prepared questions. Carolla allows his guests to feel comfortable in a casual environment which ultimately yields the interviewee to let the guard down a little, open up, and reveal interesting details for the listeners.

The Adam Carolla Show at times harkens back to the Love Line days with former co-host Dr. Drew Pinsky. The pair actually have their own podcast too, The Adam and Drew Show.

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The two offer counsel to you people on issues of like sex, drug abuse, and medical problems, with Dr. Drew providing a clinical, medical perspective while Adam serves up the common sense wisdom of an old sage.

It was twenty years ago the pair began helping young people with difficult and uncomfortable topics and it is great to see that the mission still lives on today in the arena of podcasting.

Carolla is also passionate about diet and exercise. He frequently brings on trainer to the stars Vinnie Tortorich who is a nutrition expert that touts the “No Sugar, No grain” diet.  

He gets deep into what foods are good and others to avoid, how to approach eating on the holidays, as well as everyday dietary strategies.  

Carolla has seemed to make it his life’s mission to improve the lives of others from the lessons he has learned by growing up poor in the mundane blue-collar world of 1980’s San Fernando Valley. The podcast is not just entertaining but it also has impactful content for your lifestyle.  


Defender Of The Faith

Through the podcast format, Carolla has brilliantly salvaged some of the nostalgia that fans longed for from past shows such as The Man Show and Love Line, but as importantly he has blazed new trails for his future and the future of others as well.

He has fused the everyman independent aspect of podcasting with a professional broadcasting approach that has inspired countless podcasters around the world to create and distribute content with just a computer and a dream.  

It was not just his innovative podcast that inspired and paved the way for many others to get started, though, it was also his tooth and nail fight against a group of attorneys that secured the right for anyone to build their own business through this new world medium.

In 2013, Adam Carolla was sued by a group called Personal Audio, who he deemed “patent trolls”. The group, based out of Texas, claimed that they owned the patent that allowed podcast creators to distribute their content to the internet and as a result, the lawsuit targeted Carolla since he had the deepest pockets and largest visibility in the medium.

After a little research, Carolla and his business partners found out that Personal Audio did not create a podcast, engineer equipment, or do anything related to podcasting for that matter. They were merely a bunch of attorneys and businessmen that made a living out of buying defunct patents for pennies on the dollar and then using the patent to sue other businesses that they could muster a case against.  

Subsequently, Adam Carolla started a “Go Fund Me” account to raise legal fees to fight off the patent trolls. It was a move that fueled some scrutiny based on some skepticism around the use of crowdfunding, which involves financial support pledged directly from fans.

Despite the criticism, Carolla fought the good fight and made the frivolous patent trolls go away. Not only do current day podcasters have Adam Carolla to thank for making the medium popular but he quite possibly saved it from getting lost in a legal and financial quagmire.


The Student Becomes The Teacher

Carolla has since set out to become a teacher of sorts as he hosts his own set of workshops helping people to start their own podcasts known as the Podcasting Master Class.  

Carolla helps young and upcoming podcasters with the tricks of the trade, sharing mistakes that he has made, as well as coaching the ability to pitch your podcast to podcasting networks, like PodcastOne, the home of the Adam Carolla show and some 200+ other shows.

Despite the comedy curmudgeon persona Carolla sometimes insinuates for laughs, deep down the man has a huge heart and has given back to his fans in numerous ways.  


Well Earned Honor

Not only is The Adam Carolla Show in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most downloads of any podcast in the world, beating out Ricky Gervais, but it is also the best in this dudes opinion.

It is the go-to podcast every single day to get a fix of news, life-lessons, comedy, movie reviews, interesting guests, and everything else except the kitchen sink, although Carolla is big on home improvement topics as well.

If you are new to podcasting this is the perfect show to serve as a “gateway” podcast for the harder stuff. I have learned about so many additional podcasts because the hosts of those shows were once a guest on Adam’s show.  

The podcasting world is truly a community and it owes a tremendous debt to Adam Carolla. Go now and listen to a whole host of shows within the Adam Carolla world and you will not be disappointed.   

Are you a fan of The Adam Carolla Show? Who is your favorite guest or what is your favorite Adam Carolla rant topic? Please leave a comment. We want to hear from you.