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From The Queerty Archives: “I Played The Effeminate Gay on Adam Carolla’s Reality Show”

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Ed. Note: In light of the recent Adam Carolla scandal, we thought it’d be a good time to revisit Matt Siegel’s post from September 15, 2009.


carollasiegel2

I’m just going to spit it out: I was on a reality show. I’d rather reveal the most intimate details of my sex life (I haven’t had any in 46 days) or that delightful feeling I get when taking a good shit (self-explanatory) than talk about this. The only saving grace is that it wasn’t one of those “I’m-not-here-to-make-friends / It-is-what-it-is” competition reality shows. As if that helps.

The Adam Carolla Project aired in 2005 on The Learning Channel. Not only was I Adam’s real-life assistant, but I played the role on the show, too. It’s not a closely guarded secret, like the time a man gave me 100 dollars to suck my dick in a deserted parking lot; it’s just information I typically choose not to divulge.

In the timeline of reality programming, Adam’s show came after Anna Nicole but before Kathy Griffin. It was a point in time when eyes didn’t automatically roll at the idea of another senseless reality show.

I used my middle name instead of my last name, as a fuck you to my biological father who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 13 years. I had a romantic notion that he would see me on TV and come crawling back to me like some long-lost sixth cousin thrice removed to a lottery winner. I did feel like a lottery winner: I was Charlene and the Chocolate Factory. I had the golden ticket.

I wasn’t the kind of gay the producers expected: I was queer, a modern gay, and a revolutionary who honored my identity at all costs. They were expecting some non-threatening Queer Eye. I wasn’t there to help straight men be cute — my intention was just the opposite, actually.

Only five years ago, TLC was what Adam referred to as “deep cable,” way up high in the channel numbers. I referred to it as “The Ladies’ Channel.” It has since evolved into “The Leper’s Channel,” with its multitude of midgets, half-ton teens, and often violently deformed network stars. And those Jon and Kate persons.

Either way, it seemed unlikely that Adam would successfully elbow his way in among multiple babies and 160-pound tumors. If you want success on TLC you need a handicapped parking permit — at the least, you have to qualify for pre-boarding on planes. The show was doomed from the start; Adam was too able-bodied for TLC.

The premise of Project was simple: Adam was flipping his childhood home with his band of merry construction worker friends and upon completion, he would try to sell the house for a profit. Yes, Bravo’s Flipping Out completely ripped him off.

Every person on the show fulfilled an archetype. There was Ray, the man-child; Ozzie, the zany foreigner; and Gary, the quiet man missing a finger who lived in a trailer with his daughter and liked guns. I was just another colorful accessory there for B story; gay was my shtick as straight was Adam’s shtick. I wasn’t the kind of gay the producers expected: I was queer, a modern gay, and a revolutionary who honored my identity at all costs. They were expecting some non-threatening Queer Eye. I wasn’t there to help straight men be cute — my intention was just the opposite, actually.

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By:           MATT SIEGEL
On:           Aug 16, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 28 Comments
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      Adam Carolla has always seemed very gay adjacent to me (Dan Futterman only even more hairy). I even sort of liked his boxer movie The Hammer in a catch it on late night cable kind of way. Carolla is like Téa Leoni he has to have a chance grow on you.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      So, what do you want? A pass for having scratched your head and danced while they played the organ?

      Sep 15, 2009 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      I could never stand watching Carolla.
      He’s like Andrew Dice Clay lite.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Brian Moylan was right. You tried to be the gay class clown, doing things that would bring you pseudo-acceptance from heterosexual males. As long as a gay person is silly, docile and subservient heterosexuals are fine unless they completely hate gay people.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick
      Rick

      @AlwaysGay:

      Did you read Matt’s article? His point is that he effeminate and so what! Why should effeminate guys alter their natural behavior to please more butch gays?

      You accuse Matt of seeking the approval of straight men but aren’t you more of an assimilationist by admonishing Matt for not being a straight-acting gay man?

      So, are you the kind of person who blames effeminate gays like the late Lawrence King for deserving to be assaulted?

      Sep 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Ok, so this happened in 2005….and……..

      Since twice int he article you mention getting back at others for past injustices you will probably be happy to know that “Windows Media” which owns the Washington Blade is in receivership and dealing with Bankruptcy issues.

