Joe Rogan is a versatile entertainer and personality, best known for his influential podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1967, Rogan carved a career in comedy and acting before evolving into a renowned podcaster and UFC commentator. His early life was marked by a passion for martial arts and a budding interest in comedy, leading him from Boston’s comedy clubs to television fame in Los Angeles. Despite controversies and public scrutiny, Rogan remains a pivotal figure in modern media, weaving a legacy of open dialogues and controversial discussions.
Joe’s Early Life: This Where it All Begun.
One of Joe’s grandparents was from the Republic of Ireland, while the other three were from Italy. When he was five years old, his parents divorced, and he hasn’t spoken to his father since he was seven.
His memories of his dad are about short flashes of domestic violence. However, he says he doesn’t want to complain about his childhood because nothing terrible has ever happened to him, and he holds no grudges against his dad.
Joe moved to San Francisco with his mother in 1974, and in 1978, they relocated to Gainesville, Florida. Later, the family moved to Florida, where Joe studied at Newton South High School and graduated in 1985.
Developed a passion for martial arts
Joe developed a passion for martial arts and joined Little League Baseball in his teen years. She started practicing karate at 14 years and a year later took up taekwondo.
At age 19, Joe participated in the US Open taekwondo championships and won as a lightweight. He worked hard in taekwondo until he became an instructor.
Joe also tried his hand at kickboxing and retired at 21 when he began suffering from headaches. Joseph studied at the University of Massachusetts Boston but dropped out before graduating. He moved out of Boston in 1988.
Joe’s Career Progression
Joe began his career as a comedian in the late 80s, though he had no intention of doing so. As already mentioned, his main objective was to become a professional kickboxer who thought he liked comedy from a young age.
Rogan was a fan of Richard Pryor, especially his live on the Sunset Strip. Joe once said the comedy profoundly affected him, condensing that nothing has made him laugh like the day he watched the comedy.
At one time, his taekwondo and gym friends, whom he used to amuse with his jokes and impressions, challenged him to try stand-up. Rogan took up the challenge, prepared materials, and practiced for six months before performing a stand-up comedy in a Boston’s club in August 1988. While living in Boston and practicing his gigs, he had several other jobs for financial backup. The jobs included assisting a private investigator, working at construction sites, driving a limousine, delivering newspapers, and teaching martial arts at Revere and Boston University.
Became a full-time comedian in New York
Many fans liked his comedy and invited him to strip clubs and bachelor parties. Rogan requested a comedy club owner to allow him to try a 5-minute comedy routine one night. While performing, one of the attendees and talent manager, Sussman Jeff, liked his performance and offered to be his manager, which he accepted. At 23, Joe moved to New York, where he became a full-time comedian.
He was broke and had to live with his grandfather for the first six months. Those who influenced him to venture full-time into comedy included Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Jeni.
News, Radio, and Hardball: The Best Was Yet to Come
Rogan decided to move to Los Angeles in 1994, where his first appearance on national TV was on Half-Hour Comedy Hour aired on MTV. He did so well that MTV offered him a 3-year exclusive contract in which he was to appear in an episode in MTV’s dopey game show for $500. An offer that he declined.
However, his manager sent tapes of his performances to many networks, which led to a bidding war. Many networks approached Joe, and after negotiations, he settled on Disney network for a development deal. He played a significant role as Frank Valente in Hardball, a Fox sitcom.
Around the same time, he started performing in Hollywood at The Comedy Store, and Mitzi Shore hired him to be paid regularly. In 1995, he starred in NewsRadio, NBC’s sitcom, where he took the role of Joe Garrel and handyman and electrician at a fictional show aired by the station.
The role was meant for Romano Ray
This role was initially meant for actor Romano Ray, but Romano was dismissed from the cast after a rehearsal, and Joe Rogan took his place. That replacement allowed Rogan to work with the show’s script writers to develop Joe Garrel’s character before the show’s launch. While at it, Rogan became friends with Hartman Phil after Phil disclosed to him that he had marital problems.
Rogan tried to persuade Hartman to divorce his wife, but he couldn’t because he loved his children. Unfortunately, Hartman’s wife murdered him in 1998. This was a significant loss to Je and greatly affected his stand-ups. It made him cancel all the gigs he scheduled for the week.
