Free Speech Adam Carolla Dennis Prager

Adam Carolla, left, and Dennis Prager discuss the state of free speech in the documentary “No Safe Spaces.”

Comedian and podcast star Adam Carolla has never been one to mince words. 

But he doesn’t see it as being gutsy. He’s being practical. 

“I don’t look at it as a tough conversation or controversial,” Carolla said. “That’s other people making it tough or controversial. I look at myself as a nutritionist saying diet and exercise is important so you won’t be fat. 

“Others say, ‘Whoa, you better think about what you’re saying.’ I’m talking about the truth. I know what the truth is.”

Carolla, as well as conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, will be in town to push their documentary “No Safe Spaces” with its director Justin Folk 

The preview screening is Thursday, Oct. 24; the world premiere screening is Friday, Oct. 25; and the film continues Saturday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 27, at Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix. A Q&A with the filmmakers follows each Thursday and Friday screening. 

“No Safe Spaces” proposes that the First Amendment and free speech are under attack in America. Carolla and Prager discuss the idea of “safe spaces,” so people won’t be offended by ideas they may find troubling. 

In the documentary, Carolla and Prager travel the country, talking to experts and advocates on the left and right, tour college campuses, and examine their own upbringings to try to understand what is happening in America today and what free speech in this country should sound like. 

It features supporting guests like actor/comedian Tim Allen, Van Jones, Alan Dershowitz, Dr. Cornel West, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro and Dave Rubin. 

Prager and Carolla are longtime friends. 

“I’ve been a fan of Dennis Prager for a long time,” he said. “When we started working together a little bit, he’d come on my podcast and we’d go out and do a few engagements throughout the country. 

The producer came up with the idea for the movie and I thought this was an intriguing subject and I get to work with Dennis, who is such a fun, likable, jovial guy. I love any excuse to hang out with the guy.”

The two chose college campuses as locales because they’re the epicenter and ground zero for free speech debates. 

“It made the most sense to start at ground zero,” he said.

Previews of the documentary have been well received. Carolla said there are simple reasons for that. 

“First things first, it’s entertaining,” he said. “It’s well made. It has laughs. It makes you think. The first thing you have to do when you’re making something to be consumed is it has to be good. It has to taste good if it’s nutritious. 

“If we just sat there staring at the camera droning on about free speech it wouldn’t be a good film. We need people to enjoy it and bring their kids to see it. A 12-year-old has to be able to watch it and not be fidgeting in their seat the whole time. We wanted to make an entertaining film and a well-crafted film with a lot of layers to it, which I definitely feel is mission accomplished in that department.”

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