The business of podcasting

I’m a longtime radio fan and I grew up listening to a guy named Adam Carolla who decided one day decided he was going to do a podcast.

Today I have his wife, Lynette Carolla, who is also the cofounder and owner of Carolla Digital, which publishes Adam Carolla’s show.

I’m interested in the business of podcasting.

 
Lynette Carolla

Lynette Carolla

Carolla Drinks

Lynette Carolla is the CEO of Carolla Drinks which offers a club membership to speciality alcoholic drinks created by Adam Carolla.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. And I’m a longtime radio fan. I grew up listening to a guy named Adam Carolla talk about sex and jokes, and he was fantastic. And then one day he decided he was going to do a podcast, not a radio show on the air, but a podcast. And then I remember Howard Stern making fun of the whole freaking concept of podcasts.

Lynette: Well, of course Howard Stern is going to make fun of it, he’s making $18 million a year from Sirius XM.

Andrew: Right. And also he has a sense of propriety. You work your way to the top, and then once you get to the top then you’re on the air, you don’t get to just start. He has this whole thing. And yeah, he was laughing at it. But you know what? To me it felt like it’s got to be a real business because I’m a podcaster, I get a sense of how big this industry is. And every freaking time I go to the App Store to see where I am, I see this guy Adam Carolla at the very top. He’s the guy that’s been on there for a long time and I want to know what kind of a business there is there.

Lynette: Well, first of all, to be fair to every other podcaster out there, Adam has a built-in audience. You said Loveline, he did Loveline for 10 years on most West Coast markets. Then he took over for Howard Stern on the West Coast. And then [Inaudible 00:01:26] shit the bed on the East Coast and that was that. And then eventually 2008 came along and everybody crashed and CBS Radio flipped formats to save money and all the top show guys went off the air. Tom Leykis, Heidi, Frosty, and Frank, all those guys. Not to knock anybody, but the cream rises to the top a little bit.

And he had a built-in audience and he said, “I’m going off the air on Friday, but on Monday I’ll be in my office at home. My children were just born, twins. And we’re just going to have Tom Arnold come over and Andy Dick, and we’ll just talk and do interviews out of my office.” And then he had a warehouse that he already had and he decided, he’s a builder, so he went over there, he built out offices, he built out studios, and just made a nice green room. And then the big guests started coming, the interesting. Not just big, but interesting people started coming along, like Tim Ferriss and people that really have stuff to say.

Andrew: And it became a professional operation. The voice you guys hear is Lynette Carolla. She is his wife and also the co-owner and founder of Carolla Digital, which publishes Adam Carolla’s show and other shows. Including, what is it, “Out Loud”?

Lynette: For Crying Out Loud.

Andrew: For Crying Out Loud, I forgot. You know what? In my head all I think about is the cover art for your show with the kids screaming out loud, yeah, For Crying Out Loud. And she’s also now the CEO of Carolla Drinks, which makes Mangria, which makes Endless Rant IPA and other products, which we’ll talk about here. I’m curious about the business of podcasting. I’m curious about why they would want to create drinks and get them in stores and maintain inventory, and I want to understand how this whole thing grew.

This whole conversation that we are about to have where we learn all that is sponsored by a company that will help you hire your next great developer, it’s called Toptal, and the company that will do your e-mail marketing, not just e-mail sending, but e-mail marketing automation done right, it’s called ActiveCampaign.

Lynette, I’m going to jump right in and ask you the big question.

Lynette: Don’t ask me any questions about money anymore.

Andrew: I am, I know, you actually wanted to make sure. We spent 10 minutes getting permission and getting details on the numbers before we came on. I want you to say it. Carolla Digital, how much revenue does it produce?

Lynette: Carolla Digital? Well, he said over sales, do you remember?

Andrew: Do you want me to say what it was? Because I promise you that I won’t reveal anything.

Lynette: No, go ahead. I didn’t write it down.

Andrew: I wrote it. Oh. It’s so interesting that you didn’t. Mike August, I wrote it down, he is the CFO of Carolla Digital. He’s also the guy from PodcastOne, the Vice President over there. And he told us it was $6.1 million in ad revenue for the whole Carolla Digital empire podcast.

Lynette: Right.

Andrew: And then you know what? I asked him how much Carolla Drinks did. How many years has it been around?

Lynette: Four. About four, yeah.

Andrew: About four years. He said a million dollars in sales. I’ve got tell you my sense from him was he was a little puffing up the numbers. Right? He knows the numbers, but my sense was he’s putting his chest out first.

Lynette: The Carolla Drinks numbers are tough because he had got out of the equation in the last two years and I got into the equation with my partner Jay, who does know the harder numbers. And we had so much, like I said, cleaning up to do getting into business with a guy that shot himself in the head. Well, before he did that, he shot his business partner, and then he shot himself.

Andrew: Wait, what is this story? How did I do this research and don’t know about the guy who shot himself in the head and shot his business partner?

Lynette: So when Adam started talking about how he wanted to make his own Mangria, Napa came calling. And it was a winery called Shiners. And the owner was a little bit of a guy that puffed up his chest and just kind of a blowhard. Anyway, we were in business with him and we were doing really well, and then he was not being honest about numbers, not being honest about product he was making, and got into business with somebody else. Google it. He pulled out a gun and shot the guy. I know it sounds crazy. Then went on the run. This is in Napa. Went on the run, the sheriffs were following him, he crashed through a gate. He was going through the wineries, the vineyards, crashed through a gate and shot himself in the head. So that put a little damper in our Carolla Drinks sales.

Andrew: Good lord, I had no idea this was going on for you guys.

Lynette: Yeah. So basically what you have now is my partner Jay, who is part of our family and I can tell you who he is if you’re interesting, he’s really the COO and he’s also the CFO and he’s really helped me clean up this mess. Because Adam was like, “I think Mangria is something, I think IPAs and branching out into other alcohol and expanding the portfolio is something that we have here. And I’m too busy because I’m doing documentaries and writing books. Lynette, Jay, you guys take it, run with it.” So we’ve really had it in our hands for about two years.

Andrew: I see.

Lynette: Yeah.

Andrew: All right. And one of the things that I understand about Adam was he said, “Look, I’m traveling a lot, everything in this business is depending on me. Let’s have something that’s a stand-alone product that doesn’t depend on me going out of my seat.” Right? Okay, let’s go back in time and just understand how we got here.

Lynette: Sure.

Andrew: Was he fired when he took over Howard Stern? Is that what it was?

Lynette: Was he fired from Loveline?

Andrew: From the radio show.

Lynette: From the Loveline radio show? No.

Andrew: What about the other one? Was it a firing that led him to go into his house with the kids screaming and decide that he was going to podcast?

Lynette: You mean on his morning show, CBS Radio flipped formats. So in the 2008 economy crash CBS Radio said, “We don’t want to pay millions of dollars in contracts for these DJs, so we’re going to play Britney Spears all day.” So on a Friday Adam said, “All right, I’m going to continue my show on the Internet. I’m going to bring Teresa Strasser the news girl, I’m going to bring Bald Bryan the drop guy, and we’re going to continue out of my office at home.”

Andrew: Give me the human interest part of this. Your husband is let go, he’s now sitting at home doing a radio show. At the time do you go, “What am I doing getting married to this guy? No.” Did you believe it was going to go somewhere?

