Clay Aiken

Adam and Clay Aiken

Adam and Clay Aiken

Listen to the Adam Carolla Podcast  


Show Summary

Adam is excited sit down with Clay Aiken and hear about his journey. The guys flash back to his early days in North Carolina, and Clay speaks openly about how he discovered his own sexuality. They also talk about Clay’s work with kids who have behavioral disabilities, and how rewarding it is to see their improvements. Adam and Clay also break down the American Idol experience.

Later in the show, Clay expands more on his difficult high school experience, and how he had to learn to come back from it all. Adam also shares his own story of overcoming certain odds in school. The guys spend time talking about Clay’s son, and the show wraps up with Adam and Clay discussing what it’s like living life in the tabloids.


Visit http://ClayAiken.com for more info, or follow him on Twitter @ClayAiken. You can also visit his charity: http://InclusionProject.org

Perfect Strangers Theme

Show Credits

Executive Producer: Donny Misraje
Producer: Mike Lynch
Producer: Mike Dawson
Audio/Voice Over/Post-Production: Mike Dawson
Technical Director: Chris Laxamana
Researcher/Show Summary: Matt Fondiler

Image Gallery

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  1. herro

    WTF. Nobody sane cares about that idiot. Worst guest ever. Rather hear Adam alone.

    • ciga-Rhett

      ^someone is a homophobe^
      I’ve never seen a single American Idol or heard Clay sing a single song, but I thought this was a great podcast. Clay was a very interesting, open and actually had a good sense of humor.

      • Matt

        I went into the podcast thinking this episode would dethrone that fake politician guy as the worst ACS guest ever but was pleasantly surprised. Clay Aiken was very open and interesting.

      • Nick

        Wait.. Clay Aiken is GAY?!

    • Rick

      Buzzzzzzz…… Wrong, herro.

    • Rex Montana
      Rex Montana12-09-2011

      That would be almost as gay, for you two.

  2. Morty

    Love the one-on-one format. Great show.

  3. jjthejetplane

    Clay sounds just like the guy from 30 Rock.

    • David Abrahamian
      David Abrahamian12-09-2011


    • Chad

      Came here to post that, leaving satisfied.

    • ciga-Rhett

      I thought the same thing! Kenneth the page!

      • Samson

        Clay played Kenneth the Page’s cousin on 30 ROCK, btw!

    • Steiney

      I was just about to type the same thing!

  4. Thanks for the podcast
    Thanks for the podcast12-09-2011


  5. DES

    You might think that having Clay Aiken as a guest might be pretty weak… but surprisingly this morning’s listen is quite interesting.
    Will do a full listen after i get off work today.
    Good times

  6. MrMind

    This should be interesting……

  7. JoeSixPak

    Adam is representing in his gay cap!

  8. derek

    I’ve never heard Clay talk before. I’m pretty sure he could fill in voiceover for Kenneth on 30 Rock if needed.

    • dorothy m raftery
      dorothy m raftery12-11-2011

      That was Clays cousin on 30 rock not only sounds like him but looks like him also!!!!

  9. Michael

    Great ep, I have a new found respect for Clay Aiken. Ace, you’re the man.

  10. Jonathan

    How much does Clay sound like Kenneth from 30 Rock?

  11. Acefan

    I wasn’t looking forward to this podcast when I saw the guest. But wow, what a facinating interview. Clay was very witty and intriguing. Even gave Adam some crap right back at him.

    +1 interwebs!

  12. Steve Hatchett
    Steve Hatchett12-09-2011

    The guy’s already fucked himself up. Don’t get plastic surgery; hit the gym.

  13. Pepsi Vs Coke
    Pepsi Vs Coke12-09-2011

    lol ed grimley

  14. Matt Smith
    Matt Smith12-09-2011

    I made an extension for google chrome to remind me when I go to amazon without going through Adam’s link first. You can find it in the extension gallery by searching for “Amazon Adam”. Does not spy or anything, email me if you want the source to confirm it.

    • Dustin

      Can you do this for firefox… ha Great idea though, wish I used Chrome.

