If you want to understand the current state of HBO more clearly, consider that it has recently onboarded failed television and radio host Bomani Jones but unofficially blacklisted comedian Adam Carolla.
HBO doesn’t like Carolla. To HBO, Carolla is white, gross and dangerous.
Even Bill Maher, the biggest star on the network, has fallen in line. Maher considers himself a fan of Carolla’s work and often had Carolla on Politically Incorrect, the late-night program he used to host on Comedy Central and ABC. Yet Maher stopped inviting Carolla on his program after he moved to HBO.
“I have been on [Real Time] maybe twice in 15 years,” Carolla explained on his podcast Thursday while discussing a recent recording with Maher. “At some point, his producer told me that I always bring it and Bill loves me, but ‘this is HBO. HBO doesn’t like you. HBO has made a decision.'”
HBO has given Maher almost complete autonomy to book whichever guest he chooses on Real Time. And Carolla is the only guest who’s been blackballed as far as we can tell. The hate runs deep at HBO.
This decision turned Carolla sour on HBO as well.
“I hearken back on the conversation that I had with one of the lead douchebags at HBO … [anyway] fuck HBO is what I’d like to say.”
Carolla first learned of HBO’s disdain for him when he attended the premiere of HBO’s André the Giant doc, co-produced by his long-time friend Bill Simmons.
At the time of the premiere, Carolla was in the process of pitching the Uppity doc to networks. So Vince Vaughn introduced Carolla to the HBO exec who greenlights documentaries. Bear with us as Carolla lays out the details of their exchange.
“So I talked to the HBO guy. He was lukewarm and standoffish. I followed up with him and he wrote back saying he watched some of it but said he didn’t really like it,” Carolla explained. “So I wrote back that ‘you should watch the whole thing because it kind of comes around at the end.’ Then he responds, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen enough. I’m not a fan.'”
“I wrote back, ‘Well, maybe not this time around but maybe next time.’ I said, ‘If you’re ever in LA and you want to see some of Paul Newman’s race cars, hit me up because I got most of them.’ He wrote back, ‘I don’t like cars.'”
“These [HBO] guys are pompous, arrogant pricks who believe that you have to be in lockstep with them on every social subject. Otherwise, you shall be punished and blackballed. That’s the way they roll.”
HBO was once home to the most fearless and original content on the market, but has now become what it once abhorred: corporate, generic and cowardly.
Because Carolla pokes fun at liberals as well as conservatives and white men, traditional outlets will not carry his comedy specials anymore.
Big dick energy https://t.co/O1rHXOcYtf
— Adam Carolla (@adamcarolla) February 19, 2022
“There’s no good fit for me in Hollywood these days in terms of a platform to release a special,” Carolla told OutKick in November.
Carolla ultimately took his latest comedy series Truth Yeller — which is fantastic, by the way — to the Daily Wire, an outlet that opposes corporate groupthink.
Luckily, Carolla doesn’t need appearances on HBO to promote his content. His podcast, which has always been independent, just celebrated 13 years on the air this week. Carolla is more influential than HBO’s Race Theory with Bomani Jones will be.
“Fuck you,” Carolla told HBO at the end of his podcast rant. Fair conclusion.