Lynette: Listen, Andrew, when I met Adam in ’95, I’m not a gold digger, but he was living in an apartment with a roommate, he was driving a crappy car, he just met Jimmy Kimmel two months earlier, he was like three months into Loveline. And I would hear him on the phone talk to Jimmy about his business and thought, “This guy is an extremely intelligent genius of a guy who doesn’t know how to read, he’s never read a book in his life. He’s an anomaly. Where did he come from?” And I’m attracted to him and he grew up kind of the same way I grew up and we’ve been together ever since, except for a small breakup.

Andrew: Hang on, that small breakup is actually kind of interesting. I usually focus on business, but the breakup is interesting. As I understand it, he was starting to get some success and he said, “Listen, Lynette, I’ve never been a successful guy out dating women. There are these juggies that are doing this show for us, bouncing on trampolines at the end of our show. One of them might be interested in me. I like you, I got to go get a juggy.” Is that what it was?

Lynette: That’s what it basically was, yeah.

Andrew: And did he go out and get it out of his system? Did he have a lot of sex? Did he do the whole thing?

Lynette: They were doing Loveline the TV show on MTV, which is how I met Adam because I was working at a syndication company for television and we were going to syndicate Loveline for the Fox affiliate stations around the country. And then at the last minute Fox pulled out. But we did a pilot with Adam and I went and told him and I said, “Your pilot is really good.” And he said, “I don’t have a copy of it, thanks.” First of all, I was dating a bunch of douchebags and I’m 25 and I was like, “What comedian doesn’t have a copy of his own pilot?” And he was like, “Well, I’d like to pick it up if you have it, and I’d like to take you to dinner if you’re interested.” And that was it.

So yes, I knew he was going to be successful. So when CBS Radio flipped formats and he said, “I’m going to do it out of my home,” I don’t tell Adam what to do, he does it. Do you think Elon Musk or anybody like that has a chick going, “Well, no”?

Andrew: No, no. But you’re saying you didn’t have any doubt because you believed in him back when he was nobody. And if he’s coming back to what looks like square one, you still know he’s got the talent, he’s got the ability, and god knows this guy is willing to work.

Lynette: Absolutely.

Andrew: I see. And so you weren’t feeling any of that. Okay. So now he’s going in there. Do you remember what he did to actually get people to listen? Podcasting is a tough medium to draw listeners to.

Lynette: What he did is on the Friday they were talking about his radio show, he was doing the morning radio show, right? On the West Coast. And he was talking about that, “We’re done, Friday is our last day.” It was March of ’09. And he said, “I’m going to continue, I’m not done talking. So I’m going to have my nerd tech dude Mike Cioffi go to RadioShack, hook up something.” Adam is a genius in a lot of things, he has no idea how to work a computer. He can’t even text, he’s really bad. “He’s going to hook up my home office and I’m just going to talk into the computer and my first guest will be Jimmy Kimmel, and then Joel McHale, and then Seth MacFarlane.”

Andrew: I see, so he’s on the radio saying to people, “Hey, look, you’re going to lose me Monday, here’s where you can come back,” and that was a big push. He also seems to, because of his reputation from before, he seems to have been able to…

Lynette: But that was in ’09. So ’09 it was like, “What? ‘Podcart’?” Nobody really knew what podcasting was. So yeah. But go ahead, I’m sorry.

Andrew: Yeah, and frankly I don’t even know how many people know about it today. It’s pretty tough, right? Because back then did the iPhone come out then? Yeah, they did. The iPhone had come out, but it was still a hassle to get a podcast on your phone.

Lynette: Right. You just had to download an app or you go to the website and you listen to it on the URL or whatever.

Andrew: Okay, and so what did you guys do back then when it was so hard to listen to podcasts to get people to go out of their way and start listening?

Lynette: I’ll tell you the key to that was Adam had to hit the road and do stand-up.

Andrew: Stand-up? So he’s talking to an audience of people, about 100 at a time, saying, “And by the way, go download my podcast”?

Lynette: Yeah. It was 2009, 2010. By the way, before he did his podcasting, Jimmy and all his comedian friends told him he should go on the road and do comedy, and do stand-up. And that’s not Adam, Adam doesn’t write jokes and then recite jokes, he just talks. So anybody that knows Adam, he’s an improv kind of guy. But then he had to humble himself and he had to go on the road. Because how else are you going to build this out? He’s boots on the ground.

Andrew: But it’s more than just the audience there. Wouldn’t he also go and do local media while he was on the road?

Lynette: Oh yeah, of course. Oh yeah.

Andrew: So it’s people who are coming to watch him live and also local media and constantly saying, “Go to check out,” it was like adamcarolla.com that was the location, right?

Lynette: Mike August, the guy you just talked to, he is also a talent booker for Kimmel and for Adam and he was the one that booked all the shows around the country. And he would line up the radio calls. So he would go to St. Louis and he’d call Boomer and the Grudge in the morning and call and say, “Buy tickets, it’s all sold out,” or whatever. And he was miserable, that’s why he did the movie Road Hard. It was just basically what happened with him, so basically a true story, except for the wife part. But humbling himself, hitting the road, he was depressed, he hated it, but he had to do it because how else are you going to build an audience? So he was out of town every weekend, and we had twins that were like two, and just constantly traveling the country, shaking the hands and kissing babies.

Andrew: Wow. And how did you handle that? I know you guys have a nanny who figures into a lot of your stories now. Olga, right?

Lynette: Yeah.

Andrew: Did you have a nanny at the time?

Lynette: Yeah, we had her since they were two months.

Andrew: I see, so you at least had some help there while he was out on the road, he was miserable. But you know what? It’s really challenging when you’re on top to have to go back out and, like you said, kiss babies one at a time.

Lynette: Yes, yes. And Jimmy Kimmel Live! was happening and people are like, “Oh, your best friend is doing a late night talk show while you’re doing Addison Texas Comedy Club out there.” And he’s like, “I don’t like traveling and stuff, but I wouldn’t want to change, I wouldn’t want to trade. That’s Jimmy’s dream, my dream is just to talk and have people listen. And if this is what I have to do to get people to listen, then I’m going to do it, I’m going to get out in Southwest.” And they were on a tight budget, he was on Southwest, no first class, nothing.

Andrew: Just because he had to talk?

Lynette: Yeah, because he had to talk. And so that’s where What Can’t Adam Complain About started, like he had little bits that he incorporated into the audience. So, like I said, he’s not a joke guy where he writes jokes and recites them, like a Jeff Ross, and I love Jeff Ross, but he’s more of an idea guy. So as he’s traveling to your hometown and he sees something in the airport, he’s going to complain about it when he gets on stage that night or he’s going to compliment the town that has bikes around that you can take or whatever. So he’s more of conversational, including the audience, and that’s how he built…

Andrew: And I always felt the podcast was way better for him than the radio show because it freed him up. I remember one of the first episodes that I listened to he was talking about coffee. What do you say about coffee that hasn’t been said? But he started to complain about flavored coffees. And at the time I loved flavored coffee. And he goes, “What are these people putting vanilla into coffee? Coffee is a flavor.” Right? And I remember thinking, “This is so brilliant, it’s so interesting.” Now he’s embedded himself in my head about coffee and who had this kind of material. And that’s where he goes, he’ll just spend time on it until he’s done, and beat up other people. There was someone else in the studio who liked the flavored coffee the way I did and he was beating him up. And I see it.

What about advertising? I see him out there traveling, doing the podcast. He’s not selling ads, you’re not selling ads. Who was selling the first ads and bringing in money?