      • Matt Smith
        Matt Smith12-09-2011

        I was kind of hoping it would catch on and real programmers (which I am not) would pick up the slack. If I don’t see any in a day or two, I’ll try to figure out how to do it.

  15. Walter

    Needed Bald Bryan in this episode to have his hand on the “Not interested!” button. The ironically titled “Most interesting man in the world” was more interesting. If the choice is ever no guest and talking with Bryan and Alison, or guest like Clay Aiken, please in the future consider no guest.

    • cg


  16. cg

    Clay Aiken?? Really??

    First ever podcast I didn’t enjoy on any level whatsoever.

    • jim

      Are you kidding. I haven’t even listened to this yet ( and I am not a fan), but I know it will be better than Hope Dworaczyk or the Least interesting man in the world.

  17. David

    Ok, I know this has already been covered, but for real, if it wasn’t for the picture I’d swear this is the dude from 30 Rock pretending to be Clay Aiken.

  18. Gay Aiken
    Gay Aiken12-09-2011

    “I AM GAY!”

  19. jimleahy

    ; i want to get to the bottom of Clay Aiken;…Good one aceman

  20. Ledgewood

    It wasn’t that bad… I was actually interested in hearing about the behind the scenes crap from American Idol even though I think that show is the devil. Still interesting to hear. Definitely coulda used a little BB and Alison, though.

  21. cmon Aceman
    cmon Aceman12-09-2011

    Aceman…so disappointed

    Adam is excited sit down with Clay Aiken and hear about his journey. The guys flash back to his early days in North Carolina, and Clay speaks openly about how he discovered his own sexuality. They also talk about Clay’s work with kids who have behavioral disabilities, and how rewarding it is to see their improvements. Adam and Clay also break down the American Idol experience.

    REALLY??? I listened for about 3 minutes and decided I didn’t want to hear my favorite radio personality riding Clay Aiken’s D

  22. Vince

    Really good interview…great guy..

  23. Jesse

    If you actually listened to the podcast, Clay was a nice guy. Go fuck yourselves.

    • JessMan

      agreed, fellow Jesse. yea, this was a fine interview. at least he didn’t sing or anything. jeez…buncha homophobe-carollatards

    • cg

      I did listen to the whole thing. Snoozefest.

      Nice guy, yeah. Who cares? When did “nice” begin to translate to “entertaining”?

  24. C'mon, Clay Aiken? C'mon!
    C'mon, Clay Aiken? C'mon!12-09-2011

    “I find that the journey is what people are interested in.”

    Actually, I’m interested in being entertained. These one-on-one shows you’re so fond of require a guest with something — anything! — worthwhile to talk about, or they’re utter disasters. The typical structure at least provides an hour of non-guest-related material to fall back on.

    • Ledgewood

      I will entertain you then.

      So I walk to the store outside of my work, and there was a sign on the door that said, “Be back in 25 minutes.” Then I thought, “Hot damn! How’d they know exactly what time I’d get here?!”

    • Poochie's Uncle
      Poochie's Uncle12-09-2011

      A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?”
      Are you entertained yet?

      • Rex Montana
        Rex Montana12-09-2011

        A whore walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the sour puss?”

  25. BigFan

    Great interview. Surprisingly interesting stuff.

  26. Alison Got Ripped Off
    Alison Got Ripped Off12-09-2011

    While you’re on the subject of babies

    … It seems Alison got ripped off for the name of a new movie. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is due out in 2012 http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810218019/video/27531296

    BTW The trailer looks horrible!

    The Ace man isn’t the only one who can predict the future!

    • Rich

      Uh, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a constant NYT bestselling book first published in 1984 and updated every so often that just about every woman in America seems to read when she gets pregnant with her first kid. It’s sold well over ten million copies. Alison’s What I’d Expect If I Were Expecting is a parody of THAT.

    • cg

      You’re kidding, right?

      What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a book originally published in 1984 and re-published every year since.

      Alison calls her fictional book “What I’d Expect if I Were Expecting” because the book is the most-read book by preggos. The whole bit is about poking fun at the book.

