Why is Joe Rogan so popular?

Rizvi Haider
5 min readJul 29, 2020

Joe Rogan’s lifelong journey is an example of sheer determination and passion towards his interest in comedy, acting and MMA.

Why is Joe Rogan so popular?

If you are avid podcast listener like me, chances are that you have heard about Joe Rogan and his acclaimed podcast show, The Joe Rogan Experience. For those of you who are not familiar with the man, this article will be a great way to know the comedian turned podcast show host who has become uber-popular since starting his podcast in December 2009.

Related post: Why Is ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Podcast so Popular?

Few people in the world have been able to achieve the level of stardom that Joe Rogan has attained in a short while with his show. With over 1500 two-hour episodes and counting, Rogan has hosted numerous guests from around the world. His guests usually encompass popular fighters, comedians and everyone else who he considers have the potential to make a change. His career spans through a number of TV, standup, commentary and acting jobs, some of which laid the foundation of his success.

Although he had an interest in kickboxing from the beginning, Rogan started his career as a stand-up comedian when his friends and fellows at the Taekwondo School convinced him to give it a shot. He performed his first stand-up gig in 1988 at the age of 21 after preparing material and practicing his delivery for six months. Joe once said, “I could not imagine myself working a 9–5 job.” Before getting into standup, he had worked at several jobs that secured him financially, including driving a limousine, construction work and delivering newspapers. Just after two years of hard work and appearing at several strip clubs and bachelor parties because of his blue comedy style, Joe finally settled onto becoming a full-time comedian and relocated to NYC for better opportunities.

Rogan moved to Los Angeles to try his luck at TV in 1994 where he appeared on national television in a MTV comedy show called Half-Hour Comedy Hour. This appearance turned out to be a turning point in his comedy career as he soon landed his first major role as Frank Valente in the Fox sitcom Hardball. Even though he got his break at Hollywood, he still had a thing for fighting championships which led him to begin working for the UFC as a post-fight backstage interviewer in 1997. He continually worked for the UFC for two consecutive years but quit citing reasons that his remuneration package could not cover the travelling expenses to the events that took place in rural locations frequently. After Zuffa took over UFC in 2001, Rogan became friends with its new president, Dada White, who offered him to work for UFC again in exchange for premium tickets to all of the UFC events, to which Joe accepted and became a regular in 2002.

Meanwhile, he also accepted an offer to host the American version of the Fear Factor on NBC, which aired between 2001 and 2006 for six seasons. According to Rogan, hosting this show helped him with a lot of material and anecdotes for his standup comedy gigs. The NBC show further exposed him to a number of TV roles, some of which he did accept but deep down he felt that television made him lazy and he did not let him concentrate on his career as a comedian.

He eventually found a video editor, Brain Redban, whom Rogan hired to record him on video while he toured different cities and did standup comedy gigs along the way. It was not much later when he started a free podcast in 2009 with the same longtime friend, comedian and cameraman, which later became The Joe Rogan Experience in 2010. Initially the show only featured the duo just sitting around and talking about general things while being on their laptops, but by 2015, the show had garnered millions of viewers every month, making it one of the most successful free podcasts available to date. The general theme of the two-hour show is that Joe asks questions to his guests and raises awareness among the general public about recent developments in the area of expertise of the guests in a fun-filled comic atmosphere.

Due to the worldwide popularity of the show, a number of well-known celebrities and geniuses of today have appeared on the podcast’s 1503 episodes as of July 7, 2020, including three 2020 US democratic presidential candidates, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, and Tulsi Gabbard. Several scientists have appeared on the show as well and notable names include Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Matthew Walker, Michael Osterholm, Richard Dawkins, and many others. Famous celebrities who accepted to appear on the podcast are actors Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Edward Norton, Mel Gibson, Mike Tyson, and fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Whitney Cummings, Jay Leno, Jeff Ross and others.

Just after nine months of its debut, the Rogan’s podcast became an instant hit among the masses, was listed on the top 100 podcasts on iTunes and has received several accolades ever since. In May 2020, Joe Rogan announced an exclusive membership with Spotify that is worth over $100 million after which his podcasts will only be available to paid users on the Spotify platform, although some clips from his shows would be made available on his YouTube channel.

Originally published at https://www.rizvihaider.com on July 29, 2020.

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