Lynette: In the beginning that’s where I came in because he said, “We’re doing radio basically on the Internet and how do we monetize it? What do we do?” And he’s not a business guy, he’s just the comedy guy. And so Mike August and I and a couple of the CBS Radio guys, we had the CBS sales guys that Adam was working with on the morning show, they were involved in the beginning. But they got the ads of Adam & Eve, that was one of the first. And just these little flowers, Go Flowers or whatever, just small whatever sponsors. And a lot of his friends were like, “You can build your own network, the Adam Carolla Network, and have Lynette do a show.”

Andrew: So from the beginning the thought was more shows in the network?

Lynette: Everybody but Adam had that thought because Adam likes to focus on Adam. And he was like, “Look at it as the model of Oprah Winfrey. I’m Oprah, and then I have Dr. Phil or I have Dave Dameshek come on my show. And the audience gets used to Dave Dameshek, who’s a sports guy. And then after the audience, once he gets in the audience, it’s going to take time, then he spins off into the Dave Dameshek sports show.” But he was like, “First, focus on building the base. Numbers, build the base.”

Andrew: “Don’t talk to me about what’s going to happen in five years, I’m still out there in five days on the road exhausting myself. Let’s make this work first.”

Lynette: Exactly, that’s exactly what happened.

Andrew: I see, okay. The advertising, I’m guessing it was just kind of sales people who were working on commission who were sending advertising his way, he was promoting it, he was doing that. Anything else work for getting listeners, other than going out on the road and talking to local stations?

Lynette: Well, okay, so then podcasting, 2010, 2011, now other comedians are starting to catch on board, say like the Jay Mohrs of the world and Fitzsimmons and stuff like that, although he’s on Sirius. Those guys were like, “Hey, Adam has got something going here. We could do our own podcast, I could promote it on the road.”

So to answer your question, it was sort of like how rappers do, like Jay Z guests on Rihanna’s. So it was like one podcaster would guest on another’s. Joe Rogan, Joe Rogan was a guest.

Andrew: I see. So rather than saying, “Hey, look at these guys trying to steal my thunder, I’m the comic here doing a podcast,” he’s saying, “They’re going to get their audience, listen to their podcast. Now I have another platform, people who actually know about podcasts and how to listen to them,” which is frankly a tough thing to do, “and they get comedy. I’ll go talk there, and then bring some of their people to me. And yeah, some of mine will go listen to them, too.”

Lynette: Right. And also Amazon. Amazon turned into this huge cash cow that we had no idea it was going to happen.

Andrew: How?

Lynette: Adam’s publicists, who are these two gay guys, Alex and Lynn, who are awesome, they said, “Amazon has an affiliate program. Why don’t we attach you with the affiliate program? You say, ‘Hey, click through my show on the banner,’ put Amazon up on the top of the Adam Carolla page, and you get a little kickback,” he gets to wet his beak. And I think it was like, I don’t know, 8% of the sales. These numbers I remember, he was making like $40,000 to $60,000 a month in the beginning with Amazon. Because when he started to really get his audience, people were like, “Ace Man, sure, no problem.” And people are buying. It’s Christmastime, it’s whatever time. We had a spreadsheet every week that told us what the Amazon numbers were, and it was like $60,000, $40,000. Now it’s kind of leveled off, I would say. I haven’t seen those numbers because now PodcastOne is the whole beast.

Andrew: Let me come back and ask more about Amazon because I was surprised about that and I also want to find out about what PodcastOne was doing with you. But first I’ve got to tell people about ActiveCampaign, my sponsor.

Here’s the thing, if you’re listening to NPR, they’re probably telling you about all these e-mail service providers that you collect e-mail addresses and you send e-mail out. Those are fantastic for the average person, but, Lynette, you should find out about this, anyone who’s a real business owner should find out about this. What ActiveCampaign does is more than send out e-mail, it’s intelligent e-mail marketing, it’s marketing automation. Which means that if somebody clicks a link five times that says that they are interested in, let’s say, Adam & Eve, maybe then they get a sixth e-mail that’s about nothing but Adam & Eve because they clearly have expressed an interest. If someone is coming to my website and over and over clicking on the sales videos and watching the videos of people who are great at sales, maybe what we should do is pitch them on a course that they could buy about sales. Right? That’s the idea.

And the only way you can do it is if you have software that knows what people are doing on your site, knows what people, more importantly, are doing in your e-mails, and then allows you to have if/then statements within your e-mail. “If they click on this five times, then send this e-mail out.” If they stop clicking, maybe you pause your e-mail for a little bit. If someone is brand new, don’t send them the latest newsletter. Welcome them by introducing them to the site, and then another e-mail that lets them know what’s next, and then another one until they’re finally part of your world.

If you’re listening to me and you haven’t checked out ActiveCampaign, there’s a special URL that you can go to where they’re going to give you a month of free service in addition to that. Oh, you’re writing it down, I love this. They’re going to give you a month of free service, your second month actually, two free one-on-one sessions with someone who’s going to help you strategize the way that you do your marketing automation, and they will migrate you from whatever piece of garbage e-mail provider you have right now for free.

Lynette: Oh, they will?

Andrew: They will.

Lynette: Oh, so it’s kind of like they’ll help you take out the old mattress and they’ll bring in the new one.

Andrew: Right. You have e-mails, put them in a system where you can actually be aware of what people are doing. And, well, now, frankly, for Adam Carolla I’m sure that they would do the white glove. Actually, they’re giving the white glove treatment to everyone who’s listening. Go check this out, activecampaign.com/mixergy. And I stand by my advertisers completely. If you ever have a problem with them, if you think I’m lying, if you think that they’re not as good as they are, two ways to reach me: andrew@mixergy.com or frankly come up to 201 Street in San Francisco and see me in person. I’m a real person recommending real products that I believe in and only them. So go check out activecampaign.com/mixergy.

Lynette: Honestly, Andrew, when we’re done, I’m going to talk to you about that. Because Jay, the guy I talk to, he runs the back end of our website, we need help with that part.

Andrew: Oh, it’s key right now. If you don’t have marketing automation, you’re flooding people with unnecessary e-mail and you’re not capitalizing on it. So if you see someone, for example, who’s such a fan that they click on everything that you guys e-mail out, then you might want to say, “Hey, any time you buy from Amazon, click this click and we’ll get a kickback and also you’ll be supporting the show.”

By the way, so I was surprised to hear that Amazon contributed so much. When Mike got on the phone with you and you put him on speaker with me to give me the numbers and he said, “And Amazon’s,” and I go, “Amazon’s?” So what you guys did at the beginning, you’re saying, is if someone went to adamcarolla.com, at the very top there was a link to Amazon, anything you buy from that link gives a percentage back to Adam and to you, and as a result people did it, they went out of their way just to support the show?

Lynette: Just to support the show. Here’s the other key to podcasting, by the way, too, Andrew. Adam did it five days a week consistent. There’s a lot of podcasters that do it and then they’re done or they do two and then they’re gone. You get into it, and then they’re flaky. Five days a week.

Andrew: Why is five days a week key, why is that important?

Lynette: Because you want your audience to know. Adam got used to that morning show format, the news, talking about the news, and then to have his guests come in. And it was 90 minutes of that. And he just took the model of radio and he just got the band back together. He got his news girl, he got the drop guy, and he has Mike booking the guests continuously. And so that was it. So the audience, they want consistency, they want to know that you’re going to be there the next day. And the best thing is you can listen to it whenever you want.

Andrew: Yeah. I think there’s something about the habit. If you’re doing five days a week, you’re part of someone’s daily ritual. They brush their teeth with you or they drive with you or you’re the last thing they listen to as they fall asleep. I get that.

Lynette: And it’s not knocking the others, like Serial and stuff like that. To me those are like audiobooks, where you can just get lost, like you look forward to going to the gym because you want to hear the next episode kind of thing. Sorry. But with Adam it’s like I got to get up and go to my morning commute.