Later, Joe viewed acting as an easy job but became bored of working in the same role every week, so he only did it for the money. He later felt that his time at NewsRadio was a dram gig because it allowed him to work on his stand-ups as much as possible while still earning money at the radio channel.
The podcast and Latest endeavors
Rogan was the host of the Game Show in My Head at CBS. The show was short-lived, and only eight were aired in January 2009. The show’s producer was Kutcher Ashton, and it involved many contestants who tried to convince people to take part in or perform bizarre situations to be paid. Joe accepted the offer to host the show because he was intrigued by the idea, referring to it as a mindless entertainment form.
In 2019, he accused Cook Dane of stealing his jokes, and in 2011, he went back to take his role as the host of Fear Factor for its final season, which ran until 2012. Joe took the job, saying he wouldn’t imagine someone else doing it. In the same year (2011), Joe played the first and most significant film character, Gale, in Zookeeper, a comedy film.
Around the same time, he was writing a book titled Irresponsible Advice from a Man with No Credibility. The book highlighted the articles he posted on his website. In 2012, the comedian released a comedy special titled Live from the Tabernacle, available for download on his website for only $5.
He launched his podcast in December 2009
Rogan launched his free podcast in December 2009 with his fellow comedian and friend Redban Brian. He recorded the first episode on 24th December and planned a weekly broadcast with Redban and Rogan Redban “sitting in front of laptops bullshitting.” The podcast’s name was changed to The Joe Rogan Experience a year later.
It became so popular that it was among the top one hundred podcasts on iTunes by August of the same year. SiriusXM Satellite Radio picked the podcats in 2011. It features many guests who discuss hobbies, comedy, philosophy, politics, current events, and other essential topics.
Here are some of the topics discussed in Joe Rogan’s first Podcast:
- Ancient Aliens
- Hunter S. Thompson
- Dave Chappelle
- Joey Diaz
- Rogan thought a mountain lion ate his dog
- Quake video game
- Crocodiles are present day dinosaurs
- Salt float/isolation tanks
- John F. Kennedy
- Janet Jackson Super Bowl
- Jesse Ventura
- Avatar movie
- Steven Seagal
In early January, the podcast hit over 11 million downloads in 2011. And by October of the same year, it had already hit over 16 million downloads. By 2019, each podcast episode attracted over 11 viewers, with over 190 million monthly downloads.
Here’s one of the most popular video’s ever published by Joe Rogan:
Joe Rogan Controversy
Joe Rogan is now at the center of a controversy involving the call to boycott Spotify. Neil Young, a renowned songwriter, removed his music from Spotify to protest against Joe’s presence on the platform. Young’s reaction comes after science educators, medical scientists, and 270 doctors signed an open letter in protest against what they termed Covid-19 misinformation on Spotify.
The letter’s authors referred to Joe’s show claiming that he repeatedly spread false and misleading information throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They said that his claims provoked distrust in medicine and science. Further, the authors said Joe discouraged the vaccination of children and young people, incorrectly claiming that the mRNA vaccines are nothing but gene therapies.
The signatories were particularly irked by the recent episode in which Joe hosted Malone Robert, a physician against coronavirus vaccines. Malone was the same physician Twitter suspended for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.
Neil Young removed his music from Spotify
Since Neil Young removed his music from Spotify, his fellow songwriter and renowned Canadian icon Mitchel Joni and Brown Brene, a celebrity, social work professor, and self-help books author, have followed suit, demanding that Spotify remove their content. Markle Meghan and Harry Prince, who also host their podcasts on Spotify, spoke against Joe through their foundation.
The Spotify boycott has made many consumers cancel their subscriptions, putting Joe’s name in front of an enormous population.
In response to the growing controversy, Joe said he never intentionally spread misinformation and promised to balance out controversial viewpoints and include other people’s perspectives. He said that he supported Spotify for adding a disclaimer at the beginning of his podcast.
Joe Rogan is a multi-talented individual who has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. He is an actor, comedian, podcaster, and UFC color commentator. He started his career in comedy and has since expanded his talents to various other fields.
He has appeared on TV shows, hosted his podcast, and has a significant following. His passion for martial arts has also played an essential role in his life. Despite his success, he continues to be respected in the industry and has not forgotten his humble beginnings.