Carolla, Farah Wander N.Y. Auto Show Taping for New Series, The Car Show
CHARLOTTE, NC--April 22, 2011: Walking the halls of the 2011 New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, funny man and car nut Adam Carolla spotted a red Dodge Ram 4500 flatbed with shiny 19.5-inch chrome rims and a load of something that was supposed to represent hay bales -- he beckoned the video crew, lifted his mic and went to work.
“I met with each one of them individually before we got them together, and I knew immediately it would work”
On site at the Jacob Javits Center with co-host Matt Farah and the crew from Mandt Bros. Productions, Carolla made it abundantly clear his new show isn't going to follow much of a script.
Struggling to describe what he sees as the vision for the show, Carolla simply winces playfully and calls it a mix of "car stuff and comedy."
The Car Show, set to premiere this summer, stars Carolla, Farah (The Smoking Tire ), Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal auto writer Dan Neil and former NBA standout John Salley. A seemingly disjointed quartet, Farah says the group meshed from day one.
"We know shows like this are all about chemistry," Farah said. "We have a blank slate and it was very surprising how well we got along considering we had never even been in a room together before we shot the pilot. But the shared experience of having such a passion for cars made those first conversations very easy.
"We all want to make the best uniquely American car show that has ever been on television," Farah added. "And I think it has the potential to be just that."
Neil Mandt, the show's producer, is confident he picked the right guys for the project.
"I met with each one of them individually before we got them together, and I knew immediately it would work," Mandt said. "People do not reach the level of success that each of these men has reached without knowing how to get along and deliver the goods."
As the crew wandered from booth to booth at the NY Auto Show, the buzz followed.
When Carolla readied for a stand-up piece before test driving a Nissan Leaf, the young woman staffing the attraction said, "I know you -- are you going to give me a hard time?" Cameras and smart phones began clicking away.
And so it continued -- a stop in front of Rolls Royce, Jaguar, another in front of Spyker and yet another in front of a mirror-covered Smart Car that looked more like a disco ball than a car. Late in the day, Carolla interviewed Stephen Colbert, on site working with Audi.
"Each of the guys have defined roles," Mandt said. "There probably is no more respected automotive journalist in the country than Dan, so when we are doing something serious, something that needs that kind of credibility, than it is all Dan's. John has a lot of experience with television interviews, and when it comes to adventurous car vs. car stuff, the guys all will participate."
Carolla, who admits his first car was a Mazda pickup truck, has developed a love of vintage car racing, specifically drawn to cars made in Japan. In fact, he will pilot a Peter Brock BRE Datsun roadster at this year's Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, and regularly runs a Bob Sharp Datsun 610.
For Farah, The Car Show is a big leap from his popular Web site, but the affable car lover admits it's all about one thing -- the keys.
"We'd all like to have a hit show and make lots of money," Farah said. "But the truth is that it is all about the keys -- it's all about getting to drive the coolest cars, talk to the engineers and live in the world we love.
"So, when you get a call from the producer saying, "We're going to Montana to put you guys through tank driving school -- start making a list of things you want to run over," you know you have a very cool job."