Adam Carolla has no idea why he’s coming to Buffalo in the dead of winter.
“I did read some of the brochures at the travel agency that showed people having heart attacks shoveling their driveways, and thought, ‘Hey, you know what, that could be me,’ ” Carolla quipped in a phone interview with The Buffalo News.
The blustery, nasally Carolla became famous as Drew Pinsky’s acerbic sidekick on “Loveline,” the MTV call-in advice show, and as Jimmy Kimmel’s partner in crime on “The Man Show,” the proudly chauvinistic Comedy Central vehicle.
Since leaving those shows, Carolla has built a mini-empire of podcasts, books, ready-made alcoholic cocktails and guest appearances on everything from cable-TV celebrity roasts to “Dancing with the Stars.”
Carolla is, in fact, coming here to put on a live performance of his popular “Adam Carolla Show” podcast Saturday night in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts. It’s his first visit since he played the same venue in July 2012.
He said he never gets to hang out very much in the cities he visits, but he tries to seek out the kind of “stick-to-your-ribs” food that he can’t find in trendy SoCal restaurants.
“There’s no sauerkraut in all of Los Angeles,” said Carolla, who makes complaining about life in LA a regular part of his act.
Asked whether the chicken wing is the perfect man food, Carolla said a friend recently tried to convince him that wings should be breaded. When a Buffalo native assured Carolla that talking about breading wings is blasphemy, he replied, “That’s what I said.”
Carolla will be flying back to LA the day of Super Bowl XLVIII, which prompted a rant about the NFL’s pretentious numbering system.
“It ran its course. Honestly, if you brought Romans back from 2,000 years ago and asked them which number that was, they’d have no idea,” Carolla said.
Before making it big, Carolla worked a number of blue-collar jobs, including construction and carpet cleaning, and met Kimmel when Carolla offered to train him to box for a radio stunt. The two later worked on “Crank Yankers,” a crank phone call show, and “The Man Show.”
Carolla said unwanted advice from Comedy Central executives inspired the “Girls Jumping on Trampolines” segment that ended every “Man Show.”
“I think the network said we needed a female presence, so we decided that was probably the best way to do it,” Carolla said.
Since the show ended, Carolla has built a huge following through his free-wheeling, radio-influenced “The Adam Carolla Show” and several other podcasts, which are available for downloading and streaming through iTunes and on his website.
Carolla also is a best-selling author of titles such as “In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” which he now says was too optimistic about the future of his gender.
“We’re about done,” he said with a laugh. “I look at the testosterone vial as half empty.”
The father of two also had some advice for new parents: “Two TiVos, a lot of square footage and a nanny, and you’ll be just fine.”
Carolla said members of the public are “uncomfortably comfortable” with approaching him to say hello, but he doesn’t mind when they do it.
“That’s part of our agreement. They think they know me. They think we’re friends. We have a relationship. We do – it’s just a little one-sided,” he said.
His “Man Show” partner has gone on to perhaps an even greater level of celebrity, as host of his own ABC late-night talk show, but a tongue-in-cheek question – “Whatever happened to Kimmel?” – prompted an extended, enthusiastic Carolla riff.
“Geez, I don’t know. First off – I don’t want to feel like I’m getting defensive, or making excuses for the guy – first off, not everyone is going to be a superstar. No. 2, there’s nothing wrong with local, FM ‘Hot Talk,’ ” he said.
After observing that Kimmel can sleep until 10 a.m. and is solidly entrenched in the Top 12 in his radio market, a deadpan Carolla said, “The last thing he would want is for us to feel sorry for him.”