Adam Carolla Says Female Late Night Hosts Are ‘Confusing,’ Because OMG Where’s Her Penis?

Adam Carolla South Beach Festival Gridiron Bash Pep Rally January 2011

Yesterday comedian Adam Carolla visited us from the 19th century to do an interview with HuffPost Live and give his thoughts on whether or not women make good late night hosts. I don’t know if you know this or not, but seeing a woman give a monologue when it’s dark outside, something men usually do, is just really confusing for TV viewers. It’s like seeing a cat playing the piano or a black girl playing Annie. Hey, that doesn’t belong there!

The conversation started when Adam was asked if there are any women he thinks would do well in the late night talk show competition. He started out naming Ellen DeGeneres, but that’s only because everyone’s legally obligated to mention her in discussions of funny women. Then he decided that it shouldn’t be about gender at all:

“To me it’s not so much about women or men, it’s sort of who do you want to see at night.”

Unfortunately, Adam has used his apparent telepathic abilities to look into the minds of the TV-viewing public, and as it turns out the group of people “you want to see at night” doesn’t include women. Oops, I guess it became about gender after all:

“I don’t know what our society wants. We’re used a guy standing there in a suit telling monologue jokes and that’s all we’ve known, so I don’t know if it would be confusing if it’s a woman standing there telling monologue jokes. I mean, we’re just used to certain genders in certain roles.”

Ah, I see. I guess he’s okay with Ellen because that suit throws him off and makes him think a man is standing there. What a clever tactic. But it’s kind of weird that male hosts are “all we’ve known” when I distinctly remember watching Chelsea Lately the other night. Of course, as we all know, she’s a woman, so she’s just a parenthetical in the late night discussion. An anomaly, if you will. Either that or, GASP, do you think Adam Carolla could just be an incredibly sexist douchebag? I’m starting to think that’s the case, you guys.

After all, this is the same guy who a couple of years ago declared that men are universally funnier than women. Seems like he just has it out for female comedians in general. It’s kind of ironic considering I forgot Adam Carolla even existed, let alone was an authority on how funny women are. But apparently he’s got a new Spike show called Catch a Contractor about tracking down contractors who’ve duped people into paying for bad carpentry work. You know what, I don’t know if I’m really ready for a show like that. It might be a little confusing and I’m just not used to it. Seeing things I’m not used to is gross. Maybe we should wait a few years until society can accept it.

(Photo: Aaron Gilbert /

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • guest

      Good article timing! I just watched this GOD AWFUL video on how Bill O’Reilly thinks there HAS to be a downside with a woman president and I was fuming! It was great to read such a scathing article on this topic- words taken right out of my mouth. It is sometimes so hard to believe that we still have problems like this in this day and age. BOO SEXISM!!!!

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Oh the “women can’t be president” arguments are the best. Did he bring up periods? That would be classic.

      • guest

        It was absolutely awful! The clips wasn’t long enough- he probably through periods in there at one point. He had two women on his show (1 democratic and 1 republican) and didn’t ask them IF they thought there would be a negative of having a woman in office, he asked them WHAT the negatives of having a woman in office would be. THERE HAS TO BE A NEGATIVE!!!! Both of them were like, “Um…no. There aren’t any.”

      • Steve

        You meant to spell ‘threw’, but you spelled it ‘through’. This is why women can’t be president.

      • FemelleChevalier

        On the contrary, females has become presidents/prime ministers worldwide.

      • Guest

        …people claim that there’s a downside that’s only exclusively for female presidents? Huh, that’s weird. I must’ve been in a looongg coma the time we had two presidents to realize that something is different. What a bummer.

      • FemelleChevalier

        …people claim that there’s a downside that’s only exclusively for female presidents? Huh, that’s weird. I must’ve been in a looongg coma the time we had two female presidents to realize that something is different.

        What a bummer.

    • elle

      Ugh, Adam Carrola is the worst. I seem to recall him saying stuff like this before. And to top it off he himself isn’t even funny.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        It seems to be a favorite topic of his.

    • Todd Basquette

      Maybe he should have amended his offhanded comment to “confusing *to everyone except militant feminists.”

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I’m assuming a militant feminist is someone who REALLY wants to be given the same rights and opportunities as men. Is that correct?

      • Colleen

        I thought a militant feminist got to wear camo or some really cool military-inspired jacket?

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Colleen, I think that’s true, but I haven’t gotten mine in the mail yet so I can’t be sure.

      • ILove1Woman

        Yes! Because men earn and yes, often take their rights. Militant’s of any kind want rights “given”, like a gift.

        Build a Golden bridge, an empire state building, a water to power dam or two or even the intricate cable and satellite network used to transmit the late night shows your ilk is so envious of getting on. Who built all of this–and by the way, the late night show structure itself? Hint: No “Wo” here!

