Love him or hate him, every podcast listener knows the name Joe Rogan. From comedian to Fear Factor host to UFC commentator and podcaster extraordinaire, Rogan has had an extremely varied career. He’s a deep thinker, an outspoken pot advocate, and a free-speech king who tends to bring whole new perspectives to everyday debates. The Joe Rogan Experience (or JRE) will go down as one of the most important podcasts in history and continues to inspire jaw-dropping conversations and hilarious moments. Want to know more about the man behind the podcast? Here are 50 facts about Joe Rogan.
Rogan’s childhood wasn’t easy. His dad left when he was just seven years old, but that wasn’t the worst part. As Rogan says, "All I remember of my dad are these brief, violent flashes of domestic violence.” He hasn’t spoken to his father since he left.
Any fan of Rogan’s knows he’s a martial arts fanatic. He started martial arts in his early teens because he was “terrified of being a loser.” It gave him the confidence he needed to feel like a winner.
Joe Rogan won the US Open Championship for taekwondo and went on to become an instructor. Unfortunately, he had to hang up his belt at 21 because he kept getting headaches.
The first sponsor for The JRE was a certain famous adult toy aimed at men. Think flashlight, but a lot more provocative. You know what I mean.
Joe Rogan never thought about a career as a stand-up comedian until his taekwondo friends convinced him to pursue it. He was great a making them laugh by doing jokes and impressions of them. They thought he was so great at it he should get on stage!
Rogan has worked a lot of jobs in his past. He was a newspaper boy, a limo driver, a construction worker, and a private investigator’s assistant at various points in his life.
In the late 80s, Joe Rogan was performing a new five-minute set at a comedy club one night. In the audience was manager Jeff Sussman. He signed Rogan, allowing him to work full-time as a comedian.
If there’s one thing Joe Rogan might love more than working out, it’s video games. In particular, the game Quake. In its prime, he would play Quake up to 10 hours a day—and he went to great lengths to get his gaming fix. He had a T1 line installed into his house to play the game on. This would have cost around $10,000 per month back then!
Joe Rogan used to be signed to Disney. He acted on the show Hardball, but that only lasted a season. After that, he got a job on NewsRadio, a much more successful show. He describes his character on the show as a “very dumbed-down, censored version” of himself.
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NewsRadio also starred actor and comedian Phil Hartman. The two became friends, and Harman would tell Rogan about how bad his marriage was. Rogan tried to convince Hartman to get a divorce numerous times, but he wouldn’t do it—and the consequences were devastating.
Hartman’s life was tragically ended by his wife, who then ended her own life.
Before the UFC really took off, Joe Rogan was a huge fan. He worked as an interviewer for a while, but had to quit, as the pay didn’t cover travel costs. He then became friends with Dana White. White hired Rogan to do color commentary in exchange for free, prime event tickets.
This soon became a paying gig.
A sitcom about Rogan was in the works for a while. It would be called The Joe Rogan Show, and utilized the talents of Seinfeld writer Bill Masters. The show would see a fictionalized Rogan play a sportscaster who moves from the world of sports to a show like The View.
That show never happened, but Fear Factor certainly did. Rogan was hesitant to accept the job at Fear Factor. He thought the content was too disturbing for TV, and it would never air. He ultimately agreed o to get bits for his stand-up act. Rogan hosted the show for six seasons.
Joe Rogan almost fought Wesley Snipes! Snipes was in trouble with the IRS and desperate for money. He challenged Rogan to a fight. Rogan trained up hard and was actually excited for the fight. Unfortunately, Snipes backed out and ended up doing three years for tax evasion.
When Rogan was on TV, he frequently stressed about going bald. He used Minoxidil—AKA Rogaine—to stimulate hair growth and finally took the plunge into hair plugs when that stopped working. He regretted it later and is now proudly bald.
