Adam Carolla exposes real reason for his Apprentice firing, manipulative editing

Adam Carolla was fired from Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday in a rather strange double firing, when Donald Trump fired him and Michael Andretti, apparently punishing Adam for refusing to lay blame on any of his teammates by firing two people instead of one. In his Tuesday podcast, Adam revealed the real reason why he was fired: Trump didn’t like the structure of the presentation, even though the men did it that way because a producer gave him bad information.

The task apparently began the Monday after 60 Minutes ran a piece on Steve Jobs, and when a producer was describing the rules to the team, he mentioned that it should be a Steve Jobs-like presentation. (Like Survivor, there’s off-camera directions given for tasks/challenges.)

However, no one on the team heard that except Penn Jillette, who shared it with Adam. Penn told Adam on the podcast that “the person who said the Steve Jobs comment was talking out his ass.” But the team went with that style of presentation–one person on stage, talking, like Steve Jobs would do when he presented new Apple products–and that was to their detriment.

Adam said that “I’ve never hit a home run like that Q&A” and Penn backed that up: “you nailed it like you wouldn’t believe.” But the editing made it look like the comedy route Adam went for didn’t work. He said that Paul Teutul’s bit got “a “big laugh” but editors “cut away” from that, because the story producers “had to build their whole thing around the potty humor and The Man Show thing,” Adam’s sense of humor, which was “completely and utterly bogus.”

In the boardroom, when Trump asked Adam why they lost, he said, “fire the producer who told me to do it like Steven Jobs.” That didn’t make the show, of course, and Adam said, “we lost for two reasons: we lost because Michael Andretti did not become the project manager … I got punished for that, and I got punished because we weren’t all up on stage utilizing the entire crew. But again, the Steven jobs part is the part that fucked us.”

Penn hilariously said on the podcast that “Donald Trump was mad at you because you have a set of testicles and because you didn’t do what he said.” He added, “I was playing it a little more sucking up to Donald Trump,” and told Adam, “you pulled out your dick, laid out 12 inches on the table, and said if we go down, I’m taking the blame myself.”

Adam also noted that, besides the fact that “none of the reactions are in real time” (Clay Aiken telling him to wrap it up came at a different time than in the real presentation, for example), the editors and producers “tried to cook the end of this thing,” and he played audio from two versions of the show to prove that: an advance DVD copy he received, and the air version. It’s clear that Ivanka Trump has done a post-production voice over to add that “the comedic tone was inconsistent with [Buick's] brand,” in order to act as if they lost the task because of Adam’s comedy, which wasn’t the case.

“The truth is I got misinformation from their people and it fucked me,” he said. However, he also made it clear that he didn’t think the producer did that intentionally, saying that “This just happened to be that Steven jobs was on 60 Minutes the night before … and it was this guy’s head.” He said that “the producer should not be pushing you in any direction,” and that while “nobody paid attention to the guy,” Penn did, “because he’s the smartest guy in the room.”

Listen to the full podcast for that faked audio and the full story, which is fascinating and not very surprising at the same time.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.