    • David

      I believe that movie is named after the What to Expect When You’re expecting series of books that Allison was parodying. I think every woman who’s been pregnant within the last 20 years has a copy.

  27. Cam

    Adam always seems to find guests that I wouldn’t think interesting but are.

    In the past I found this with the Sammy Hagar and Jerry O’connel interviews.

    Great job Aceman. Clay sounds like a really interesting and funny guy.


  28. Jerk

    Great interview. I’m not a fan of the guys music, but he’s a solid interview. And funny … the Lube Joke! Ha!
    He is way less guarded and self absorbed than many of the other guests. Well done Clay and Adam.

  29. DC

    I really enjoyed that. I didn’t know anything about Clay Aiken previously. It was a very good interview and I was surprised that Adam was so interested. This makes up for the times he’s had on boxers and football players that I can’t relate to in the least. Good show!

  30. Taylor

    Good to hear clay’s story. Now I wanna hear Ruben’s.

    Great show!

  31. BubbaJesco

    Does anybody acutally read these comments? Who has time? Get to work! Get it on! 😛

  32. Hillary

    Bells214 Brian Ells
    @adamcarolla As an average dude, I’m not a Clay Aiken fan, but that was a great episode.

    andreDmd Andre Doiron
    @adamcarolla Great interview with Clay Aiken! I never thought I would become a fan of his. #clayaiken

    cb60089 cb60089
    Drove in this morning listening the Adam Carolla Talk Radio Showadamcarolla.com/clay-aiken/ Clay Aiken was amazing with Adam. Wish he was on more

    tammyampersand transistor sister
    @adamcarolla Clay Aiken was a good guest! Surprised me a bit.

  33. Yarms Bakersontonmantino
    Yarms Bakersontonmantino12-09-2011

    This was good but the interviews are always better with Allison and Brian. How funny would it have been hear the “He’s gay!” drop sprinkled in?

    It’s interesting that Clay said that others knew he was gay before he knew. The first time he was on American Idol, as soon as he walked into the room with the judges I knew he was gay. Sometimes you can just tell.

  34. Chris

    I wasnt expecting anything, but I have to say – REALLY interesting interview! Give this one a chance, it was probably one of the more personal and in depth interview Adam has done all year.

  35. Becky

    WOW! Great interview! Clay sounded so happy and relaxed in this interview! Thanks Adam one of the best interviews I have heard in a long time.

  36. Pulseczar

    I let out an audible groan when I saw who today’s guest was, but this was a really great show. He had a very interesting story to tell. My inner Loveline fan wanted to know more about his relationship with his step-dad, but he was a solid guest.

    • Vickie

      You can read his book, Learning to Sing. There’s a lot of stuff in there that probably isn’t as applicable to Clay’s life now. He’s a lot less wide-eyed and innocent. He has said he’s more jaded now. But, there is a lot of stuff on his relationships with both his birth father and his step-father. If you can’t find a copy online, try the library.

  37. Zeke

    Wow… this was actually really interesting and very fun to listen to. I would never have guessed that reading the guest’s name for today! The bashers of this episode are just going to hate Aiken because he is Aiken and that’s all.

    • Vickie

      I think they’re afraid that if they actually enjoy it, or admit to enjoying it, it’ll destroy their macho cred.

  38. Fred Cipriano
    Fred Cipriano12-09-2011

    While I used to make fun of Clay, I have to admit after hearing him on the podcast I respect the guy. Not a huge fan of pop music but as a person Clay your alright.

  39. mike

    This was a good “one on one”. I don’t always dig them, but Ace asked interesting questions and Clay was cool. Well done by both.

  40. Matt

    Awesome interview as always Ace! For my money, you are a better interviewer than Stern.

    • Rex Montana
      Rex Montana12-09-2011

      Stern is a good interviewer and more well read than Adam. It depends on the guest, but often Adam is better.

