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Adam Carolla: The New King of All Media?

Howard Stern still calls himself the "King of All Media," but these days, that title might best be bestowed upon Adam Carolla, who's conquered the worlds of stand-up, television (MTV's Loveline and Comedy Central's The Man Show and Crank Yankers), radio, publishing (his best-seller In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks), and podcasting, with the insanely popular Adam Carolla Show.

How popular? During its first year, 2009, it was downloaded more than 50 million times, and it's on its way to becoming the most downloaded podcast in the world, provided it can beat out Ricky Gervais' current record of an average of 261,670 per month. Carolla's executive producer and right-hand-man Donny Misraje says that's almost a fait accompli.

Carolla recently appeared at NAB in Las Vegas as part of the "Broadcast Minds 2011" event sponsored by NewTek, providing both the expected comic relief as well as observations on the nature of the online video business. Over the course of the Broadcast Minds panel—which also featured "The Tech Guy," Leo Laporte—Carolla reflected on the unexpected success of his show, pondered the importance of storytelling and conversation in the digital age, and managed to find a double entendre in St. John's University's team name, the Red Storm. (St. John's was represented by Mark Fratto; also on the panel was the NBA's Steve Hellmuth.)

Before the panel, I had a chance to sit down with Carolla in the NewTek suite (in a room stripped of all furnishings minus a desk and two chairs, making it feel uncomfortably like a scene from a James Ellroy novel).  In addition to being pretty darned funny, it's a terrific examination on the do's and don'ts of good interviewing. (Oh, and it's NSFW.)

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