And then also Twitter. Adam doesn’t do a lot of typing, but he is on Twitter, that’s him and him only.

Andrew: Watching it, apparently from what I’ve heard you just casually mention on some episode, obsessively. By the way, you know how I know that neither one of you is really into the digital part of things? I’m on adamcarolla.com, the copyright on the bottom is 2012. That means for five years nobody said, “Let’s go adjust the copyright on the bottom.”

Lynette: See? You see? That’s why we call them lackeys, Andrew. Fucking A. Well, here’s the thing. We’re a ma and pa company. PodcastOne is monetizing, but for the most part the website is we’re relying on the four guys that have been working for us since basically the beginning. And they were great, they were fans. Maybe not anymore, but they kept going with us. And that’s something, like I’ll have to get off the phone with you and call Chris, Max, and Pat and tell them, “By the way, can you change that?,” or whatever. We only have a team of, I don’t know, six or seven guys.

Andrew: Are you profiting over a million a year, do you get to at least put a million a year in the bank account to use for your groceries, the pool in the back, and all that?

Lynette: Yeah.

Andrew: You do? Okay.

Lynette: Yes. A lot of people are like, “How do you make money?,” and blah, blah, blah. I’m fortunate enough to be married to somebody that people love and that will bookmark Amazon on their page so that they can support. Because Adam is like, “Listen.” And every night the key, too, is every night or every day on the podcast he says, “I want to thank you for listening. If you like the show, tell a friend and go to the Amazon bookmark,” all that kind of stuff. He drills it, drills it, drills it, drills it. And the next thing you know you have a nice little pirate ship.

Andrew: Yeah, I see it. And the pirate ship, I’m looking at the bottom of adamcarolla.com at the other shows from Carolla Digital. There’s the Dr. Drew podcast, For Crying Out Loud, which you do. There are others, I won’t go through the whole list. Take a Knee. At the top I see the Adam Carolla logo, the Adam Carolla Show logo, and underneath it it says, “From PodcastOne.” What does it mean that it’s from PodcastOne?

Lynette: Well, what happened was is PodcastOne said…so PodcastOne was started by Norm Pattiz, who started Westwood One, which was the radio station of affiliates around the country. I don’t know how many he had, like 30 radio station affiliates. And obviously radio started to die and he loves Adam, and then at some point he came around and was like, “So tell me about this business. How are you monetizing? What’s going on?” And our one guy that we hooked up with early on, Kit Gray, who’s a go-getter, when he came on he started upping our ads. And he had some sales experience. He got in touch with Norm and told Norm what was going on and Norm said, “Well, let’s up this game and let’s get in the business with the Adam Carolla franchise.” And that’s what happened.

Andrew: Do they only do advertising for you guys?

Lynette: Yes.

Andrew: Okay.

Lynette: They only do advertising, but they also took over paying the salaries for the employees and stuff like that.

Andrew: That’s nice.

Lynette: But we still pay the bills at the warehouse and the rent and the electricity and all that shit.

Andrew: Now one of my past guest, Jordan Harbinger from the Art of Charm, which is also a highly rated podcast in the App Store, he said he wanted to join PodcastOne for one reason. He said, “I don’t need ad sales, I’m fine where we are, but they support each other. So now I get my promo on other PodcastOne shows and vice versa and it allows me to grow much bigger than without them. All right, so I see the benefit of doing that.

All right, you started doing a show. I looked you up, you had a really impressive career before you met Adam. In fact, you’re way ahead of him.

Lynette: Thank you.

Andrew: Why did you decide though to do a show? Why not say, “Hey, listen, I’m going to do the behind the scenes stuff, I’ll help you get guests, I’ll help you wrangle the people, but I don’t need to be on and talk about my life the way that you do”?

Lynette: I agree. I agree.

Andrew: Why do you do it?

Lynette: And he doesn’t like it either, he likes paint an image of me for radio talk to complain and whatever, which for the most part is true. Everything Adam says he believes, it’s not like it’s bullshitting. There’s a sliver of truth, whether it’s big or little. Anyway, in the very beginning, I remember I was telling you, people were saying, “You could do a network where you would have a sports guy spin off and do a sports show.” Early on Teresa Strasser just had a baby, Teresa Strasser was Adam’s newest girl, morning show, and she came over to work with us on the podcast. Now she was kind of the breadwinner at the time and she needed to make money. So she was like, “Well, maybe there’s money in this, in podcasting, if we can spin off Adam’s show and we do a show about moms. And, Lynette, you should.”

My dream was to do a Bruce Springsteen playlist on Sirius XM on the Bruce Springsteen channel. And I contacted Gary Dell’Abate, told him what a great job, and I just threw it out there. I was like, “It would be my dream to do that.”

Andrew: Howard Stern’s producer, yeah.

Lynette: Yes. And Gary said, “Come on out, Sirius XM, we’ll do it, you have an hour on the station.” I did it, Teresa listened, a lot of other people listened, and tweeted Adam and said, “Your wife was really,” whatever. And Teresa said, “Let’s do it.” So then we started doing a show about moms. Sorry, you can hear construction is going on.

Andrew: I hear it, it’s cool.

Lynette: It will stop.

Andrew: What are you guys doing? What kind of construction, by the way?

Lynette: I’ll take you and show you. The flooring, we’re redoing the flooring.

Andrew: Okay, we’ll come back later and take a look at your house. Okay. So then you do the show, and then you realize, I’m enjoying this, I actually do like this”?

Lynette: Here’s the thing, yes and no. I wasn’t at the time and I still don’t feel like I am an in-front-of-the-camera person. Because when I was younger my parents put me in acting and took me on auditions and I hated it, but I wanted to work on the network side. And that’s why when I got older I started working with the networks. And I still like to be behind the scenes, I like Adam to be the spotlight. Now having said that, I started to get a little bit of a following, a little bit. Which was nice, of course. And I said, “I don’t know, maybe there’s money to be made.” So I just kept with it. Teresa had the stuff, she moved, she had to go to Phoenix.

Andrew: I hear it. Yes?

Lynette: Anyway, long story short, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is a comedian who I loved, I read her books.

Andrew: Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay is one of her books.

Lynette: Yes. That was her biggest one. She was on Oprah. I didn’t even think we’d get her as a guest, let alone my co-host. And she came on and she said afterwards, she knew, she read my mind, she said, “If you need me, I’m available.” And I was like, “How did you know?” So we jell, we click. And we don’t talk or hang out, we just get together once a week, we do our show. We took it to two times a week, PodcastOne does the sales. And I got to say we’ve been kicking ass. We’re doing better than the Dr. Drew show. And sometimes we kick CarCast’s, which is Adams other show, ass.

Andrew: Wow, I love that you’re that competitive. Do you know about how much revenue you guys are doing with your show?

Lynette: I can find that out for you. I don’t, honestly.

Andrew: That’s okay. Here’s the thing that strikes me about your site. You’re taking donations on a subscription basis. You’re making millions of dollars, why do $2-a-week donations from the audience?

Lynette: Oh, you mean the Patreon?

Andrew: No, you have a subscribe via PayPal. You might even have a Patreon also, from what I remember.

Lynette: Yeah, that’s dead. That was early on. We had that going early before PodcastOne came along.

Andrew: I see, okay. So maybe it’s because the site hasn’t been updated.

Lynette: Of course, that’s another thing we need to do.

Andrew: You know what? You should just give me their e-mail address, as I do my research I’ll send it. Here, I’ll send you a link to it.