  41. Ellis In Culver
    Ellis In Culver12-09-2011

    Great show. Adam’s loveline work comes to the fore in this one

  42. Autumn Faith
    Autumn Faith12-09-2011

    i love how he said he hasnt told too many people that he sang the “Perfect Strangers” theme song, but it was the running shtick in his 2007 summer tour…, hahahahahahahaha

    • Vickie

      Well, you know how bad his memory about that stuff can be sometimes!

  43. Wendell

    Who the fuck wants this?

    • Samson

      Quite a lot of us, actually.

  44. Pammie

    I was totally surprised with this interview. Sometimes it takes a person like Adam to bring out the best in people. Clay must of felt comfortable and at ease to be so open with his past. We all have dark places in our lives and I think as a society we need to not be so judgemental. We need to accept that we are all different and that is what makes our country so great. Great job guys.

    • Vickie

      Ever since Clay came out publicly, that’s been a process. With each interview like this, he reveals a little more of his journey. But, his demeanor and his wit are always like this. You should see his interview with Tyra Banks!

  45. Dave

    I was hoping Adam would discuss coming out on the front of a magazine cover.

    I did enjoy the Perfect Strangers discussion.

  46. Steve

    What an amazing guest and wonderful person. Great pod!

  47. Matt M
    Matt M12-09-2011

    Wasn’t sure what to expect but that was on of the better interviews. Great Show

  48. Moe

    Good pod, man.
    Clay Aiken is alright in my book, I mean not a fan of his music, but when he dropped that lube line while Carolla was doing one of his sponsor spots I thought this guy’s alright.

  49. Stacey E
    Stacey E12-09-2011

    How adorable, so many of your listeners are hateful gay bashers. Pretty sure they didn’t even bother listening to the interview, because Clay has always been a good interview. Of course, he doesn’t spew hateful ugly comments about women, so you can’t relate to him at all, eh “patriots”? Anyway, thrilled that you interviewed him, and look forward to listening to it.
    I guess it’s not manly to like someone for their kindness and personality. The guests have to be grunting and wetting themselves to please some of you….

  50. Mary jane
    Mary jane12-09-2011

    Great interview. Funny and intelligent. Clay is a great guy.

  51. Sig

    Is it just me or are the pics under “Latest” complete out of whack, and have been for awhile?

  52. Sue

    Adam – thank you so much for such an insightful interview of Clay Aiken. He is a multi-talented and multi-faceted man. Several comments about comments – Clay is not your typical “pop star” and he doesn’t really sing “pop” songs. If you want to see an enjoyable and entertaining show, take in one of his concerts sometime. I think the naysayers or people suffering from boredom would be greatly surprised. I agree with Pammie – Clay must have felt comfortable and at ease with Adam to be so open about his life. Kudos to Adam for letting him speak about the National Inclusion Project.

  53. Benj

    Thanks, Adam, for a great interview with a guest I wasn’t expecting to enjoy or ever figuring you would interview. You & Clay opened my eyes a bit about the whole “gay” experience. Seems like a nice guy.

  54. eric-the-ded

    I wasn’t expecting anything remotely entertaining from some American Idol dude.
    But Clay had an interesting story and came across as a heck of a nice guy. Good pod.

  55. GuyDudeBro

    This crap is still better than a visit from dag

  56. Listener

    To flip it around, you have to give Aiken credit for having the guts to come on Carolla’s show.

    “I’ve heard you say things that I *hope* you didn’t mean…”

    • Morgan

      Yeah, I caught that. Interesting and insightful. Clay seemed to get where Adam’s coming from and understand the complexities and context that go along with the show. Still gave a very, open, entertaining and honest interview.

  57. Jeffrey

    I thought that this was one of the best interviews Adam has done. He set the tone out the outset that he was going to keep his mouth quiet and let Clay do all the talking. Adam asked very good questions, and Clay gave very good answers.I feel like I learned more about Clay today, than I have learned in the past eight years. I also feel like that Adam set Clay up to feel relaxed, and to me, one of the guys. Great job Adam. Have Clay back on again.

  58. Flynn5709

    Wow – Great interview! I’m now in love with Clay Aiken!

  59. Jackie

    Thank you for such a great interview. Clay Aiken walks the talk.

