Review: Adam Carolla & Dr. Drew reunion tour at Kingsbury
The syndicated call-in advice radio show “Loveline” has been around since the 1980s and continues to this day, but fans of the nightly show all agree that the best team to ever man the show featured real-life doctor Dr. Drew Pinsky and comic Adam Carolla between 1995 and 2005.
During that decade, the show was addictive as young adults called in with their relationship and sexual problems. Pinsky would offer professional, no-nonsense counsel, with the wise-cracking, acerbic Carolla launching into hilarious rants that added levity and a unique perspective to topics that ranged from the dangers of nipple-piercing done by your cousin to unsafe (and/or downright weird) sex. On paper, the show sounds like an awful combination, but Pinsky and Carolla displayed a chemistry and an unerring sense of balance that kept the show entertaining but never disrespectful.
Those expecting a live version of “Loveline” Saturday night at Kingsbury Hall would have been disappointed at the uneven performance. The first half of the show featured Pinsky and Carolla riffing on topics off the top of their heads, and was much funnier and more entertaining than the second half of the 100-minute show, when five questions posed by the audience were either uninteresting or sycophantic, not offering the chance for Pinsky or Carolla to display their talents at solving problems in an engaging way.
Of course, it was expected that people in a well-attended auditorium would not feel the need to get up and ask questions of an extremely personal and awkward nature. The reason why the radio show worked was because callers could ask questions cloaked in anonymity, using only their first names. The five questions were frankly boring and elicited answers that were not revealing, helpful or funny for the most part. The questions focused on the dangers of dogs, energy drinks and whether Carolla would consider a presidential run. The latter allowed Carolla to deliver a harangue that was thematically similar to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s infamous 47-percent speech, which might have been surprising to those who hadn’t known that Carolla is a frequent guest on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show.
The opening 40 minutes of the show were more of a traditional stand-up set, with Carolla dominating the conversation and Pinsky left primarily by the wayside. Carolla was sharp in his commentary of Utah, with both men remarking about how clean and orderly the city was — there was no smell of “burning bums” and no evidence of shopping carts being transformed by homeless people into hot dog stands, Carolla said. They also talked about how things that happened in Utah would never fly in their hometown of Los Angeles. One highlight was Carolla and Pinsky’s amazement at the orange flags that are situated at intersections so people using crosswalks can cross safely. In Los Angeles, Carolla said, the sticks would have been stolen and then sharpened into shivs or fashioned into hash pipes. Carolla, in what he called a “teachable moment,” suggested that if a Utah driver ever sees a person crossing a street without an orange flag, that pedestrian should be run over.
In the end, there were no embarrassing sexual questions asked, though it might have been entertaining to see those questions asked while significant others recoiled in mortification.
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