As gay as he wants to be, 23-year-old Matt Haber puts the homo into home improvement as Adam Carollas assistant on TLCs The Adam Carolla Project, beginning October 4. Here he talks about his unlikely bond with TVs most famous beer-guzzling manly man and goofing off on the set by using a powerful jackhammer to sing like Belinda Carlisle!
Whats the story behind meeting Adam and becoming his assistant?
When I was in Atlanta I knew I needed to move. I began utilizing every resource I had, including an alumni database from my prep school. I was looking at who lived in L.A. My alumni magazine did an article on Daniel Kellison, who is Adams business partner. I read that Kellison had produced Crank Yankers, which was so smart and original. So I decided to send him a very unprofessional e-mail telling him I was as gay as shit, not in the West Hollywood way, but in the John Waters way, and that I was looking to get started in the industry. He was very responsive and told me to call him when I came to L.A. and that he would help me set something up. When I got out here, he told me to drop by and say hi. At that first appointment, Adam Carolla was there. Daniel took me into an office with he and Adam and asked how I felt about home improvement. I said, Home Improvementthe sitcom with Tim Allen? I hated it! He then explained the show he was doing and asked me to be an assistant to Adam for The Adam Carolla Project.Adam seems to be a real mans manand not in the carnal sense of the words. He was on The Man Show, guzzling beer and watching big-breasted hotties jumping up and down on trampolines. Coming from such different places on the heterosexual/homosexual continuum, how does your relationship work?
At first, I was on guard because I knew Adam from The Man Show and I thought it was a completely disgusting show. Whenever I saw it on TV, I would always flip the station. I guess there is a part of Adam that is The Man Show, but that is not all there is to him. I think it comes out on Lovelinehow intuitive and sensitive he is. He is totally down to earth, and hes a self-made man. I grew up without a father; Adam is like a paternal figure to me. I have great respect for him. He does what I want to do when I am older. Basically, if youre good to him, hes good to you. Thats how he works. It took me a few months to figure how I could best be his assistant. Weve had a few bumpy times, but Adam treats me really well. He just took me to see Tori Amos.
What was it like being the only gay man amid the uber-masculine crew members on The Adam Carolla Project?
Even to this day, when there are social events and we all get together, I still feel on the outs, like I dont connect to those guys. It was hard. I have always had these weird relationships with straight men. They have a lot of questions about gay men and they come to me to get them answered. I always answer them explicitly. I am fierce and I dont take shit, though. I would tease them. I can definitely dish it out as well as I can take it. I got off on making them feel uncomfortable. Its been an interesting ride. Theres been lots of drama along the way. All in all, I like the guys. But I always feel a little disconnected.
Does being Adams assistant leave you with much time to date?
Adam is not a high-maintenance celebrity. He doesnt call me on the weekends or at night. In fact, I think I am more worried about his career than he is! My schedule does leave room for dating, but I havent been dating since I have been out here. When I am at work, I work my ass off. All I care about is making Adam happy. I have a dog; I have a full life. I am more focused on my career right now. I dont want to be a career assistant. Besides, I am so fucking gay that it puts a lot of self-hating gays off. My whole thing is that I am as gay as I want to be. If I were straight-acting, I would get a lot more dates. But I am not going to live a lie. Thats what the straights want. They want me to tone it down.
Any plans to get your hands dirty and help out with the renovations?
Yes. My favorite thing is to use the jackhammer. I love a good jackhammer. If I sing while I am doing the jackhammer, I sound like Belinda Carlisle. It gives me a great vibrato. I love power tools. I like to have a power tool in my hand. Theres just something about it.
What do you hope to do after the show comes to an end?
I hope to be working with Adam in some capacity, entertaining. I am going to stick with Adam. I stand by my man, honey.