  60. Jorm_valadez

    Pleasantly surprised, just like the Hammer. I thought it was going to by low-brow humour but it was fun. Klay sounds like a cool dude, didn’t know anything about him.

    TACO BELL MATERIAL12-09-2011

    Epic beat off photo of you men. This guy never has to hang out with a woman. He could bone hot chicks but would rather suck Ozzie off.

  62. jeremy

    All I’ve ever known about Aiken was his name and that he was a singer and I wasn’t the least bit interested at the start. By the end I was thinking “wow, what a helluva good guy” and wanted it to go longer.

  63. Rolando

    Great Podcast, great Interview! I never watch American Idol, but I’ve heard a couple of his songs. Good story. Thanks Ace!

  64. Joe

    good pod!

  65. BettyRubble

    Great interview! 😀

  66. Josh

    I enjoyed the whole damn thing. Aiken has a great sense of humor which was surprising. Loved the lube comment. Aiken seemed relaxed and an open book, which was cool. Great job guys

  67. Izzy

    This was some good pod. Love the one-one-one episodes, and this was one of the best. Clay was really honest and open, and had a great rapport with Adam. You should have him on again.

  68. dano

    I LOVED this episode. I’m not a huge music fan or a fan of American Idol, but I thought Clay was fantastic on the show. I could have listened to this for hours and hours, they had a great flow.

  69. Lisa

    I never watch American Idol and couldn’t care less about Aiken as a performer, but I actually enjoyed this interview. He came across as a very nice guy and his answers seemed very honest and heartfelt. I was also really impressed by the work he does with special needs kids. Great show!!

  70. Jacki

    Really enjoyed this interview!

  71. Jacob

    I would rather listen to clay aiken by himself if that meant no bald bryan chiming in with his stupid and unfunny comments or his 10 seconds too late sound effects.

  72. Andygirll

    Very good show!

  73. Bugsy

    Clay Aiken – boring as dishwater.

    Adam should’ve asked Clay about his picking up dudes off the internet with his webcam. Does Clay prefer Manhunt or Grindr?

    Or they could’ve discussed the contrast between how Clay portrayed himself for years as a church-going, never cursing, virginal, virtuous role-model hayseed idiot to sucker the Christians and old ladies, and his transformed image now as an apparently out and proud, cursing, worldly idiot.

    Or this could’ve been an interesting discussion: Shouldn’t Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing With The Stars and other such celebrity reality shows filled with has-beens and celebrity idiots be better titled: Celebrity left-overs?

  74. Anthony Z
    Anthony Z12-10-2011

    I use the internet to make negative statements about enterntainment podcasts. When I think about other people I’m generally confused or frustrated, so I spend most of my time on Earth focusing on myself. I generally have no positive impact on society aside from capital ebb and flow of my job. Anyone could do my job but I’m doing it currently. It pays the bills.

  75. Not Bugsy
    Not Bugsy12-10-2011

    Holy crap Bugsy, you sound like one of those idiots that reads tabloids as if it were a reference book.

    Here’s a tip for you. If you read tabloids you deserve to be lied to.

    Another tip for you. People change a lot in 10 years.

    One more. Get a life because you’ll never make a dime as a professional Clay hater.

  76. matt

    Great pod… probably my favorite one-on-one so far. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard the process of realizing you’re gay and coming out so specifically talked out. I’ve watched Idol since the Clay/Ruben season (man, I sound gay) and I always wondered what happened with Clay after the show. Very interesting and heartfelt good guy. Good one Ace Man!

  77. Rick

    Funny, the older I get, the less I give a shit about some dude being gay. I was expecting to be underwhelmed by this show, but instead, found it very interesting and entertaining. Those that thought otherwise are dipshits or morons (there is a difference). Clay’s ability to press beyond Adam’s propensity to dominate the conversation was a great matchup.

    Thanks Ace for another great one-on-one.

  78. joy peters
    joy peters12-10-2011

    i loved your interview with clay. but then i’m not homophobic. i enjoy that you had him on. good for you.

  79. MinnesotaNice

    Clay, thanks for the insights. I think you did many people a lot of good. Hoping to see you in Minnesota again sometime soon.