Lynette: Okay.

Andrew: But even then when you started out, what I like about this is, and also I’m curious about is, there’s a hustler mentality here even at this stage. “I’m going to hustle and get every last person, even if it means leaving my new kids and my wife and traveling where I’m miserable on an airline where it’s too small and some guy could sit next to me and just chew my ear off and not leave me alone,” right?

Lynette: With their companion dog.

Andrew: Right, with their companion dog. “And I’m still going to do it.” Why? What’s the need there? I get his need. Well, actually no, what is the need there for him and what’s the need there for you?

Lynette: Well, the need for him is because it’s his business. Because he just wants to go, he wants to work, he wants to build, he wants to build his base. You can’t just plateau at 250,000 listeners or whatever, you have to keep growing. It’s the 9 million downloads a week, I think, is what he gets. And that wasn’t there two, three years ago. And I have to say, from traveling the country. Now he’s lucky enough, he doesn’t have to do the little comedy clubs, he can do the big Seattle Theatre.

Andrew: You mentioned Howard Stern, Howard Stern used to say something like, “Every comedian has anger and a hole,” he said. Is that what it is, is there some kind of an inner need, “I’ve got to show the world something”? No?

Lynette: Yeah, oh yeah.

Andrew: There is?

Lynette: With Adam?

Andrew: Yeah.

Lynette: Adam had no self-esteem, barely any self-esteem first of all, when I met him, just started getting a dose of it. But until age 32 he was digging ditches and doing construction. He came from a downtrodden family whose parents were hippies and didn’t give a shit. He was the star football player his whole life. The lights on Friday night from the stadium would flash into his parents’ house, they wouldn’t go to it, they never went to one game. Nothing, nothing. In fact, when Adam was on morning radio he called his dad and he said, “Dad, I will give you,” as a bit, “I will give you $10,000,” and he would, “if you could give me the call letters of the station that I have been on for 10 years in Los Angeles doing Loveline.” The call letters. Couldn’t come up with it.

Andrew: Wow.

Lynette: “K something? I don’t know.” Okay.

Andrew: What about your psychology then? Why are you working this hard? You spent more time getting on Skype than most people would have put up with. Today for you and me to get a call, right? You didn’t need this in your life. Why are you doing this? Why are you starting a new drink brand? Why are you promoting this and that? What’s your need?

Lynette: Okay. First of all, my kids are 10, I have 10-year-old twins. They’re in fifth grade, they are starting to have their own life. I’m needed at 3:00 and on. Okay. The other thing is Adam likes to work and he likes driven people, and he likes it when I get going and I get excited about something. And the alcohol brand landed in his land and he said, “This does kind of make sense, but I don’t have time. This is something that you could do.” And we argued about it, I was like, “I don’t want to do it. What do you want me to do, stand on the corner and, ‘Hey, buy Mangria’? I don’t know.” And he’s like, “You think I knew how to build a podcast? I learned. Just go, learn, do.” And I did. I found somebody that can help me, we work, he was Adam’s assistant for a long time. And he has a law degree, he’s a go-getter. He’s a little Adam, is what he is. And he and I on the phone 25 times a day and just hustling.

And the reason why I want to do it is I want to leave something to my kids. First of all, I have a daughter, I want her to see that Mommy works, not just hanging out. And I feel guilty because a lot of their friends, their moms are doing the PTA and volunteering at the Girl Scouts. I’m not doing any of that. First of all, I’m not into any of it, it makes me nauseated. I hope nobody is watching, but it’s just not my cup of tea. And I’ll also tell you this, the fans that love Adam have shifted over to me and it’s something that is touching. And I know it sounds corny. And I thrive off of that, I want to. And what Jay, my partner I was just talking about, him, too. If somebody e-mails the website, Carolla Drinks, if somebody e-mails and says, “I tried to get the $3 coupon,” immediately he gets right back to them.

Andrew: [Inaudible 00:38:04] incessant.

Lynette: Handwritten “thank you” notes to the people at the end of the year that bought the Wine Club, that signed up for our Wine Club. And Wine Club is something that I’m trying to build right now.

Andrew: All right, let’s get into how you did this. By the way, before we move on past you, the broadcaster, I’ve got to tell you that, as a guy who loves radio, here’s one of the things that I like about you. You know how to let a story go. I don’t sense you questioning yourself midway through a story, I don’t see you going off on tangents. You’ll tell a story about throwing a party for your nanny without feeling any hesitation about telling also how you asked her to do something for the party. It’s the stuff the people would then slow down in their storytelling that keeps them from being likable. There’s something about your ability to just go and talk and bring me into your world that is unique.

And I have to tell you, I didn’t want to like your show, I didn’t want to like you at all. I said, “She’s just married to the guy and now I have to listen to his wife?” I listen, I go, “All right, now I actually like this show, I like his wife. I might even like her better than him because she’s not a dick.”

Lynette: Thank you. Everybody likes me better than him after they get to know me, including Greg.

Andrew: Oh, I have to say I’m not a superfan, but I’m definitely a fan. I always felt like, “Carolla should have gotten the TV show, why did Jimmy Kimmel?” I get now why Jimmy Kimmel, but at the time I thought, “I know Carolla forever, the guy is so funny, he’s so interesting.” Jimmy Kimmel didn’t make his bones yet, he didn’t win my love for him yet. And for a long time his show wasn’t doing that well.

Lynette: I was at ABC when it was in the red, too. I was right there when it all went down.

Andrew: They were working on it, right?

Lynette: Yeah. That’s a whole interesting story I can tell you about, that was between Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel. And I could hear the chairman calling Jon Stewart and breaking his heart.

Andrew: Why didn’t they go with Jon Stewart instead of Jimmy? Did Jon Stewart want it? It seems like he did, based on your stories. He did?

Lynette: Yes.

Andrew: Why didn’t they go with Jon Stewart over Jimmy Kimmel?

Lynette: Because he said to Jon Stewart, I’ll never forget these words, he says, “We’re going with Jimmy because we want a distinct alternative voice in late night, something that people aren’t usually listening to.” Because people were listening to Jon Stewart, or watching. They wanted somebody with a distinct alternative voice that brought something a little bit different, whether it’s a frat dude or everybody schlub. If you look at Jimmy Kimmel back then, he was an everyday guy drinking beer, whatever.

Andrew: He wouldn’t wear a tie, he would have the audience drink beer, right? He’d have his cousin on. Yeah, that kind of thing. I see. So the voice attracted them. Was there anything about Jon Stewart’s politics that they didn’t like?

Lynette: No.

Andrew: Was it anti-Semitism because he was Jewish?

Lynette: No. Oh no. The guy was Jewish, Lloyd Braun.

Andrew: Lloyd Braun is who you worked with?

Lynette: Yes, yes.

Andrew: Yeah. All right, quick second sponsor is a company that will help anyone out there hire their next great developer. Now image Lynette has this idea, she says, “Why do people have to come to my website to click on the Amazon link to go all the way to Amazon and give us credit? Our fans are superfans, let’s make it easy for them. I would love a Chrome browser plug-in, as soon as somebody goes to Amazon in their Chrome browser we bring up an alert that says, ‘Would you like to come over to this link that would give some money back to Amazon?'” Imagine you had ideas like that, right?

She can’t code it up herself, she doesn’t have time to go to her people who can’t even change the copyright on the bottom of the site from 2012 to 2017, but she could go to Toptal and say, “Here’s the idea. I need somebody to build it and I don’t want someone who’s just going to do it exactly like I tell them. I want someone who can think for themselves and make this better than I could come up with. Maybe it’s not a Chrome browser plug-in, maybe there’s an issue that will actually make it even better.” Toptal is that company.

