Joseph James Rogan (born August 11, 1967- ) is an American comedian, podcast host, and mixed martial arts color commentator. He has also worked as a television host and an actor.
Rogan began his career in comedy in August 1988 in the Boston area. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1994, he signed an exclusive developmental deal with Disney, and appeared as an actor on several television shows including Hardball and NewsRadio. In 1997, he started working for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as an interviewer and color commentator. Rogan released his first comedy special in 2000. In 2001, he put his comedy career on hold after becoming the host of Fear Factor, and resumed his stand-up career shortly after the show's end in 2006. In 2009, Rogan launched his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, which led him to "fame, wealth and podcast superstardom".
Joseph James Rogan was born on August 11, 1967, in Newark, New Jersey. His grandfather had moved his family there in the 1940s. He is of three-quarters Italian and one-quarter Irish descent. His father, Joseph, is a former police officer in Newark. Rogan's parents divorced when he was five, and he has not been in contact with his father since he was seven. Rogan recalled: "All I remember of my dad are these brief, violent flashes of domestic violence ... But I don't want to complain about my childhood. Nothing bad ever really happened to me ... I don't hate the guy." From ages 7 to 11, the family lived in San Francisco, California, followed by a move to Gainesville, Florida when he was eleven. They settled outside Boston in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, where Rogan attended Newton South High School, from which he graduated in 1985.
Rogan participated in Little League Baseball but developed an interest in martial arts in his early teens. He recalled being "terrified of being a loser" as a child, and martial arts, "gave me not just confidence, but also a different perspective of myself and what I was capable of. I knew that I could do something I was terrified of, and that was really difficult, and that I could excel at it. It was a big deal for me". Martial arts were, "the first thing that ever gave me hope that I wasn't going to be a loser. So I really, really gravitated toward it". At fourteen, Rogan took up karate and, a year later, started Taekwondo. At nineteen, he won the US Open Championship taekwondo tournament as a lightweight. He was a Massachusetts full-contact state champion for four consecutive years and became a Taekwondo instructor. Rogan also practiced amateur kickboxing and held a 2–1 record; he retired from competition at age 21 as he began to suffer from frequent headaches and feared he might sustain worse injuries.
He attended the University of Massachusetts Boston but found it pointless and dropped out early. He lived in the Boston area until he was 24, and then moved to New York City.
The Joe Rogan Experience
In December 2009, Rogan launched a free podcast with his friend and fellow comedian Brian Redban. The first episode was recorded on December 24 and was initially a live weekly broadcast on Ustream, with Rogan and Redban "sitting in front of laptops bullshitting". By August 2010, the podcast was named The Joe Rogan Experience and entered the list of Top 100 podcasts on iTunes, and in 2011, was picked up by SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The podcast features an array of guests who discuss current events, politics, philosophy, comedy, hobbies and numerous other topics. In January 2015, the podcast was downloaded over 11 million times. By October that year, the podcast was downloaded 16 million times each month, making it one of the most popular free podcasts.
On May 19, 2020, Rogan announced that he had signed a multi-year licensing deal with Spotify, worth an estimated $100 million, making it one of the largest licensing agreements in the podcast business. The deal will make The Joe Rogan Experience available on Spotify starting from September 1, 2020 and from January 2021, exclusive on the platform. Clips from the video version will continue to be available on YouTube.
Drugs and spirituality
Rogan supports the legalized use of cannabis and believes it holds numerous benefits. He hosted the documentary film, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, and was featured in Marijuana: A Chronic History and The Culture High. He also supports the use of LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and DMT toward the exploration and enhancement of consciousness, as well as introspection. He was the presenter in the 2010 documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule.
Rogan has an interest in sensory deprivation and using an isolation tank. He has stated that his personal experiences with meditation in isolation tanks has helped him explore the nature of consciousness as well as improve his performance in various physical and mental activities and overall well-being.
Although not officially a Buddhist since he has said he is opposed to all organized religions; he has expressed interest in Buddhism and Buddhist meditation and in one of his shows remarked that while on ayahuasca, he saw "thousands of Buddhas, like a fractal of Buddhas."