Joe Rogan infamously spoke out against fellow comedian Carlos Mencia for stealing jokes. He wrote a blog post making the accusation and later got on stage at The Comedy Store to publicly call out the comedian. Rogan’s comedy friends stood up for him and thanked him for doing it—but his act of solidarity had dire repercussions.
Rogan’s management dropped him and he was banned from The Comedy Store. Luckily for Rogan, he signed a deal with a new agency five minutes later and has since had his ban lifted.
In 2009, Rogan started The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. With co-host and producer Brian Redban, the two set up in Rogan’s house and basically just joked around for a few hours each week. This eventually became the number-one podcast we know today.
A few years after the Mencia incident, Rogan accused Dane Cook of stealing jokes! Other comedians like Louis C.K. joined in on the bandwagon, leading to a huge blow in Cook’s career. Rogan said of the accusations, “I'm compelled to do it. I can't overlook it when someone steals like these guys do.”
Joe Rogan is a man of many questions. He proved this with his SyFy show Joe Rogan Questions Everything. The show saw Rogan investigating various conspiracy theories like bigfoot and UFOs. Unfortunately, it only lasted one season.
Few notice—after all, he’s a podcaster—but Rogan has a skin disorder named vitiligo on his feet and hands.
Joe Rogan keeps his personal life very, well, personal. He has a wife, Jessica Ditzel, and three daughters, one of whom is his step-daughter. He doesn’t talk about them often, referring to his wife as “Mrs. Rogan” during the podcast.
In a surprising twist, Rogan is cousins with My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way! Here’s hoping Way makes an appearance on the podcast soon!
On one episode of The JRE, Rogan said he would probably vote for Bernie Sanders in the 2020 election. Sanders used the clip of Rogan as an endorsement in an ad. This sparked controversy from Sanders supporters, who see Rogan as a controversial figure.
On an episode featuring Elon Musk, Rogan gives the SpaceX founder his first hit off a joint. The backlash was intense. Not only did SpaceX’s stock momentarily drop, but the incident cost taxpayers $5 million! When SpaceX and NASA saw Musk smoke, they held a company-wide audit to remind workers of SpaceX and NASA that users are losers.
Rogan’s comedy special Live from the Belly of the Beast offers a look at the friendship between Rogan and Infowars founder Alex Jones. The special starts with a skit featuring the two smoking and hanging around Washington, DC in presidential masks. The end of the special features a music video, with Alex Jones providing vocals.
Alex Jones is an infamous JRE guest, known for his lengthy and bizarre interviews on the show. But Jones and Rogan went through a bit of a break-up at the beginning of 2019. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, appeared on the JRE and Jones didn’t like the way Rogan handled the interview. Jones denounced Rogan on his show, accusing him of being in cahoots with George Soros.
You know, normal friend argument stuff.
Jones and Rogan made up later that same year over a podcast. Rogan had Jones on the show for his second appearance and the two had some truly bizarre conversations. The episode was the most viewed podcast episode of 2019, with over 15 million views!
Remember Game Show in My Head? It was a short-lived game show produced by Aston Kutcher and hosted by Rogan. It saw contestants put in an ear-piece and perform embarrassing tasks in front of strangers, all while being secretly filmed for money. The show only lasted eight episodes.
Rogan is an outspoken advocate for pot. He believes in legalization and frequently smokes on his show. He is also an outspoken supporter of psychedelic substances like DMT and psilocybin mushrooms. According to Rogan, pot helps him focus and makes him more creative comedically.
An avid hunter, Rogan subscribes to the “eat what you kill” philosophy. He eats as much of the animals he hunts as possible in an effort to avoid factory-farmed meats.
DMT has had a huge influence on Rogan’s life. Trying to describe it, he said, “The experience is so overwhelming and so alien. […] Constantly changing geometric patterns. […] I don’t see any negative to it.” He goes on to say everyone should be able to experience it legally.
Rogan is a frequent user of sensory deprivation float tanks. One float tank experience was so positively motivating to him he wrote a lengthy blog post describing it. He claims the experience gave him so much positive energy that his body was pulsating at one point during the float.