      But in all honesty….you were an assistant. It isn’t just “Hollywood Assistants” that keep quiet and don’t embarass their bosses…it’s any GOOD assistant.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leo
      Leo

      The real problem is with the way you chose to define sexual orientations for everyone “overt homosexual femininity? . . . overt heterosexual masculinity”

      Many heterosexual men are very effeminate, surpassing the average drag queen on her wildest night out, as they putter about life.

      Many gay men are orders of magnitude more masculine than Adam Carolla, frankly. He came off as insecure about himself, extremely needy, in short, with all the masculinity of a 4 year old child.

      You demonstrated overt femininity, Adam demonstrated, or parodied, a childish version of masculinity, and neither of you represented any particular sexual orientation.

      As for the poor me crap – you got paid to be in the public eye. You didn’t quit your job, so quit your beefin’

      Sep 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j
      j

      I for one, liked this article. Everyone else fuck up. It must be soul destroying to write an article and have everyone flame it like they did. I hope this guy keeps writing for queerty, which needs more editorials. Great article.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @j: You said “I for one, liked this article. Everyone else fuck up. It must be soul destroying to write an article and have everyone flame it like they did. I hope this guy keeps writing for queerty, which needs more editorials. Great article.”
      ____________________________________________

      Yeeeeaaahhhhhh Soul destroying.., except for the fact that he says things like this:

      “I was on a reality show. I’d rather reveal the most intimate details of my sex life (I haven’t had any in 46 days) or that delightful feeling I get when taking a good shit (self-explanatory) than talk about this.”
      or this
      “I used my middle name instead of my last name, as a fuck you to my biological father who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 13 years.”
      or this
      “It’s not a closely guarded secret, like the time a man gave me 100 dollars to suck my dick in a deserted parking lot.”

      So in one fell swoop I know more info about this guy that I do about many friends I’ve had for years. The guy is obviously desperately hungry for attention and willing to say or do just about anything to get it. He didn’t need to tell us how long it’s been since he had sex, that he loves taking a big shit, that he hasn’t spoken to his father in 13 years, or that he whored himself out for $100.00″ yet he included all of it.

      This guy is like when you get a new job and some co-worker you just met tells you in the breakroom all about how they are in AA or how her father molested her when she was younger.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      Love Adam. Nice to hear about your time with him. The Man Show is not an accurate portrayal of him.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joegagan
      joegagan

      great article. i really felt your pov. you have a nice, honest writer’s touch.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      You should not be hated. You should be beaten severely.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benjamin
      Benjamin

      I have seen this gay on gay homophobia, by which I mean the inclination of some gay men to alienate and ostracize the effeminate male (or God forbid someone dress in drag), first hand, and I have always found it disturbing. It gives me a feeling like they are embarrassed by the overt femininity, and the “bad name” it gives to the community. Do we all have to dress and behave like Log Cabin Republicans to be socially appropriate? Don’t we get enough crap from straight people without oppressing ourselves? Isn’t that sort of like poking ourselves in the eye? Why should guys have to hide or repress of otherwise feel ashamed of their innate femininity? It would be like coming out of the closet, just to go into another one.

      I saw The Adam Carolla Project, and as Matt points out, all the figures on the show were archetypes. Those who mistake reality television for actual reality are most probably mistaken. Liked the article. Hope Matt writes again.

      Sep 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @Benjamin: In principle, I agree- but in this case, he is being taken to task not for being fem, but for having danced the role for the straights, so they could enjoy him. It’s the equiv of Jigabo performance.

      Sep 16, 2009 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Matt,

      Enjoyed the article. Thought you were great on the TLC show.

      No one is going to accuse Adam of being “A Great Guy” but it seems as if he had genuine affection for you.

      Life is short and you are talented. Make the best of your gifts.

      Oct 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mostafaalhafez
      mostafaalhafez

      i love the program this good thank you for working group queerty

      Dec 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • milhouse
      milhouse

      The whole article and this pathetic minstrel dancer made my flesh crawl. Please go back under the rock you crawled out from.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • verybookish
      verybookish

      Never watched Adam Corolla, but I liked the article.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • offenedfag
      offenedfag

