Jay Leno, Adam Carolla Get Big Laughs During Premier Of Daily Wire’s ‘Truth Yeller’
Jay Leno performs at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize tribute concert at DAR Constitution Hall on March 04, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Adam Carolla snagged no less than a comedy legend to christen his new Daily Wire comedy series.

Jay Leno, who ruled late night TV for two decades as host of “The Tonight Show,” joined the podcaster for the debut episode of “Adam Carolla: Truth Yeller.”

The hour-long show featured Carolla riffing on everything from COVID-19 “science” to “The View.” Carolla is one of the few comedians unafraid to tackle pandemic hysteria, but he also cracked wise about more conventional topics, too.

It’s Carolla’s willingness to follow the funny wherever it goes, and never apologize for a joke, that endeared him to folks flustered by the new woke agenda. It also makes him a snug fit for The Daily Wire, ready to challenge mainstream Hollywood with artists unafraid to tell it like it is.

That explains why Carolla name-checked the trans community and threw some comic jabs at President Joe Biden, as well as his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

Neither came off as angry or eager for the crowd’s approval. Carolla doesn’t pledge allegiance to one political party. He’s a comedian, and he’s here to make us laugh. It’s why inviting Leno to join him for the debut episode sent a similar message.

Leno’s “Tonight Show” reign found him poking fun at both sides of the aisle, the way late night hosts did before Trump descended that infamous escalator in 2015. Leno maintains a clean comic style, avoiding dark material in favor of jokes the whole audience can enjoy. He still seemed to feed off The Daily Wire’s rebellious energy, sounding scrappier than usual during “Truth Yeller.” He even uncorked a “pronoun” joke.

No one in the packed club clutched their pearls.

“Truth Yeller” began with Carolla’s stand-up routine. The lanky comic, dressed in a dark suit and tie, showcased his knack for observational humor. He mocked old-school TV sets that were deeper than they were wide, and the absurdity of telling masked airline passengers to risk COVID-19 to scarf down fiesta mix.

“I don’t really think this is science,” he noted.

That simple observation is more than most late-night hosts today can muster about the pandemic. They’d rather mock the unvaccinated and parrot Biden talking points than tell jokes with a kernel of truth to them.

Carolla leaned on his “Rich Man Poor Man” running bit before turning the show over to a free-wheeling improv session that delivered the show’s biggest laughs.

Leno arrived on stage mid-episode and quickly showed why his comedy career flourished for more than 40 years. His rat-a-tat delivery hasn’t aged a day, and he shared a few classic stories honed by years in the comedy trenches.

The two are off-stage chums, and their chemistry showed through their easy banter. They bring disparate comic styles to their work, with Carolla offering an Angry Everyman vibe to his routines. They still found common ground, especially during their improv segments.

Carolla famously resurrected his broadcasting career in 2009 after being let go from CBS radio. He channeled his gift for gab with a freewheeling podcast, years before fellow comics like Joe Rogan and Sarah Silverman struck gold with the medium.

“The Adam Carolla Show” became an instant hit, eclipsing Ricky Gervais’ podcast in 2011 to become the most downloaded show of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The podcast giant eventually expanded his digital empire to include other podcasts, a documentary film division, a line of Mangria adult beverages, and now, a comedy showcase with The Daily Wire.

“Adam Carolla: Truth Yeller” premiers Friday on The Daily Wire. Become a member and check out the show here.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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