Rogan’s podcast studio is much more than just that. He had a full gym installed into the studio, complete with a section for training in martial arts.
The video game UFC 2 features Rogan as a playable fighter! If players input the Konami code at the character menu, they’ll unlock the podcaster and comedian.
Rogan often has political figures on his show but does not affiliate with any one political party. He holds mostly libertarian views, leaning more on the liberal side.
The comedian’s audition for Fear Factor wasn’t exactly conventional. Rogan said on an episode of The JRE that he was high when he went to the meeting! He asked the interviewer, “What are you gonna do? You’re gonna sic dogs on people?” They thought he would make a perfect fit for the show!
One episode of Fear Factor even let Rogan show off his fighting prowess! On the episode, an angry female contestant shoves her competitor. When Rogan scolds her, her husband goes on the offensive and tries to fight Rogan. Rogan puts the guy in a hold and another contestant breaks them up.
On an episode of The JRE, Rogan revealed the moment that got Fear Factor canceled. One episode featured a challenge where competitors had to drink either donkey urine or donkey semen. Yes, you read that right. The episode was pulled from broadcast.
As a response to the viral “Veganuary” trend, where people went vegan for the month, Rogan decided to eat only meat that same month. Apparently, it did him a lot of good! He saw his vitiligo improve, felt more positive, and felt a decrease in pain. The poops weren’t so good, though.
One of the most positive effects of The JRE is “Sober October”. This sees Rogan and his comedian friends getting sober and sticking to strict workout challenges the entire month. The challenge has since caught on across the world, with many JRE fans participating in and documenting the month of sobriety.
Tech company RealTalk uploaded a video of Rogan talking about starting a chimp hockey team among other funny topics—but there was a chilling dark side. Rogan had never said any of that stuff. The company fed their AI hundreds of hours of Rogan’s voice from his podcast and used the clips to make entirely new, scarily-real sounding clips.
Robots are going to take over, aren’t they?
Kanye West is maybe the most requested guest in JRE history. He was on the books at one point, but Rogan allegedly canceled the appearance. During a Q&A after one of his stand-up shows—something Rogan is known to do—one Redditor claimed Rogan said he didn’t think it was a good idea to have West on the show.
When Bernie Sanders came on the podcast, Rogan asked him if he would declassify government knowledge of alien life or activity if he won the presidency. Sanders’ response was incredible. He said, “My wife would demand that I let you know.” Now that’s how you get voters.
Rogan’s word has a pretty large sway. This was proved in episode 1318 of The JRE. Rogan simply talked about Bitcoin in this episode, causing Bitcoin’s stock value to rise 21%!
Alex Jones wasn’t the only one mad about Rogan’s Dorsey interview. Fans criticized Rogan for not challenging Dorsey or asking hard questions. Dorsey returned to the podcast to have a second, more in-depth interview.
Joe Rogan met the ire of vegans with the release of his latest special, Strange Times. In it, he makes fun of vegans who make their cats follow a vegan diet, as cats need meat to properly survive. The joke was huge and sparked a hashtag featuring pictures of vegan cats.
Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang saw a huge boost in support following his appearance on The JRE. According to his campaign manager, “Everything is up and to the right since the Joe Rogan podcast. That was the key. That was the moment.” The episode has over 5 million views.
Rogan’s interview with Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar was actually the inspiration for the infamous Area 51 raid. Matty Roberts, who started the original “Raid Area 51” page, says he was inspired directly by the episode to make the joke page. The joke blew up into a huge meme on the internet and got hundreds of people to meet up outside Area 51 for a get-together.
Coleman Insights shows that The JRE has the highest level of awareness among podcast listeners. 14% of podcast fans, even if not fans of The JRE, were aware of the show.
Rogan’s podcast has won numerous awards. It won Best Comedy Podcast of 2012 at iTunes, Best Overall Show from Stitcher, and Best Comedy Podcast at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards in 2019.
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