You’ve seen him on Rescue Me and Nurse Jackie. Now it’s time to learn more about him. He talks exclusively with Hidden Remote about The Adam Ferrara Podcast 30 Minutes You’ll Never Get Back and more.
You know Adam Ferrara as Chief “Needles” Nelson on Rescue Me. Or you’ve seen him as NYPD Sgt. Frank Verelli on Nurse Jackie. You may have even watched him co-host the U.S. version of Top Gear. Now it’s time to find out what he’s up to next.
Adam Ferrara is one of the latest celebrities turning to podcasting. This certainly isn’t to jump on this current bandwagon, but to work in a space that allows projects to grow and gain life. It also gives him a chance to bring us conversation with celebrities, authors, and even astronauts.
The Adam Ferrara Podcast 30 Minutes You’ll Never Get Back is a must-listen. In this exclusive interview with Hidden Remote, he talks about why he wanted to do it, his favorite episodes so far, and the ones you should start with.
Hidden Remote: So, start with me at the beginning. Where did the whole idea for you to do a podcast come from in the first place? A lot of people are doing them but let me get a good idea for you specifically.
Adam Ferrara: I wanted to do something I knew was going to have a life. You write a movie or TV pilot and it’ll get so far but it never gets out there. So with a podcast, there’s no barrier to entry. It will get a life and it will reach people.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew the feeling I wanted to convey. When I was a kid, the best night’s sleep I ever got was when I was upstairs and I heard my mom and dad and their friends downstairs laughing. I would hear adults talking about what they were going through and dealing with. They would compare notes on each other’s lives, struggles and trying to get through it together.
So I built this little arena with, my wife Alex, my friend comedian and writer Phil Tag, and my pal and producer from the Tony Kornheiser Show, Marc Sterne. The opening of the show is where we let the audience into our lives. I’m searching for peace of mind… it’s not going well. Marc is dating; Phil has a ghost in his apartment, and my poor wife is the voice of reason for three idiots. The topic of our opening discussion leads us into me playing a one on one interview I have done with the guest. Then we come back and, like any good group of friends, we talk about them when they leave.
HR: You’ve certainly had to do plenty of interviews before. Did that make this transition kind of easy for you?
Ferrara: It made it familiar for me but the interviews are more like conversations. What made it revelatory was when I listened back to them. I learned the questions I was asking were things that I wanted to know for myself. Those were the questions that resonated and I noticed the little man in my head telling me to pay attention! There is always that one question that we pick up on to discuss after the interview. Usually something everybody can relate to no matter who you are or what you do.
I had Jay Leno on and, of course, we talked about cars, but his mother was Scottish and her favorite poet was Robert Burns. Her favorite Robert Burns poem is “The giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us.”
So I ask Jay how he saw himself and then that question went around the room with us. How do we see each other? It was insightful and very funny at the discrepancies. Turns out I’m not as cool as I thought I was.
HR: And you have had a couple of people on you have those pre-existing relationships with. I’m curious, have you learned things about them that you didn’t know before through doing this?
Ferrara: Yes, I had Kevin James on and he told me a great story about Tiger Woods that I never knew about.
Adam Carolla is on this week. I didn’t know he has this ability to be objective and honest with himself that he attributes to, not low self-esteem but no self-esteem.
HR: Are there particular episodes that you love that new listeners should start with?
Ferrara: Start with the Jay Leno episode. You’ll get a sense of our history. Phil talks about his first Tonight Show, Jay and I tell stories about working together. You get a sense of the family aspect of the show as well as the interview part.
Another episode I would highly recommend is with my mother. That will give you background about all of us.
HR: Is there anybody that you’d love to have on that you haven’t yet? We can start a campaign for you.
Ferrara: The Pope! I have many questions.
It’s been so much fun getting to know authors, actors, musicians and even astronauts. I spoke to Cady Coleman, who lived in space for six months. I interviewed an FBI profiler who worked the Bundy case. That was creepy.
One of my favorite authors, Steven Pressfield. He wrote the “Ledged of Bagger Vance,” “The War of Art” and “Gates of Fire”. So far everyone I have sat down with has a relatable human fear or concern that connects with the audience and us. I ask people to participate in the interviews by sending in questions as well.
HR: Do you need to be in the same place for this or can you do it all over the phone?
Ferrara: Usually in person but I interviewed Steve Gorman, the drummer from the Black Crowes. He was in Nashville and I was in the studio in LA.
HR: You have a crazy schedule as it is, though. Do you have a particular way of preparing for these interviews?
Ferrara: Standard research but sometimes if I know a friend of somebody I’ll ask them for some inside baseball question or topic I can bring up.
I had paranormal investigator Em Shulz on to talk about Phil’s ghost. Em does a podcast called And That’s Why We Drink with Christine Schieffer, who I also had on the show. I reached out to Christine before Em came on. It was a lot of fun. Phil still has the ghost but now we think it’s his grandmother. Check that episode out as well.
HR: So, what’s the best thing you’ve learned so far doing this?
Ferrara: Being present and enjoying every step. I’m very proud of the show but it’s a lot of work. I’m learning to take pleasure in the actual doing of the doing, not just doing as a means to an end. So when we go into the studio, in order to communicate that feeling of a family getting together and laughing, you gotta be a family getting together and laughing.
The show is doing very well and I really enjoy hearing from all the people who are discovering it.
What do you think of The Adam Ferrara Podcast? Which episode is your favorite? Share in the comments below.
The Adam Ferrara Podcast is available on all major podcast sites.