        Men are pragmatic, if you are the best at what you do, you are in. Look at the strides women are making in mathematics and applied science specially. Higher education numbers show a steep decline in males and a healthy steady climb in women. Why? Because some women found the secret; less complaining and more doing.

    • ashley

      he’s quite funny and i’m sure 100% of the people here have never heard a single thing he’s actually said from start to finish. rather than just bitsized one liners who are totally misconstrued. he’s a comedian not a politician.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        So only politicians should be expected to not say sexist things? (And boy do they have a great track record.)

    • J_Doe5686

      I have to try hard to laugh at his jokes but can’t. He can’t see past his —- to see that people (men and women) like different things.
      There are a lot of funny women out there but because of the same mentality (women aren’t funny!) don’t get the same chances as her male counterpart.

      • WLabody1991

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    • RyanO

      Do you really think Chelsea Handler would be a good late night host on a major network? Im not saying she isn’t funny mind you.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Chelsea Handler’s ability as a late night host shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in deciding whether women in general can do the job. I mentioned her because Adam seemed to suggest that we’d never seen a woman take on that role, which obviously we have.

      • RyanO

        Good was the wrong word anyways, “successful” I meant. And we haven’t seen that yet on network TV which I think he was referring to.

    • bun bun

      Did I listen to same interview? He was funny and quick witted. Hes a comedian!! Comedians take things we know to be true and make them funny. Fake outrage.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        I don’t think the quote we’re talking about here was meant to be funny. And anyway, since when is society being confused about female late night hosts something everyone knows to be true? It certainly doesn’t confuse me.

      • AdamHater

        What you keep shutting your eyes to is that Adam more than likely DOES believe what he said; AND he is funny!

    • OneEleven

      Jill, I am a big fan of both your writing and Adam’s podcast. I get that sensationalized posts = clicks. And, Adam doesn’t need me to defend him.

      But…. Adam isn’t one of the bad guys. Spend a week listening to his podcast. Watch his movie “the Hammer”. Heck, look on YouTube for the clip of him and Norm McDonald breaking down Kenny Rodger’s songs. I would hope that you see what I see, a comedian who lives in the center. Who skewers both the right and the left.

      And, in these divisive days of it being all about who can yell the loudest about how wrong the other side is – I want it to be OK for a comedian can say that Ellen did a great job hosting the Oscars and he thinks Ellen would be great at hosting a late night show, but he is not sure the public would support a late night talk show hosted by a women.

      • Brad

        Totally agreed. If you actually listened to his body of work (whether you think it’s funny or not) you’ll find that he really picks on just about everyone,
        including men. He has picked on the democrats, the republicans,
        asians, mexicans blacks, and (brace yourself) whitey just off the top of my head. He REALLY doesn’t have a set side politically or socially. He just calls it like he sees it and sometimes he’s right and sometimes he’s wrong. I mean he has beenquoted in the past as saying that if there were a town with nothing but gays and lesbians it would be a utopia (not a quote but he did use the word “utopia”). But he has also said that all things being equal, that he thinks straight couples are better off raising children. He has screamed at bible thumping republicans about wanting to stop birth control pills, but he’s also complained about democrats giving too many handouts.

        I mean he had a show called “the man show”, and
        everyone automatically thinks that all they did was make fun of women,
        but most of the sketches have the hosts as the butt of the joke.

      • pocketfrog

        “He REALLY doesn’t have a set side politically or socially.”
        His appearances on the The O’Reilly Factor, plus his appearances with Dennis Prager, REALLY suggest otherwise. You could forgive a non-fan for thinking that he’s a right-winger (or is at least pandering to them).

        But that doesn’t stop me from listening to his podcast, even though his guests aren’t exactly A-list.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        But this comment wasn’t meant to be funny. He was stating his opinion about an issue. His material as a comedian is irrelevant to this statement. And saying definitively that the public wouldn’t support a female late night host (not only that, but be “confused” by it, as if it’s such a strange concept for a woman to break into a male-dominated industry) without offering any desire for that viewpoint to change is the perfect way to make sure things DON’T change.

      • AdamHater

        Shutting your eyes and believing a man is sexist for observing and highlighting what most are to numb to notice displays your ignorance by taking the exact stance you are accusing Adam Carolla of taking. Listen to the words. Did Adam at any point say “I am not ready see a woman…?” No, Adam even acknowledges Ellen for being 1 of few women that have separated themselves from the herd in the comedy field. However, his finger on the pulse of society tells him people may not even acknowledge that male dominance in late night is a problem; because it isn’t. To state that I believe most people respond positively to color blue and does not mean I like the color blue. Learn to make an argument.

        And a note to second what someone said above, if you listened to Adam’s show he even talks about our society at large being so stupid, insipid and droned out by techno music playing the background that we don’t even hear anymore and for that reason it is difficult to gain any traction on activism of any kind including getting a woman on the tonight show.

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    • Danielle

      This is a non-story.