Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meeting Adam Carolla, Judging Hipsters, and Unconventional Fandom

Myself, Adam Carolla, and Mr. Typist at The Moore. 

On Saturday night, Mr. Typist and I shook ourselves out of our usual glamorous routine of take-out and falling asleep in front of the T.V. to actually leave the house and go see our favorite podcast personality/comedian Adam Carolla at the Moore Theater. We were packed in shoulder-to-shoulder with 1,800 other fans and seated in the balcony section. I could only see Adam cut in half by the metal bar that kept me from falling into the nice, cushioned seats below me, but still, it was a great show. I listen to Adam’s podcast almost every day, and it was a bit surreal to actually attach a body to what I have come to think of as a discorporeal voice that exists only inside my I-pod. Afterwards, we waited for over an hour in an astonishingly long queue so that we could meet Adam in person and get my copy of his book signed.

I wanted to tell him, “I loved ‘The Hammer’! Thank you for making my commute bearable for the last five years! Your life story has been such an inspiration to me! And, well…*sniff* I love you, man!” But they were moving the line along with terrifying efficiency, and before I knew it, they had snapped the picture, Adam had signed my book and all I could eke out was a stammered “Thank you”. Adam smiled at me and said, “Thank you”, too, and then it was all over. Ha! He smiled at me. And it was a warm and twinkly smile, too. I don’t mean to brag, but it’s pretty obvious he liked me best of all of his fans. 

Since I tend to listen to Adam only in my own earholes, isolated and insulated behind my headphones, it was somewhat disorienting to realize he has so many other listeners. Somehow I had come to think of him as just my own thing, someone that I liked, but that everyone else in Seattle was too cool and highbrow to care about. But it turns out Seattle has a massive Adam Carolla fan base, and they seem to be for the most part a friendly, outgoing and garrulous bunch. Most people tend to think of Adam’s listeners as all beer-swilling dude-bros, but there is actually a huge cross-section, including, I was heartened to find, a lot of women, a healthy smattering of literary/artsy types, regular folks over 40, and a fair number of punks and hipsters. 

It turns out I was seated next to one of those hipsters, one with brilliant pink hair, striped stockings, and a leather jacket. For some reason, I instantly judged her as humorless and vaguely dreaded sitting next to her for the whole show, but my snarky and baseless judgment was totally wrong—she laughed with joyous, uninhibited abandon during the entire set, and actually made it more fun more me. So much for my asshatted assumptions about others. God, I have got to get out more.

If you need to laugh—and who doesn’t these days?—you can download Adam’s podcast here. Happy listening!

Kristen McHenry

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