“What the hell am I doing working New Year’s Eve?” the testosterone-fueled talker asked rhetorically when we began our phone interview last week.
Of course, I knew the answer to his query: Performing two shows at John Ascuaga’s Nugget over the New Year’s weekend.
A longtime radio/television personality, Carolla has evolved with the rapidly changing times. After rising to fame on the syndicated nighttime radio advice show “Loveline,” Carolla has had numerous engagements, including co-host of TV’s “The Man Show” with Jimmy Kimmel and as the morning radio show replacement for Howard Stern.
Most recently, Carolla has moved to the online world with his own daily podcast. In March, Carolla’s 90-minute podcast set the Guinness Book of World Records mark for most downloaded.
“I really like doing the podcast because it’s a free forum to rant on,” Carolla said, comparing the various media in which he has worked. “It’s a nice way to get my unfiltered, uncut, unstepped-on voice to the people and I like that a lot.”
Starting the podcast was a bit of a risk, Carolla continued, since it was his own investment after being let go from radio because of the downturn in the economy. He said he dropped about $100,000 the first year getting set up in 2009, but since then he has had more than 60 million downloads and the show is part of the ACE Broadcasting network.
“It’s nice because it is a way to employ people and pay taxes and put something into the system. Especially in economy we started in.”
Speaking of the economy, Carolla has been outspoken about the Occupy Wall Street movement and the protesters’ stance on the wealth.
As an admitted member of the so-called “1 percent,” Carolla said he has sympathy for wanting to fix some of the problems with the system, but he resents paying a lot more in taxes than the protesters and then getting flak from them about his income.
“I use the same roads, drive through the same potholes, my kids go to the same schools,” he said. “I get no preferential treatment from the government.”
Carolla has no intention of making less money. In fact, he’d like to make enough to work less and pursue his other passion: cars.
“I just want to go out racing,” he said. “I want to make enough money to free myself up enough three or four days a year do some vintage car racing.”
Carolla performs his stand-up comedy at 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday in the Celebrity Showroom. Tickets cost $53.90 and can be purchased online at www.janugget.com.