Dr. Drew Pinsky has said goodbye to his family, tended to his pet German shepherd and jumped in his car to commute to a shared studio where he and Adam Carolla are going to revamp, for a few episodes at least, their show “Loveline.” From 1995 to 2005, they co-hosted this syndicated call-in radio show — then a short-lived television version — dispensing love and sex advice to listeners. Dr. Drew played straight man to wiseacre Mr. Carolla. Despite numerous replacements for Mr. Carolla, the pairing remains the classic one, and the duo return to Santa Barbara this Saturday for an evening at the Lobero.
“The evening will be very similar to the last time,” Dr. Pinsky says, referring to a 2000 visit to UCSB’s Event Center. “But we have a lot more stories to tell now. People are interested in how we got here, how we got back together, what new observations we have. But the core is interaction with the audience. We never know where it’s going to go.”
The reason the two have got back together is because they never really broke up, in that sense. Mr. Carolla hosts his own podcast — Dr. Pinsky was driving to his studio as we spoke to record two episodes — and has had his old partner on often. Dr. Drew still hosts “Loveline” and Mr. Carolla has returned as a guest. The decision was “easy” he said.
“When we sat down to do his podcast it was like we hadn’t been away two minutes,” Dr. Pinsky says. “But with a podcast we can talk about whatever we want. The range is much broader.”
Since “Loveline’s” heyday, Dr. Pinsky has become a well-known face on television, hosting “Celebrity Rehab” and “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew,” bringing his straight talk to celebs who have gone off the rails. Are celebrities different in any way to the typical “Loveline” caller?
“I don’t open my diagnostic manual to ‘celebrity’ when I treat one, no,” he says. “They are a little sicker than the rest of us. … It takes a lot of motivation and energy to become a celebrity, and those that do have a lot of trauma, a lot of narcissistic liability and a lot of addiction.” But that’s no different from a lot of other people he says — it’s the ability to surround oneself with handlers, “yes men,” and enabling doctors that results in the human train wrecks we see on TMZ.
“But they seek the cameras,” he says. “If you want to escape all that, come live in Pasadena like the rest of us.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Pinsky’s kids are heading off to college. Having spent his career looking under the hood of the teenage and collegiate mind, he’s wary of the world they’re entering. But they’re over 18, he says, and it’s not his responsibility any more.
“I have found this to be the most difficult transition for me as a parent,” Dr. Pinsky says. “Having to push them out and teaching them to be autonomous versus embracing them and welcoming them back into the fold. It’s really difficult. When I went off to college, man, I was gone. I never lived with my family again. … But now I have kids who want to come home and want to hang around. It’s confusing to me. I don’t know how much to encourage that and how much to resist it.”
Dr. Pinsky and Mr. Carolla’s friendship, though, remains unchanged from those early days. However, the comedian has been able to alter Dr. Drew in a positive way.
“The main change is of a technical nature,” Dr. Pinsky says. “I was always reticent to pay attention to the entertainment aspect of the show, and he beat me up about that for so many years, demanding that I follow improvisational rules and demanding that I not ask another question when we’ve wrapped. But he was right.”
Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla:
The Reunion Tour
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lobero Theater, 33. E. Canon Perdido St.
Information: 963-0761 or www.lobero.com