      Wow interesting reactions to the article. I thought it was a funny read. In its way its touching honest and vulnerable. On the other hand I think the writer is defensive about camping it up for the show. He is missing the point and sadly he was gay clown. You see the other archetypes are totally free and equal under the law. In this country, right to marry in nyc or not, gays are under attack constantly and not free and equal. I dont blame him for taking the role / job and being all those boys bitches which he was… cuz he needed to survive. Its not owning up to it that well written or not is kind of lame. He danced for them and he fought a little I guess enough to piss off that toad Jimmy Kimmel, who deserves success like deserve a modeling contract, it certainly doesn’t make him a freedom fighter or a radical queer in my eyes. Its disapointing at this point that he doest have a more critical eye on his role as gay bitch to these lame asses. I mean if Adam Carolla tried to hug me i would shim that bitch so hard. get over the daddy issues and be as radical and feminine as you want but know when your working for the “man”. Adam Carolla is a rancid homophobe and racist asshole and if it not really who he is just how he gets ratings then he is even worse a pile of shit. What Adam needs is a good ass whooping at the hands of some big tranny killas. The writer of this article just needs some therapy and a larger pair of nuts

      Aug 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alfonzo
      Alfonzo

      @rudy:

      While I can’t say that I hate Adam Carolla (actually I don’t have strong enough opinions about to have an emotional response), I will say that I don’t care for him. I couldn’t figure out why until you said this.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gaytorium
      Gaytorium

      This is a great piece and it certainly makes me dislike Jimmy Kimmel (although I wasn’t much of a fan to begin with). However, my opinion on Corolla is now divided after peviously disliking him quite a bit. I think he should’ve told Kimmel to stuff it and not fire his assistant but it doesn’t seem like he was an overly mean person either.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 10:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenny
      Kenny

      Speaking as a father, I can say that Adam Carolla is the type of guy you pray that your daughter never, ever marries. If she does, they will eventually be living in your garage or basement and your daughter will be working a series of dead end jobs while he sits on the couch drinking beer, farting, and masturbating to porn.

      The author of this piece is the type of guy you pray that your son never, ever marries. If he does, his life will be filled listening to the bitching and whining of someone who just wants to be himself while he denies others the right to be themselves.

      All in all – I’d keep my kids away from both of these lunatics.

      Aug 17, 2011 at 1:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PoolGuy
      PoolGuy

      Really Kenny? Because that makes you sound like a total moron. In actuality, you are the type of person no one should want their daughter to marry. Adam loves his family very much. He has a wife and twin kindergartners. Everyday, he tells stories of the happenings in his home, and often lets his sentimentality escape through his gruff persona. You, on the other hand, make your judgements on people from what you see on tv and in tabloid journalism. Get a clue dude.

      And when your daughter brings home a date for the first time, don’t judge him from his opinion of the latest episode of Tosh.0. Because that would be simplistic and ignorant, wouldn’t it?

      Aug 17, 2011 at 4:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wha?
      Wha?

      I sure as well wouldn’t want PoolGuy to marry any one of my kids. He’d probably be caught having an affair with Adam Corolla.

      Aug 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenny
      Kenny

      PoolGuy – How do you know Adam “loves his family very much”? Because he says so? Because all straight men do? So, which is the real Adam – the loser he publicly plays or the heterosexual in touch with his “sentimentality”? One is a fake – guess the question is which one and why fake “reality”?

      Aug 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PoolGuy
      PoolGuy

      I know because I listen to him everyday. You said you were a father. You don’t think people can tell that you love your kids? You speak like an idiot. I’m surprised you’re old enough to have children. Maybe you should spend less time on Perez Hilton.

      Adam does not discriminate towards gays in any way. He is pro gay rights, and marriage, and every other thing. He often compliments gay culture and jokes that gays should move in and gentrify bad neighborhoods. The author of this column, Carolla’s former assistant, is fond of him, as is Adam of Matt. To this day he tells funny stories about them working together, including the time they went to the Tori Amos concert together(and probably proceeded to go home and make sweet love.)

      Adam does run his mouth about a lot of things, of that there is no doubt. But he is no biggot or homophobe in any way. You called him a loser. He made 2 million dollars last year, has a wife and kids, owns millions in real estate and a super garage full of sports cars including about 10 Lamborghinis. I’m sure your doing fine as well…

      If it is not obvious, yes I would have an affair with Adam. He is number two on my list behind Rachel Mcadams. And for the record, I found my way here because I liked Matt on Adam’s TLC show, and thought he was funny. Whew, that got way out of hand. Seacrest out.

      Aug 18, 2011 at 2:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • longyanas
      longyanas

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      Aug 18, 2011 at 4:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenny
      Kenny [Different person #1 using similar name]

      PoolGuy – the fact you’d have an affair, pretty much sums up your loser status. Thank God you don’t have kids. And, does anybody really read that Hilton guy? Yuck.

      Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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