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Talkin' 'Bout My Generation: 6 Fellow Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part One)

Comedy: Adam Carolla

I've praised Adam Carolla (1964) a lot in these virtual pages.

I love that he didn't go to college, that he has a breathtaking work ethic, that he knows how to build and fix stuff, and that he has little time for received liberal wisdom and "goodthink."

I don't admire everything about him, of course.

Sometimes Carolla lapses into lazy thinking on topics like gun control, or when he rants too long about hacky topics like airports, hotels, and limo drivers.

And for someone who espouses tough talkin' bootstrapping in both his bestselling books, I cringe when he talks about how spoiled his kids are.

But he's my favorite (Gen-X) comedian. (Alas, Nick DiPaolo falls outside the cohort.)

It's revealing to contrast Carolla's popularity with that of his rough contemporaries Louis CK and Marc Maron.

The latter two are far more beloved amongst millennial comedy buffs -- damn, this was long overdue -- whereas I can't stand Maron's petulant bitter neurosis or CK's -- for lack of a better word -- wimpiness, not to mention either one's default liberalism and prejudice against "flyover country."

Both flirt with "edginess" but pull back just before they offend their earnest, politically correct fans.

Listen to Louis CK's act carefully. Sure, he jokes about race and rape, but gets away with it because he reaches "acceptable" conclusions.

Adam Carolla? Not so much:

Finally, contrast the way Louis CK spends his riches with Carolla's buying style.

After making a million bucks off his downloadable comedy special, Louis CK guiltily gave a bunch of the cash to various non-controversial charities.

Being a real man and all, Carolla just gets another sports car.

Anyhow, I can't wait to watch his new reality show, in which he'll confront lazy contractors who've messed up people's homes.

I'm pretty sure neither Mark Maron or Louis CK knows one end of a hammer from another.

Just another reason to love Adam Carolla.

***

Next Week in Part 2: Kathy's picks in Generation X TV and film...