They are the people that the most funded companies in San Francisco would hire full-time if they could, but they don’t want to work in San Francisco, they don’t want to work in Silicon Valley. Believe me, my friends work down in Silicon Valley, I don’t see them anymore. I live in San Francisco, they have to drive out an hour and a half in the morning. I actually saw one yesterday, the miserable look on his face as he was in a lift, and that lift now will drive you down to your office in Mountain View. It’s so exhausting. Right? So he was in a car. He has an hour and a half down, an hour and a half back.

A lot of great developers don’t want to do this, they want to work from wherever they are. And so they’re part of the Toptal network. Toptal, if you call them up or just go to their site and fill out a form, they will get on a call with you, and then they’ll understand what you’re looking for, understand whether they could do it. And if it’s a good fit, they’ll introduce you to the right person in Toptal’s network and you can get started with them, often within days. We got started with our person within two days. Full-time, part-time, a full team of people are being hired from Toptal.

All you have to do is go to the special URL where you can get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit. It is this. It’s 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours. That’s T-O-P-T-A-L.com/mixergy. Really keep that for your people, Lynette. Toptal.com/mixergy, 80 hours of incredible developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours. There, she wrote it down in her notebook. In addition to a no-risk trial period of up to two weeks.

A little secret here, Lynette. I don’t think Toptal is advertising to the audience, they’re advertising to the guests. I get Andy Rachleff, the guy from Benchmark, one of the best venture capital firms on the planet, he’s listening to a Toptal ad. They can’t get in front of him any other way. I think they care as much about the guests as they do about the audience because they know that the guests need this, too.

Lynette: Your two sponsors I just wrote down because we could use them.

Andrew: They’re fantastic. And you’ll love it, or you know exactly where my office is and you could send one of your henchmen to get me if I’m wrong.

Lynette: I’ll come get you because I love San Francisco. I honestly am jealous of all the Silicon Valley people because if I was 25 I would be living there in a heartbeat.

Andrew: I get that.

Lynette: Listen, here’s the thing. I’m insecure because I have the education. Adam didn’t have the education, but Adam soaks it all in and listens, he’s a weirdo. And I have two brothers that were insanely smart geniuses, mathematical geniuses. And I graduated high school, but I didn’t go to college.

Andrew: Again, Lloyd Braun, he’s one of the top, what is the word, “mocker”? I don’t even know what a mocker is. Is that what he would be called? He’s one of the top guys in Hollywood. You were working for, I see here in the notes, Brandon Tartikoff’s company. How did you get so deep in that you can actually listen in as the top guys in late night decide the fate of late night? How did you get that job?

Lynette: I’ll tell you I said, “Dad, I’m not going to college.” And he said, “What do you want to do?” And I said, “I want to learn the world of television. I don’t know. I want to work on the network side, I want to work in production. I want to know the business.” And he said, “Just start calling these people and telling them you’re looking for an informational meeting.” And an informational meeting at a small syndication company that was syndicating little shows, like, whatever, Cops. Not Cops, anyway, real stories.

Anyway, got a job as the assistant, sorry, the receptionist for two weeks. Then moved into sales assistant. So then I worked in the syndication sales department for a few years and learned, and that’s how I met Adam. Then our company merged with Brandon Tartikoff’s company, now I’m a big shot working with Brandon Tartikoff. I’m humbled because Brandon Tartikoff back then to me was a legend, God bless his soul.

And, to be honest with you, I soak it in, I listen, and I love smart people, obviously. I’m attracted to that, females, males, whatever. I love that and I love to be in that world because I feel like that’s my college, not a university. And to me that’s where I learned how to deal with people, how to talk to people, how the business works.

And I wanted to work in scheduling at a network. And I had an interview at ABC, an informational meeting. And he told me what programming and scheduling meant and what it is. It’s the heart of the network for prime time. And I said, “That’s great,” and I had a great meeting with him. And I left, and then about four months later he called me and he said, “We have an opening in our department.” Then I started there and I worked my way up in that department. And in that department programming and scheduling worked very close with the drama department, the comedy department.

Andrew: Let me ask you this. I want to just take a short segue here to Brandon Tartikoff. He’s a legend. Again, I grew up listening to Howard Stern, Howard Stern used to talk about him. This is the guy who turned around NBC’s prime time schedule and made it into a huge force for a long time. I’m looking here at a list, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Wings, it goes on. He brought The A-Team to NBC, Night Court. Anyway, St. Elsewhere, which used to be huge. Sorry?

Lynette: Yeah, he’s “Must See TV.”

Andrew: What was he like? What was he like in person?

Lynette: A very sweet and gentle guy, and sort of quiet but approachable. But when I met him he was really sick, he had cancer of the blood.

Andrew: Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.

Lynette: Yes. And so he wasn’t doing well. And then he retired, and then he passed away. But I worked with the people under him and they became my bosses. And so I learned the world of comedy more than drama. I don’t know why, I’m not really a big comedy fan, to be honest with you. Yeah, so that’s how I got in the network world and that’s when I met Adam.

Andrew: So let’s talk about the newest piece of the empire. Yeah, I guess the newest one is Carolla Drinks.

Lynette: Yes.

Andrew: It all started when Adam said on the show, “I did this thing, I made this drink.” What was he talking about?

Lynette: He is an alcoholic. No. Ever since I met him there is two things he does consistently, skips rope for a half an hour and…

Andrew: Skips rope?

Lynette: Yes, and shadowboxes. Skips rope and shadowboxes every night, even in the hotel. Pretty much every night.

Andrew: You know what? I always thought I should do that because it’s easier than getting a treadmill and really it does give you a great workout. Right, okay.

Lynette: And he builds. We have carpeting. He has an invention, it’s just wood, a piece of whatever wood, and he’ll skip it on top of the wood on the floor. Anyway, he skips his rope and he drinks his red wine, and he drinks about a half a bottle every night. And one night he was talking on the podcast that he had a little bit of red wine and he mixed it with some orange juice and he put some vodka in it and put a little orange slice and he said, “I made myself a sangria, a little Mangria.” And then people started tweeting, “Hey, Ace Man, I made myself a Mangria last night, it was delicious.” Then Napa came calling a few months later and said, “Hey, we’re fans. If you’re really interested, we’ll send you some samples, let’s do it, we’ll bottle it.” And that unfortunately was the company that the guy killed himself in.

Andrew: Okay, sent you bottles and they said, “Here, sample it.” You tried it out, and then he said, “This could be the next thing.” I heard you interviewed somewhere, I can’t remember where, where you said, “Look, he was on the road a lot and we thought this could be a way out of being on the road all the time.” Right? And so the drink was being bottled for you, he just had to sell it on the air.

Lynette: Yeah. Well, he had to give them his notes. He was very opinionated, he wanted it to be as high octane wine ready to be pour over cold ice. But he wanted something that you cannot feel ashamed walking in a Sunday with football, you can have this and you can have a half a glass of this and you can feel great and have a nice buzz. And the chicks don’t get filled up with the beer and all that. So yes, and he said, “This is my way out, this could be my way of just calling it a day, being able to just relax at some point later in life.” And then life kicked in and he was just starting documentaries and writing books, and he’s a nutcase with that stuff. Sorry about that.

So basically he said, “But I’m too busy now. I think it’s a good idea, but I’m busy. You do it. You take it over. The kids are older, you can do it and still help me at Carolla Digital when I need help.” Basically I’m like the den mom for those guys.

