A comedic performer who followed a most unlikely (and circuitous) route into show business, Adam Carolla pursued careers as a carpenter and boxing coach before entering the celebrity arena, first on radio, as the co-host of the call-in program Loveline, opposite psychotherapist Dr. Drew Pinsky. The program netted such a massive fan base and viewership that it spawned not only an MTV spin-off in 1996, but its own website, a book, speaking tours, movie appearances by the co-hosts, and the like. Carolla then made an even bigger impact on the small screen as the creator and host of two popular satirical series. The first, The Man Show, debuted in 1999; this tongue-in-cheek homage to machismo, done in a talk-show format, found its co-hosts (Carolla and comic Jimmy Kimmel) brazenly and unapologetically celebrating the basest qualities and "interests" of chauvinistic men, such as ogling women, guzzling beer, and watching porn. That program would eventually fold in 2004, a year after Carolla and Kimmel left; in the meantime, Carolla and his colleagues debuted another series on Comedy Central network, Crank Yankers (2002) -- a Jerky Boys-style homage to prank phone calls that found celebrities conducting outrageous (and frequently vulgar) "shock" phone calls while onscreen puppets "acted-out" the dialogues.
Carolla subsequently made national headlines for taking over much of Howard Stern's radio market (alongside rock singer David Lee Roth) when Stern transitioned to Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006. Carolla also acted in films including Down to You (2000), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), and The Hammer (2007). A third TV series, The Adam Carolla Project (2005), found Carolla and Kimmel spoofing programs such as This Old House and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition by humorously "fixing up" Carolla's childhood home on camera. In 2008, the comic also participated as a dancer opposite Julianne Hough in season six of the competitive reality series Dancing with the Stars.
He built a podcasting empire on the strength of his loyal fan-following, giving others a model for how ad-supported traditional radio can adapt to the new medium. In 2012 he lent his comedic insights to the Morgan Spurlock documentary Mansome.