  80. b

    I have listened to every podcast adam has done and I really appreciated this podcast. Adam asked the hard questions and Clay rolled right along. Impressive to me of both adam and clay. If you tools are homophobic then maybe you should check yo self.

  81. Dave

    Wow, SUPER interesting podcast. Clay is a very interesting and likable guy.

  82. Morgan

    Great conversation. Aiken is more interesting than I expected and shows Adam has a good rapport with wide range of personalities.

    Hizzah Aceman!

  83. Sig

    Clay “for a man he’s” Aiken (old joke from Conan years ago)

    Good podcast

  84. Mr. Fister
    Mr. Fister12-11-2011

    Surprisingly good episode

  85. Danof Sac
    Danof Sac12-12-2011

    Although I enjoyed the podcast, I wish Adam would’ve asked Clay about his relationship with Kathy Griffen. Clay professed throughout the podcast that he does not like publicity, yet he and Kathy rode that “Claymates” thing for couple of years. It was a 20 minute segment in her stand up at the Crest Theatre here in Sacramento. Overall “good stuff Aceman”.
    Also, been enjoying Ace On The House again! i was channel surfin and I believe I found it on DIY.

  86. reb

    surprisingly good; i didn’t expect to last more than three minutes with this one. hearing “one on one” is always a bit of a downer . . . and then Clay Aiken? but he was fairly candid and real, which makes for an at least acceptable interview.

  87. PJ

    Really great choice for a guest. This is someone I probably never would have ever known anything about but came away really respecting and liking the guy. If only he could get a hit song like Ruben Studdard’s ‘I’m sorry for 2004’. haha

  88. terri

    Great show.

  89. Aaron

    Was NOT looking forward to this at all, as I loathe Idol and don’t enjoy Clay Aiken.

    BUT, it turned out to be an interesting and entertaining podcast, nice interview Ace man.

  90. jon dunn
    jon dunn12-12-2011

    i came here just to say this was a surprisingly good interview.

    in fact – the best in weeks

    it seems when Adam cares to try to actually get to know someone it can be really great, even when you think you don’t care about the guest.

  91. Dave

    Who’s Clay Aiken?

  92. @Dave

    Watch the podcast.

  93. Aaron

    I came in thinking I’d hate this episode, but I ended up listening to the whole thing. Great show and Clay Aiken seems like a great guy.

  94. Chris

    Who’da thunk Clay Aiken would turn out to be a down to earth and interesting guy?? I was expecting to hate this episode and was very pleasantly surprised.

  95. Red Rabbit
    Red Rabbit12-17-2011

    I never would have imagined Adam having Clay Aiken on his show and it turned out to be charming and fun. Please have him come back sometime, maybe he can join in on some of the comedy bits.

  96. MizLottie

    I was never a Clay Aiken fan until I heard this podcast. He was pretty good, good-natured and interesting, didn’t know about his special ed background, you have to be so patient to do that.

  97. Yes, I'm Ethel
    Yes, I'm Ethel12-22-2011

    Thank you Adam for having Clay on your Podcast.

    Clay, great interview.

  98. elizabeth

    GREAT INTERVIEW!! Adam is so natural and curious during the 1:1. I didn’t know Aiken before this and don’t watch American Idol, but he was interesting, sincere, and so candid. I didn’t know what to expect, but this made me a fan of Clay. One of the best podcasts of this year, please bring him back!!

  99. stephanie

    Great interview. excellent job Clay Aiken. it was great to get more insights on your American Idol experience. It was great hearing his insights of your sexuality and the steps you took coming out to you family, friends and the public. It was great hearing about your son Parker. I really enjoyed hearing about your charity. I hope us.fans do not scare you off from wanting to be more private in your life. we enjoy seeing you perform on stage singing and broadway and hope that never changes because once your famous coming out of the spotlight will not make anyone recognize you any less. Once.you became famous that will never go away. Please come to Long Island Ny again soon and do a signing so I can meet you. Keep up the fantastic work….we want some more Christmas shows 😉

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