Andrew: The original sales were done on the air, on the show, right? Just here? And then who shipped it out at first?

Lynette: So then we got a distributor. So then we got this guy that had 35 years’ experience in the business and said, “I’ll help you sell.” And he came online and he helped us start selling. He got it into Southern Wine & Spirits and all the distributors around the country. Then he had hard times, and then that was two years ago. And then he was gone and left us with a little bit of mess to clean up. And that’s when I started on with Jay and for the last two years every day cleaning up the mess and moving forward.

Andrew: And by “Jay” you mean Jay Miller, he’s kind of like a member of your family. When you say “mess,” what specifically happened?

Lynette: All right, I’ll tell you. So basically this guy had a lot of experience in the alcohol business and he started selling it and it was getting into stores and BevMo! around the country, doing great. And then he convinced us to pay another guy that he worked with a $150,000-dollar salary, give him one year, give him $150,000 for the year, and he’s a monster. Because this guy was a little older. This guy is a little younger, he’s a hustler. Okay, so we did that. Then this guy, the first guy, starts falling on hard times, starts having health issues and not working and not following through on stuff he should have followed through on our behalf, representing us.

Now Adam is doing other stuff, I’m just getting into it, Jay is just getting into it. Now we sit down and we look at the books and we start going, “What? We haven’t had a paycheck since 2015 and we’re now in 2016, it’s been almost a year. Why haven’t we?” We just went off of a handshake. And I know it sounds stupid, but Adam trusts people until he doesn’t trust them, until they give him a reason not to trust him. So he fell on hard times, he left. At the end of the year we were stuck with this guy who doesn’t know the brand, didn’t really know the brand, didn’t know how to sell the brand. And was like, “Well, I got it into the Total Wine stores,” and that was about it. And then he left. And then I just said, “Jay, you take over the back end. We’re going to do the website, we’re going to do the marketing, we’re going to do boots on the ground, we’re going to do the same thing Adam did for the podcast is what we’re going to do for the drink.”

Andrew: I see that. I’m on the blog and I can see that kind of hustle. I see a post here that says, “Portland, I miss you already,” photos of you in Portland, you were promoting in promoting in Portland. New York Serenade before that, you’re in New York promoting this somewhere. That’s the kind of thing you’re doing?

Lynette: All right, so, Andrew, you’re going to love this. We did this business model called the bar crawls, and for us it works. We have a unique opportunity where we have a comedian who has a microphone and has plenty of other platforms to promote. And we can take this out on the road and we can have the fans come out and meet us. They don’t need to meet Adam, they want to meet the lackeys, they want to meet, like Howard Stern, the producer Gary, intern Nick, blah, blah, blah. Now they start having a connection, like, “Who’s coming to the next bar? Is Ray going to come? Is producer Gary coming?” And they’ll pay $35 to hang out with us for the whole night, they get a seat on a bus. We get the Star Line buses, there’s two of them that seat 80 people. And we sell them out and we take four bars, or three bars, and we pack them and we take them the whole night.

Andrew: And because the lackeys now are the guys on the show that people want to meet, they are enough of a draw that people will come out to that and they pay to see them, and in addition they’re getting to try out these drinks that they’ve heard about.

Lynette: Right.

Andrew: I see.

Lynette: I go to every one. I’m the host of it, so they get to talk to me.

Andrew: You go to all these?

Lynette: Oh yeah.

Andrew: Oh, I didn’t realize you were all of them, I thought it was the team.

Lynette: Oh, it’s me and the team. It’s hosted by me and Jay and the team. And that’s it. Because the people are going to pay $35. Yeah, they want to see assistant Matt. No offense, they also want to get close to Adam. And there’s times where I’m outside calling the kids to say “good night” and I’m like, “Hey, say ‘hi’ to Ted, he’s a fan.”

Andrew: “Say ‘hi’ to Ted,” like some random guy who came out to your event is going to talk to your kids because your kids are helping with the business that way, too?

Lynette: No, to Adam or Olga or whatever. I say “good night” to the kids, but then…

Andrew: And then Adam gets on the phone with them.

Lynette: Yeah, and then he says, “How’s it going?,” and we kick off the night with a cheers and a toast and I said, “Adam says ‘hello’ and sends his love. He’s back home with Olga and the kids. Thank you guys for coming.”

Andrew: This is brutal and inspiring at the same time, to fly out to just hustle a few drinks. You’re not going to shake more than, what, 100 hands?

Lynette: 200, 150. Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: And you’ll talk to all 150 people?

Lynette: Every single mother fucking one.

Andrew: Every single what?

Lynette: Mother fucking one.

Andrew: Every single mother fucker is going to get a handshake from you, a real conversation with someone on there, an experience with the drink. And then what, they all become customers?

Lynette: Well, then what they do is they tweet it out, but really it’s marketing. Like I said, we’re like grass roots, boots on the ground.

Andrew: I get it.

Lynette: That’s our marketing. We get to use our fans for marketing. So we’re utilizing that, and that’s how you do that.

Andrew: Freaking inspiring and it’s encouraging to see. Because you don’t need to do this, you could just hang out on the show for the next five years. Frankly the truth is that radio people end up with a following for the rest of their lives, right?

Lynette: Right.

Andrew: Guys like, I never heard his show, but Rambling with Gambling, apparently it’s three generations because the father listens to the father, and then they have a kid who’s growing up listening to the father. And when the father is ready to change to the next, right? Because you become a part of their lives, you’re brushing your teeth with Adam Carolla. Why would you stop when you’re 60, 50, 100 or whatever, right?

Lynette: Rambling with who?

Andrew: Rambling with Gambling or something, it used to be in New York. I don’t know if it was Gambling, but he used to laugh at this guy who would just be the third generation because nobody knows or cares, they’re just switching them out. Because you get connected. And how many people are still listening to Howard Stern? I don’t hear a lot of young people call in, right?

Lynette: That’s the thing. No, no. But luckily Adam has a great loyal audience. They’re loyal because they were there to support him. Because he’s like, “You know what? It’s 2008, people are losing their jobs right now, they’re losing their businesses, and they’re in foreclosure.” And Adam is going, “You know what? I’m with you. I just lost my job, I need to humble myself, I need to go on the road, and I’m here with you guys doing the same thing. So if you want to support, you get free entertainment for 90 minutes, and I come out and I say ‘hi’ to you.” And, by the way, whenever Adam does a show, he will sign every single person’s. We have video of the line. He does not sign 10 and say “bye,” he makes sure he gets a picture taken with every single person in line. That’s his mentality, that’s become our mentality with Carolla Drinks.

Andrew: And you guys are the family, you can put up with that? The fact that he’s going to be away for the weekend, you’re away for the weekend, that you have to work, and then come back and be present. You’re fine with that? You don’t say at some point, “Hey, I’d like just regular hours,” or no?

Lynette: No, I love it.

Andrew: You love this?

Lynette: We have a bar crawl coming in June in Seattle and I can’t wait, I’m looking forward to it. I love it. First of all, I get to get out of the house, I get to travel, I get to be out there and meet the people. And when Adam goes out of town, I love it, too, because then I don’t have to worry about what he’s eating for dinner, I can just take the kids to McDonald’s or whatever.

Andrew: That’s your thing, he will only want vegetables. Will you literally go to McDonald’s?

Lynette: No, I’m kidding, I don’t.

Andrew: Okay, but you’ll do something. All right, this is fantastic. From now on I’m not going to say “no” immediately when someone asks me to come speak at a conference. I got to think about the Carollas, these freaking guys are out there hustling all the time. If they’re working this hard at this stage in their lives. And frankly your careers are set, right? You got it, you got the reputation. If you’re still doing it, I got to keep my ass moving.

