Thursday, July 13, 2006

Radio After Stern: Drowning Carolla grabs woman

The smudgy fingerprints of radio consultants are all over the flailing Adam Carolla show, the low-rated bomb that was given Howard Stern’s spot in Los Angeles and other markets.

Even a cursory listen in recent days reveals that Carolla has turned his show over to a cohost. And despite the dunderhead jock/frat boy/14-year-old male crowd the show had been playing to-- it's a female cohost.

Teresa Strasser, who replaced Rachel Perry as the show’s “newsgirl” a couple of months back, has been thrust into a leading role, joining Carolla in interviews, providing comedy bits in greatly-expanded “news" segments, speaking up freely throughout and blanding out the offensive broadcast considerably.

Carolla's gotten lots of ink this week for rudely and amateurishly hanging up on a late phone call from book promoter Ann Coulter. But in light of the changes in the show, it's looking as if the stunt was planned to boost his liberal credentials. With his droning free-association monologues and rants having been cut considerably-- and interrupted by a woman-- he's suddenly acting less "American Genius" (or "genious," as it's spelled on one of his site's web pages-- hit an audio link) and more grumpy boyfriend.

Former sidekick, “sports guy” Dave Dameshek, notable for painfully loud, flat routines and a honkingly annoying Midwestern accent, has been given a subsidiary role, similar to Jackie the Jokeman without the jokes. Look for the show's unfunny dead-air "characters" to also take their leave soon.

In wake of the David Lee Roth debacle in New York, the station group is evidently scrambling, and hoping to bring in some female listeners, who Carolla and team have actively discouraged and degraded since the show’s debut.

They also seem to want to cash in on Strasser’s recent national publicity binge as host of the ABC prime time dating show, How To Get The Guy. Too bad for them it was abruptly canceled last week.

The show's website displays further hints to the de-balling of Carolla. Original newsgal Rachel Perry was depicted in a series of kinky underwear and dog collar S&M shots. No sexy shots for Strasser, who gets the standard TV headshots, and the cliched refuge of the postfeminist Yuppie: the childhood photo.

When they start posting snapshots of a nine-year-old Carolla in short pants, you’ll know he’s definitely off to Davidleerothland.

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