Lynette: Yes, keep it going. Listen, it doesn’t take just three years. I’ve been doing my podcast for almost six years, it’s finally making money. It is, it’s making nice money. And God bless. And it’s all because the fans, it’s the base. Can I ask you a question though? Why didn’t you like me? There’s a lot of Carolla fans that don’t like me. I don’t know.

Andrew: Oh, why do I like you?

Lynette: Why didn’t you like me?

Andrew: Oh no, I didn’t want to like you. Not here on the show, here of course I did by the time we talked. It was the idea of someone’s wife being now made into a star feels like maybe she didn’t earn it on her own, right?

Lynette: Right. I see.

Andrew: And frankly how many people do you know happen to be married to someone who’s interesting? The truth is if someone is interesting, the other person has got to be very quiet and good to just laugh at the jokes.

Lynette: Well, that was me. But I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

Andrew: I’m sorry to interrupt you. You just put down your pen, you were going to write down my feedback on why?

Lynette: No, no.

Andrew: Okay. I said, “What kind of note-taking is this?” All right.

Lynette: No, no. I’m just curious because there’s a lot of people online are like, “Oh, Adam’s wife is going to,” blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, “What’s the big deal? I don’t get why people have that whatever.

Andrew: Then I ended up liking you even more because of that, because then I feel like something could just kind of spill out that maybe you wouldn’t get from Adam.

Lynette: Well, yeah, I’m very honest. With the numbers, I’m sorry, I’m not good with.

Andrew: Yeah, no, I’ve seen that. You know what? Here’s the one thing that I felt like you didn’t say. I was asking you, the time that you guys broke up, did he date a lot of women? Because that’s why he broke up with you and you kind of shifted it. Did he get to do that?

Lynette: He dated one. He broke up with me because this one model was hitting on him that he was working with. And we were engaged and he wasn’t ready to get married. And Dr. Drew said, “Well, you got to let Lynette go. Because now you’ve been into this business three years, you’re famous. You’re going to Jamaica with the juggies, okay? And now you’re taken? You’ve never had this experience, you need to experience life as a celebrity and go out with the model.” And so, god it was so heartbreaking, he broke up with me. I went to Jimmy Kimmel’s house because I was best friends with his wife and I laid on the couch for like a week crying. And at the time the Man Show, I was at ABC, my boss watched Comedy Central all the time, and Man Show commercials would come in and he wouldn’t even look at me and take the Kleenex box and throw it at me and I’d just lay on his couch, I was miserable. It was about eight months.

Andrew: He only dated one person? His celebrity sex experience was one model?

Lynette: Yes. You can ask Ray, his best friend. And I’ve down the investigating because I like to do that stuff. Yeah, he only went out with her once and he was very turned off. And then he always stayed in touch with me. Every couple weeks he would call me and have like one foot still in the pool kind of thing. And like, “Hey, you want me to build you some bookcases in your new little condo?” Oh, by the way, we were living together and I was like, “Well, if we break up,” and I’m like, “where am I supposed to go?” And I had money, I was working at ABC. And I wanted to buy something, but nothing near where we were living, and he wanted me to be close by. And he bought my condo and he said, “It’s yours, you make the payments.” And he bought it in a great neighborhood, I make the payments. Now Olga, our nanny, lives there with her daughter.

Andrew: So he, not bought you a condo, he put down the down payment of a condo, and then you kept paying it just because he knew he wanted to be with you? He just said, “Listen, there’s this great song by Shaggy, Let Me Get a Rain Check.” Just like something like, “Just 25 and I’m not ready yet. Let me get a rain check. I’m really into you, but I’m finally successful as a musician. Let me go and sleep around because,” the song was, “I wasn’t popular in sports, I wasn’t something in school,” right? It was like that and that’s what he was going through. He said, “Hang on. I know we’re right, but let me go try this.” And so he went and tried it, he basically did not get to experience it, and he comes back to you. Did you feel at any point like, “You were with this model now and I got to touch this, the guy with the model”? No?

Lynette: No.

Andrew: You were.

Lynette: I was getting set up on blind dates, too, and I was miserable.

Andrew: Okay.

Lynette: And yes. And then about nine months later he started to come. I’ll never forget, it was a Friday night and he called me and he said, “How are you doing? How about I come over and get some Thai food and we’ll watch Boy Meets World.” Because we used to watch all the Friday night stupid, Step by Step…

Andrew: On ABC.

Lynette: On ABC lineup because I was at ABC. “And we’ll watch Boy Meets World and we’ll just hang out.” And I knew at that point, “Okay, he’s done.” But when he broke up with me and I said, “Are we going to ever get back together?,” and he was like, “No, I can’t tell you that.”

Andrew: That’s the honorable thing to do, right? To not string you along.

Lynette: Oh, he did the most honorable. He’s like, “I can’t tell you anything. You’re a great person, I love you, go have a nice life and whatever happens happens.” And then we started dating after, like nine months later we started dating, but he never and I never. I should have, but I was too heartbroken at the time. But I’ll never forget, I was on Jimmy Kimmel’s couch crying hysterically and Jimmy, the words of wisdom, and I’ll leave you with this. Crying hysterically and it was like day four on his couch, and he walks in the door and he goes, “What’s going on?,” and he goes, “Oh, you with the crying, oh my god with the crying.” He’s like, “Listen, Lynette.” He’s like, “Listen to me. He’s not that great.” And I was like, “You’re right, he’s not that great.” And then, yeah, I kind of picked myself up and went back to work, and then went on blind dates.

But you know what? It’s the best thing that could have ever happened to us because here we are 21 years together. It will be 21 at the end of this year.

Andrew: And you’re working together, you’re living together.

Lynette: It’s a lot. It’s a lot.

Andrew: And apparently you both like to complain together.

Lynette: Yeah, we do.

Andrew: It’s a great love story. Frankly, if this was a dating show, I would even spend a whole hour with you just on that. But I’m glad that we got to talk about that, congratulations on the success of the podcast network, of the drinks, that now I realize are in BevMo!. We were looking for it as a team, for some reason we couldn’t find it. It’s in BevMo!.

Lynette: Yes. Well, it’s starting to get back online, like I said, but the best place to go is go to carolladrinks.com and it will tell you everywhere in your area where to get it. And you can order it and have it shipped.

Andrew: And it’s the Mangria and it’s also, there’s more than that, there’s also the Endless Rant IPA. Yeah, it’s Mangria and IPA, those are the two big things.

Lynette: Yes, yes. There’s three different Mangria flavors. And coming out with another Cabernet and a Chardonnay that’s really good from a winery out there. So we got more stuff coming.

Andrew: And the site really is well-done and I can tell that it’s been paid a lot of attention to because the copyright on the bottom is up to date.

Lynette: Thank you. I can’t wait to tell him.

Andrew: And the search works great on it. So yeah, people can find right there where it’s available. Thank you so much for doing this, thanks for being so open about your story. Thanks, Lynette.

Lynette: Thank you, Andrew, it was a pleasure.

Andrew: You bet. Don’t forget the website, everyone, is carolladrinks.com. And the two sponsors are the company that will do your e-mail right, it’s activecampaign.com/mixergy. And Toptal for hiring your next great developer, toptal.com/mixergy. I’m grateful to them and grateful to all of you for listening. Bye, everyone.


  • Erik Wagter

    Really enjoyed listening to this interview. Love how open Lynette is….thanks..

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